Meet the Coaches

Jamie Grant, Hunt Seat Coach

jamie grant

A South Carolina upstate native, Jamie grew up submerged in a horse-crazed childhood. She was the typical lesson barn rat before channeling her energy toward the hunter/jumper show scene as a teenager. Sustaining endless working student positions, Jamie earned the opportunity to show through her junior years in the hunter, jumper and equitation classes. While completing the Equine Business program at Clemson, she continued to develop her industry experience by working professionally riding and grooming for many reputable trainers in the southeast. After graduation, it took Jamie only a short time to return to her Clemson roots to become their Hunt Seat coach in January 2013. Years of hard work in the industry gained her the opportunity to ride many horses with great professionals— she expects the same diligence from her students. Her teaching style emphasizes the dedication to horsemanship and its way of producing safe, poised and effective riders.

Rebecca Shirley, Western Coach

jamie grant

A fourth generation horsewoman from the South Carolina lowcountry, Rebecca has been involved with horses from a very young age.  Her family livestock and row crop farm always had horses on hand, but she soon became interested in the show scene and got her start in 4-H and hunter/jumper events.  As a teenager, Rebecca sold her hunter ponies and became involved in the AQHA and APHA show world both in the hunter and western events.  After graduating high school in Greenville County, she moved to Kentucky to pursue a Bachelor’s degree from Berea College, and continued to work in the horse industry through internships and private training.  In 2004, Rebecca moved to the Clemson area where she began working for the Clemson University Equine Center and continued to show and train for the all-around events.  Now as the western coach for the Clemson University Equestrian Team, she is excited to share her knowledge of the industry, horsemanship, and show ring poise to the Clemson riders.

Dr. Kristine Vernon, Team Advisor


Dr. Vernon grew up in North Carolina's horse industry showing in local and A hunter shows, AQHA all around events and 4-H, and continued to show hunters in graduate school in Michigan.  Dr. Vernon serves as the Director of the Horse Program at Clemson University, leading the activities of the Equine Center, SC 4-H Horse Project and the Equine Business classes within the Animal and Veterinary Sciences department.  Dr. Vernon has helped to facilitate the recent growth of the equestrian team at Clemson, increasing riding opportunities and improved training facilities.