Owner, Principal Trainer and Instructor
Matthew has firmly established himself as an experienced and knowledgeable trainer and has been training Grand Champions in the Valley for over twenty years. A naturally calm, thoughtful individual, his success speaks volumes of his abilities as a trainer, horseman and promoter of the American Saddlebred.
Matthew’s equine education began when he was a young boy in Scottsdale. He was infatuated with horses and wanting to take riding lessons. His parents fully supported his love of horses and he began riding Arabians. Under the direction of Mitzi Thude, he had instruction in both Saddle Seat and Western Pleasure. Matthew’s very first horse was an Arabian gelding, Scharif, on whom he garnering numerous Junior Exhibitor Championships on the West Coast and at Nationals in Albuquerque, NM. When Matthew was 15, he began training and apprenticing under the direction of Kim Nelson at Windchase Farm, which was owned by the Prieser family. It was at Windchase that Matthew was first introduced to the American Saddlebred.
After subsequent training and apprenticeships at KAABA, Emerald Hills, the Nevitts family farms in Arizona and Kentucky, and Tandy Ranch West, Matthew continued to work with gifted horses and riders, all the while expanding his knowledge base and a passion for training multiple breeds of show horses.
In 2000, Matthew cofounded White Star Stables and the exemplary success of the programs and training at White Star gave Matthew’s name national recognition. In just over a decade of operation, White Star produced regional and national champions in the show ring and, just as importantly, horses purchased through White Star Stables continue their winning ways for their new owners. Two of the horses trained by Matthew at White Star went on to win championship titles at The World Championship Horse Show in Louisville, KY. In 2007, under Matthew’s direction, the youth group The White Star Show Stoppers was nationally honored as The American Saddlehorse Association’s Youth Club of the Year.
Matthew’s intuitive and thoughtful nature is exemplified in his training techniques. Whether in the saddle, jog cart or behind the long lines, he communicates effortlessly with his horses and they respond enthusiastically. Matthew allows each horse to bring forth its innate talents and then capitalizes on those talents. The versatility Matthew Roberts learned at the start of his riding career is apparent today. In addition to Saddlebreds, he has trained Arabians, Morgans, Friesians and Hackney Ponies. Matthew appreciates the best of each breed but is intently captured by the stature, motion and intelligence of the American Saddlebred.
When training riders, Matthew continually returns to the fundamental and proven riding techniques. He believes that riding at any level promotes physical strength, confidence, balance, team building and trust. Through sustained and focused exposure, he seeks to build confident and capable riders who develop a life-long appreciation for horsemanship and, perhaps, enjoy long careers in the showing arena.
In 2011, Matthew founded Matthew Roberts Stables where he continues to establish a reputation of openness, integrity, enthusiasm, advocacy and sound sales transactions.
Matthew is also a certified and sought-after show judge for the United States Equestrian Federation in the Saddlebred, Morgan and Hackney breeds and is an expert in the roadster and equitation divisions. Notable shows that he has judged are The Blue Ridge Classic Horse Show in Asheville, NC and The St. Louis Charity Horse Show in St. Louis, MO. He is the former President of The Desert Show Horse Association (past presenter of The Carousel Charity Horse Show, the largest multi-breed horse show on the west coast) and the former Vice President of the American Saddlebred Association of Arizona (ASAA). After six consecutive years of service as a board member, Matthew has been rotated off for a one-year period but he remains active and consults on all ASAA activities.
Jolene grew up in western Massachusetts, and started riding when she was two years old. She began showing Morgans at three, and through the years competed successfully on the New England Morgan show circuit in Saddle Seat Equitation and Pleasure Divisions.
Jolene attended the University of Massachusetts and earned an Associate’s Degree from the Stockbridge School of Agriculture in Equine Management, and a Bachelor’s from the Isenburge School of Management in Sports Management. Jolene successfully rode for the University of Massachusetts Equestrian Team both over fences and on the flat. While attending college, Miss Galvin earned her Instructor’s License and began teaching for the University. During the summer of 2002, she started the first Equine Clinic for the University of Massachusetts designed for both children and adults.
Jolene has worked for some of the top Morgan and Saddlebred show stables in Massachusetts, Connecticut, Indiana, and Arizona. During the 2005 show season, she competed in the Morgan Roadster Under Saddle Division with Dial Wild. Jolene placed in the top three at the Morgan World Championship Horse Show.
Currently, Jolene is a USEF Judge for the Morgan Division and a riding instructor for Matthew Roberts Stables, where she has started many of the stable’s top junior academy students. She enjoys working with beginner riders and watching their transformation into successful equine competitors. Her goal as an instructor is to teach equine enthusiasts of all ages the core horsemanship skills both on and off the horse with an element of fun as an integral part of the program.