Our Mission Statement
Our mission is to be one of the leading riding centres in New Zealand catering for and encouraging riders of all levels, from first timers to those who wish to pursue a competitive career or those who just ride for pleasure. With a strict focus on safety first which goes hand-in-hand with enjoyment of the activity, we want to offer a relaxed and friendly learning environment. This will enable us to maintain and grow a profitable business capable of offering a number of employment opportunities.
To achieve this we are committed to supporting local supplier products where possible (which includes environmentally friendly products that we can reasonably source) as well as extending our social and community relations through regular participation in local community group gatherings, social media presence, and networking with other local tourism operators.
Kathy Dee Korkie
Owner / Business Development Manager
Hi I am Dee, I have loved Horses all my life and started riding when I was 5 years old, I grew up in South Africa and immigrated to New Zealand in 2010. I have been in Business Development management, Sales and marketing for the past 17 years including owning my own businesses overseas . Giving me a wide variety of skills, Aside from my obvious passion for horse’s my other passion is People, Building relationships and developing their skills and confidence. I’m excited to be living my Dream of Working with horses and people and developing some exciting new programs to introduce to the Waimak River Riding Centre alongside my great Business Partner Amelie and our Team of staff. This will include Wellness programs, Mental Health programs, Clinics and many more! My beautiful boy Oliver the Clydesdale will be excited to meet you! So come and meet us and have a beautiful experience that you’ll never forget! So excited to see you soon!
Assistant Manager / Instructor in training
Hiya my name is Sacha! I was born in Russia and moved to New Zealand when I was 6. I found my passion for horses after I sat on a miniature pony at a school fair and then tried to persuade my mother that we could keep him….and he would sleep in my room….under my bed, but to my disappointment she said no..so I decided at the age of 17 that I would work alongside them instead. Ever since then I have expanded my knowledge about the care and safety of horses through studying and working at different Riding schools.
My two dogs and three cats currently have all of my attention, I love food and my sleep ins!
I am super excited to be working at WRRC alongside an awesome team, so don’t be afraid to come say hi! You will usually find me with gumboots on my feet that have shoelaces in them, don’t ask why because they have no purpose they just look cool!
Trek Guide / Volunteer
Hey! I’m Paige. I’m a classic kiwi girl originating from the deep south of the south Island. I’ve been riding since I could walk and I’ve always loved horses. My favourite horse is Chip and you can usually find me giving him all of my attention. I was a full time employee prior to the earthquakes but I am currently a volunteer and I work a few days a week taking out treks. Now I live in Lyttleton and I focus on my paintings which is my second passion besides horses, of course!
Hi I am Noelle Thalen,
Owner / Instructor
Hello, my name is Amelie. I was born and raised in the Netherlands where I have lived for most of the last 47 years. I moved to New Zealand with my husband and 12 year old son in 2020. I started horse riding when I was 8 years old and have never stopped. I have done jumping, vaulting, dressage, trail riding, western riding and over the past 7 years I have been involved in carriage driving/marathon competitions. I am certified in natural horsemanship, gymnastic work for dressage horses and am an equine acupressure practitioner. And qualified coach/instructor. I can truly say that horses are my life. What I love most about them is the way they communicate with us and just how very good they are at letting us know what they need from us. Our hores are raised and trained in the most honest and uncomplicated way.
Whilst here, I fell in love with the place, the people and the country and now I’m living the dream of owning a riding centre and sharing my knowledge and experience with not only our horses but also with great New Zealand community. Horses have the ability to touch hearts in many different ways. I would love to share this with you.
I hope to meet you soon!
Head Coach / Instructor
Hi! My name is Clare. After 17 years away from WRRC developing my horsemanship skills within the NZ TB Racing industry competing and coaching, I am excited to be back with the WRRC family… along with my greatest work mate ever, a 10 year old TB named Teddy. I learnt to ride here at WRRC and never put the reins down since. My ambition to educate and inspire my clients to feel the bond of equine partnership is nothing short of a dream and I am so fortunate to be able to share this with people. I look forward to meeting you here at WRRC.
“You can see what man-made from the seat of an automobile, but the best way to see what God made is from the back of a horse.”
— Charles M. Russell.
Hi I am Amelia McGill
Stablehand / trekking / exercising
Hi I am Lucy Obrien
Trainer / instructor / advisor
Hi I’m Erika. I had my first horse when I was 17 and taught myself how to ride. I gave up riding for 20 years and once I got back into it I never looked back. My passion is dressage and teaching both youngsters and adults how to ride. My role is one of managing the horses, staff and helpers as well as marketing and administration, but mostly instructing. It has always been my dream to own and manage a riding centre like this and I am so happy and proud of our achievements here. My greatest pleasure is to see the smiles on peoples’ faces during and after their rides, whether they be treks or riding lessons.
Guest Coach / Mentor
Hi I’m Jean Harris, I have worked with Erika for many years now both as her personal coach and also with the School Holiday Riding Program. I have had many years training and teaching in England and France and I have also worked some years in Austria for Johanne Riegler of the Spanish Riding School. My passion is Dressage however I can also coach in Show Jumping and Cross Country.