New York, NY – February 12, 2020

For further information contact:  James Wilson, 

New Executive Director of GallopNYC; New Board Members   

James Wilson Appointed ED: 

After serving as Interim Executive Director for nine months,  James M. Wilson has accepted the position of Executive Director of GallopNYC, effective January 1, 2020.  The GallopNYC Board of Directors, including Founder Alicia Kershaw, unanimously welcomes James to this well-deserved role.

During his time as Interim Executive Director, James has led our board in a strategic review, to determine the best path forward to achieve our vision that every child with a disability in New York City has access to therapeutic horseback riding. “GallopNYC believes that horses help people, and every day we see children with disabilities, veterans and troubled youth improve their life skills at our program.”  As Executive Director, James will continue to press ahead with our vision. “I am honored to be leading GallopNYC as we press ahead with our vision that everyone with a disability in New York City has access to therapeutic horseback riding.”

Prior to becoming ED, James served GallopNYC as Director of Operations for five years and has been instrumental in GallopNYC’s expansion, and the success of our two stables in NYC.  

Heather Aspegren joins GallopNYC Board

Heather Aspegren, Director, Digital Risk Solutions,  PwC (PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP), was elected to the GallopNYC Board on Jan. 27, 2020.  Heather came to GallopNYC through the Board Lead program of Cause Strategy Partners. Heather has 15 years of experience with internal audit, controls design and supporting risk management practices through the assessment of design of analytics, controls and financial processes, data governance strategy, software selection and implementation strategies. The only child of a very dedicated special ed teacher in small-town Kansas, and a former equestrian, Heather has an affinity for GallopNYC’s mission. 

Alan Brownfeld joins GallopNYC Council of Advisors 

Alan Brownfeld was elected to the GallopNYC Council of Advisors on Jan. 27, 2020. Alan’s family originally owned the famous Rocking Horse Ranch in Highland, NY, and he is an equestrian. He now lives in Florida and is a successful philanthropist.   

New GallopNYC Secretary. 

Esada Qazi will take up the role of Secretary, an officer of GallopNYC, joining Sol Reischer, President, Alicia Kershaw, Vice President and Gavin Case, Treasurer.  GallopNYC thanks Carla Pehowski for her years of service as Board Secretary.


GallopNYC brings the proven benefits of therapeutic horsemanship to children and adults with disabilities in NYC. Therapeutic horseback riding provides measurable benefits for people with developmental, emotional, social, and physical challenges.  Through weekly riding sessions with PATH Intl.-certified instructors, GallopNYC helps riders walk, talk and learn, inspiring them to live their lives as fully, independently and productively as possible. GallopNYC serves about 600 riders every week at four NYC locations. 

Join us at the GallopNYC Barn Dance – May 14, 2020, at the Foundry,  LIC GallopNYC Barn Dance

For an overview of all programs click here:  GallopNYC Program Overview

GallopNYC offers therapeutic riding lessons daily, and interested riders can learn more and sign up GallopNYC TR. GallopNYC also offers riding to the general public as part of its horse education programming. To book a lesson, riders can visit Recreational Riding.

GallopNYC Sunrise Stables is at 80-98 Linden Blvd., Howard Beach, Queens NY 11414. Click GallopNYC Lindenwood for directions.

GallopNYC Forest Hills is at 8803 70th Road, Forest Hills, NY 11375. Click GallopNYC Forest Hills for directions. 

James M. Wilson BIO

James found GallopNYC as a volunteer in April 2011, 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 home town in Texas, and a deep family connection to horses. James holds a Bachelor of Science, Agribusiness and a Master of Science, Marketing from Texas A&M University. He is a PATH Intl. Certified Therapeutic Riding Instructor, an Irwin Insights Horse Trainer, a CHA Certified Equine Facility Director, and an Equine Experiential Education Level 1 Certified Trainer.