Golden Dreams Therapeutic Riding Center

Golden Dreams Management & Staff

Co-Presidents and Founders
- Lisa V. Iantosca

- A. James Vella
(click here for their bios)

Anne Fontanella
Anne began riding at the age of six, beginning in a Western seat. When her family moved to Northern Virginia from Korea, she was introduced to the English disciplines and began showing on the hunter-jumper circuit. Anne is a member of USEF and USHJA and competes regularly in Jumpers. She is a graduate of St. Andrews Presbyterian University, where she received a bachelor’s degree in Therapeutic Horsemanship and completed her certification as a PATH International Riding Instructor. Anne is involved in many horse-related programs and organizations, helping to promote horse safety, education, and enjoyment.

Anne has a heart for working with children and with people with disabilities; she is active in local youth activities, and holds a Masters of Education with a concentration in Special Education. She is also a member of TRAV (Therapeutic Riding Assoc. of VA). Anne owns and operates Brentsville Stables LLC, where she instructs beginner and intermediate riders in balanced seat.

Veronica Laughman
Veronica is a lifelong horse enthusiast. She started taking hunter/jumper lessons in exchange for barn work, and she became a "barn rat," hanging out at the barn all day, every day, riding, grooming, mucking, and assisting with vet and farrier visits. Veronica was first exposed to therapeutic riding at the age of 13, when she volunteered at Sebastian Riding Associates in Collegeville, PA. When she moved to Northern Virginia in 1993, she continued to pursue her interest in all things equestrian, dabbling in dressage and even polo. After receiving her bachelor's degree in Therapeutic Recreation and certification as a Therapeutic Recreation Specialist, she has found time to pursue and achieve her goal to be a Therapeutic Riding Instructor. Veronica also works full time as a recreation therapist at the Northern Virginia Training Center for adults with special needs.

Hazel Piscopo
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Hazel is a native of Edinburgh, Scotland, and has owned and operated Bonnie Brae Farm in Aldie, Virginia, for the past 17 years. She brings to Golden Dreams over 20 years of equine experience, including knowledge of equine veterinary care, a compassion for both people and animals, and a keen sense of safety management.

Hazel is a deeply-experienced riding instructor; she has given riding lessons to adults and children as young as four, and run summer riding camps for children. She stresses understanding animal behavior, so that they can receive the best care and to create a human-animal relationship that is mutually beneficial. Her philosophy on therapeutic riding is that everyone has difficulties to overcome—not only can we benefit from riding and creating relationships with horses, but we can learn from each other, horses, and other animals as well.

Tanner Zyontz
Student Advisor

Tanner has been volunteering with us since Spring 2013 and is a sophomore at Middleburg Academy. In addition to helping with lessons and horse care, he coordinates student volunteers and helps with Golden Dreams’ social media presence. Tanner runs cross-country at Middleburg academy also volunteers at Middleburg Humane.

Robin Ross
Student Volunteer

Robin is a freshman at Wakefield School and has been riding since she was a toddler. She rides with the Warrenton and Snickersville Hunts, and she and her partner Alex James are the current Junior Hunter Pace Champions. Besides school, riding, and volunteering at Golden Dream, Robin is on Wakefield’s varsity tennis team—and she also contributes her yummy baked goods to local events.

Erica Miller
Summer Intern
Erica is an Anthropology major going into her sophomore year at VCU with plans to attend graduate school for Occupational Therapy. She has been riding for 10 years and is excited to be able to combine both interests in riding and therapy for this internship. During the school year when she isn't studying, she mentors students at a local school. Erica also has interests in reading, cooking, and hiking.

Wish List…