Meet Our Team
Cynthia Sprague, Owner
Cynthia Sprague is a lifelong student of everything horses. With 30 years of equine experience, she has established Starwind Farm LLC to ensure that her love of horses and equine development is central to her life. Cynthia is Level 3 Natural Horsemanship certified and currently competes in both Eventing and Dressage. Cynthia’s love of the Pioneer Valley has brought her back to the Berkshire Region, where her love for learning began. Her education and certifications include:
- BA in Psychology and Education from Mount Holyoke College
- Postgraduate Studies at Florida International University
- Participation in the URI Physical Therapy Master’s Program
- Massage Therapy Certification from the Muscular Therapy Institute in Cambridge
- Certifications in Orthopedic Massage, Sports Massage, Geriatrics, and Pathology
Ali Ingellis, Trainer
Ali is a USDF bronze and silver medalist and an active competitor in Region 8, having competed to the FEI Intermediary open division. She undergoes intensive winter training with Pan American rider Nora Batchelder of River House Hanoverians. Ali believes consistency and knowledge are the hallmarks of training and has a knack for applying dressage training toward lessons. She enjoys both the excitement of FEI competition and teaching young horses the aids basics.
A Martha’s Vineyard native and Mount Holyoke College Alum, Ali has made her life in Amherst with her husband, Matt, and their children on their farm, Amherst Equestrian Center. She trains full-time at Starwind and keeps her future FEI mount, Barbosa RH “Barby,” at the facility.
Fran Latané, Visiting Clinician
Fran Latané is a lifelong student of horses. She began riding at age 7 and has been a professional since 2008. She was licensed as a Parelli Professional from 2010 to 2016. As a teen, Fran studied and competed in dressage, jumpers, and eventers with local and regionally recognized trainers, and was active in the 4-H horse program. In 2010, she worked as an assistant trainer at Heartland Ventures, a world-class Arabian breeding facility in South Dakota, where she developed young horses under saddle.
Fran now enjoys riding competitive Eventers, Jumpers, and Dressage, and is passionate about developing her young horses for English sports training through natural horsemanship philosophies. She is also a student at Penn State via their World Campus, earning a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology with eventual goals of attaining her Ph.D. in clinical psychology.
Chrysanthi Gavagan, Trainer
Chrysanthi Gavagan is an active event competitor at the Preliminary Eventing level and Second Level Dressage. With over 20 years of experience, Chrys brings the fundamental belief that horsemanship is a partnership between horse and rider. Training can only succeed with this connection and understanding. Chrys helps horses to be forward-thinking and helps riders to reach their full potential by developing basic riding fundamentals, equitation, and good communication skills. Chrys enjoys instructing for Dressage, Show Jumping, and Cross Country of any level.
Suzanne Mente, Trainer
Suzanne enjoys helping riders find creative ways to tap into their horse’s abilities. She works with riders to help them clarify their goals (whatever they are!) and improve communication with their horses. Clarity builds confidence.
For riders with showing goals in mind, her teaching reflects the training scale that develop horses & riders as they move up the levels. In addition to lessons and clinics, she coaches riders at both local and recognized shows and has helped students earn their USDF Bronze & Silver medals.
Suzanne started teaching over 20 years ago. She spent many years at UMass, teaching dressage & jumping, equine management and coached the dressage team. She was voted coach of the year for the Intercollegiate Dressage Association (2010) and was inducted into their Hall of Fame. Suzanne is a certified Level I instructor through the USEA (US Eventing Association), and a USDF L graduate (US Dressage Federation’s judge education program). Suzanne judges schooling shows throughout New England.