Liberty University Equestrian Center

Jim Arrigon

Executive Director of Equestrian Programs

Jim is very pleased to be joining a great staff at Liberty University this year. He grew up in Cincinnati, then spent several years in Kentucky before settling back in Cincinnati for most of his career. He served as IHSA National Secretary since 2001 and is the only person to coach National Champion Teams and individual riders in IHSA, NCAA, and IEA. He rode for the University of Kentucky, then coached Murray State, Miami of Ohio, Ohio State and Xavier over 25 years, with nearly three dozen team and individual National Championships, both Hunter Seat and Western.

In a 15 year run, his Miami of Ohio team finished Top 6 in the nation 11 times. In his final 4 years at Miami, 2002-2005, they won NCAA National Champions three times, and won Series Champion Team for Tournament of Champions. They finished 3rd in the nation his final year and he received the 2005 Lifetime Achievement Award from the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association. After leaving the college ranks, he coached the 2009 IEA National Champion Beckett Run high school team that has produced riders for Kansas State, Oklahoma State, Cornell, SMU, Virginia Intermont, Charleston, West Virginia, Mount Holyoke, Ohio State, Miami and more in recent years. His students have included Cacchione Cup Reserve Champion, Tournament of Champions medal winners, MVP of the NCAA National Tournament, All Big 12 Conference rider, Team Captains for Vanderbilt, Cornell, Kansas State. Jim has a BS in Animal Science from the University of Kentucky, MS in Equine Nutrition from Murray State University. 

Caroline Martin

Program Director

Caroline grew up on a small farm in Maryland and has been involved with horses since childhood. She graduated from Towson University in 2011 with an interdisciplinary studies degree in animal behavior and has resided in Lynchburg overseeing Liberty's Equestrian Center and its development since late 2010. Her equestrian background spans a range of equine industry components and includes experience in a variety of disciplines from eventing to dressage to barrel racing and trick riding, as well as brief stints in Western pleasure, reining, hunter/jumper, etc. She currently owns three quarter horses and a mini that reside at the Equestrian Center as components of the faciility. 

Lori Matthews

Assistant Program Director and IHSA Hunter Seat Coach

Lori Matthews has owned a successful show horse training facility in New Jersey; trained and exercised thoroughbred race horses at the Triple Crown/Breeders Cup level; developed Equitation and Hunter competitors for zone competition finals (A circuit); coached at shows including Sussex Country, Pennsylvania National, and Devon; was active in the research of exercise induced pulmonary hemorrhage in the racehorse and interval training; and has vast experience in equine rehabilitation and lay-up. Additionally, she has developed a powerful joint supplement, InMotion, for use in horses and dogs.

She obtained a Bachelor of Science degree from Liberty University in 2009, and has experience in the classroom teaching high school Biology and Chemistry. She currently resides on a farm in Appomattox County with her husband Dave and son DC who is a tenth grade student at Liberty Christian Academy. 

Lori believes that a successful horse trainer/riding instructor should focus on training both horse and rider to work together as a unit and develop young individuals as horseman. A true horseman is one who cultivates self-discipline, cooperation, patience, and perseverance toward a goal as emphasized by the words of the horseman Xenophon in 400 B.C.

"Anything forced and misunderstood can never be beautiful."

She is excited to begin her third year coaching Liberty's IHSA Hunter Seat team.

Megan Velardo

Barn Manager

Megan grew up in New Jersey and has pursued her love of horses since early childhood. As a student at Houghton College, she was heavily involved in the equestrian program where she developed a solid classical dressage foundation and spent time studying a wide range of equine disciplines including dressage, hunter/jumper, western horsemanship, therapeutic vaulting, and driving. She graduated in 2012 with a degree in Integrated Marketing Communications and minors in Equine Studies and Business. Her equestrian background includes a variety of equine experiences including collegiate, therapeutic, and multi-discipline riding instruction, extensive rehabilitation and rescue experience, a certification in equine sports massage therapy, and a comprehensive barn management background. She accepted a position as Barn Manager at the Equestrian Center in August 2015 and is looking forward to starting her second year at the facility.