A Statement from Executive Director James Wilson Regarding COVID-19


New York, NY – February 12, 2020

For further information contact:  James Wilson,  James.Wilson@GallopNYC.org 

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.

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GallopNYC FY18 Audited Financials

Our Staff

GallopNYC’s talented and passionate employees are motivated by the sense of purpose that comes with our mission and programs.  Many of our staff first started their career at GallopNYC as a volunteer.

Board of Directors

GallopNYC is led by a Board of Directors dedicated to our mission. Our talented Board of Directors are professionals with accomplishments in business, government, professional services, and philanthropy.

Advisory Council

Our Council of Advisors are eminent supporters of our therapeutic programing, consisting of avid equestrians, medical professionals, educators, parents, and a wide variety of advisors.

Founders & Emeritus Board

GallopNYC was founded as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization in 2005. During the 2007-08 academic year, GallopNYC began lessons with one instructor, ten participants, and about fifteen regular volunteers.

Rising Professionals

Our Rising Professional Group help to make GallopNYC events a fun and memorable occasion.  They are dedicated to organizing, planning, and fundraising for events and activities that support our riders.

2017 CHAR500
2017 GallopNYC 990 and CHAR 500
2017 Signed 990 CHAR 500 and Audited Fin(3)

Volunteer in Lessons

Volunteers play a very important role in our therapeutic riding lessons. In fact, we can’t have lessons without you. Volunteers support our riders during therapeutic riding sessions by sidewalking with riders and leading our horses.

Barn Work

Taking care of horses sure is a lot of work! We need volunteers to help us with all kinds of tasks from horse care, barn management, feeding, and even cleaning stalls. 

Site Leader

As a Site Leader, you will assist instructors to ensure that on-site activities operate smoothly, especially with regards to volunteers, riders, staff, and any other on-site personnel. 

Paddock Master

Make a difference and help our lessons run better. Paddock Masters volunteers are designated to assist instructors during therapeutic riding sessions by ensuring horses are tacked and ready for use, and all necessary equipment is available to allow lessons to proceed in a timely fashion.

Clerical Volunteer

Like to stay indoors? We need volunteers to help GallopNYC staff with office work and to ensure that on-site activities operate smoothly, especially with regards to volunteers, riders, and any other on-site personnel.

Volunteer Community

Become a member of GallopNYC’s volunteer community – The Turnout! The Turnout is a social club for volunteers to connect with one another through hands on experience, learning and good times. Deepen your therapeutic riding and horse knowledge, and stay abreast of all the volunteer events!

Therapeutic Riding

GallopNYC brings the proven benefits of therapeutic horsemanship to provide measurable benefits for people with developmental, emotional, social, and physical challenges.  Through weekly riding sessions with PATH-certified instructors, we help riders learn new skills, inspiring each one to live life as fully, productively and independently as possible.


GallopNYC provides horsemanship leadership programs to veterans free of charge. Therapeutic horsemanship is effective with veterans for both physical and emotional rehabilitation. GallopNYC’s therapeutic horsemanship program for veterans focuses on interactions with horses and builds upon improving personal decision-making and self-regulation.


GallopNYC offers a free program for local seniors, 65 and older. Participants have the opportunity to socialize, mingle, learn new skills, work with our horses, and volunteer with our riders.  This program focuses on groundwork and techniques in leadwalking and sidewalking, to better assist our riders during therapeutic riding lessons.


In Hippotherapy, a licensed physical therapist works with each child while the child is riding. The therapist is trained in using a horse as a physical therapy tool. The therapists work independently with GallopNYC’s assistance.


GallopNYC has developed an innovative program to help young people transition to work, by developing specific job skills needed for gainful employment.

Equestrian Team

The GallopNYC Equestrian Team sponsored by Centennial Bank is a group of our advanced riders who participate in competitions for riders with disabilities at United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) rated hunter jumper shows.