Park Place Foundation Directors


Hillary Ridland

Hillary is the President of Park Place Foundation. She also operates Equi Sports International, a premier equestrian training and show stable based in San Juan Capistrano. Hillary brings several decades of international equestrian experience to Park Place Foundation.


Robert Ridland

Robert, Hillary's business partner and husband, is a two-time equestrian Olympian. He has provided nationally televised commentary on the Barcelona and Athens Olympics, and currently serves as the coach of the United States Equestrian Team.


Brigid McMahon

Unlike Hillary, Brigid now rides only for pleasure. Brigid rode and showed horses all over California as a junior rider and returned to her life-long love of horses after many years away. Brigid is a real estate and corporate attorney and brings her experience of serving on non-profit boards to Park Place Foundation.


Melissa Brandes

Melissa is the Vice-President of Marketing for Blenheim EquiSports. As a member of the Board of Directors, Melissa brings sixteen years of experience in marketing, event production, public relations, fund-raising and sponsorship procurement to Park Place Foundation. Melissa has raised two grown children and is currently raising her third son. As a mother and a business woman, she has experienced first-hand the blessings and challenges of raising a mentally and physically healthy generation of children. Out of her passion to help others and give back, she wants to dedicate her time and skills to fulfilling the Foundation’s mission statement to promote and embrace a healthy lifestyle for our youth.


Susan Phillips

Susan Philips began her love affair with riding at age four in Norco, California, and has spent many years enhancing both her riding skills and her love of horses. She passed her passion for horses and riding on to her husband, Andy, and her children, Summer and Serenity. Susan combines her love of horses and her passion for philanthropy as a board member of Park Place Foundation and also Halstrom Academy High School. Our major fundraiser, “Scarlett’s Derby,” was established in memory of Susan’s late niece, Scarlett. Susan’s desire was to help heal her sister’s soul from the loss of Scarlett, as well as the souls of other families who have undergone the same tragic journey, through horse activities that would create awareness of teen mental health issues.


Mary Frances Looke

Mary Frances Looke is 22 years old and lives in Southern California. She currently rides with EquiSports International. “Francie” has struggled with addiction as a teen, stating “addiction took me over and I didn’t recognize myself in the mirror; but more importantly, I didn’t know who was in my soul.” When Francie decided she needed to change her life, she moved to the Appalacian mountains, where she lived for six months with no contact with the outside world, including no internet or social media. Francie says that spending that time in the mountains made her realize how important her relationship with herself was. She realized she didn’t need all the external materialism of the world. Through her fight with addiction, she has learned that happiness is maintained by giving back by serving others. She says “you can’t be happy, joyous and free until you give back.”