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

Debbie Nowak

Debbie has loved horses her whole life. She began riding as a child and purchased her first horse when she was 19 years old. Her passion is trail riding. She has made a career out of her enjoyment for horses and is the owner of Crystal Falls Stable in Richfield, OH where she provides board and excellent horse care. She has been a huge asset to Victory Gallop taking care of the stables and horses.
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.


2019 – 2020 Grants

  • Akron Community Foundation
  • Bath Community Fund
  • Bath Volunteers for Service
  • 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 Employee's Foundation
  • The Lehner Family Foundation
  • Joseph G. & Sally A. Miller Family Foundation
  • The Millennium Fund of ACF
  • The Sutowski Foundation
  • Adam Fund of ACF
  • Barberton Community Foundation

2019 – 2020 Grants (Continued)

  • OMNOVA Solutions Foundation
  • Robert O. & Annamae Orr Family Foundation
  • 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 Delaney Family Fund
  • R.C. Musson & Katherine M. Musson Charitable Foundation
  • Elise's Corner Fund
  • Dominion Energy Charitable Foundation
  • Pamela & Craig Kahn Fund
  • Kaulig Family Fund
  • Laura R. & Lucian Q. Moffitt Foundation
  • The Slanta Murray Fund
  • Tifft Family Fund
  • Alice & Janice Woll Family Fund

2019 - 2020 Horse Sponsors

  • Jeff & Beth Berno
  • Robin Carter
  • Equity Engineering Group
  • The Scheible Family
  • James & Evelyn Unger
  • The Tobin Family
  • Teri Hillestad
  • Blewitt/Johnson Families
  • Steve Comunale
  • Carson Strong Forever
  • Jack & Brenda Delaney
  • The Worley Family

Contact us

  • Phone
    (330) 666-0300
  • Fax Number
    (330) 668-6068
  • Address
    1745 N Hametown Rd.
    Akron, OH 44333