Alison MacLeod grew up in Ithaca, NY, where her addiction to horses began at age seven with Sunday afternoon riding lessons offered to "faculty brats" by Cornell's ROTC Cavalry program. She laughingly describes her early experiences, learning to ride under the watchful eye of a military officer responding obediently to By the right flank, ho! or Column left, ho! As she says, Much has changed since those early days; but I never lost my passion. Since then, Alison has combined her love of horses with her other passion teaching. As a teacher of students with learning and behavior disorders, she has found that often horses succeed where humans fail. She now owns Dunvegan Farm and is in the process of fulfilling her life-long dream having a place where homeless or abused horses, ponies, and donkeys can live in peace and harmony with each other and their environment, being loved and cared for while relearning to trust. Her commitment extends to making the animals available to those who want to learn but have never had the chance.
Heidi Hahn Lepage was born in Boston and grew up on the Cape where she began riding as a young child. Her father died when she was three, leaving her mother to raise two young daughters while working full time to support them. Thus Heidi's chances to ride were limited to opportunities she created for herself. In high school, Heidi worked at after-school jobs to be able to buy a horse and support it herself. After graduating from U. Mass. Amherst with a BS in Animal Science, Heidi went to work for one of the country's top dressage riders, Betsy Steiner. Her gift for making herself indispensable led her into a successful career as a teacher, trainer, and all around expert horsewoman. She and Alison met during a brief interlude in 1996 when both worked for Dover Saddlery. They reconnected about four years later when Alison was seeking someone to help her train Limerick, Annie's then four year old daughter. That marked the beginning of a harmonious business partnership that has evolved over the past decade, as the two found themselves shaping the character and community of Dunvegan Farm.
Kenny Lepage readily admits that the best thing he ever did was to marry Heidi. A native of Whitinsville and Uxbridge, MA, Kenny had a successful horse-shoeing business when he and Heidi met. Before long, he added Dunvegan Farm to his list of customers given that horses need to be shod or trimmed every six to eight weeks. When he wasn't busy shoeing, Kenny helped with carpentry projects around the farm. He had earlier worked as a house framer, and had learned a lot about construction. In the winter of 2007, Kenny became ill with pneumonia, which put him totally out of commission for several months. When he was finally able to start working again, many of his customers had found other farriers , and thus he lost a substantial portion of his business. He began spending more and more time at the farm, and found that he loved the idea of being able to grow organic fruits and vegetables. In the summer of 2009, he, Heidi, and their eight-year-old son, Ben, attended a three-day conference on organic farming at U. Mass. Amherst, returning with their heads filled with ideas for adding an organic farming strand to our Dunvegan dream. He now sees himself as a farmer who does shoeing on the side.