The James River Equestrian Center is located on the historical Keswick Plantation in Powhatan County. Located near the Chesterfield County line, the property dates back to the early 1700’s. Keswick is a registered Virginia Historic Landmark, and is on the National Register of Historic Places.
JREC consists of approximately 75 acres and three barns on the plantation. The Riding School is run at the first two barns as you enter the plantation.
Vicki Phillips has owned The James River Equestrian Center since 1996. Vicki’s passion for teaching began as a Riding Instructor in 1991. Over the years, Vicki has enjoyed her various equestrian roles, from competing herself, seeing her students and her own children grow through their experiences with horses, to owning her own animals and learning the business of running an Equestrian Center. Vicki is most proud of the unique family environment that has developed at the James River Equestrian Center.
Katia grew up riding at JREC, starting at age 6. In college she competed in the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association for Oberlin College, where her experience at the riding school gave her the skills to show on unfamiliar horses. Katia moved back to Richmond to pursue a master’s degree in early elementary education at VCU. She returned to JREC to ride and soon began teaching as a way to combine her two passions: education and ponies. When Katia isn’t at the barn she enjoys cooking, reading, and never outgrew day-dreaming about horses.
Jill Carter grew up riding and showing hunters. She showed in our local CHSA association, fox hunted, and then showed at the rated shows. She graduated from Stephens College in 1995 with a degree in Equestrian Science and a minor in early childhood education. She took a job after graduation riding for the Edna and Burt Lytle in Maryland. The Lytle’s are judges and had a large business of leasing and selling horses all over the United States. Jill and one other person ran the farm and rode the horses. In 1997, she returned to Powhatan to start her own business (at her home), Cedar Ridge Farm. From 1997 until present, she has taught riding lessons to clients with their own horses as well as teaching clients on her own horses. She has participated and taken her clients to our CHSA shows and rated as well.
Meredith L. grew up in Chesterfield and started riding at the Riding School at JREC when she was 7. She moved to the boarding barn a few years later with her first pony, Miss B. Meredith showed in the Hunter/Jumper circuit all throughout middle and high school with her horse Avalon, or 'As We Speak', who Meredith bought as a 3 year old and trained all the way up to a show horse. Meredith still has Avalon today and even took her back and forth to college in Georgia. Meredith attended Savannah College of Art and Design and majored in painting. She currently lives in Forest Hill with her fiancé Marc and her dog Henry. She loves walking on the trails near the river with Henry, and making art whenever she has time.