Born in 1960 in Brooklyn, New York, Amy has had a passion for horses for as long as she can remember. Her riding career began early on when she took English riding lessons in Elementary school and quickly turned into a passion for jumping when she rode with Nancy Thomas of Thomas School of Horsemanship and later with Patrick Rice of Rice Farms. She continued to train and compete through secondary school, and as she prepared for graduation, she knew she wanted to pursue riding as an occupation. She also wanted to fulfill her father’s dream of having his first-born child graduate from college with a four-year degree. Salem College in West Virginia satisfied both dreams as she earned her Bachelor’s degree in Equestrian Studies with a minor in Business.
As part of her curriculum, she attended the prestigious Meredith Manor in Waverly, West Virginia under the tutelage of co-founder Kay Meredith and the late Bodo Hagen. She graduated with her Riding Master III degree with a major in Dressage Training and a minor in Teaching. With degrees in hand, Amy headed for warmer temperatures and discovered sunny South Carolina, where she taught and managed Reflections Stable in Columbia, South Carolina for a few years. During that time, she trained with Cindy Sydnor whenever possible and actively competed in dressage and combined tests. Still wanting to advance her dressage, Amy became a working student at Graf Bae Farm in Aiken, SC in 1983. For seven years she trained under the expertise of the late and great Bari Von Buedigen and for three of those years with then rising dressage star Hokan Thorn. In 1991, Amy opened her own dressage training and teaching business in Aiken, SC and that same year married her husband Daniel McElroy. Dan has been extremely supportive in all of Amy’s equestrian endeavors and can be seen at the occasional show or clinic when he’s not attending to fatherly duties or busy maintaining their lovely home. Amy has and continues to enjoy great success in the show ring (earning her USDF Bronze, Silver, and Gold medals among many other distinctions). Currently under Amy’stutelage she has helped 26 of her clients earn their USDF Bronze medals and 14 earn their Silver medals. Amy has several students close to earning their gold medals. While Amy works successfully with all riders–Open, Adult Amateur, and Junior/Young Riders–she has found her particular niche in working with adult amateurs. She loves to teach and to see her students succeed. The McElroy Group is competitive and has an ambitious show schedule, which keeps Amy busy most of the year. Amy herself tries to compete as often as possible. She is actively training her current FEI partner, Swing King, a talented Danish Warmblood that she found through Gunnar Ostergaard. Gunnar has been and is Amy’s mentor and support system, and she has trained with him for the past 14years. Amy still enjoys training with Hokan Thorn. She credits him for helping her earn the USDF Gold Medal as well as the scores needed to apply for her“S”judge license.
Amy added judging to her resume in 1999 when she graduated from the USDF L Judges Program with distinction in Raleigh, NC. She then went on to successfully complete the “r” program in Boulder, CO and was licensed in 2001. After five years of judging as a small “r”, she earned her Registered “R” judge’s license. The process was rigorous and included completion of the “R” Judges Training Program in Pebble Beach, CA in July of 2006 and an apprentice judging requirement stringent enough to test anybody’s mettle, both of which culminated in Amy’s successful final testing in Sacramento, CA in April of 2006. Amy has met the criteria to obtain her “S” dressage judge’s license and hopes to have her license in 2016. You can see Amy in the judge’s box at about seventeen Dressage shows or events each year.
In addition to running a thriving business, Amy also leads a rich family life and is very in love with husband Dan of 24 years, and involved with their two sons, Marshall (1995) and Russell (1997). The family enjoys the beach and lake especially with their boat (SEA NILE). They also enjoy , watching movies, playing board games, listening to music, and just have a good time together and with family and friends.