Kirsten Gray, Owner & Head Trainer
Kirsten is the backbone to this program and you will see her out and about everyday at the farm. She was born and raised near Hamburg/Germany and came to the States in 1992. Her experience with horses reaches back to her cousin Bernd breeding Hanoverians and putting her on a horse as a 5 year old - from there, it was no turning back....
Kirsten has successfully imported a variety of horses, holds her German FN Bronze Driving Certification as well as a German Trainer Certification for the Disabled, and organized many clinics with top German trainers.
Kirsten has competed her Friesian gelding, Jannus, at third level and is bringing up more horses every year. Being interested in the 'less-than-perfect' horse, she believes strongly that Dressage is FOR the horse, and that we learn from each of them. She just this summer won the East Coast Pony Cup on Anke Ott's 'Legolas', whom she worked with for only 16 months.
Since 2012 Kirsten trains consistently with David Collins and lately rode in clinics with Laura Graves, Heather Mason, Felicitas von Neumann-Cosel and Frank Henning, Mastermind of the "Old Masters" Clinic Series. Among others, she has trained with Sabine Schut-Kerry in 2006/2007, Lendon Gray and Fie Studnitz Andersen.
Aside from her German FN Bronze Driving Certification and her German Trainer Certification for the Disabled, Kirsten holds her USDF Bronze Medal and strongly believes in education on and off the horse in order to give her students the best lesson experience and knowledge possible.
Jarrett on the Joel Barlow Varsity Lacrosse Team (2012)
Jarrett Gray, Grounds & Firewood
Jarrett is a 23 year old 2018 Graduate from's UConn's School of Engineering. He works full time at Cooper Surgical in Trumbull, CT, and he loves and coaches lacrosse and his daily gym visits. Despite his busy schedule, Jarrett loves to work at the farm and applying his engineering skills to our processes to make it more efficient and to keep it looking the way it does!
Jannike & Teimir HB
Jannike Gray, Trainer & Instructor
Jannike is a 25 year old who inherited the horse lover gene from her mother! From the age of four Jannike has been hooked on horses. Despite her young age, Jannike has accomplished big goals in this sport: she has successfully competed at the FEI Junior levels and received her USDF Bronze Medal in 2011, her USDF Silver Medal in 2015 and her USDF Gold Medal in 2017. Jannike is Head Trainer at Avalon Farm in North Salem, NY and also teaching and training in part out of Sonnenhof Equestrian Center.
More information at www.jannikegraydressage.com
Beth Anne Voight-Jause,
Beth Anne has been riding horses for over 20 years. Starting as a little girl jumping and eventing, but Beth Anne realized that dressage was the discipline she was most passionate about and has since focused her showing and riding on that. She worked at Cricket Hill Farm in Ancramdale, NY for many summers while in school, and rode with them at the Youth Dressage Festival. At Cricket Hill, Beth Anne worked around the farm, exercised horses, and taught children's camps and lessons focusing on developing horsemanship and horse knowledge as well as riding skills.
A graduate of Fairfield University and Boston College, Beth Anne currently works in Residential Life at Sacred Heart University, and has been riding at Sonnenhof Equestrian Center with Kirsten Gray since she began at Sacred Heart 6 years ago. She is excited to begin teaching again and help riders achieve their goals, create a dynamic and harmonious partnership with their horse, and never lose sight of the joy of riding.
Jettke & Piper playing in the snow! (2010) and riding PSG gelding Figaro in 2016
Jettke Gray, Junior Instructor
Jettke is a 18 year old all around athlete! Jettke excels on her lacrosse team and will start the Ithaca PT Program and Lacrosse career in 2019! She has an incredibly outgoing, friendly personality that you won't miss! Jettke is riding different horses at the farm, mainly big Friesian Hidde. Jettke strongly believes in her roots: Vaulting (Gymnastics on the horse), which has taught her confidence and balance when she started at about 4 years old. She now helps out on weekends on the farm when she isn't busy at her lacrosse games. Jettke currently is a Senior at St. Joeseph High School, where she enjoys playing on the Girls Varsity LAX team.
Rafael Ores, Barn Manager
Rafael joined our farm in October 2018 and already has found a great routine to keep the horses healthy and happy, help clients and keep the grounds groomed. Rafael hit the ground running and is a enthusiastic, knowledgeable and horse-sensitive asset to our team!
Kirsten Gray, Jannike Gray, Jettke Gray, Beth Anne Voight-Jause and Rafael Ores
Kirsten Gray with Klaus Balkenhol (r)
and Frank Henning,
Old Masters Series at Avalon Farm, North Salem, NY
Copyright © Sonnenhof Equestrian Center
Kirsten Gray on Teimir HB with Laura Graves
at Avalon Farm, North Salem, NY
Although you may not see him at the farm everyday, he is the one who keeps the place looking beautiful. Whether it is plowing the snow during a winter snowstorm, or ensuring that the rings are looking great for shows and clinics, he is the man! Lee enjoys coaching the St. Joe's Girl's lacrosse team and started the HorseLax program.
The native German has been riding horses for more than 20 years and has a bachelor’s degree in Equine Business Managememt. She competed several horses at various levels in jumping and equitation classes in Germany and earned her small and large bronze medals from the German Riding Federation as well as her USDF bronze and silver medals. Dilara has shown and trained horses through Prix St. George.
Throughout the years, Dilara has trained with many reputable trainers, such as German Olympic Bronze Medalist in Eventing Karl Schulz, Christoph Hess, Gerd Zuther, Michael Poulin, Danielle Gavriluk among others.