Kim Boyer, Olympic Horse Owner, Breeder, Sponsor, Is New Chair of USA Dressage Owners Task Force
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By KENNETH J. BRADDICK
WELLINGTON, Florida, Dec. 6, 2015–Kim Boyer, active in international horse sports as the owner of an Olympic mount, breeder and active sponsor of dressage programs from youth to high performance, has been named chair of the United States Dressage Owners Task Force.
The task force plans to build on existing efforts and create new programs to enhance the role of owners and broaden the base of owners to become active in supporting American dressage.
“The most powerful nations in our sport have the advantages of a long tradition of classical riding, a highly developed horse market with a stronger currency plus the involvement of corporations in sponsorship,” said Kim, owner of Hampton Green Farms in Wellington and Fruitport, Michigan and recently established a base at Malaga, Spain.
“Nevertheless, the U.S. should be just as competitive as any Western European nation in terms of resources. What is needed are the programs and staffing to develop talent and the ingenuity to attract interested individuals to our sport.”
The United States is an exception to most successful horse sport nations, Kim said, in that no taxpayer or lottery funding is provided to equestrian or other sports which are supported solely by donations from corporations and individuals, grants from federations and groups including the U.S. Olympic Committee that are also restricted to non-government funding.
“We have a generous country,” said Kim, “we have a country that lives sports, including horse sports. I believe we are a country that can make young horses into multimillion dollar high performance horses. We have to let owners and prospective owners understand this, to provide them with a good education to buy good young horses or understand what’s involved if they buy or support horses confirmed at the top of the sport.”
Kim has been active in horse sports much of her life.
Her involvement includes being one of the Wellington Equestrian Partners group of owners that includes the Winter Equestrian Festival, the world’s largest jumper and hunter circuit, and being a founding sponsor of the Adequan Global Dressage Festival formed five years ago. Both are hosted at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center in Wellington.
Kim is a daughter of the legendary American financier Robert van Kampen. She holds a PhD in Medieval and Renaissance Studies. She has four adult sons. She is married to Frédéric Boyer and they have two young daughters who ride.
Kim succeeds Bruce Hlavacek, the inaugural chairman who will stay on as a member of the group that was founded in 2013.
Bruce lives in Las Vegas. As chairman, he staged well attended informational seminars across the United States to promote dressage horse ownership and provide opportunities for riders to meet prospective sponsors. His wife, Jen, owns Weltino’s Magic that Steffen Peters rode for team and individual gold medals at the 2011 Pan American Games.
Akiko Yamazaki, the owner of Ravel, Legolas and Rosamunde that Steffen competes for the United States, was a member of the task force and joined Bruce and others in buying the eight-year-old Sandronerhall from Spain earlier this year for Adrienne Lyle to compete as a successor to Wizard, the horse she rode for the U.S. at the 2012 Olympics and 2014 World Games.
Kim has completed nine years as president of the U.S. P.R.E. (Pure Spanish Horse) association and owns Grandioso, a PRE stallion that was competed by Courtney King Dye before her accident five years ago.
Spanish rider Jose Daniel Martin Dockx took over the ride and has since competed the horse for Spain at the Olympics in London in 2012, the World Games in 2014 as well as two European Championships including this year that succeeded in earning a team start for Spain at next summer’s Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.
Hampton Green in Wellington is home to Lendon Gray’s Winter Intensive Training Program, an offshoot of Dressage4Kids, a charity in which Kim has been active for many years.
She also sponsors Young Rider Kerrigan Gluch on Vaquero HGF, an eight-year-old PRE stallion bred at Hampton Green in Michigan. The pair won individual bronze medal at the North American Young Rider Championships in 2015 as well as reserve champion at the Festival of Champions.
In addition to Kim as chair, the Dressage Owners Task Force board comprises Michael Davis; Margaret Duprey; Bruce Hlavacek; Betsy Juliano; Elizabeth Meyer; Robert Dover, U.S. chef d’equipe and task force advisor; Kathleen Raine and Arlene “Tuny” Page as athlete representatives and Hallye Griffin of the U.S. Equestrian Federation. Elma Garcia, well-known as a media expert, is joining the board.
“To capitalize on what I learned from my years at USPRE,” Kim said, “to attract new owners we should first look to community building. Much of our work will be accomplished through the natural interaction of owners; our job is to bring them together at special events that we host.”
The first of these events with Kim as head of the task force will be next Tuesday at the Festival of Champions in Wellington where U.S. Equestrian Federation Director of Sport Will Connell will be the speaker.
The goal is to host similar events across the country aimed at including all high performance horse (at all international levels from ponies to Grand Prix) owners and prospective owners.
The program for the task force, Kim said, includes:
–An iconic and “provocative” ad promoting horse pponsorship to be put into the show programs of all U.S. CDIs;
–Develop the task force website http://www.experiencedressage.com to be more dynamic, and
–Pay particular attention to the parents of youth riders to counter the dropping off of parent/sponsors after Young Riders.
An initiative by the task force is to create a concierge service for dressage team horse owners for European competitions in 2016 including Nations Cups, World Cup Final, World Young Horse Championships and Observation Events for U.S. team selection and the summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro . The service will help with hotel reservations, travel information and logistics, VIP table information and coordination of social gatherings.