Meet Our Team

Meet the Team at Whistlejacket Farm

Our team is dedicated to making you feel welcome and at home at Whistlejacket Farm.

Each member of the team is here to cheer you on in your equestrian endeavors.
Because we’re committed to your success (and your horse’s!), you can expect us to give 110% in every area.

We can’t wait to meet you!

Wendy Potts


Wendy leads the Training Program at Whistlejacket Farm. She is nationally recognized across all breeds for her vast equestrian accomplishments.

Get to Know Wendy
  • Began riding at age 6, and has been training Arabian and Half Arabian horses for over 30 years
  • Won first National Championship at age 16
  • Garnered over 150 National Championships and Reserves; her riders have won over 200 National Championships or Reserve National Championships
  • Has won 11 APAHA Trainer (Hunter/Show Hack) of the Year awards
  • Won 10 Arabian Horse World Totally Tops Hunter Trainer of the Year awards
  • Won 2 Arabian Horse Times Reader Choice Hunter Trainer of the Year
  • Holds the USEF Equestrian of Honor Vaughn Smith Trophy for 2012 & 2018
  • Nominated for the prestigious USEF Equestrian of the Year Award
  • Graduate University of Southern California; holds a bachelor’s in business
  • Manages a busy household with 3 teenagers, Wyatt, Halle and Grant

Read More About Wendy

Rachel Retaleato

Assistant Trainer

Rachel hails from South Florida and has been involved with Arabian horses since the age of 5.  She has fostered a deep passion for this beautiful breed.

Get to Know Rachel

Growing up surrounded by the equestrian culture, she gained invaluable experience working with Christy Higman Clements, Scott Equine, Randall Performance Horses, and Liberty Meadows.  She is excited to call Whistlejacket Farm home, where she remains dedicated to refining her skills and working towards a future filled with growth and tons of fun!   Rachel works under Wendy Potts in the training barn where she is intimately involved in all aspects of the daily regimen of our training horses.

Read More About Wendy

Rachael Perrin

Rachael Perrin

Assistant Trainer

Rachael hails from Wisconsin and has been involved with horses her entire life. Her first experience with Arabian horses was a high school internship that turned into a ten year stay as an assistant trainer at Dan Lynch Farms.

Get to Know Rachael

At Whistlejacket, Rachael works under Wendy Potts in the training barn where she is directly involved in the daily training, vet and nutrition regimen for our training horses.  She also utilizes her excellent organizational, leadership and record keeping skills to manage our internship program with the local ISD.  Rachael also manages the farm’s ERP system and is responsible for the detailed records management for each horse on the farm.

Read More About Rachael

Alanna Starkovich

Riding Instructor

Alanna grew up as many other young horse lovers did, by taking riding lessons on the weekend and attending as many summer camps as possible.

Get to Know Alanna
  • Began riding and showing Morgan horses at the age of 6
    Wyoming State FFA/4-H Champion Showman 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    • hunter under saddle, english equitation, showmanship, western horsemanship, programmed ride
  • 2013 FFA Equine Evaluation Nationals Gold Emblem Winner ranking 11th overall in the Nation
  • Laramie County Community College for Equine Training in Management with an emphasis in Equine Science and Business, graduated 2016.
    • Hunt Seat Team Member 2014-2016
    • Western Team Member 2014-2016
    • Ranch Horse Team Member 2015-2016
    • Horse Judging Team 2015-2016
  • 2015 CoWN Stock Horse Collegiate Ltd. Non-Pro Circuit Champion
  • 2019 Snaffle Bit Futurity: Level 1 Open Top 5
  • 2019 Idaho Futurity: Level 1 Open Top 10, 2nd Limited Open Hackamore
  • 2021 NRCHA Vegas Stakes: Limited Open Bridle Reserve Champion
  • 2022 NRCHA Limited Open Bridle Celebration of Champions: Top 10 Finalist

Read More About Alanna

Melissa Pederson

Camp Instructor

Melissa heads the summer camp program at Whistlejacket.   She hails from California via Kentucky and Iowa!   She was born and raised in California and has 34 years of experience in training, lessons, clinics, and camps.

Get to Know Melissa
She is especially passionate about colt starting, problem solving and horse psychology, she recently moved to Texas with her husband and two children.

Read More About Melissa

Clarice Salandini

Farm Manager

Clarice has been providing daily farm management services for over 10 years. She joined Whistlejacket shortly after inception. She knows Whistlejacket’s clientele—they enjoy working with her, and you will too.

Get to Know Clarice
  • Provides the farm’s daily administration
  • Manages construction and maintenance projects
  • Oversees various farm team members and their requirements

Melinda Pace


Melinda has been providing back office support to horse farm operations for more than 8 years. She knows Whistlejacket’s clientele—they enjoy working with her, and you will too.

Get to Know Melinda
  • Handles billing, reimbursements and show administrative duties. Ms. Pace brings administrative and horse farm experience to our team
  • Works with multiple horse facilities
  • Experienced with the requirements needed for documentation support for show registrations and organizations compliance from her years of experience registering with AHA and USEF

Carrie McAninch

Farm Advisor

As a close friend of Wendy Potts and a client of 15 years, Carrie knows Whistlejacket’s clientele and is a great historian to reflect on the horse business in and out of the arena.

Get to Know Carrie
  • 30 years of experience in the equestrian field.
  • Has worked closely with Wendy Potts at previous farms and is well known in the horse industry.
  • brings a large network of professional resources to the team with her strong horse industry knowledge.

Ralph Manning


Ralph oversees the management and administration of Whistlejacket Farm. His pursuits have always revolved around business and horses and he is an avid entrepreneur.

Get to Know Ralph
  • Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Coltala Holdings, a diversified holding company that acquires and operates businesses in various manufacturing, healthcare, and services industries
  • Served in executive and board roles in numerous companies and nonprofit organizations
  • Lifelong horseman and equestrian enthusiast. He competes predominately in the English division
  • Graduate of Texas Christian University, Southern Methodist University and Harvard Business School; holds the CFA designation.

Updates & Information

Be the first to know when we host educational events, have openings in our program, or have horses for sale!

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