Board of Directors
CHRIS HARROLD, President
I’ve been a member of the CVTSC since 1990 and joined the board in October 2015. I became addicted to horses when I went to Mohawk Boys Camp near Quincy, CA as an 8-year old. My wife, Judy, and I have owned horses since moving to Carmel Valley in 1989. We ride working ranch horses as part of our small cow-calf operation (a partnership with club member and horse trainer Ray Berta).
As president of the CVTSC Board of Directors, my two top priorities are 1) keep the club vibrant and make sure it meets or exceeds the expectations of its members; and 2) ensure the financial health of the club. One of the (many) great things about the club is the diversity of equine disciplines among our members, including dressage, driving, English, Western, cattle work and more.
Your board works hard to address the needs and concerns of all club members, and I encourage all club members to reach out to the board with your ideas, concerns, gripes, accolades, bribes, and anything else you feel is important. I encourage club members to attend our monthly board meetings, contact board members directly, or provide direct written input via an email from the Club’s web site (including the Suggestion Box on the Board page).
I’m honored to serve on the board and hope to meet every club member at some point during my tenure on the board.
SUSAN BANCROFT, Vice President
Member since 2000, board member since 2010.
I’m responsible for the club’s website and the emails sent to members. I also am the Membership Chair. So, when you register online for one of our club-sponsored events, send an email to email@example.com or renew your membership online, it’s me that responds.
Since 2008 I have been the show manager for the Ranch Roundup, the club’s September event, which is an annual community gathering promoting and supporting the rich and unique horsemanship traditions here on the California Central Coast.
I own and manage a 25-acre boarding facility 30 minutes east of the Village, in Cachagua, where I care for my own horses plus a few others.
The Trail & Saddle Club is truly a one-of-a-kind non-profit, dedicated to our Central Coast horse community. It exists only because of, by and for its membership. I encourage all to step up their level of volunteerism and involvement to preserve this treasure for its next 60 years.
Nikolina “Nikki” DiGirolamo, Treasurer
Member since 2004 and Club Treasurer since 2018.
Born and raised in Watsonville, California by Croatian immigrant parents who refused to raise any farm animal that couldn’t be served at the dinner table. Many chickens, goats and sheep passed through our yard, but no pony ever materialized. My early equine life was limited to neighborhood ponies that I begged to ride, and saving pocket change in a shoe box to someday buy my own horse. Some dreams don’t die. After twenty-five years as a banker, three children, and now restaurant owner, my wonderful husband David said it was time for me to indulge my dream at our new Carmel Valley home. Off we went to Arizona to purchase Pepper, a two-year-old roan QH-mix filly, from a Navajo Indian family. Classic first horse story by new horse owners! Remember holding a horse care book while staring at her hooves “Says here to pick the hooves daily.” Oh dear. Finally found some horse sense and hired club trainer, Kristi Whelan, who after witnessing me come off more than once, said on one occasion “Maybe if she had a different name”. This same trainer ended up finding the most perfect horse for me, an American Paint mare, “TucksPlanToTickleMe”, aka “Cosquilla” aka “Ellie”, bred by member Susan Bancroft and started by member Malia Aldrich. She’s beautiful, smart, patient, athletic, and my dream horse. I’m truly blessed! Pepper is now living the retired life at the Indian Springs Equestrian Center’s twenty acre pasture, doing what she does best – Boss Mare.
Through my years as a member, I’ve volunteered as a scribe at the Ranch Round Up, and Playdays, taken on a small landscaping project, and now keep the club books. A perfect day involves heading down to the club for a lesson, schooling or out on the trails. Ellie and I are diligently working on Western Dressage, and like to enter the schooling shows. I love watching the many talented riders and their beautiful horses that come through the club gates, and meeting long time members and feeling their affection for the club, as they recount their favorite horse stories. The club truly is a special place, lovingly maintained by a motivated group of member volunteers, and I feel very fortunate indeed.
KATE KENNEDY, Secretary
I joined the Trail and Saddle Club around 20 years ago so that I would have a place to drive my horse and carriage. At that time there was a small group of members that would drive together at the club, on the trails, and go to events together. It was really fun. I hope my horses, pony, and I have helped some saddle horses and their riders become more comfortable around the carriages! Now many of the drivers have moved on to other activities, but I still do a little driving at the club now and then. I have always loved being there and feel privileged to serve on the board. The membership has always been a special group in my life. Now my goal is to give back so that others may have the same enjoyment of the club that I have had.
PIERRE LESSARD, DVM
I became a CVTSC member in 2017, months before I moved into my house on Boronda Rd in Carmel Valley; the proximity to the club (and the Garland trails), and the ability to keep my horses in my backyard, were the major reasons we purchased our home. I joined the Board in 2020, during Covid-19 lockdown, and my first meeting was virtual.
My grandfather, who raised me while my single mother worked, actively farmed with draught horses in Quebec, Canada. From the age of three I would ride “my” gentle giant while my grandfather was behind the plow or on other farm equipment. At 14, I had saved enough money ($300) to buy my own horse, a 3-year-old, green, Appaloosa mare. Naturally, I became an equine veterinarian, and pursued an equine medicine specialty at UC Davis. There, I met my now-wife who was a veterinary student at the time, and never went back to Canada! After many years studying, working, and raising two boys as far away as Kenya, and as nearby as San Francisco, I have recently moved back to the area to be closer to my father-in-law, who still lives in Carmel Highlands, where my wife grew up.
Although there is a period (too long) I didn’t have a horse, now I have three, an Azteca and two Icelandics (kind of ironic that I started my life with giant horses, and now I’m riding small ones). What I enjoy the most is trail riding, packing with horses in the wilderness and riding in the backcountry. I’ve ridden many trails in the Sierra, and the desert near Death Valley. I spend a lot of time at the Club, almost daily, riding my horses, taking lessons, participating in clinics. I volunteered at the Ranch Round Up and plan to contribute further in the events.
In addition to helping fulfill the Club’s mission, based on my knowledge as veterinarian, my experience in education, and my love of science, I would like to promote horse education at the Club through various means. I’m also interested in public relation issues, particularly working with the local community.
Member since 2002, director since 2019. More to come.
Member since 2015, director since 2018. More to come.
– Board member since 2018
– I have enjoyed the club, showing and riding there (Western -equitation, trail, stockhorse) on & off over the last 40! years.
– My favorite horse was my 1st horse “Patches” 14 hand Welsh/Arab Pinto gelding. He was something and I had him until he died at 33 years old.
– I love the club and think it is an equestrian community treasure and being a Board member is a privilege. I am fortunate to be one of the stewards working on behalf of the members to keep the club in the best (physical, economic and social) shape possible. Look forward to seeing y’all there!