Susan Van Blarcom
OWNER/TRAINER
Samantha Whitley
ASSISTANT TRAINER
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Susan Van Blarcom

Susan Van Blarcom has been teaching and training horses and riders for over 30 years. A graduate of Douglass College, Rutgers University, with a BA in Economics/Accounting, Susan worked for an accounting firm before following her true passion--horses

Starting with one student, Susan worked as a freelance instructor attracting many more students. Susan's students and their horses have won many state year-end awards and have qualified for many finals in a variety of disciplines, including hunters, jumpers, equitation and dressage. Susan's students have been successful at many major competitions on the east coast, including HITS in Ocala, Devon, Vermont, Harrisburg, Washington and the National Horse Show. She also specializes in training the young horse and retraining the problem horse. She has made many horses into reliable and winning mounts for the show ring and for pleasure mounts, as well.

Wanting to provide her customers with better service and care for them and their horses, Susan leased several farms before purchasing Summerfield Farm in Pittstown, NJ in 1994.

Susan's philosophy of teaching is to train riders to be horsemen and women and not just horse show riders. To that end, Susan encourages her clients to learn to care for their horses with her guidance, contribute to developing their own riding programs and goals and to understand the science of riding and then to make it an art. Riders are encouraged to ride other horses. There are always young horses and sale horses at Summerfield available for students to ride when appropriate.

Susan has developed a Summerfield Farm "Tiny Tots" program for our youngest riders to teach them their basics and horse safety, a school horse program, leasing and half-leasing program, Summerfield's Summer program, and a training program for the more advanced rider and for the show enthusiast.

The care of the horse is of paramount importance to Susan. She closely supervises their care. All horses are treated as individuals with frequent hayings, customized feed programs, night barn checks and lots of turn-out.

Susan is a member of the United States Equestrian Federation, USHJA, ASPCA, NJ Horse Show Association, DVHA and the NJ Professional Horsemen's Association. For the past 13 years, she has served as Chairman of the NJ Professional Horsemen's Association. She is a USHJA Certified Category I Trainer and is a USEF "r" Judge in hunters, hunter equitation and jumpers.


Samantha Whitley

Sam grew up in Virginia Beach, where she started riding as a young child. As a junior rider, she competed at many state and national finals including the VHSA Children’s Medal Finals and WIHS. To help offset the cost of competing on the A circuit Sam became a working student for Lisa Rex and Holliday Ryals of Somerset Farm Inc., of Old Westbury, NY at the age of 13. Somerset became a home away from home for Sam, as she would spend summer, winter, and spring breaks caring and riding customer owned horses in exchange for board and lessons.

Miss Whitley graduated cum laude from Centenary University in 2012 with a Bachelor’s in Equine Studies, concentrating in Equine Business Management and Teaching and Training, as well as obtaining a minor in Business Management. During her time at Centenary, Sam was an important member of the IHSA, ANRC, and Hunter Jumper Teams. Her dedication to the teams lead to many victories including 2nd and 6th at IHSA Nationals in Intermediate Flat and Fences, 7th overall at ANRC Nationals as a sophomore, as well as being on the reserve champion team in 2010 and 2011. In 2010 Sam was selected and competed in Level 1 and 2 for the Emerging Athletes Program.

With her active participation in the many events the school had to offer, Sam also found time to work for Centenary’s veterinarian, Dr. Michael Fugaro. During her time under Fugaro, Sam became familiar with diagnostic tools, lameness exams, and surgical procedures. This dedication, self-motivation, and value to Centenary’s program earned Miss Whitley the Amateur Affiliate Sportsmanship Award from the USHJA. This was awarded to outstanding amateurs who exemplify good horsemanship, sportsmanship, and integrity. Sam was also awarded Centenary University’s Equine Student of the Year, and received an Award of Excellence in the Classroom.

Sam joined team Summerfield upon graduation in May 2012 and has accomplished many milestones during her time with us. She has developed an impressive amount of riders who have obtained state and national championships at Marshall and Sterling Finals, Zone II Hunter Finals, National PHA Finals, and had produced countless NJPHA and NJHSA year end champions.

Miss Whitley has seen a great amount of success in the ring herself as a Professional. She has been champion at large venues such as the Vermont Summer Festival, Fairfield County Horse Show, and the Sussex County Fair. Sam has competed at many finals and indoors such as Devon, Pennsylvania National, and The National Horse Show in the 3’6” and 3’9” Green Hunters. In 2016, Sam and, Laura Ganny’s, Curtius claimed the 3’6” Green Hunter Zone II Champion award. 2017 was an exciting year for Sam, where she was 3’ Green Hunter and 3’3” Young Hunter Zone II year end champion aboard her own Liguria, as well as 3’9” Green Hunter champion aboard Curtius. The success didn’t stop there, as Sam was 2017 WCHR Northeast Regional Champion.

Sam’s success in and out of the show ring was noticed by many, including her University. Centenary recognized Miss Whitley in their inaugural “30 Under 30” program. This award is given to young professionals excelling in their field. With Sam’s experience, passion, and dedication to the sport, we know she will help you excel here at Summerfield.