A native New Englander, Anne Benson has been professionally training Morgan Horses since 1981. After completing a year of study at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and four years of working for Jean DeGutis at Janbark Farm/Equitation Unlimited in Plainville, MA, Anne decided to focus her interests on the Morgan show horse industry.
She went on to work for Brad and Kari Beaton at Hillock Farm in Sutton, MA, handling such great breeding stallions as Tedwin Topic, The Buckeye, Applevale Boy King, and Waseeka’s Showtime. During this period, she handled up to nine stallions and learned about equine reproduction technology. Even though her three years were a valuable experience, she realized her heart and passion still rested with the show horses.
In 1987, Anne moved home to Brockton, MA, and began working for Jim and Ann Anderson of Hobby Knoll Stables in nearby Duxbury. Working for one of the top show stables in the industry was very rewarding for Anne. During her seven years at Hobby Knoll, Anne also had the privilege to work with and learn from some of the best veterinarians, farriers and caretakers in the breed. She also had the opportunity to work with some great amateur owners. She handled, rode and drove some of the breeds outstanding show horses, including Plantation Showbiz, Tedwin Touch of Class, Quail Run Buckaroo, Tedwin In Tempo, and Shaker’s Pedro.
In 1994, Anne felt the time had come to test her knowledge and skill, so she took the position of head trainer and manager of Kornhugel Farm in Marshfield, MA. Nine show seasons produced numerous World and Regional Champions that included FCF Couer de Leon, SMS Imagine That, Spice O Life Satin Doll, LTS Morning Glory, KHF Bleeding Heart, L’Cimas Exclusive, Kriskroft Hot N Spicy, Hollybrook Romeo and Equinox Giovanni.
The closing of Kornhugel Farm brought Anne to a crossroad in her career. She sought refuge and guidance in a partnership with Rick Stevens at Stonegate Farm in Portsmouth, RI. Here she continued to produce many champions, coach amateur riders, break young stock, and handle breeding stallions. She won the World English Pleasure Championship with Stonecroft Byzantine and the Reserve World Ladies Park Saddle Championship with KD Hot To Trot.
After a few years operating Anne Benson Stables from Dighton, MA, Anne moved back to Stonegate Farm, a full-scale Morgan training facility, picking up the reins left by the untimely passing of Rick Stevens. Since then, she has grown the business to include several prominent breeders and exhibitors and has enjoyed a large number of World, Grand National and Regional Championship wins under the ABS banner. Anne believes the key to success is to keep horses and owners happy and having fun, and her clients are enthusiastic in supporting her philosophy.
One of the most respected professional assistants in the industry, Lupé and Anne have a long friendship and working relationship that goes back over a decade. They became acquainted while he was working at Stonegate for Rick Stevens almost 20 years ago.
From a family of respected and responsible horsemen, his brothers Memo and Berna and cousin Danny also worked at Stonegate. Lupé tendered time at Lisa Jensen’s acclaimed Cricket Hill Stables, worked for Anne from 2009-2012, then spent five years with Nikki Rae Woodworth at KGA Morgans, returning to ABS in 2017 and we are so thankful he has returned to support our goals here.
A naturally talented horseman with a positive attitude who is loved and respected by our clients, Lupé starts all our colts under saddle and is very adept at working with them in hand. There is no better ground person, and everyone knows that’s a trainer’s most beneficial help!
Lupé resides with us here at ABS with his lovely wife, Judy, and their three beautiful children.
Pancho is from the same wonderful family who gave us Lupé, in fact, he is his uncle. For many years, he worked for World Champion breeder and trainer Lynn Peeples, and also spent a similar stretch as a valued employee at Cater Stables. He is steady, hard working, reliable and a quiet gentleman with a kind heart for horses. He has been an integral team member at ABS since 2012, and we hope for years to come.
Academy Instructor at ABS Riding Academy
Rachael is a lifelong New England horsewoman who grew up riding the local and regional saddlebred show circuit under the direction of Shagbark Farm, and also worked side by side with her father, a great New England racehorse trainer. In 1996, Miss Rachael found herself the owner of her first Morgan horse under the direction of Anne at Kornhugel Farm. During this time, she took structured lessons and training with and also worked with a local legend stock horse instructor, Carolyn F. Daley at Tannenbark Farm in Duxbury. During this time, Rachael discovered her love for teaching, which led her to William Woods University under the guidance of the great Gayle Lampe, where she graduated with a Bachelor Degree in Equine Science. During the summer and post college, Rachael developed her love of teaching by working with John and Renee Biggins, Missy Hughes Smith, Bob Jenkins as well as Kim and Peter Cowart, along with an internship at Hunter Hill Farm, where she specialized in working with special need students. After returning home to her native Massachusetts, Miss Rachael returned to work at ABS before branching out into the OTTB rehab industry. After a successful rehab and rehome career and the closure of local racetracks, Miss Rachael and Miss Anne joined again to publicly open the ABS Riding Academy and bringing both of their loves for horsemanship and the Morgan horse to the Newport area.
Along with her formal education from William Woods University and working with many world class horsemen and horsewoman, Rachael also has extensive education and certifications in sports psychology and coaching, leadership, team development and mental coaching to help athletes overcome performance anxiety and fear.
A devoted instructor who is admired and adored by her many students, Rachael makes every effort to keep the joy and adventure in their horse endeavors, creating life long lessons that will take riders far beyond the riding arena. Miss Rachael believes in positive reinforcement, challenging goals and teamwork. Her only rule is to never quit! Every lesson is individualized to each student’s goals. Miss Rachael has created the ABS Riding Academy and Youth group to be a safe space for all riders to be accepted and part of a family.
Whether you have tiny tots who need a healthy activity, or you were a horse crazy kid and now all grown up with no place to ride, Rachel will be happy to chat with you to discuss how ABS can become your home away from home!