meet our faculty

Left to right: Steve Brown, Meri Sheffler, Clark Bradley, Cindy Morehead, Mark Smith and Art O'Brien    

Steven Brown

Steve Brown has been the Director of Western Riding at the University of Findlay for 30 years. He was named the David Allen Teacher of the Year in 2005. Steve has judge’s cards for the AQHA, NSBA, NRHA and the NRCHA. He has judged horse shows in the United States, Germany, United Kingdom and Australia. Steve has judged the AQHA World Show, All-American Quarter Horse Congress, NRHA Derby and The Australian Reining Futurity.     
Steve actively shows in cutting and reined cow horse shows now but has shown horses in western pleasure, reining, trail and western riding. He has had youth and amateurs win year-end awards in numerous events in the past. He has had Congress winners and many top ten riders. He is currently the coach of the Ranch Horse Team at the University. Steve started the IHSA team in 1987 and coached for 15 years.​

Art O'Brien     

Art O’Brien has been a successful professional in the equine industry for over 30 years.  His main focus has been showing performance horses and coaching clients within the Quarter Horse and Appaloosa breeds, in addition to National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) and National Snaffle Bit Association (NSBA) competitions.     
In Spring of 2004, O’Brien began teaching at The University of Findlay as an instructor of western riding.  He is currently the director of the junior class and also helps teach sophomore colt breaking.  An alumnus of Findlay’s equestrian studies program with the class of 1979, O’Brien has a vested interest in the continued growing success of Findlay’s already nationally acclaimed program.  He is a tremendous asset to the curriculum, and is dedicated to allowing his years of experience in the industry help mold new young trainers.  He enthusiastically teaches principles taught by the founder of the program, Dale Wilkinson, while constantly incorporating current trends in the equine industry. ​


Meri Sheffler      

Meri Sheffler graduated from the University of Findlay in 2002 with a B.S. in Western Equestrian Studies and a B.A. in English. After spending time in the industry working for horse trainers and private owners, Meri returned to join the western equestrian studies faculty in 2007. She teaches the sophomore colt breaking class and the senior riding class as well as senior seminar, which aids students in the job search. Meri is also a student advisor.      
In addition to her duties with the University of Findlay, Meri is also a reining horse trainer and competes in National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) shows all over the country. She is a multiple Congress champion and has been a finalist at NRHA major events. Along with her show career, Meri has coached multiple youth and non pro customers to wins and achievements in NRHA and AQHA events.​ 

Cindy Morehead      Morehead.jpg
Cindy Morehead has been an instructor for the University of Findlay  since the founding of the Western Equestrian Program in 1977.      Cindy is the head coach of the University of Findlay Western IHSA Equestrian Team, a position she has held since 2005. During her time as head coach the IHSA Team has won both the Team Championship and the High Point Rider in the Region for Zone 6. They have been Semi-Final Champions every year except one and were Reserve Champion that year.  There have been four AQHA High Point Riders and two Reserve AQHA High Point Riders and the team has four National Championships since Cindy became head coach.     
Cindy is also an accomplished horse trainer who has produced multiple All American Quarter Horse Congress Champions and top ten placers.  She has also coached multiple World Show Qualifiers.      
Cindy is also a long standing director of the Ohio Quarter Horse Association and a well respected clinician and judge.​ 


Mark Smith     

Mark Smith has been a professional horse trainer for 30 years. His primary focus has been in showing horses in the Paint Horse industry. Mark earned an Associate degree in Equine Studies and Business Administration from The University of Findlay. He also holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Education from The University of Maine. Mark has been employed by the University of 10 years. Mark moved here from Pennsylvania where he owned and operated his own Training facility with his wife. Some on Mark's accomplishments include multiple World and Reserve World Champions, Top Ten in the Nation in 11 different events, over 50 "Superiors" in 6 events, coached many youth and amateurs to State Championships and Top Ten in the National Titles.      
Mark also holds judges cards in APHA, IBHA, PtHA, NSBA and PBHA, has served as President and Vice President of the Pennsylvania Horse Clud and Vice President of the Shenandoah Paint Horse Club, APHA National Director, and Co-coach of the IEA Reserve National Champions of both high school and junior high teams.     
In addition to teaching, Mark keeps busy training and showing horses for his customers, and enjoys helping them achieve their goals. Mark has given many clinics at the local and state level. He looks forward to teaching others and showing horses with his daughters. ​

Clark Bradley.jpgClark Bradley     
Clark has been an instructor in the UF Western Equestrian Program for twenty two years and has also helped coach the UF IHSA Equestrian Team.  He graduated from the Ranch Management Program at Texas Christian University and also was in the US Marine Corp.       Bradley has trained horses for over 40 years in addition to conducting youth and adult clinics.  As an AQHA, NSBA, and NRHA judge, Clark has had the opportunity to judge horse shows all over the world including Australia, England, Belgium, Germany, Canada, Brazil and throughout the US.       
A member of the NRHA Hall of Fame and the All American Quarter Horse Congress Hall of Fame, Clark is also a two time NRHA Futurity Champion and has won multiple championships at the Quarter Horse Congress in Versatility, Reining, Pleasure, Cutting and Roping.  In 2001, he was voted by his peers as the AQHA Professional Horseman of the Year. Clark has served as President for NRHA and OQHA and has been chairman on several committees for both organizations. Currently, he is a National Director Emeritus for AQHA.