USA Dressage Youth/Pony Pilot Program of Nationwide Clinics Launched

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Lendon Gray IC5U9030
LEXINGTON, Kentucky, Oct. 22–The launch of a Dressage Youth/Pony Pilot Program to seek out, educate and assist young riders in a series of training sessions across the United States was announced Thursday by the U.S. Equestrian Federation.

The program will be directed by Lendon Gray, a two-time Olympic team member for the USA who in recent years has focused on her Lendon Dressage Youth Festival and the Dressage Foundation that supports development of the sport.

“I am thrilled that USEF is going to help to develop the best equitation and riding skills in our younger riders,” Gray said. “It is so much easier to develop correct riding from the early ages than to try to change bad habits later.”

The pilot program will consist of clinics held throughout the United States, which will be conducted by Gray, and other high-performance riders such as Michael Barisone, of Long Valley, New Jersey, Pam Goodrich, of Boscawen, New Hampshire, Arlene “Tuny” Page of Wellington, Florida and David Wightman of Murrieta, California.

“The clinics will include emphasis on position and seat, technical skills, and riding and stable management theory,” Gray said.

The clinics will be available to youths 20 years and under with a special emphasis on riders aged 10 to 17 years. To meet minimum requirements to participate, riders aged 10-15 years on a horse or pony should have obtained a score of 62 per cent or higher from two different judges at First Level and above. Riders aged 16-17 years should have obtained 62 per cent or higher from two different judges at Third Level and above.

If space permits, clinics will be open to riders 18-20 years who have obtained 62 per cent or higher from two different judges at Fourth Level and above. Youth riders who do not qualify, as well as instructors, are encouraged to audit the clinics. There will be up to 10 riders at each clinic.

The following are clinic dates and locations for the USEF Youth/Pony Pilot Program:

Lendon Gray – Carson City, Michigan, Nov. 14-15
Pamela Goodrich – Boscawen, New Hampshire, Nov. 21-22
Lendon Gray – Newtown, Pennsylvania, Nov. 21-22
Arlene “Tuny” Page – Wellington, Florida, Nov. 21-22
Michael Barisone – Long Valley, New Jersey, Dec. 5-6
Lendon Gray – Marion, Texas, Dec. 19-20
David Wightman – Murrieta, California, Dec. 19-20
Lendon Gray – Kansas City, Missouri, Jan. 9-10, 2010

Any rider interested in the clinic must apply through the USEF Dressage Department. The application is available on the USEF website Dressage Page, click HERE.

Applications for November clinics close Oct. 28, 2009 and applications for December clinics close Nov. 11, 2009.

For further information, contact: Jenny Van Wieren, USEF Assistant Director of Dressage, at jvanwieren@usef.org or (859)225-6949.