About Us

Burkeridge Farms

Burkeridge Farm Staff

Head Trainer, Mentor, Coach & Facility Owner
Mary Burke ~

Mary Burke’s Bio - Coaching, training and mentoring dressage and event “riders and horse” to the upper levels, has come from a 45-year history of understanding how a horse and rider thinks and moves. Her knowledge base was built on studying and training with equestrian masters from age 10 to 50 as well as her obtaining her masters degree in Physical Therapy from University Of Washington in 1998.

The Beginning - As a young child Mary competed in the “A” rated hunter jumper circuit winning multiple championships and qualified for Madison Square Gardens three years in a row. Following Mary’s hunter-jumper career, she traveled to the East Coast and competed in FEI Dressage, exclusively, to deepen her knowledge in classical dressage training. She trained with Linda Zang (USDF “O” rated dressage judge) and Elizabeth Madliner. During that time, she qualified multiple horses for the USDF Championships in first through Prix-St. George and obtained her USDF Bronze & Silver medals.

Transitioning into her thirties, Mary Burke blended her hunter-jumper talent, dressage east coast experience, and collage education in human Physical Therapy into a highly successful eventing, training and coaching career. At the start of her eventing career, she was mentored by two-time Olympian Amy Tryon from 2006 to 2012, “Amy was a true master and an elegant rider who taught the fundamental principals of riding and showmanship. The essence of her riding was an art form that had a profound impact on my riding career.” Mary’s eventing record speaks for it self, from winning at the prestigious “American Event Championship, training her personal horse from young event horse to the FEI three star Advanced level and qualifying for the Rolex Three Day Event three years in a row. In addition, Winning the CIC 3-Star at Woodside International Horse Trial in California, to winning the Advanced at Aspen Farms Horse Trial in Washington plus Area - 7 “Horse Of The Year Champion” for both the Advanced and Intermediate levels.

Having competed in FEI competitions in both Dressage and Eventing, Burke now owns and runs an inspirational and motivational training and coaching facility, Burkeridge Farm in Ellensburg, Washington with her husband Richard Burke.

Coaching And Teaching - With a passion for coaching and teaching, Mary has formulated  rider’s paths to success for competitive and non-competitive riders for the past 15 years. Due to her expanded knowledge based in physical therapy, human anatomy, body mechanics, weight distribution and her extraordinary ability to explain the “Art of Riding,” she can assist riders of all levels. “ I have spent 25 years educating myself on how to use different teaching methods to help physically challenged patients regain the ability to walk, relearn functional physical tasks or re-strengthen damaged muscles. I use these skills to help riders obtain a clear understanding of how to improve and learn new riding ability”. Mary’s philosophy of teaching people in the hospital or in the riding arena is; People have to SEE, FEEL, SAY, and then DO, what you want them to learn.  By using these 4 different models of learning, student’s gain a deeper understanding of the task and accelerates the learning process. Caring deeply about the process and coveting the ability to uniquely teach all ambitious riders, Mary not only wants to be known as a trainer, coach and mentor but genuinely wants to share her knowledge with others interested in learning.

Mentoring Riders - Our sport is difficult because the rider is only as good as the horse. It’s all about opportunity, but sadly opportunity is money in the equestrian sport. However, “I do believe that with hard work and the right mentoring there are realistic possibilities that can be achieved for every rider.”  A mentor helps you ride with a plan in mind, to stay focused on quality basics with attention to detail in the transitions and with the correct balanced position. Mary has both the skilled eyes for details and the caring approach to train both rider and horse systematically and correctly with the ambition to help people navigate the challenges of the horse world. Please visit our Testimonials page for client testimonials. For addition articles and publications you may search “Mary Burke Equestrian” on Google to learn more about this equestrian athlete, trainer and facility owner. Mary Burke is available at: 509-674-6462 or by email:  burkeridgefarm@gmail.com

What does “connection with the horse” mean to me -

“The horses ability to connect with people has always amazed me. We, as riders, have to be open to understand their body language and emotions in order to experience a true and lasting connection. When a horse tunes into me and disregards everything else, that is when communication begins. While incrementally improving that connection with each ride, the partnership is strengthened. I am inspired each day to ride with clear and fair communication resulting in a lasting, trusting relationship. Having a connection with my horse is truly a special sensation. Developing that connection between horse and rider is what drives my passion to ride.” - Mary Burke and Prince William

Mary’s Recent Career Highlights ~

2018/2019 Prince William debut at the recognized dressage shows 4th and Prix St. George.
2018 Re-trained FEI 3 star event champion “Prince William” to prepare him for new career
2017/2018 Coached riders for both recognized Three day eventing and recognized dressage.   
2016 Area - 7 “Horse Of The Year Champion” for both the Advanced and Intermediate levels.
1st Place, CIC 3-Star, Woodside International Horse Trial.
1st Place, Advanced, Aspen Farms Horse Trial.
2nd Place, Intermediate Open, Caber Farm Horse Trial.
7th Place, CIC 3-Star, Event At Rebecca Farm.
1st Place, Advanced/Intermediate, Whidbey Island Horse Trial.
2nd Place, CIC 2-Star, Aspen Farm Horse Trial.
2015 Area - 7 “Horse Of The Year Champion” for both the Advanced and Intermediate levels.
4th Place, CIC 2-Star, Woodside International Horse Trial.
1st Place, Advanced, Aspen Farm Horse Trial.
1st, Open Preliminary Championships, American Eventing Championships in Chicago.
2nd, CCI 1 - star, Rebecca Farms in Montana
1st Place, Intermediate Championships, Caber Farm Horse Trial.
2016 Area - 7 “Horse Of The Year Champion” for both the Advanced and Intermediate levels.
2nd Place, Open training, Equestrian Institute H.T
1st Place, Open Novice, Whidbey Island H.T.
1st Place, Novice, Equestrian Institute H.T.
Multiple Area VII Year-End Championships.

Burkeridge Farms

Richard Burke

Richard BurkeRichard Burke is the Co-Owner of Burkeridge Farm and has been involved in the equestrian industry for over 45 years. Rich’s family built and developed Cedar Downs Equestrian Center in Maple Valley Washington in the early 80s. After purchasing Burkeridge Farm in Ellensburg, Richard and Mary have worked to develop the entire 30 acre farm into an efficient and successful equestrian and hay production facility. After plowing and replanting the hay production fields, he built new sheds with heated waters, lights and created a large outdoor jump arena, full sized dressage arena and updated the indoor ring. In addition, to owning BRF he is a former United States Marine and currently works for Eastside Fire and Rescue as the Cheif of Operations. You can contact Rich Burke for hay purchasing questions at: 509-674-6492

“My husband Richard Burke is the most important piece of the Burkeridge Farm Business and my success as a rider and as a person! He is not only a wonderful and supportive husband and father; he is hands down the person who helps me through my more difficult times and my darkest equestrian moments! Everyone needs a go to man….and he is that, and more for me! No one can ride at the FEI level, work as a Physical Therapist, run an equestrian business and maintain sanity without a strong support system. My “Superman hero” has always been there to change a flat tire on the horse trailer, help clients at shows or farm with a smile, mend fencing and build a beautiful tack room for the Burkeridge Farm facility. I’m not certain that I could ever find a better person than my husband to spend my equestrian life with! He has truly been the main contributor to my success and I’m so fortunate to have him in my life! Thank you honey for being there for our biggest wins, scraping me up off the floor when I needed it, and above all keeping me grounded. You are the best”  - Mary Burke

Burkeridge Farms

Working Student Program ~ (We accept new students annually)

Program Outline:

  1. Burkeridge Farm provides the opportunity to learn advanced horse care skills, riding skills and general farm management skills through education, observation and by preforming daily tasks required within the performance horse equestrian industry. This on the job education has a dollar value that student receive in exchange for work provided by the student.

  2. Some of the working students jobs consist of; general care of horses, stall and facility cleaning, tacking up horses, tack maintenance & cleaning, feeding and other related tasks. This allows Mary Burke to focus on the BRF clients, training of the horses, farm management tasks and related Burkeridge farm business. (A detailed task schedule will be provided for each student).

  3.  All learning activity will be under the guidance of head instructor Mary Burke or a designated assistant appointed by Mary Burke. A requirement of the job is to read and do the exercises in a book called Crucial Conversations by Kerry Patterson prior to starting the position. The book will be an ongoing learning tool during the working student training. The book will be bought by Burkeridge farm.

  4. In exchange for the learning opportunity, working students earn working student credit of $8.00 per hour for the first year with an increase of .50 at the start of the second year. The working student credit goes towards the students lesson fees, board or other related equestrian activity with Mary Burke. Any remaining balance will be paid at the end of each month when appropriate or carried forward. Some students may be given the opportunity to ride other horses as part of their learning experience but do not receive payment for that ride time.

  5. All participants represent the Burkeridge Farm business and are expected to abide by these rules:

  6. All working students are required to sign and abide by the Burkeridge Farm liability release and indemnification agreement.

Burkeridge Farms

Finding Burkeridge Farms

Once you're close to Ellensburg on I-90 East or West look for signage for I-82/Yakima, exit 110. Follow the signs to Yakima (I-82 starts at this point) and take the Thrall Road exit (exit 3). Turn left at the stop sign (Thrall Road) and travel 2.2 miles to Emerson Road on your left. Turn left on Emerson Road and go .2 miles to 1401 Emerson Road, look for the Burkeridge Farms sign on the left hand side of the road. We look forward to seeing you at Burkeridge Farms!

View a map to Burkeridge Farms (opens in a new browser window)

Burkeridge Farms