Amanda Mecca - Barn and Office Manager
Amanda grew up in the small town of New Fairfield, Connecticut, and had a love for horses since she was a little girl. As it turned into an obsession, her parents finally got her riding lessons at the age of 10. Her passion for horses and riding sent Amanda to pursue her equine dreams at Delaware Valley University, where she majored in Equine Studies and graduated with a B.S. in Animal Science. After college, Amanda was a show groom for Grand Prix show jumpers, a vet tech for an equine veterinarian clinic and an office barn manager for Old Salem Farm. Finally, in 2012 she was brought onto the Baxter Hill team as the barn and manager. Baxter Hill has become a second family to Amanda, and she wouldn’t trade it for anything else.
Kate Bacon - Flat Rider
Kate is from Hanover, New Hampshire, where she grew up riding with her parents. She started training with Joe Forest at Horton's Farm at age 8 and stayed. Kate graduated from St. Lawrence University in 2007, where she was captain of the IHSA team with multiple wins at regionals, zones and ribbons at Nationals. She continued riding and showing for Horton's Farm after college, focusing on starting young horses under saddle.
In 2010, Kate started working at Heritage Farm as rider and manager. Later, she worked privately for Victoria Birdsall, riding jumpers and overseeing day-to-day care. Kate started at Baxter Hill in 2014 as an exercise rider and barn manager.
Ghita Ziani - Flat Rider
Ghita was born in the United States, but is from Moroccan origins. She first sat on a horse back at home in Rabat, Morocco at the age of 4 at her father’s farm.
She grew up riding and jumping horses back at home and later moved to a little Red Sea town in Egypt called Hurghada, where she attended school and pursued her passion for horses as a hobby. Later on, moving to the busy capital of Egypt, Cairo, she continued her studies, but her drive to ride and compete took a serious step where she competed at shows up till 1m40 and traveled to ride in Holland during the summer.
Ghita moved to the US in 2011 and attended FAU and started riding and working for Imperial Show Stables with Michael Morrissey & Lourdes De Gaurdiola where she acquired a taste for American Show Jumping, hunters & producing young horses and learned all about them. With Michael & Lourdes, Ghita also learned about barn management, and work routines with both young horses and other more experienced Grand Prix horses.
For a short while, Ghita also worked privately for W Show Stables where she got the chance to meet Joe Fargus and worked with him for the owner and also did a little bit of management.
Lesley Veall - FEI Groom & Flat Rider
Lesley grew up in the north of England, where she shared her family’s passion for horses, and naturally pursued a career in the industry after graduation. She studied horse care part time while training at a top show jumping yard, which provided solid grounding in the sport. Later Lesley became Nick Skelton’s barn manager and show groom, traveling around the world, expanding her knowledge and experiences, with achievements such as Olympic Team Gold in London 2012. In 2014 she joined Poden Farm as barn manager, in 2017 she became part of the Baxter Hill team and focuses on the daily care and management of the horses.
Luis, Georgie, Juan H, Juan A, Gustavo and Omar
The Baxter Hill team owes a huge part of their accomplishments to their grooms. Most of their grooms have been with them from the start, and without their hard work and dedication they wouldn’t be as successful as they are today.