Volunteer

We cannot do it without you

GallopNYC relies on our volunteers

GallopNYC encourages volunteers to learn more about what we do, to grow in their roles, and to take on leadership positions. We offer talks to volunteers about horsemanship and aspects of disabilities, and offer occasional horsemanship classes.


  • Each rider is supported by up to three volunteers – one leading the horse and one on each side of the rider.
  • NO EXPERIENCE is NEEDED. We provide training.
  • A love of horses is helpful, as is a desire to work with individuals with a disability.



” I marvel to see how much people are capable of when no one puts limits on their expectations.”
—GallopNYC volunteer


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GallopNYC would not exist without our dedicated volunteers. We need help at lessons and with a wide range of specialized skills. Come to a party!

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Alicia Kershaw

Alicia first volunteered for therapeutic riding in Hong Kong in 1998. She is a retired attorney who grew up with horses. In 2005, she took a training course in starting a therapeutic riding program at Winslow and is a Certified PATH INTL Instructor. She is an Auxiliary Mounted NY City Parks Enforcement Patrol Officer. She also serves on the Board of the Fund for Women in Asia and the Women’s Foundation (Hong Kong) and the Dean’s Council of the Harvard Divinity School. Ms Kershaw does not receive compensation for her services. She has a JD from Yale Law School and a BA from Williams College.

Peter Byrne

Peter is an accomplished management executive with a unique combination of clinical, operational and computer implementation experience. He brings over 20 years of progressive, results-oriented success in combining sound project management skills with implementing leading-edge information systems to GallopNYC. He began as a volunteer and took on the Program Manager role in 2009. Peter has an MBA in Health Care Administration, from Bernard M. Baruch – Mt. Sinai School of Medicine, a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from State University of New York – Downstate Medical Center, and a BA from Manhattan College.

Ellen Dry

Ellen began as a volunteer with GallopNYC in 2009 and took on the role of Volunteer Coordinator in 2010. An enthusiastic horsewoman in her youth, she has spent the interim years traveling, working and volunteering in the Middle East, Asia and Europe. Ellen has a JD from George Mason University School of Law and an LL.M. from Georgetown University Law Center. Ellen became a PATH Intl. certified instructor in 2012. She is an Auxiliary Mounted NY City Parks Enforcement Patrol Officer.

Brooke Belott

First came to GallopNYC as a volunteer in April 2009 and is in the process of becoming a PATH Intl. Certified Instructor. She has a strong background in grant writing for the arts, primarily dance. Brooke brings skills in administration, program tracking, board management, grant writing, and development, as well as years of experience working for small non-profit organizations. Brooke is a dancer, and graduated from the University of Maryland College Park with B.A.s in English and Dance.

Marcia Soloff

Marcia Soloff has been GallopNYC-bookkeeper since the beginning of 2009. Marcia received her BS in Business Administration from the University of Colorado and has over 25 years of bookkeeping experience, including 15 years of working with nonprofit organizations, including The Copley Society of Boston, Boston, MA and Minor Memorial Library, Roxbury, CT. Marcia has worked with a wide range of small businesses and not-for profit organizations setting up and managing their financial data and accounting functions as well as the preparation for the annual year-end audit. Marcia began volunteering with therapeutic riding organizations in 2005 and has volunteered with GallopNYC since 2008.

Anne Rehnkopf Townsend

Anne Town came to GallopNYC in 2012. She served as the Director of Development for the Brooklyn Historical Society and the National Academy of Design before becoming a fundraising consultant. She has over 20 years of experience working in the non-profit sector and has served on a number of boards including the Junior League of Brooklyn and Rebuilding Together Brooklyn. She graduated from Tulane University with a B.A. in Art History.

Mocha is a rescued horse. He is a 15 year old bay gelding with a calm and sweet temperament. Mocha is healthy and sound. He is pretty but does have a high wither. This makes him a perfect Therapeutic Riding horse – after all no one at GallopNYC is perfect!

Mocha was kept at Cedar Lane Stables in Queens, which the NYC Parks department ordered vacated by the end of April. Mocha was donated to Equine Rescue Resource by his owner, Willie Black. He had been starved and neglected by a previous owner, and Willie had cared for him and brought him back to health over the past year. Willie did not have a home for Mocha as the Cedar Lane closing loomed. When Equine Rescue Resource mentioned that GallopNYC might adopt Mocha, Willie agreed that Mocha could be given to GallopNYC.

GallopNYC got wind of the possible rescue only a few days before the deadline for getting Mocha out of Cedar Lane. Without the combined efforts of GallopNYC, the NYC Parks Department and Equine Rescue Resource Mocha faced an uncertain future perhaps even a kill auction.

At GallopNYC we are delighted to have a lovely therapeutic horse and be part of the effort to protect horses in NYC.





Liz Douglas, Office Administrator
Emma Missouri, Bookkeeper

James found GallopNYC as a volunteer in October 2010, and joined our staff full-time as of January 2014, in the newly created position of Director of Operations. James has an extensive background in retail; both buying and planning, full-line department store and off-price. His love of horses goes back to his hometown in Texas, where his father taught him to ride and rope. James holds a Bachelor of Science, Agribusiness and a Master of Science, Marketing from Texas A&M. He is in the process of becoming a PATH Intl. certified instructor, and enjoys photography in his spare time.

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