Our Team

Helping Students Grow


Cheryl Manahan

Owner and World Champion Riding Instructor/Trainer 

Cheryl Manahan founded Wichita Riding Academy in 1982 to create a place where beginners can learn the love of the equestrian sport and where experienced riders can reach their championship dreams.  She has since instructed and trained many state and national champions, many of whom came to WRA as childhood beginners. Cheryl attended William Woods University Equestrian Science program. Cheryl is a USEF Licensed Judge. certified 4-H Judge, an examiner for the AMHA Horsemastership Achievement Program, Boy Scout Merit Badge Counselor for Horsemanship and has received the Level III certification from the American Riding Instructors Association (ARIA).

Mark Love 


Mark is the director of the Wichita Riding Academy. He runs all day to day operations of our large academy. Mark has a large background in business and sales. He's streamlined our operations to a fine polished machine that allows us to offer many more services, private/group lessons and camps. He also helped develop the entire business model of our new retail tack store

"Air Capital Decor and Tack". 

Michael Pereillo, Jr

Champion Equine Trainer

Michael is affectionately known as WRAs’ Walking Encyclopedia. Having worked for some of the top stables in the country and operating his own, Mike brings with him over 50 years of equine experience, training various breeds of horses and ponies. His patience and kindness with horses and riders is what makes him one of WRA's most valued asset.

Makayla Wessel

Riding Instructor

 Makayla grew up in Fulton, MO daughter to American Saddlebred breeder and trainer Mike Wessel. Having a childhood like this,  made it possible to work with a lot of great young horses growing up. She attended William Woods University on an Equestrian Scholarship and studied  business and marketing. After leaving college,  Makayla decided to explore the horse industry as her main profession. In a period of nearly 5 years,  Makayla was able to work for many of the top trainers in the business. Makayla ultimately decided that she wanted to focus on riding instruction and that lead her back to Wichita Riding Academy.  Makayla is excited to be back at WRA  where she originally found her love for instructing riders of all ages and skill levels.

Alyssa Spillar

Riding Instructor 

Ashley Zellers

Riding Instructor 

Gavin Tracy

Property Manager

James W. 


Darla Personey

Volunteer Coordinator

Deb Merritt

Office Admin 

Robert Overbey

Maint Engineer 

This is most of our team however there are always part time and volunteer workers who are just as important at WRA!