Mary Charette Named UMD's New Equestrian Coach

NORTH DARTMOUTH, MA- The University of Massachusetts Dartmouth has a new equestrian coach.

Mary Charette (sha-RET) has been named as the new head coach. She succeeds Meredith Arden, who resigned after three seasons to concentrate on her career in nursing.

A native of Fall River and a graduate of B.M.C. Durfee High School, Charette moved to Florida and trained with Paul Valliere, while competing on the international show jumping circuit known as the "A" Circuit for more than 20 years.

As a junior, she qualified for all of the major equitation finals under the tutelage of Valliere and Debbie Hoyt Banfield. She has served as an assistant rider and trainer for Jay Sargent at Sandy Point Stables in Portsmouth, RI and as barn manager for David Ollynyk of Ollynyk Show Stables in Plainville, MA and Wellington, FL, prior to opening Claddagh Farm in Tiverton, RI. Currently, she serves as co-chair of the Rhode island Equitation Committee, and is a member of the Board of Directors of the Rhode Island Horseman's Association, as well as being a New England Horseman's Council C-rated judge.

Charette, who has run Claddagh Farms for the past three years, serves as the instructor. "As the teacher, I train all the students and the horses, and bring them to shows," said Charette, who still participates in horse shows. "I've taught clinics for college teams before, but this is the first time I've had my own team."

Charette was enthusiastic about joining the Corsair staff. "I wanted to expand my business and add another element to Claddagh Farms, as well as becoming part of a team," said Charette. "A few of my friends coach college teams, and that gives a lot of students a chance to ride that they wouldn't have ordinarily had."

"We are pleased to have Mary Charette join the Corsair athletic family," said UMass Dartmouth Director of Athletics Ian Day. "She is a welcome addition to our staff.  Mary has a tremendous background, both as a rider and as a coach. I am confident she will elevate our equestrian program to the next level."