Merrilee “Mimi” Wroten ’93

Director of the Riding Program, Head NCEA Coach, Riding Instructor

e: | p: 434-381-6348 |

o: Harriet Rogers Riding Center

B.A., Psychology | Sweet Briar College

Mimi Wroten taught and rode professionally in New Jersey before returning to the highly acclaimed riding program at Sweet Briar, her alma mater, in the fall of 1996. She is a U.S. Equestrian Federation ‘R’ judge, an American National Riding Commission-recorded judge and holds the ANRC top rider rating. She is also a U.S. Hunter Jumper Association Certified Trainer and Credentialed Instructor.

Wroten graduated from Sweet Briar with a B.A. in psychology. Upon her return, she taught under Paul D. Cronin, director emeritus of the riding program, and former director Shelby French before her promotion to program director in 2011. She enjoys teaching and training riders of all levels.

As a coach, Wroten has coached individuals and teams at the national and regional level in the NCEA, IHSA, ODAC and ANRC formats. 

As head NCEA coach, Mimi has taken her team to the NCEA National Championships since 2017.  In 2018 the team competed in the Top 10 Jumping Seat Team Event and in 2019 they made it into the quarterfinals over fences. Additionally, in 2018 and 2019 the Sweet Briar College NCEA team won the Team Sportsmanship award.  In 2021, SBC’s team ended the year as the NCEA Single Discipline Champion Team.  Most recently, the 2022 NCEA team won the ECAC Conference Single Discipline Championship and Wroten was named the ECAC Coach of the Year.

Mimi also has coached an individual national champion and national reserve champion in the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association, as well as several American National Riding Commission champion and reserve champion teams. Wroten was ANRC’s winner of the 2010 USHJA Professional Service Award.

In addition, Wroten coached Sweet Briar’s team to five Old Dominion Athletic Conference championships in 2012, 2015, 2016, 2019 and 2021 and was voted the conference’s Coach of the Year in each of those years. While at Sweet Briar, she also has coached the fall field team and the hunter show team.

Wroten believes that what she teaches and coaches translates into other areas of life.

“Positive coaching helps young women become strong competitors in sports — and in all aspects of life,” she says. “By setting goals, working toward developing skills and schooling a horse, a rider acquires an understanding of the time, effort and dedication needed to achieve success. These principles can be applied to a student’s academic work as well as her future endeavors.”