The farm is a place
where a child can find a friend

Victory Gallop is a nonprofit organization that provides therapeutic and recreational horseback riding for children with behavioral and/or emotional challenges and life-threatening illnesses.
Located in Bath, Ohio, the program opened its doors in January of 1995. Co-founders, David M. Miller, DVM, Susan J. Miller, M.Ed. and Kimberly A. Gustely, M.S., had seen the positive affect that horses and volunteers have on children with physical and cognitive impairments. However, they saw a gap in therapeutic treatments for children with “invisible” impairments and life-threatening illnesses. Victory Gallop was developed to meet the needs of these often overlooked and under-served children.
Victory Gallop is a place where children, ages 3-18 years of age, dealing with many different challenges are accepted for who they are. It provides an environment where children can learn, grow and succeed through their relationship with the horse. The farm is a place where a child can find a friend who is willing to listen and offer encouragement and support. There are high expectations for hard work, hand in hand with a supportive framework of caring volunteers who help each child build their self-esteem while they learn about riding and caring for the horses.

The Staff

Woman with red dress

Sue Miller

Sue is co-founder, co-director and a PATH certified Advanced Instructor. She began teaching therapeutic riding at the Rocky River Metro Parks in 1983. After receiving her M.A. Degree in education from Kent State in 1986, Sue was hired to help develop and teach at Pegasus Farm. She left Ohio briefly, starting another program in PA before returning to OH and joining Kim to start up Victory Gallop.

Kim Gustely

Kim is co-founder, co-director and instructor at Victory Gallop. She holds an Advanced Instructor certification from PATH and began teaching therapeutic riding in 1990. Kim has a M.S. Degree in sports psychology from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Prior to Victory Gallop, she was the head instructor at Pegasus Farm.
Maria Nixon

Maria Nixon

Maria began volunteering at Victory Gallop when she was thirteen. She continued volunteering all the way through high school. She attended The Ohio State University where she competed on the hunt seat equestrian team and graduated in May of 2016 with a degree in special education. She currently works at Pfeiffer Elementary School in Akron as an intervention specialist for grades K-3. She received her PATH certification in August 2016.
Stephanie Brandy

Stephanie Brandy

Stephanie started volunteering at Victory Gallop in 1996. She loved working with the kids so much that she earned her bachelors degree as an Intervention Specialist at Ohio University. Since then, she became a PATH certified instructor and loves teaching at Victory Gallop! For the past eleven years, she works full time at as an Intervention Specialist for Copley- Fairlawn Middle School, grades 5-8.
Julie Anne Vanyor-Petersen

Julie Anne Vanyor-Petersen

Julie has lived in the Richfield/Bath area most of her life and is a 1996 Revere High School graduate. She has always been a horse lover and devotes her career to working with horses. She has worked for some of the top horse trainers in Ohio and has competed all over the US. Now, she takes pride in taking care of the Victory Gallop horses. She lives in Bath with her husband Jack and stepson Dylan, along with their seven dogs. When not horsing around, Julie enjoys camping, fishing and some just plain old sunshine.
Kelly Balmert Sammartano

Kelly Balmert Sammartano

Kelly started as a volunteer in 1996 after reading about Victory Gallop in the Bath Country Journal. In 2006, she completed her PATH instructor certification and graduated from Ohio State with a bachelors degree in Special Education. After college, she joined the Peace Corps and served as an agricultural volunteer in Ecuador for 2 years. Since returning, she has enjoyed teaching lessons and working for Dr. Miller as a veterinary assistant.


2017 – 2018 Grants

  • Glenn R. & Alice V. Boggess Memorial Foundation
  • Bridgestone Americas Trust Fund
  • Kenneth L. Calhoun Charitable Trust
  • Charles E. & Mabel M. Ritchie Memorial Foundation
  • The Henry V. & Frances W. Christenson Foundation
  • Stephen A. Comunale, Jr. Family Cancer Foundation
  • GPD Group Employee's Foundation
  • The Lehner Family Foundation
  • Joseph G. & Sally A. Miller Family Foundation
  • The Millennium Fund for Children
  • The Sutowski Foundation

2017 – 2018 Grants (Continued)

  • The Chady & David Hall Foundation
  • The Sisler McFawn Foundation
  • The Reinberger Foundation
  • Tuscora Park Health & Wellness Foundation
  • Wells Fargo Foundation
  • The Welty Family Foundation
  • The Rebecca D. & William H. Considine Family Fund
  • The Delaney Family Fund
  • R.C. Musson & Katherine M. Musson Charitable Foundation
  • Northern Ohio Golf Charities Foundation, Inc.
  • The Vernon L. Odom Fund
  • Romich Family Fund

2019 Horse Sponsors

Contact us

  • Phone
    (330) 666-0300
  • Fax Number
    (330) 668-6068
  • Address
    1745 N Hametown Rd.
    Akron, OH 44333
Victory Gallop
© 2017 Victory Gallop, Inc. All rights reserved.