Meet Our Staff

Dori Haller Burner - Riding Instructor/Director

As a child my greatest desire was to go to camp and one day be a counselor. I did spend many summers at camp, but my favorite was horse camp. I didn't expect the thing I prayed for most as a child to manifest. It is interesting how things we desire and pray for the most seem to happen, maybe not on our timetable, but at the right time in our lives. Battlefield Park Polo is truly a field of dreams, horses and children empower one another. Horses give children a dream to dream and something wonderful to love. Horses are healthiest and happiest with the children and why I love to work with both.

I spent my life being a Girl Scout Leader, Sunday School Teacher, and VBS Director. I volunteered so much it was a full time job and was eventually awarded the Dr. Mary E Walker Lifetime Achievement Award for Community Service from the Joint Armed Services when I was 36 years old. This career as a riding instructor came from a life long love of horses. I want your child to have the best summer of their life and to have such a remarkable experience that they carry these memories with them forever.

Kylie Golkosky - Riding/Horsemanship

Kylie Golkosky is 18 years old and currently working on her Bachelor of Science in Nursing at Shenandoah University in Winchester, Virginia. She learned how to ride a horse for the first and play polo at Battlefield Park Polo in 2009. She has played polo at Great Meadow in The Plains, Virginia for two summers and will continue playing throughout her college career and beyond. Currently she is trying to get a polo team started at Shenandoah University as well as an equestrian club.

Kylie became very passionate about horses from the first time she stepped foot into Battlefield Parks facility and is there as much as she can be. She loves helping out with the horses and she is especially passionate about teaching students how to ride. She has been teaching lessons since 2010 and is very trustworthy with choosing what horses to put children on; a challenging task to keep children safe. She has also been working at Battlefield Park Polo’s Summer Camp since 2009. Any student rider at Battlefield Park will tell you that Kylie is a great role model and that they want to be like her in the future. She is very helpful when there is a complication, is an extremely hard worker and can always be found in the barn with a smile.

Eva Spaid - Riding/Horsemanship

Coming Soon!

 

 

 

 

Heidi Thomas - Riding/Horsemanship

Heidi is a tri-lingual (English, Spanish, French) mother of three living in Prince William County Virginia. She is a lifelong equestrian and vibrant world traveler specializing in early childhood development, culinary arts, and camper administration here at Battlefield Park Polo Club Summer Camp. She spent much of her childhood living in Brussels, Belgium and returned to Northern Virginia to graduate high school and attend George Mason University where she completed coursework towards a political science degree.

Throughout her life she has been involved with animal rescue and foster organizations in various capacities and has placed more stray pets into loving homes than she can remember. Exposure to horseback riding at an early age in Belgium cultivated an intense love for the preservation of all things wild and domesticated. In her early adult life she worked for many years as a child care specialist for Kinder Care, Inc. as well as serving as a private nanny helping to raise children before getting married and starting a family of her own.

The desire to see her own children experience the joyful bonds created between rider and horse have brought her full circle back to the stable life here at Battlefield Park Polo Club. Her son attended several weeks of the 2013 summer camp season as she gradually got more involved volunteering her time to help with daily operations to the point of dedicating herself full time to the 2017 SUMMER CAMP season.

Her life experiences with early childhood development and horseback riding have produced a skillset perfectly suited for horseback riding camp. She is thrilled to be a part of the wonderful operation here at Battlefield Park Polo Club and looks forward to working with your son or daughter this summer to provide an experience they will remember for a lifetime.

Trish Smithwick - Music

Trish Smithwick started playing the drums at a young age. Throughout her childhood, she spent most of her time in the heart of Louisville, Kentucky's music scene taking lessons at the infamous Doo Wop Shop on Bardstown Road. After 10 years of lessons with Hugh Peterson - a well-known percussionist from the Cayman Islands, Trish Smithwick evolved into a versatile percussionist with the ability to play just about every genre of music - whether it be reggae, rock n' roll, jazz, etc. In preceding years, Trish Smithwick played in several bands. Trish played percussion for Middlesex, a boarding school in Concord, Massachusetts, over the course of four years. In addition to playing for the jazz orchestra, Trish also beat-boxed for the school's acapella group, a unique talent that seemed to stem from her innate ability to set a beat.

After high school, she played for an Alternative rock band in St. Petersburg, FL. Since Trish Smithwick moved to Virginia, she started taking classes at George Mason University. As a member of both George Mason University's Music Productions Club and The School of the Arts, Trish Smithwick quickly dived into the Northern Virginia music scene. She currently plays for a Fairfax based band called the Charlie Bare Quartet. Comprised of a 12 string guitar, bass, violin, and anything that sets a beat - the Charlie Bare Quartet has roots in alternative rock, blues, jazz, and folk. Trish Smithwick and her band currently perform at a wide range of recognized venues, including Epicure Café, Fat Tuesday's, Red Rocks Tequila Bar, Treehouse Lounge, and Jammin' Java. As of recently, the band has been breaching out to venues in Washington D.C. and Baltimore.

She incorporates a variety of lessons into her teaching style in order to cater to all of those willing to learn. Ideally, Trish believes every musician needs to fully grasp the ability to play by ear while knowing how to read sheet music. Ultimately, Trish is devoted to ensuring that all musicians, from beginner to advanced, find the resources they need to develop and eventually showcase their talents.

Amber Westland - Arts

As the mother of 3 Battlefield Park Polo Club horse enthusiasts who are returning for their third summer of camp, I am excited to be joining the staff this year!

I am a psychologist and Life Coach by day with many years of experience with art and child development, both in typically developing children and people with brain injury. I am also a life-long horse rider and lover of animals, having gotten my start as a young girl getting my lessons in trade for mucking stalls and washing horses.

I come from a long line of professional artists and musicians and find great joy in helping children find their inner artist and encouraging them to express themselves creatively. The arts are not only fun, they are an integral part of a child’s brain development and help to enhance learning in all other areas. Creative expression is also a tremendous confidence boost for children who are encouraged to create as they see fit, giving them an outlet for their feelings and visions in a safe environment. I look forward to working with your young horse-loving artists this summer to help them create projects they will surely be proud to display!

Angela Murray - Special Needs

My name is Angela Murray and I am currently at Cardinal Ridge as a resource teacher. I have been with Loudoun County for 4 years. I served as the self-contained Autism teacher. I also worked in Florida for 5 years as a self-contained Autism teacher. I have also done private ABA therapy and tutoring.

I began my career as a special education teacher by working in a group home for several years, while completing my Bachelors degree in Psychology from the University of Central Florida. Upon completion of my Bachelors degree, I became a teacher at a Charter School for children with Autism. I then attended Nova Southeastern University, where I received a Masters degree in Exceptional Student Education. My family and I moved to Virginia 4 years ago.

I have been with my husband for 15 years and we have 2 beautiful daughters. One will be entering 3rd grade and the other will enter Kindergarten this year in Loudoun County Public Schools. They are my pride and joy and love riding the horses at Battlefield Polo Club. In our free time we like to hike, play games, swim, shop, eat out, and travel. I want to help your child be better today than they were yesterday. I treat each child as an individual and thrive on their accomplishments.

Heidi Ruiz - Sports and Adventure

Heidi is a mother of two children, Haley and Jared and has 20 years experience working with children and teens. She is a full time resident on the Battlefield Park Polo Camp Property and will be working as the camp activities director for the 2017 summer camp program.