Get To Know Us...
Greater Orlando Hunter Jumper Association (GOHJA) prounouced "Go-Ja" was founded in 1978 we are operated by an elected volunteer Board and each show is managed by a local Equestrian Barns/Farms. GOHJA is a voluntary, membership-based, incorporated association and has not been formed to, and shall not engage in any business undertaking for profit. The designated show area of the Association encompasses a five-county radius that include Orange, Seminole, Brevard, Lake and Volusia Counties. We foster the breeding, use and showing of hunters and jumpers as well as endeavor to create a better understanding among breeders, owners, and exhibitors of such horses. It will encourage acceptance of uniform rules in regard to showing and will cooperate with the management of all shows in planning better hunter and jumper divisions.
Board of Directors
*Click on a picture to contact that Board Member directly.
Wendy Trocano: BS in Psychology from UCF. Started riding at age 9 competing at 12. Wendy was Champion in her Equitation age group every year for 7 years, as well as, in the junior hunters and jumpers. She began teaching and catch riding at age 14. Over the last 38 years she has trained qualifiers and winners at Harrisburg, Marshall and Sterling Finals, HITS,Tampa, Fox Lea, Raleigh, Charleston, Littlewood, and Jacksonville and the Greater Orlando Hunter Jumper Circuit. Last year had the Chanpion in both the GOHJA Medal and Pony Medal, and the reserve in the Mini-medal Finals. Wendy trained hunter Champions in the ponies and children’s divisions as well as Walk Trot, Short and Long Stirrups. Wendover also has had many special award winners such as Sportsmanship, Horsemanship, Most Improved etc.
Wendy is a “R” USEF judge, President of the Greater Orlando Hunter Jumper Association, and Corresponding Secretary of the Central Florida Hunter Jumper Association.
Vice-President, Learner Position
Brevard Equestrian Center
Vice-President & Hearing Committee
Horse Show Manager for:
Jacque Barrett Gellein is a life-long equestrian, who began riding and showing in the hunt country of Virginia when she was 7 years old. Later, while earning her B.A. degree in St Louis, Missouri, she taught lessons and schooled horses at a training barn in the city. In 1970 she moved to Florida and founded Barrett Farm.
In those early years of Barrett Farm, Jacque fox hunted with the Two Rivers hunt outside of Tampa, and showed at A shows in Florida in the Green hunter divisions. She also had three small children, and noted the middle one, Laura, had an insatiable passion for horses. Laura (now one of Barrett Farm’s pro riders and leader of the training team) developed into a national contender as a junior rider, competing for several years in multiple national finals. With Laura’s success, Jacque curtailed her own showing to concentrate on the demands of taking riders and horses to the regional and national level. That focus ultimately defined the mission of Barrett Farm, and its training team, to be “both the inspiration and the experience that finds and develops the potential in any horse and rider that comes to us.”
Jacque is a big believer in pursuing the basics to perfection. She says mastering the basics is “not easy, but almost always the most straightforward path to a rider’s goals. We know that the foundation of anything becomes the minimum standard for all that is built upon it. So I focus on basics. If a rider is dedicated and skilled enough to master the basics, then all goals are attainable.”
Growing up in Connecticut, TJ knew that teaching horseback riding and training horses was his calling from the beginning. Growing up with horses and riding since he was 4 years old at the age of 16 TJ evented internationally at the CCI* and CCI** level on his horse Tennessee Pie. TJ moved to Florida in early January of 2018 to head the Hunter Jumper and Eventing program at the Brevard Equestrian Center in Grant, FL. Since then TJ has built a strong program within his facility that continues to grow and flourish. TJcontinues his education by riding with Olympic level equestrians and attending Clinics with many of our sports greatest riders. He strives to be the best he can be and pushes his students and horses to do the same. TJ strives to be a great role model not only to his own students but to other trainers and riders alike. Currently TJ is riding his young horse WhodoyouthinkUR who was featured with him in the 2017 Retired Racehorse Project in Lexington, KY in both Eventing and Show Jumping. TJ is very excited to be a part of GOHJA and is really looking forward to the 2019 Show Year!
Corresponding & Recording Secretary & Announcer &
Horse Show Committee
Horse Show Manager for:
Karin left behind the snowy winters of upstate New York for the balmy breezes of the sunshine state 14 years ago and now calls Florida home. As a young adult, Karin identified her passion in the service industry and consequently completed her Bachelor of Science in Travel and Tourism Administration at Niagara University. Since then, she has held numerous jobs requiring her to handle multiple capacities. From these beginnings, Karin has developed a strong ability to flawlessly manage and execute the many tasks required to coordinate an event seamlessly
Karin has attained positions as Product Coordinator, Program Manager, Project Coordinator, Marketing Assistant and Meeting Planner. Her customers include all levels of government and companies such as Kodak, Xerox, and Prudential. Karin also currently works as an Exhibit & Trade Show Manager under Good2Go’s U.S. Army contract for the Program Executive Office for Simulation, Training and Instrumentation (PEO STRI) and Team Orlando.
With over 14 years experience, Karin brings with her strong management and marketing skills, along with a well-developed background in promotion. Combined, her management experience in Corporate Hotel Sales and Meeting Planning gives Karin the necessary foresight to carry out a multitude of events with a competitive edge.
Banquet, Fundraising & Public Relations Committee
Daughter rides at
Literally growing up on Barrett Farm as the daughter of a professional trainer, Laura Barrett Gurtis, who first rode at age 3 and began her show career at age 5, brings a lifetime of knowledge and hands-on experience to her current vocation as rider and trainer at Barrett Farm of Florida, Inc.
Laura Gurtis with her husband and two young daughters (both riders) Laura resides in Winter Park, Florida, close to Rollins College, where she went to school after graduating from Trinity Preparatory School. Her early accomplishments as a junior and young pro rider include showing and collecting ribbons at prestigious events such as Ox Ridge in Connecticut, USET Finals at Gladstone, New Jersey, Pennsylvania National, Washington International, National Pony Finals, and Madison Square Garden.
She currently rides, trains, and coaches her students at A shows all over Florida, WEF and HITS, Atlanta, GA and Kentucky. Although she specializes in hunters and jumper, Laura keeps her own interests and knowledge expanding; she has studied with renowned dressage trainer Anne Gribbons, competing in an occasional dressage competition, and recently apprenticed with Linda Kohanov, celebrated author of Tao of Equus, and integrates Kohanov’s Epona principles of evolving human/equine relationship into her training and teaching. Laura says” I think openness and innovation are needed for top-level training and growth”.
Laura adds to her resume and contributes to the local horse community by serving as chairperson of the Greater Orlando Hunter and Jumper horse show committee, leading the annual Benefit horse show project, and also does course design and co- manages for GOHJA horse shows.
Laura is best described as a hands-on trainer, who really cares. She is deeply involved in the daily equine management at the farm. She rides several horses a day, and thinks of them as equal partners. She explains, ”We appreciate and treat the horses with great respect, learning from them daily, as much as they learn from us– maybe more. I love competition, but I equally love just working with the horses and clients. The fact that people from all walks of life can relate to horses in the same way is an inspiration to me. My goal is to help every rider I work with carry the awareness, fitness, focus and confidence that riding instills into all aspects of his or her life.”
Rules & Regulations Committee
Jovanna’s strong work ethic stems from her military family background, which fostered creativity, a desire to serve her country and community. She spent much her youth traveling throughout the United States & Europe while her family performed and managed shows for Army Soldiers and their families, as well as the local population wherever her father was stationed. During her high school years in Germany, Jovanna attended design and art seminars – fueling a passion that runs from Event Management, Performing Arts to Creative Design. With over 18 years experience, she has managed a range of government, federal, profit, non-profit, corporate, and special events where she has coordinated exhibits, conferences, and trade shows. She has served as a Director, Vice-President & Committee Member of Events for charitable organizations as well as participates in professional business organizations.
Jenelle Branom grew up in Virginia Beach and joined the Barrett Farm team of trainers in 2005. Her days usually involve a tightly woven schedule that alternates between training horses and training riders. She works with riders ranging from complete beginners to advancing competitors to older riders returning to the sport in later years. The horses also cover a spectrum, but she particularly enjoys helping green horses build their confidence and learn more difficult tasks. “I love it all,” she says, “I love the shows, the riding, teaching students to canter for the first time, I even love the hard work, mucking stalls and mowing lawns, I love every bit of it.”
Jenelle’s style as a trainer is one of quiet intuitiveness. A push when it’s appropriate, breathing room when it’s needed. “I knew at 10-years old that I wanted to be a trainer,” says Jenelle, “I was already working at a barn, so I told my parents I wanted to learn to ride so I could be a trainer.” Jenelle’s trainers were aware of her long term goals, so her development was geared toward becoming a trainer. “I knew I had a talent with horses, they like me,” she says.
While Branom is heavily focused on helping her students achieve their goals, her own goals include finding even greater success at shows as a trainer and rider. She sits on two committees for the Greater Orlando Hunter/Jumper Association and is looking forward to Barrett Farm’s increasingly important role in the equine industry.
Candace (Candy) Murray has a career that has spanned banking as well as nonprofit association positions. Currently she is the Conference Planner for the International Association for Identification; Independent Meeting Planning for several Corporations as well as Foreign and Domestic Government Entities; and for Lighthouse Catholic Media as an Account Rep. Her history with GOHJA spans 30 years where she served in numerous positions including President. She has worked over the years for various sanctioned GOHJA shows in various positions including: Announcer, Secretary, Paddock, Steward, and Co-Manager.
Horse Show Manager for
Maggie LeClair is the Assistant to the Dean of the College of Sciences at University of Central Florid. She was born in Scotland and worked in London for several years. In 1974, she was hired as staff assistant to the Chair in Communication at Florida Technological University. In 1978, FTU became the University of Central Florida and a few years later, the Department of Communication became the Nicholson School of Communication.
Maggie was selected by Frank Juge to serve on the UCF Salary Review Board and she served on that board for 13 years. She also served on Staff Council, was a board member on the inaugural Barnes Noble Advisory Committee and now serves as Chair of that committee.
Maggie is on the board of Town and Gown and will be Vice-President of the UCF Women’s Club in 2008-2009 where one of her goals is to increase scholarship funding in for graduate students. Maggie has also been Treasurer of the Nicholson School of Communication’s Roast and Toast for 30 years. She is proud of the fact that in those 30 years, 220 scholarships have been awarded.