Max Mandel joined the Finally Farm staff in September of 2015. Max grew up north of Chicago in Highland Park, Illinois, and started riding at 8 and showing at age 13, Although he didn't own a horse of his own until age 17, he had plenty of riding and showing experience as a junior rider while a working student with Nancy Whitehead, a prominent Midwest show jumping trainer and breeder.

Max also trained with Carl and Rush Weeden of Brookwood Stables at the end of his junior career before relocating to Europe after graduation where he was a working student for international show jumpers Emile and Paul Hendrix at their Stal Hendrix. After returning to the United States, he studied business management at the University of Kentucky before resuming his professional riding and training career and taking an internship with horseman and judge Julie Winkel of Reno, Nevada.  

When a move to the East Coast presented itself, Max eventually found himself in Camden, South Carolina, where he began working with Gary Young. From there, he crossed the road to help out at Finally Farm on a freelance basis before accepting a full-time role. 

"This is my passion, and I’m dedicated," he said. "It’s my whole life. I've always been passionate about horses and love the animals. I know it’s hard work to get results, and, at the moment, my goal is to work hard, and I'm thrilled to be a part of this team and see where it goes."