Amanda Hay oversees the Circus riding program at Menlo Circus Club

by Linda Hubbard on February 28, 2022

Amanda Hay caught the horse bug early. At four, she watched her older sister ride and soon got in the saddle herself. By eight, she was competing in pony hunter. Eventually it was on to the jumper ring.

“By age 16, I knew I wanted to be in this industry,” says Amanda, “When I was done with school for the year, all of my vacation revolved around horses.”

A Canadian by birth, Amanda spent time competing for her country in Germany before returning to Ottawa and opening her own stable. “You wear many hats,” she says. “You’re a farmer concerned with hay prices.  As stable manager, I learned to listen to my clients and to always take a breath before responding — plus do everything with a smile! And, of course, the importance of keeping your horse healthy and sound.”

She’s brought all that experience and wisdom to her position as the Equestrian Operations Director at the Menlo Circus Club (MCC), where she’s been the past five years.

Along the way, she identified what she thought was an unmet need in the riding program and started a program she named The Circus, which is open to people who are not Circus Club members as well as members. She explained: “I thought we were missing a vital component for our riders to fulfill their full equestrian aspirations. Most of the training programs involve people intent on going to competitions. I want to pass along my experience to people who aren’t interested in showing.”

The Circus provides a full suite of services to riders of all skill levels and  is tailored to each individual rider’s needs in a low-key environment.

“It’s important for our riders to spend time in the barn, so there’s a social component, and we encourage our students to just hang around,” Amanda explains.

To learn more about The Circus and other riding programs, you can contact Amanda at

Photos by Robb Most (c) 2022; Amanda is riding Courbon who is a Sell Francais warmblood from France.

One Comment

Don DeFranco February 28, 2022 at 8:44 pm

Amanda is not only an amazing horsewoman, but a beautiful human being. We are lucky to have her in Menlo!

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