There are currently eleven trustees of Barrow Farm RDA:
- Chair – Martin Wood
- Vice Chair – Karen Lehner
- Company Secretary and Safeguarding Officer – Jo Moss-Rowe
- Treasurer – Graham Fairhead
- Committee member and Rider Representative – Emma Harris
- Committee member and Parent Representative – James Kearney
- Committee member and School Liaison – Margaret Cameron
- Committee member – Anne Mitchell
- Committee member – Isobel Gowers
- Committee member – Richard Albon
- Committee member – Dave Nisbett
Chair – Martin Wood
Martin joined Barrow Farm as a trustee in November 2017, and was elected Chairman in July 2019. Before retiring in 2014, Martin worked in the financial services sector in the UK and Ireland as a banker, lending to small and medium sized companies. Martin first became involved with Barrow Farm, through the Chelmsford Lions Clubs of which he is currently Vice President, when they along with other local Lions Clubs sponsored the Woodland Path. Martin doesn’t ride but enjoys using his professional experience in the areas of administration and finance, and he can be seen around Barrow Farm on a regular basis as he also Chairs the Volunteer Sub Group.
Vice Chair – Karen Lehner
Karen is a retired Consultant Community Paediatrician and has been helping at Barrow Farm for almost 20 years. She started as a Sunday volunteer in the days when we had rides on Sundays. She now helps on Saturday after- noons and Monday evenings. She became a Trustee in 2005 and is now Vice Chairman of the Trustees. Her main responsibility is Fund Raising.
In her career as a paediatrician Karen gained many years of experience of children with special needs. Karen is also a lover of horses and has ridden since the age of 9. She has two sons and three grandsons and a very important dog, called Gertie, who likes to visit Barrow Farm for patting sessions for the children!
Company Secretary and Safeguarding Officer – Jo Moss-Rowe
Before retiring, Jo worked within finance and social care for a Local Authority. She became involved with Barrow Farm through a riding club in the late 1970’s, when club members used to help with fund-raising and assist as leaders and side-walkers. Representing the riding club, Jo was part of the Barrow Farm team competing for many years with Jet and other Barrow Farm ponies, who are sadly no longer with us. One of Jo’s early memories is of riding Thistle, one of the original Exmoor ponies, in a gymkhana – and coming 2nd!
Jo volunteers on Monday evenings and Saturday afternoons and has been a committee member for some years. She was voted East Region Volunteer of the Year in 2012. If you want to know more about volunteering why not take a look at our How Can You Help Volunteering page. After all her years of involvement Jo says “I am happiest when the riders are enjoying themselves and having FUN.
Treasurer – Graham Fairhead
Graham joined Barrow Farm RDA as a trustee in November 2017, and took over as treasurer in July 2018. Before retiring, Graham worked in financial services for over forty years as an accountant and risk manager. Although Graham does not ride, he enjoys using his experience to support Barrow Farm with areas like administration, finance, and performance measurement. He also currently chairs the Estate Management trustee sub-group which makes sure the property is kept well maintained.
Committee Member and Rider Representative – Emma Harris
Emma is one of our riders and has been riding at Barrow Farm for over 20 years. Emma joined the Committee so that she could become more involved in the work of Barrow Farm and provide her valuable and unique input into the running of the group.
Emma says of her Barrow Farm experience:
“I’m Emma I have been riding here at Barrow Farm for over 20 years. I have Cerebral Palsy. When I first started riding my balance was very poor, I needed 2 side walkers and a leader. My dream was to ride independently but I had to work on my balance. After a lot of hard work my side walkers started standing away from me for longer and longer. Eventually I realised my dream of riding independently and was able to enter walk only off lead dressage competitions. Barrow Farm has given me so much that I joined the committee to give something back.”
Committee Member and Parent Representative – James Kearney
James works as a postman. He became involved with Barrow Farm RDA when his daughter started riding in 2006 and he joined the committee in 2010. James says ‘Riding at Barrow Farm has given my daughter so much pleasure and enjoyment, that I want to give something back in helping in anyway that I can.’ James also spends his time helping another charity Chatterbox where he is the Safeguarding Officer.
Committee Member and Schools Liaison – Margaret Cameron
Margaret is a retired head teacher of a special school for severe and profound learning difficulties. She was the head teacher of the school for 24 years and during all that time, and before, her pupils rode at Barrow Farm. She has seen the great beneficial impact riding has on disabled children, over time. She says “My pupils often had limited access to sports activities or contact with animals. Riding offered them physical and social challenges and experiences of great benefit. I feel that by being a trustee I am saying thankyou on behalf of all my pupils”. Margaret has been a trustee since 2015 and has a range of responsibilities from staffing to estate management.
Committee Member – Anne Mitchell
Barrow Farm has been Anne’s home since the early 60’s and as a young girl she says she was very lucky to have ponies. On leaving school she trained as a British horse Society riding instructor and spent time away from home learning to back and ride young horses. She worked at a very large riding school in Middlesex learning and practising the skills that enabled her to later develop Barrow Farm RDA into the centre of excellence it is today.
Together with her parents Anne started Barrow Farm RDA in 1976 and worked consistently as coach and centre manager until 2018 when she retired from paid work and became a trustee. Her trustee responsibilities are to oversee all coaching, and to organise and coach carriage driving. She also puts together the newsletters and facebook page content.
Committee Member – Isobel Gowers
Isobel is Academic Lead for Active Inclusive Learning having previously spent time researching arthritis in humans and horses and lecturing equine and animal science at Writtle University College. As a teenager Isobel started volunteering at Barrow Farm on a Saturday and after school in 1986. After a break whilst at university Isobel returned as a volunteer coach in 2009 and has since completed her UK Coaching Certificate level 1 and 2. Isobel became a trustee in 2013. She also owns Rafferty, one of our working liveries. You can find out about Rafferty and the other Barrow Farm ponies on the ‘Meet the Ponies’ page.
Committee Member – Richard Albon
Richard became involved with Barrow Farm, first as a volunteer and then as a Trustee following a presentation at his Rotary Club. He retired from the post of Head of Environmental Health Services at Basildon Council some 9 years ago and has ridden and been involved with horses for as long as he can remember.
Committee Member – Dave Nisbett
Dave became a trustee at Barrow Farm RDA in August 2020 but will have been seen around the estate helping with maintenance and repairs for a couple of years before that. He was introduced to Barrow Farm RDA by his wife Julie who has been volunteering here since 2015 and a life-long horsey person.
Before retiring in 2013, Dave had worked in IT for over 40 years implementing systems and managing services for the Banking, Telecoms, Defence and Government sectors. Since retirement Dave has taken up a number of voluntary roles and has become a budding artist. He enjoys DIY and mending things …. always a need for that at Barrow Farm. Dave is a member of the Barrow Farm RDA Estate Management and IT working groups.