Windrush Stable - Therapeutic Riding Centre

Our Team

Picture of Lesley Ridout-Gauer

Lesley Ridout-Gauer

Founder and General Manager

Lesley's family got their first horse when she was 12 years old and she has never been without one since. She trained in England with the British Horse Society and brought back the knowledge of top notch horse care. Teaching riding since 1974, Lesley is able to offer valuable insight to her Windrush instructors and is a CanTRA certified A.I. Always happy to see her students arrive, she knows "Dreams are Riding on Us."

Picture of Jen Pearson

Jen Pearson

Jen has been riding horses for 21 years and has been involved with Windrush since 2007, when she started out as a volunteer. Jen is also an elementary school teacher in Halton. Both her passion for horses and for working with children come together when teaching therapeutic riding lessons!

Picture of Amy Donaldson

Amy Donaldson

Amy lives with her husband Steve, daughter Brooke, dog Harley, 2 cats Motto and Willow and 2 horses Paige and McCoy. Amy began her riding right here at Windrush with Lesley at age 9. Amy has been teaching therapeutic riding at Windrush Stable T.R.C. since 2007. She is a very happy and outgoing person,that loves to keep busy taking part in courses and activities relating to her hobbies and interests. Amy is certified as a CanTRA AI.

Picture of Fiona Ryder

Fiona Ryder

Fiona has been involved with horses since childhood, and started with Windrush as a volunteer in 2009. She has found her many years of experience with educational program and event planning in the cultural sector complement the Windrush experience. Fiona has been teaching with Windrush since 2015, and is in her final stages of CanTRA certification. She loves connecting with each of her students in the lesson program and helping them attain their individual goals!

Picture of Cathy de Tuba

Cathy de Tuba

Cathy has a lifetime of horse experience. She began riding at an early age and got her first horse when she was 10. Since then she has been riding and teaching, even owning her own riding school for many years. Through all of her years with horses, Cathy finds this to be the most rewarding thing she has ever done. Cathy is presently training to get her CanTRA certification.

Our Board

Les Barsony


Les Barsony has been the Chairman of Windrush since 2008. During this time he has worked with Lesley and the board to increase the capabilities of Windrush to be able to reach more of the local community. As the leader of the board, Les works closely with Lesley and the team to ensure that growth and sustainability are of priority to ensure that Windrush continues to provide services both now and for the future.

Les is a graduate of Queens University in Mechanical Engineering and is currently the Owner and President of Wesco Trailers, a manufacturer of trailers for the boating industry in Columbia, South Carolina. Les was lucky to meet Lisa Barsony back in 1986, and they married in 1992 - they have two children, Avery and Mason. Both are active in volunteering at Windrush. Les and his family live in Oakville, Ontario.

Sue Graci

Sue has been involved with Windrush Stable T.R.C. for a number of years. She is a member of the board, holds the position of Secretary on the board, and is a regular volunteer. Currently Sue (along with her daughter Jess) is training Mr. T., one of the Windrush school horses, to drive a cart. This will enable students with seizure disorders and other complications that leave them unable to ride, to feel the thrill and independence of movement that a horse can give them.

Mike Butterfield

After graduating from High School, Mike worked in the Gravure Engraving Industry for 46 years servicing the Packaging Production Printers with printing plates, retiring in 2006. He is married with two children and five grandchildren.

He became involved with Windrush in 1997 through his wife who was a volunteer with the program. Along with a friend she owened a quarter horse named "Chipper". "Chipper boarded at Windrush and worked in the Therapeutic Riding Program. After seeing, firsthand, the remarkable progression the clients made going through the program in a few short weeks Mike knew he needed to help in some way to make sure this unique service continued. He joined the Board of Directors in 2004 and Chaired the Fundraising committee from 2005 to 2011.

Mike enjoys sailing, scuba diving, loves to travel and does stained glass for fun.

Jim Semple

Jim joined the Windrush Board of Directors in the spring of 2010. He saw a great opportunity for Windrush Stable to tap into the 40 Hour Community Volunteer requirements that students must complete as part of their High School Graduation requirements. Jim and his wife Mirella have 3 children of their own and believe volunteering at Windrush Stable has been an enriching and rewarding experience for their children and other community students. Jim graduated in 1989 from Western's Ivey School of Business. He joined Citibank in 1989 working in the Investment Bank in various trading and management roles in the past 25+ yrs.

Mike Swedak

Mike Swedak has been on the Board of Directors for Windrush Stable for 2 years. He has been involved in many non-profit ventures previously and when the opportunity arose to join the board of Directors of Windrush Stable he didn't hesitate.

Mike Swedak is Managing Director of Videojet Technologies, a subsidiary of a fortune 100 company operating in the product identification business. Mr. Swedak brings to the board years of business experience with highly successful diversified companies. His experience ranges from operations, marketing, sales and overall business management. Mr. Swedak holds a Bachelor of Economics from York University.

Catherine Gill-Pottruff

Catherine Gill Pottruff is a life-long horse lover and has found many ways to keep horses in her life. She joined the Windrush Board of Directors in July 2010, bringing with her experience in grant-writing. Besides being a Board member, she is also the parent of a horse-crazy able bodied rider and recently became a volunteer at Windrush, which has provided a greater appreciation for our program, our volunteers, our instructors and most importantly, our riders and our therapeutic horses.

Todd Campbell

Ken Opper

Campbellville resident Ken Opper has been a retail executive and retail leasing consultant for thirty years. He has previously served on a number of corporate and professional association boards, but considers association with Windrush Therapeutic Riding Centre to be a special privilege.

Shawn McNamara

Shawn McNamara is a sales and marketing professional with wide-ranging experience in developing and implementing direct response-marketing initiatives. Shawn currently works with Remax but previously held several key roles for organizations looking to influence purchase and giving patterns of their prospects, customers and donors. His record of accomplishments as an innovative Direct Marketer has exposed Shawn across a broad range of business types with extensive experience with fund development in the Not for Profit sector. Shawn lives in Oakville with his wife Leslie and two sons.

Ryan Devries

Ryan has led several volunteer based organizations - serving first as Vice President of Enactus Sheridan in the past, and presently Vice President of the Pilon School of Business Competition Team. Ryan is in his final year of his Bachelors of Business Administration in Global Business Management at Sheridan College. Specifically in the future Ryan is looking to explore careers in market research, corporate anthropology and competitive intelligence. Ryan's goal is to eventually return to school to earn a graduate degree in strategic marketing, consumer behavior or corporate anthropology.

Colin Semple

Colin joined the Windrush Board of Directors (Non-Voting status) as the High School Volunteer Coordinator in the Sept 2014. He has been an active volunteer at Windrush since 2010. He and his brother Andrew arrange the recruiting, scheduling and rides for a team of High School volunteers. Colin manages the work teams on site to ensure critical tasks and projects requested by the General Manager are completed on time.