Our Team


Cheryl Manahan - Owner/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).


Michael Pereillo, Jr. - 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.


Brea Vega - Instructor

Brea is an Iowa native who has had a lifelong passion for horses. She began riding at the age of ten, and has ridden and shown at rated hunter/jumper competitions most of her life. Brea has been teaching and training for 10 years and expertly instructs our students in hunt seat, western, and saddle seat. Aside from teaching lessons, she also conducts seminars, clinics, and coaches students at shows.


Carolanne Smith - Assistant Trainer, Instructor

Carolanne brings with her over 10 years of experience teaching students and working with horses of multiple breeds and disciplines, including work as a therapeutic riding instructor. In her early years, she showed Morgans in Saddle Seat, Western, and Driving. After some time as an instructor, she discovered her love of teaching student riders. She later attended Meredith Manor Equestrian with a primary focus in teaching, where she earned her Riding Master 3, Training, and Teaching Certifications. Upon graduating, Carolanne worked as an apprentice at Mercer Springs Farm.


Margo Gardner- Assistant Instructor

Margo is a recent graduate of the University of Minnesota-Crookston with a Bachelor’s Degree in Equine Science. In previous summers, she interned with WRA and has now come back as a full time instructor. Margo has been riding since the age of 10 with a western and hunt seat background. Margo has found her passion of teaching!