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Meet The Team

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“As equestrians and educators, we both know how academic support and a connection with horses can give kids a leg up in life. ”

Team Members


Dominick’s success story is one of the inspirations behind the creation of Saddle Up Scholars. Originally from Baltimore City, Nick attended Harford Community College in Bel Air, Maryland where he was introduced to Jennie Towner through the My College Success Network, a student empowerment program at HCC, after his academic coach connected them through a mutual interest in horses. As a result, Nick began his equestrian career with Chris and Kevin Boniface from Bonita Farm where he became an exercise rider. Nick now works for Hall of Fame trainer Todd Pletcher and strives to inspire kids to pursue their passions and to follow their dreams no matter how far away they may seem. We are grateful to have him on the team as a mentor who can connect with our students and share his story and guidance.

Dominick "Nick" Merritt, Mentor
Sophie Gochman, Intern

Currently a junior at Harvard University, Sophie is working remotely over the summer and during her school year to help us with building our educational programs as well as researching and writing grants. Sophie is an accomplished show jumper whose competition results include an individual gold medal at the North American Youth Championships in 2019 and team gold at the FEI Nations Jumping Nations Cup Youth Final in Belgium that same year. Sophie has been instrumental in advocating for inclusion and equity in the horse show world, including her family’s Gochman Grant for the USEF Pony Finals and her own personal activism for increased representation of BIPOC in equestrian sports. We are excited to have Sophie on board, as she offers a fresh perspective and sense of passion about our mission.

Our Board

Saddle Up Scholars is grateful for our board members who lend their time and expertise to our success

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