High Praise from Riders, Coaches for USA “Pipeline” Clinic
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By KENNETH J. BRADDICK
WELLINGTON, Florida, Jan. 29, 2014–Riders and coaches in the United States “Pipeline” clinic for combinations at different levels of American dressage had high praise for the two-day event organized by the U.S. Equestrian Federation and the U.S. Equestrian Team Foundation.
A dozen horses and riders–youth, young horses, developing and Grand Prix–were monitored and advised by the four USEF dressage coaches: Robert Dover, Chef d’Equipe/Technical Advisor; Debbie McDonald, Developing Coach; Scott Hassler, Young Horse Coach, and Jeremy Steinberg, Youth Coach. at the Global Dressage Festival grounds. The event was open to auditors.
“In the world of dressage our improvement can take a very, very long time,” said USET Foundation Trustee Betsy Juliano who, with her Havensafe Farm, provided funding that made the clinic possible. “We are all in this together. Changes in horse and rider development takes years for the combination to become, hopefully, successful.
“It gives me a lot of joy to watch it, whether it’s my horses or someone else’s.”
Kimberly Herslow of Stockton, New Jersey, rode her Rosmarin (Rosentanz x Weltmeyer) that was a star at small tour. The Hanoverian gelding was held back from the Grand Prix by Kim to insure the nine-year-old is physicaly and mentally strong enough to handle life in the top tier.
“Awesome culmination of fitness training, analysis of previous scores from recent shows and training with Debbie and Jeremy,” she said after the clinic that also included sport psychology, media advice and other aspects that come with public performances at top sport. “I am extremely happy with Reno and the exercises they worked on with us to improve our training toward the Grand Prix.”
“I think all of us riders are walking away with new ah, ha moments and tools that we can bring to our riding and training,” said Matt Johnson of Wellington who had brought Qasanova, the Danish Warmblood stallion (Quaterback x Calypso II) that he bought last year from Andreas Helgstrand.
“All of the team coaches were very supportive but at the same time pushed us to a new level of riding.”
Scott Hassler, the USEF Young Horse coach, said it was always good for the country for the coaches to work together in the one place as they had done in California a few years ago.
“When you have young horses, youth riders, developing combinations and the top combinations working together everyone feels equal,” he said. “We’re all trying to help them as a nation.”
Silva Martin of Cochranville, Pennsylvania, in Florida for the winter circuit with Rosa Cha W, a nine-year-old Australian-bred mare she competed successfully at small tour in 2013, said the coaches made an “incredible effort to create team spirit. I had two fantastic lessons and learned so much from watching.”
Jeremy Steinberg, the youth coach, was excited to be a member of the team of coaches that rallied together to make the clinic work.
“Through the different discussions and and activities during the clinic the US team coaches have made me really excited about the path that U.S. dressage is headed,” said Anna Marek of Ocala, Florida who rode the five-year-old Dutch Warmblood Elian.
“Overall, I found it to be the best clinic experience I have had.”
Riders, coaches, spectators and officials heaped praise on Betsy Juliano for her gift that made it possible to bring coaches from aross the country to the GDF grounds for the event.
Betsy said her main objective was to give everyone an opportunity to watch in one location the diferent levels of combinations being developed.
“It became clear to me these experienes provided a synergistic effect that made the team stronger,” said Betsy who has horse farms in Ohio and Florida.
“So in addition to the gratification of watching horse and rider education personally which, as an amateur, is important to me it also develops a support mechanism among riders and coaches so when a team is selected there is, hopefully, cameraderie.”