Girls learning, leading, succeeding
Join us at the 2021 Dana Hall School Summer Training Academies. Each Academy aims to produce the strongest and most knowledgeable community of riders. Our training focuses on horsemanship instead of showmanship, working to better connect riders with their horses.
We will conduct individually tailored lessons and detailed discussions on topics including horse care, riding theory, nutrition, course design, sports psychology, and equine biomechanics. Our training techniques better help riders understand what motivates their horses and enable the horses to perform to the best of their abilities no matter their competitive discipline. The goal is to teach the students to be the best horsewomen they can be, and in the process of doing that, produce very competitive riders and role models.


  • Advanced Hardcore Bootcamp

    Week 1: June 14 - 18, 2021, Week 2: June 21 - 25, 2021

  • Intermediate Training Academy

    Week 1:  July 13 - 17, 2021, Week 2: July 19 - 23, 2021

List of 2 items.

  • Advanced Hardcore Bootcamp

    • $2,000/ week Session for Dana Students, Family, and Alum, $3,000/week for non-Dana Hall Students
    • Week 1: June 14 - 18, 2021 with olympic trainer Robert Costello
    • Week 2: June 21 - 25, 2021
    • For riders who are jumping under 3' consistently in their lessons.
  • Intermediate Training Academy

    • $1,250 / Week For Dana Students, Family, and Alum, $2,500/ Week for non-Dana Hall Students
    • Week 1: July 13 - 17, 2021
    • Week 2: July 19 - 23, 2021
    • For riders who compete at the 2'6" level and above

Summer Sessions

June 14 - 18
Advanced Hardcore Bootcamp Week 1        
June 21 - 25
Advanced Hardcore Bootcamp Week 2

July 13 - 17
Intermediate Training Academy Week 1

July 19 - 23
Intermediate Training Academy Week 2


List of 2 items.

  • Meet the Coaches

    Sarah Summers '98

    Sarah grew up in Southeast Asia and began her riding career at Arthayasa Stables in Indonesia. While a boarding student at the Dana Hall School, she became a student of Cookie DeSimone's. She continued her education at Tufts University and captained the Tufts Equestrian Team her junior and senior years. After graduation, Sarah returned to Dana Hall as an instructor and member of the barn staff and subsequently was promoted to Director of The Karen Stives '68 Equestrian Center. At the Karen Stives '68 Equestrian Center, Summers has coached under Cookie DeSimone, Olympic riders Greg Best and Bobby Costello, and world-class rider Candice King. In addition to teaching and coaching the Dana Hall Equestrian Team, she also coaches Dana Hall riders at their horse shows. Sarah Summers is committed to fostering a team environment where our students can emerge as strong riders and young women throughout their time at Dana Hall.

    Carly Corbacho

    Carly grew up down the street from Dana Hall and has been riding at Dana since she was 7 years old. She was a member of the Dana Hall Interscholastic team for 7 years and also competed across the east coast on her own horses in both the hunters and equitation. Corbacho has been a ribbon winner at the Capital Challenge Horse Show as well as the Washington International Horse Show. Carly graduated from Boston University's Questrom School of Business in 2015 with a degree in Marketing and Information Systems. At Boston University, Carly captained the equestrian team her junior and senior year and in 2015 she finished reserve champion in the prestigious Cacchione Cup at the IHSA National Finals. Carly has been working full time as a coach at Dana Hall since she graduated in June 2015 and has trained under the guidance of Cookie DeSimone, Olympic riders Greg Best and Bobby Costello as well as world-class rider Candice King. In addition to coaching the IEA team as well as the Babson IHSA team, she also coaches the Dana Hall riders at their horse shows.

    Lia Chafee

    Lia is a lifelong rider who competed as a junior under the tutelage of Linda Langmeier at the Ethel Walker School. As a junior, she earned top honors in both the equitation and junior jumpers at shows such as WEF, Devon, Lake Placid, Saratoga, Harrisburg, and the National Horse Show. She then went on to Texas A&M University, where she was recruited for their Division 1 Equestrian Team and still holds the record as the winningest hunt seat rider in team history. As a captain of the team, Lia helped guide the team to 4 consecutive National Championship titles as well as being a two-time individual All-American. As a professional, Lia has gained a wide range of experience at large shows and sales barns.

    Meaghan Hynes

    Meaghan grew up in York, ME, and attended the Stoneleigh-Burnham school where she was a member of the IEA team. She competed as a junior as a working student on catch rides in the 3'-3'6" hunters. A winner of the Equestrian Talent Search collegiate recruiting program, Hynes attended Randolph College where she captained the IHSA team her junior and senior year. Hynes spent her summers competing as an amateur in national derbies, performance hunters, and the adult equitation. After college, Hynes worked with marine mammals for a short time before becoming an FEI groom. Before coming to Dana Hall, Hynes worked as a professional where she coached ribbon winners at the NEHC and MHC finals.

    Greg Best

    Greg is best known for his partnership with the gray American Thoroughbred show jumper Gem Twist. Together the duo earned individual and team silver medals at the 1988 Seoul Olympics and placed fourth at the 1990 World Equestrian Games in Stockholm. Greg resides in New Zealand where he has served as coach and selector for the New Zealand show jumping team. He spends much of his time traveling and teaching clinics all over the world. He is well regarded at Dana Hall where he has been a regular clinician during the past five years, and is currently the Dana Hall Head Coach.

    Cookie Desimone

    One of the the most respected horsewomen in New England, Christine "Cookie" DeSimone's love of horses began as a child when she would trek each day to see the horses at Dana Hall. Cookie has taught riding at Dana for the past 35 years, including two IEA National Team Championships. Cookie has produced countless champions in the hunter, jumper and equitation divisions over her career. Her juniors have qualified for the Medal, Maclay and USET finals, as well as the NAYRC-North American Young Riders Championships. Along with Greg Prince she is also the head trainer and co-owner of Woodridge Farm, as well as a co-chairwoman of the New England Equitation Committee.
  • KSEC Facilities & History


    The Karen Stives '68 Equestrian Center (KSEC) features a large barn complete with 45 stalls, and boasts two indoor arenas with dust-free footing and will be completing a new outdoor arena with dust-free footing in the fall of 2017.

    The more expansive of the two indoor arenas, the Larson Arena, is equipped with state-of-the-art lighting, new jumps and mirrors. The facility also includes 11 turnout areas, four of which are on grass.

    The Cookie DeSimone Arena is a 200 x 200 outdoor arena with dust-free footing and a complete set of horse show jumps. It honors former Head Trainer Cookie DeSimone, who retired in 2016 after 44 years of service at Dana Hall School. 


    The riding program has been an integral part of the Dana Hall School’s campus life since the 1930s when Mr. Frederick W. Boswell led the program. Over its long history, the program has produced many talented riders and competitors, including two Olympians.

    The current equestrian program is nationally recognized with approximately 100 students and has been transformed under the leadership of Director Sarah Summers ’98 and retired Head Trainer Cookie DeSimone. The KSEC has trained riders who have achieved success at the local, regional and national level. Students also have opportunities to compete at both local and "A" rated shows on the East Coast and the Wellington Florida circuit in the winter.

    KSEC is represented regularly with riders qualifying and showing at the USEF Pony Finals and regional and national equitation finals, including the prestigious fall indoor horse shows. Dana Hall also has a strong presence in the Interscholastic Equestrian Association (IEA) Zone I, with many team members qualified to participate in the Zone and National Finals each year. Dana Hall is proud to be the home of the 2008 and 2011 National Champion Middle School Team.

List of 3 items.

  • Math Modeling

    Favorite Assignment
  • Varsity Tennis

    Favorite Activity
  • Winning the EIL Championship

    Favorite Memory

List of 1 items.

  • Audrey

    "My absolute favorite Dana Hall memory of all time is winning the EIL Championship for tennis! Dana Hall Varsity Tennis faced our toughest rival for our last match. Everyone was watching that match; I remember the moment when I won my match and the whole team came out running and screaming onto the court. We were all hugging and smiling at each other. I was so proud to be a Dana Hall student-athlete."