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Meet Our Coaches

Patti Skipton

Patti is a graduate of Rawhide Vocational College.  After graduation she and her husband Mark, taught in the college and Patti brought vaulting into the Rawhide Ranch camp program.  Patti vaulted competitively for several years, earning her Bronze and Silver medals with the American Vaulting Association. 


In 1985 Mark and Patti moved with their young family (3 daughters and 1 son) to Monte Vista Christian School in Watsonville, CA.  There Patti formed the Monte Vista Vaulters,  who were chosen to represent the US in the 1994 World Equestrian Games in Holland.  Patti's first Belgian horse "Miss Holly B'Golly" won the AVA Horse of the Year in 1993 and 1994.  In 1996 Patti coached the Friendship Team Vaulters who performed in the Olympics held in Atlanta, Georgia. 


With the kids all grown, Mark and Patti moved to WA. in 2006 where Patti formed Warm Beach Vaulters.  The club grew to be the third largest in the US.  The World Equestrian Games were held in the US

for the first time ever in 2010.  Patti hosted a team from S. Africa who competed on her horse.


Patti was awarded the 2010 Trainer of the Year by the American Vaulting Association and in 2011 was honored with Mentor of the Year.


Mark and Patti returned to Rawhide Ranch in 2014 where Patti formed Encore Equestrian Vaulters.  The team competed successfully in Nationals and two CVIs, as well as many local competitions.


In May of 2016 Mark & Patti moved back to the Santa Cruz area and began vaulting lessons once again!  Encore Equestrian Vaulters competes in local competitions and in 2020 they traveled to Colorado for National Championships and brought home the Copper Women's National title.  

Melissa Ross Wunderling

Samantha Ross




Samantha is a former vaulter who holds a gold medal.  She won all three divisions that she entered in her first National Championships, and was the AVA  Reserve Gold Champion in 1984.  She has competed extensively internationally,  placing seventh in the world in her first WEG performance and also competing on the Monte Vista Vaulters "Team USA".  

Samantha also has a background as a competitive gymnast and dressage rider.

Known as an amazing "freestyle" coach, Samantha helps the vaulters with both their Individual freestyles as well as the Team freestyle.  She also helps with the schooling and care of our team horses.  Sam's son Mattias vaults on the Trot Team, and her daughter Ayla will soon be one of our "Tiny Tots" vaulters.

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