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™.

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Phyllis Wiesner

General Manager HoofbeatZ

Phyllis brings very strong management skills and has managed large teams in her pervious job in Canada. She is a strong believer in teamwork and positive value enhancement. She has also adapted well to the equestrian world and recently qualified as an Equine Assisted Learning professional. Phyllis oversees both Qatar operations and Dubai.

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Christopher Cook

Head of Strategy and Development.

Chris has been committed to the progression of the horse and human relationship for almost fifteen years.

Starting his career under master horseman, instructor and CEO of Willow Book Farms. Where he learned the principals of natural horsemanship and business while helping manage and grow Willow Brook Farms into Willow Brook Natural Horsemanship Center, one of the largest and leading education centers of horse development and equine psychology in the US. Soon after graduating to Head Instructor of WBNC, Chris started his own business focusing on young and challenging horses called the Horse Development Program LLC. Working hand in hand with WBNC in marketing and client relationships, the Horse Development Program quickly became one of the most successful horse, student education and empowerment programs, opening many doors. Inducing an invitation to Parelli University where Chris graduated at the top of his class in Business Administration, Facility Management, Student Education, and Horse Development as a 2 Star Instructor in Natural Horsemanship with a full scholarship in the Mastery Program.

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Lisa J Hanson

Client Support Manager- Dubai
Lisa started her involvement with HoofbeatZ through her daughter’s love for horses, who was our first client student. Lisa has worked as a volunteer helping from managing the client bookings, client calls, front desk support, show support and pretty much everything that needed attending to. While she works as a volunteer her passion for the values of HoofbeatZ and its mission statement is exemplary.

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Christina Braun.

Senior Instructor. Dubai
Christina has been riding since she was a child. Over the years she has ridden horses and ponies of all types, shapes and sizes.Before specialising in dressage she competed in show jumping and dressage.In 1997 she moved to Spain where she trained and taught classical baroque riding style for the last 17 years.
She offered clinics for professional riders and instructors to improve riding, schooling and teaching skills.
She can help to overcome a variety of equestrian challenges and help to make the most out of one´s riding, both enjoyment and performance wise. Her experience in the equestrian world comes from Germany, Austria and Spain.
I am happy to teach riders of all ages and abilities.
Christina is a registered Dressage Trainer with the UAE Equestrian Federation and also holds a Level B German Federation Trainer certification. She is based in Dubai as senior Instructor.

Marcia Cundy

Senior Instructor-Qatar.

Marcia in her own words:
“My experience with horses has been gained over a lifetime and in different disciplines on a variety of mixed yards. I have worked extensively in Great Britain with show jumpers and dressage horses and lived in Germany and competed in Europe and Ireland. I am a British Dressage trainer and British Equestrian Vaulting Director and Coach. I have trained horses and riders up to International level in Dressage, Equestrian Vaulting and Show jumping. I really enjoy working together coaching and being part of a team . I achieved a Sports Mentoring qualification to support this. I also love putting together freestyles to music in both dressage and vaulting. More recently I have been involved with vaulting and built up a home club in England.Before coming to Hoofbeatz I previously worked in Qatar as manageress of a mixed yard of 50 horses. I also enjoy waking up to 12 hours of sunshine every day!”

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Ramona van der Sluis

Senior Instructor- Qatar.

Ramona has a wealth of experience having worked in Indonesia, Egypt, England and her native Holland. Very good with kids and beginners, Ramona is a natural with horses and has a strong leaning towards natural horsemanship. She has competed in Dressage and Jumping and also managed yards. She is placed in Al Shaqab Qatar as a part of the HoofbeatZ team.

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Gunilla Larsson

Senior Instructor-Qatar

Gunilla has a rich experience with horses and has competed in eventing, show jumping and dressage. She has trained with the likes of Bo Jena and Peter Eriksson and she holds a Level III instructors diploma from Sweden. Through her career she has been involved in different roles from rider, instructor, trainer and manager in the equestrian field. Gunilla is a part of the HoofbeatZ team in Qatar and joined us mid November 2014.

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Henriette Schätzchen

Intermediate Instructor-Qatar

Lucky to be the daughter of a passionate horsewoman from the “heart of modern warmblood breeding” in northern Germany, Henriette was brought together with classical dressage trainers at a very early age. She believes in a holistic approach to the training of horse and rider, with riding being an exchange between two different bodies and minds, developing each other’s’ potential to the fullest. Her journey has led her from being a freelance dressage trainer and instructor to leaving her university career and following her passion all the way from Germany to the United States of America, United Kingdom and Qatar. While classical dressage based on biomechanics and the development of a functional seat are her key interests, she values the principles of natural horsemanship to be a fundamental and inspiring basis for any discipline and situation in which horse and human meet to become partners. She is currently placed in the HoofbeatZ team in Qatar.

Jessica Waldon

Intermediate Instructor-Qatar

“From England. Been training within the discipline of dressage for 8 years. Spent a year working at an elite dressage breeding and training yard where I attained my NVQ level 2 and competed in affiliated dressage. I then went on to work with a Hanoverian stud, assisting with training young dressage horses using Pirelli methods. I spent time training with a natural horsemanship professional, focusing particularly on problem horses. Also over the past year, I have assisted with training and coaching of an equestrian vaulting squad.”

Alessandra Fenzi

Intermediate Instructor-Qatar
Alessandra comes from Italy and has completed Level 3 of the Parelli Natural Horsemanship program and worked in Holland and Italy in the same field. She is lively team player and excellent with kids and adults who are learning our Speak Horse program. An equine lover she has continued to grow into the HoofbeatZ system and remains a strong member of our team. Alessandra is part of the HoofbeatZ team placed in Qatar.

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Roberta Zanetti

Junior Instructor Dubai.

Roberta has always loved horses and in her native Italy worked in the veterinary field moving on to specialise as an instructor. She holds a BHS AI qualification and worked at the equestrian centre in Gleneagles in Scotland. Always eager to learn and grow she brings solid work ethic to the team and desire to grow within our HoofbeatZ system.

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Linzi Dougall

Junior Instructor- Dubai

“My name is Linzi, I’m 22 years old and my hometown is Falkirk in Scotland.
I have always had a love for horses from a young age and I was lucky enough to have my own. I had a break for a few years when I was at school, however gained my BHS stage 1 within this time. Last year I completed my BHS Stage 2 exam before jetting off to Texas, USA to teach Horse riding at a summer camp! On return I got offered a job at the centre I had been training, which is one of the famous Equestrian Centres in the UK. I worked there for just over a year gaining my BHSAI qualification. I decided I needed a new challenge and wanted to expand my experience, which has landed me in the Hoofbeatz herd. I am proud to be a part of the team and look forward to working with riders of all levels.”

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Jennifer Johnson

Intermediate Instructor- Qatar

Jennifer is a part of our marketing and content team as well as an instructor for the Horse Sense and Horse Care courses. She joined the HoofbeatZ team after receiving her B.A. in Communication Studies from Sonoma State University in Northern California. She found a passion for horses by volunteering at a horse rescue during her free time at university. Working at the rescue during that time, she learned the skills required to care for horses as well the basics of natural horsemanship which she passes on to students during the Horsemanship Clubs. Jennifer is part of the HoofbeatZ team at Al Shaqab, Qatar.

Teagan Carney

Teagan Carney

Junior Instructor- Qatar
Qualified Level 2 Instructor with Level 2 certificate in the Equine Industry
Trained and competed all over Australia in eventing (up to 1*), combined training and showing (achieving 5 Champion Rider titles)
Previously trained and competed in Oman and Dubai and currently working at Al Shaqab Qatar as part of HoofbeatZ team.

Kerry Freeman.

Junior Instructor-Dubai
Kerry is a horse 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 joined us under our student trainee program and and went through our instructor training program to become a very capable Junior Instructor.

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Amal H Shamsuddin

Junior Instructor-Qatar

“Amal: I love horses. Have been around them for as long as I started riding as soon as it was allowed (8 years) at my first riding school then TPK (Torns Ponny Klubb) from where I learned a little bit of vaulting as well. Then my move made me change my riding school to LCR (Lunds Civila Ryttarförening) the biggest riding school of my town where I also started to work more with horses, like leading the horses for the disabled two to three times a week.”

Sam Harrison

Junior Instructor- Qatar

Sam is a horse enthusiast and was trained in our system. He jumps, and trick rides and is learning the ropes and an integral part of the clubs we hold. He has completed his Level 1 certification with HoofbeatZ instructor training program.