Kim Heller has 40 years experience in the equine industry. Similar to many of us with a passion for horses, Kim started out mucking stalls to earn her riding lessons and worked her way up to managing her family’s 45-horse boarding, showing, and breeding facility. Her vast experience also includes operating her own training barn, specializing in backing, training and showing Pony Hunters, and her most recent job entailed managing a training program for (not one, but two!) Olympic riders, taking part in the daily care and well-being of all the horses in the program.
Kim’s decision to join the Charlesgate team comes from her passion for managing an A rated show facility. She thrives on organization, overseeing the care of each individual horse to the highest standards, and building relationships and regular communication networks with clients. One of her many outstanding contributions to the farm is helping our clients experience all of the great services Charlesgate Equestrian has to offer!
Dianna Babington assists in our training program here at Charlesgate Equestrian by traveling from her own facility in Pennsylvania on a regular basis to teach lessons and to coach our clients at shows. She has a strong foundation in the hunters from her childhood, training with Gary Kunsman at Four Seasons Farm in New Jersey. As an adult, she has ridden in the jumpers for over 20 years under the guidance of European Gold Medalist and husband, Kevin Babington. Dianna has also trained with many other professionals in the sport including Nona Garson, Rick Francher, Albert Voorn, John Ledingham and George Morris.
As an amatuer rider, she dedicated most of her time riding and training sale horses. As an adult jumper rider, she qualified for Indoors twice in the NAL and also the Marshall and Sterling League and placed in both finals. Dianna has also qualified ponies for Pony Finals and taken riders to McClay Regionals and Finals. She has competed various horses in jumper divisions through 1.40, and in several mini-prix before attending law school. Dianna still actively competes in the jumpers, so she brings a rider's perspective to her students.
Jessica Dowling fell in love with horses at the young age of 8, and has been dedicated to the sport ever since. She grew up riding here in Massachusetts, showing all over the local circuits. Jess' passion for horses and the sport led her to study English Equestrian Studies and Equine Business Management at the University of Findlay, graduating with a Bachelor of Science in May 2017.
Since then, Jess' devotion to teaching and helping riders reach their goals, has continued to grow. She comes to us from Harmony Stables in Littleton, MA where she taught as the head instructor and coach of the Nashoba Valley Equestrian Team. Her enthusiastic personality and knowledge of the sport keeps her students laughing while learning. You'll rarely catch her without a coffee in hand and smile on her face.
Lesson Program Coordinator
Assistant Barn Manager
Kim Simoneau joined Charlesgate Equestrian with a Bachelor of Science in Equine Industry and Management, a passion for horses that has not waned since childhood, and years of experience in office administration and business management. Although an enthusiast since she can remember, her official journey with horses began in high school; working and gaining invaluable knowledge and skills in all aspects of horse care, from mucking stalls to farriery. She had even established and operated a successful farm sitting business before venturing further into more administrative roles such as bookkeeping and office management.
In addition to her own business, Kim has administrative experience working under state-wide companies such as Dartmouth-Hitchcock in NH, to local farms like Course Brook in Sherborn, MA. This unique combination of extensive equine and business administration experience makes Kim a versatile addition to the team. Even though her primary role will take place in the office, don't be surprised if you find her helping in the barn. Kim is continuously looking for opportunities to expand upon her knowledge and advance her career in the industry she is so passionate about.
At Charlesgate we employ experienced and skilled professionals and grooms. All our grooms have had years of experience in the show world and work with the trainers and carefully selected vets and farriers to ensure that each horse is receiving the care it needs in order to keep them feeling and performing their best.
As part of our efforts to develop superior horsemanship skills in future professionals of the equine industry, Charlesgate implements a challenging yet rewarding working student program. Working students receive hands-on experience in all aspects of horse care, while receiving invaluable education and training under our expert trainers and barn manager. To ensure the quality of the program, we only accept 1-2 students at a time. Applicants must be local as housing is not currently available.
We are currently fully staffed, but please check in again for any future opportunities to join the Charlesgate team!