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 fathers”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 co-founder Kay Meredith and the late Bodo Hagen. She graduated with a Riding Masters 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 in 1983 at Graf Bae Farm in Aiken, South Carolina. For seven years she trained under the expertise of the late and great Bari Von Buedugen and for three years of those with then rising 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 is 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’s tutelage she has coached over 25 clients to earn their bronze, silver, and gold medals. While Amy works successfully with all 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 and clinic schedule, which keeps Amy busy most of the year. Amy actively rides and trains horses of all levels on a daily basis. She has trained with Gunnar Ostergaard since 1998. Amy also continues to be a student of Hokan Thorn. She credits him for helping her to earn her USDF gold medal as well as the final scores needed to apply for her “S”judges 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, Colorado and was licensed in 2001. In 2006, after a stringent and rigorous training program in Pebble Beach, and testing in Sacramento, California she was promoted to “R” status. Amy then went on to pursue her final judging goal of becoming a Senior judge.The program and testing was conducted at the Devon Horse Show , Pennsylvania .In 2017 Amy completed the requirements and testing to become an “S” judge. You can see Amy in the judge’s box in about 20 competitions per year throughout the country. In addition and since its inception, Amy writes her popular “Ask the Judge” column for The Aiken Horse magazine, where she answers interesting judging questions.
While running a thriving business, Amy leads a rich family life and is very in love with husband Dan (1991), and involved with her 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 having a good time with family and friends and their dogs and cats.