US Riders Comment on European Tours

8 years ago StraightArrow Comments Off on US Riders Comment on European Tours
Legolas ridden by Steffen Peters. © 2013 Ken Braddick/
Legolas ridden by Steffen Peters competing in Europe. © 2013 Ken Braddick/

“For me any time that I can get some extra input and fine tuning for my competition horses from my mentor is an awesome opportunity. I’ll do three shows over here, DeSteeg , Aachen and Lingen. I feel it is important for the U.S. high performance riders to continue getting exposure in Europe. It will keep us on the competitive edge. For myself I feel it is essential to getting back in the big game after some years out of it. I can only see that it will be a good thing for U.S. high performance dressage to invade Europe. It will make us work harder to produce more great team hopefuls for the Games!” – Shelly Francis of Loxahatchee, Florida – 1998 World Equestrian Games, Rome

“I feel that our results at London made us take a good long look at our program inside and out. Most riders believe that showing in the U.S. is not enough. If you want to be a serious contender you must show all over Europe too! That is all great but at the moment I believe what we are doing is rebuilding! We are sending combinations over to get training and show. It is a large group because we need to rebuild depth. Coming to Europe to train and show has so many benefits. The showing in bigger atmosphere and with many top riders.  Riding with other great riders and watching what is getting those big scores is so beneficial! It also gives those rebuilding their strings of horses many months to drive round and look. We are on the push and my husband and I are behind it with the two travel grants we are giving. As for myself. I love Florida and enjoy showing there! It is a huge sacrifice to leave my son and husband. I know I am very lucky to have these nice horses and support from my husband to go to Europe! Lucky has a price but, if you want excellence you pack up and go! I am very lucky my trainers are like family and this is my second home. But I still miss my little boy! Life is a bunch of trade offs.” – Susan Dutta of Wellington, Florida – 2007 Pan American Games, Rio de Janeiro

“For myself it’s really no different then what I have done in the past. If you have a horse to try out for a team you have to be in Europe competing at some point. I love that a lot of combinations get this opportunity this year through the help of our federation.” Günter Seidel of Cardiff, California – 1996, 2000, 2004 Olympics

“I think the credit needs to go to Janet Foy, Debbie McDonald and Robert Dover who have been very supportive and influential about sending multiple combinations to Europe.  Seeing the top competitors at the best dressage shows in the world is extremely motivating and inspirational. Not a single youtube clip can imitate this experience. Every competitor knows that we can’t learn experience in the classroom. All U.S. riders, certainly including myself, have a lot of work to do until the World Equestrian Games in France next year. I’m very grateful that our horse owners and our federation make grants available to provide a path for this mission.” – Steffen Peters of San Diego, California – 1996, 2008, 2012 Olympics

“I think it is a top priority for the USA to have as much representation at as many shows as possible in Europe. We have some top combinations that now need to be seen head to head with the horses in Europe. The obvious disadvantages are financial for Americans. Both in transporting our horses to Europe and in a large loss of income when we are away from home. It is tough because it can mean loss of clients but if we want to compete in this sport at the elite level it is a sacrifice that has to be made. I hope people keep supporting the USET Foundation as much as possible to keep the money coming to help out those who have applied for grants so they can bring their horses to Europe.” – Katherine Bateson-Chandler of Wellington, Florida – 2010 World Equestrian Games

“As far as the benefits for American riders in Europe I think that, simply put, ‘you can’t cook if you’re not in the kitchen.’ To be competitive on a world stage we have to compete on the world stage. It is the only way I know to truly measure yourself against the current standard. It is the only way to get your measure of truth from the judges and public opinion, etc. and deal with it to the best of your abilities. Of course there are hardships involved that we all understand and putting oneself into a situation such as a European tour for either training or competing or both should prepare you for the adaptation required to flourish in an international championship. It is commonsense that ‘practice makes perfect’ and we need the practice.” – – Arlene “Tuny” Page of Wellington, Florida – 2006 World Cup Final