Our people

Eileen Verdieck – Co-Founder

A pioneer in the Arabian horse industry, Eileen has enjoyed a lengthy and prestigious career and is recognized worldwide as one of the leading authorities on the breeding and marketing of Arabian horses. As a trainer, judge, and consultant, she has won numerous prestigious international awards which stand as testimony to her dedication to the Arabian breed.

Originally from Colorado, USA, Eileen’s reputation and international exposure led her to the Middle East where she became influential in developing a number of regional horse breeding programs.  Now based in Dubai, UAE, she has been instrumental in the reintroduction of the Arabian horse into the region and has placed more than 400 horses in the Gulf States.

Eileen Verdieck and her professional team at HoofbeatZ™ work tirelessly to bring people and horses closer together in new, exciting and revolutionary relationships. Eileen is the creative director responsible for the unique Al Saheel show and HoofbeatZ™ corporate entertainment functions. She designs most of the acts and costumes herself and can often be found in her workshop covered in glue and glitter or wiring LED sets together to attach to the horses.

She has also developed a series of riding courses based on natural horsemanship techniques. These are designed to encourage people to learn how to ride intuitively and safely much more quickly than conventional methods. She is an inspiring and dedicated teacher and her approach has won much acclaim from her students and visitors to HoofbeatZ™.

Anwer Sher – Co-Founder and Managing Director

An enterprising and creative businessman, Anwer Sher sits on the board of a number of local companies, including Sher Consulting, a company dedicated to providing enterprise management to some of the leading business families in the UAE. Former CEO of Union National Bank, he is internationally renowned for his lectures on management and has been a keynote speaker at a host of regional and international business and motivational conferences and seminars. He was invited to be a panelist at Harvard University’s symposium on the Middle East. Anwer has also been involved in real estate and theme park development during the course of his erudite career. HoofbeatZ™ is one of the companies in Anwer’s portfolio that he holds particularly close to his heart.

By no means a stereotypical businessman, Anwer likes to get his hands dirty at HoofbeatZ™. He is often in the stables and teaches regular SpeakHorse™ lessons. Combining his management experience and his extensive knowledge of horses and herd behaviour, he has developed a series of workshops for children and adults for improving confidence and self-esteem.

In his spare time, Anwer’s hobbies include time playing with his horses, equestrian photography and writing. His feature articles appear regularly in the local press and he has recently published two books; a novel and an extended political essay entitled “Arabia Besieged”.

Anwer teaches Speak Horse at HoofbeatZ. He has an eclectic teaching style,which combines sharing his extraordinary knowledge of horses and their behaviour with his love for having fun. He has a unique gift of knowing how to address and engage people of all ages and an ability to read emotions both in humans and horses. His lessons are both fun, informative and empowering.

Sophie Dyball

Sophie teaches HoofbeatZ™ beginners on a lunge line. Her calm, confident approach and her attention to detail has impressive results, helping students gain confidence quickly. Sophie handles most of the administration at HoofbeatZ™ and in the stables. She also organises our birthday parties and holiday camps. Sophie is a confident and able rider, competes regularly in Dressage competitions and takes part in a number of different roles in our shows/corporate events. She has a natural gift with animals and is passionate about ensuring they are well-cared for and respected.

Karen Stewart-Choat – Instructor

Karen’s love for horses and riding started at an early age. She started to ride at 3, got her first pony at the age of 8 and competed successfully throughout her childhood from local to national level in showing, Dressage, Show-Jumping, Hunter Trialing and eventing.

Her equestrian career saw her compete to Medium Level Dressage, National and International Showing. She rode in 4 FEI world challenges where she made it to the top 4 each time and in 2001 she won (5th in Zone).

Her 21st birthday present was a horse-riding safari in Botswana, which started a life long affair with Africa and she moved to Botswana in 1999 where she managed a yard of 30 horses based in Maun. She taught local people to ride and organised game-viewing rides for tourists.  She later moved to Gabarone where she found similar work in an equestrian centre where she was also able to resume her passion for eventing, representing Botswana in both Dressage and Show-Jumping.

She then moved to South Africa where she did riding for the disabled and was an instructor at a private yard for competitive children competing up to national level in Dressage, Show-Jumping, Equitation and Showing. Whilst there, she won Supreme Champion at Horse of the Year show, South Africa.

Karen moved to Dubai in 2008 continuing her work in equestrian centres and competing successfully in various local events.

Karen teaches advanced riders with a focus on Dressage and competing. She is an articulate and dedicated teacher, keen to share her skills and see her students progress.

Alisha Sixtus- Junior Instructor

Alisha comes from New Zealand and has been a very successful junior dressage rider in the country. She also represented her country in the Youth Olympics in dressage, winning a Bronze medal. While young, she has a passionate interest and love for horses. We welcome her to our team.

Kerry Freeman. Student Trainee

Kerry is a lover lover through and through. She has been organizing pony clubs and horse activities, especially with children, back in the US. She has a passion for horses and teaching. She joins us under our student trainee program and we look forward to her being a solid member of our herd.


We say good bye to both Sara Holstrom and Luis Miguel Santos who have gone on to seek new pastures in their careers. Sara is pursuing her dream of competing in dressage and is currently in Holland with a premier trainers yard. Luis, after stint back in Portugal is now back in Dubai working for a private owner. We wish to thank both of them for their loyalty and dedication to the HoofbeatZ vision.

We also say good bye to Lisande Eayrs who decided to take a break from teaching and lessons due to her work and personal commitments. Lisande’s influence on the HoofbeatZ program has been very visible and we wish her the best in her journey.