The Foundation for Classical Horsemanship

A 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization

Board Members


Foundation President Holly Hansen exhibits the Lusitano stallion Urrante Interagro at the 2009 Classical Symposium in Fort Worth, TX.


Founding board member Stephanie Millham is the Foundation's current vice president. A native of the Virginia horse country, Stephanie grew up riding hunters and event horses before specializing in dressage in the 1970s. She teaches at her Avilion School of Classical Dressage in Virginia and also conducts clinics around the country.

Stephanie studied with Dr. H.L.M. van Schaik, editing his book Misconceptions and Simple Truths in Dressage, and for over 10 years was a regular student of Nuno Oliveira. Before retiring from competition, she trained and competed successfully through Grand Prix and coached many successful students to the highest levels.

She was the founding publisher and editor of the original Horse of Kings magazine, and has written articles on classical horsemanship for numerous equestrian magazines  for the past 25 years. Her current critically acclaimed series "Conversations with a Master" is now appearing in Horses for Life magazine, while her series "Classical Dressage at the Crossroads"  appears in The P.R.E. Horse. She also edits The Classical Review.

Stephanie usually serves as master of ceremonies for the Foundation's appearances.  In addition to preserving classical horsemanship, she is also very interested in the direction taken by PRE and PSL breeders. Along with her friend Holly Hansen she organized one of the first Spanish revisions on the East Coast at her Virginia farm, as well as the first Portuguese revision.


Foundation Board Member Mary Rose is shown exhibiting her Lusitano stallion Dom Rossio at the Kentucky Horse Park.

Return to History page



Founding board member and current president of the Foundation is Holly Hansen, owner of HH Classical Training. Holly was born into a family where riding, driving and the daily care of horses were always part of life. Her experience and knowledge grew while working with many different breeds and disciplines, but her passion for the purebred Spanish horse and classical equitation began in 1980 while she was in college. In 1981 she moved to the south of Spain, where she worked for Sr. Paco Lazo Diaz on his PRE breeding farm. Holly has traveled throughout Spain, Portugal, South and Central America visiting many breeders of PRE and PSL horses, observing the various schooling techniques with masters of work in hand, long reining and the classical art of high school riding.

Holly studied with Louis Ramos Paul in Spain and was also influenced by observing Dr. Guilherme Borba and Luis Valenca in Portugal, and Michel Henriquet in France, all former students of the Portuguese Master, Nuno Oliveira.

She trains horses and riders at her  facility in North Carolina, and is the organizer of the Foundation's annual classical symposiums. She has bred a number of pure Spanish and Lusitano horses over the years, and is widely regarded as an expert in starting young horses correctly. She usually leads the Foundation quadrille and pas de trois, as well as presenting the young horse demonstrations.

She is a former executive director of the IALHA, a founding member of the Eastern Region Andalusian Horse Club, and advisory board member of The Foundation for the Pure Spanish Horse. Her articles have appeared in various breed publications and Conquistador magazine. For an interview with Holly, go to Issue 1 of The Classical Review.


Foundation Vice President Stephanie Millham exhibits one of her pure Spanish mares during a musical freestyle exhibition for the Rainbow Therapeutic Riding Center.


Board member Mary Rose operates Mary Rose Dressage in Texas, where she offers training to students preparing for Instructor Certification, having specialized in "teaching teachers" since 1971. She was second in command to Major "Joe" Lynch at Morven Park International Equestrian Center in Virginia in 1973 and was chief examiner there for four years. She ran nine-month instructor training programs at her own West Hampden Training Stables in Colorado for eight years and later in Virginia at her Whiting's Neck Equestrian Centre.

Mary has been riding all her life and has been a professional instructor since 1963. She is one of that small and honored group who has earned her place among the Fellows of the British Horse Society. She has competed successfully in Europe and the U.S. in the top levels of dressage, jumping and eventing.

She is a founding member of the USDF and was an AHSA Dressage and Combined Training judge for 10 years. In 1977 she imported a Lusitano stallion from the National Stud in Portugal, and for more than 20 years has been actively involved in the breeding and training of horses from Spain and Portugal.

Mary has written extensively for many publications over the years. Her book The Horsemaster's Notebook, first published by Peter Barker Publishing in London, is still in print after 32 years. The fourth edition, completely revised and updated, was published in 1997. Her other books include Training Your Own Horse and The Event Rider's Notebook, both published in London by Harrap Ltd.