Discover Dressage Committed to $1 Million 4-Year Program for American Youth Program
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By KENNETH J. BRADDICK
WELLINGTON, Florida, Oct. 15, 2017–Discover Dressage, a newly formed group named as title sponsor of United States Emerging Dressage Athlete Program, has committed to donate $1 million over the next four years to American junior, young rider and under-25 development efforts.
The emerging athlete program was formed by uniting youth development programs of the U.S. Equestrian and the United States Dressage Federations to implement High-Intensity Training Sessions led by USEF Dressage Youth Coach George Williams and assistant Charlotte Bredahl-Baker and to provide support to selected riders likely to become future team athletes.
Founded and headed up by Kimberly van Kampen, Discover Dressage will take over American Equestrians Got Talent as a prime vehicle to raise funds for development of youth programs that have a goal of sending squads of junior, young and under-25 riders to compete in Europe, similar to Grand Prix and small tour teams.
Details of Discover Dressage were provided Sunday by Kim, who has extensive involvement in horse sports, including underwriting the nationwide Dressage4Kids operated by Olympian Lendon Gray; a partner in the group that owns the Adequan Global Dressage and Winter Equestrian Festivals in Wellington, Florida; president of the USPRE (Pure Spanish Horse) Association, and owner and sponsor of competition PRE horses including Grandioso that was competed by José Daniel Martín Dockx for Spain at the 2012 and 2016 Olympics.
She also operates a breeding program at her Hampton Green Farm in Fruitport, Michigan and funded the Van Kampen covered arena at Wellington’s Global grounds, about a mile from her Florida Hampton Green Farm.
Kim said she will step down from leading the Dressage Owners Task Force to focus on Discover Dressage.
Discover Dressage, approved recently as a federal and Florida state tax exempt organization, will distribute 100 per cent of funds raised to the USEF to be dedicated to the youth programs. A volunteer Discover Dressage board of directors will be named later this year.
The mission of the organization is: “To inspire and encourage American youth to discover dressage, to inspire lifelong learning and success, to promote healthy competition and advance the accessibility of the sport of dressage to all areas of the U.S.”
“I have a passion for the youth divisions,” said Kim who was among a group of owners that also created a Florida youth championship that brought some of the top European juniors and young riders to compete during Global’s winter-long circuit.
“I love the juniors and young riders but I’m also personally dedicated to seeing the emerging athlete program extend to under-25.
“I’m excited about working with George and Charlotte on this vital link in the pipeline of development between what Lendon Gray does at the grassroots and what Debbie McDonald does in the developing horse programs.
“I’m looking forward to working with Hallye Griffin, Hannah Niebielski and other staff at the federation.”
A series of elite clinics will be held around the country culminating in invitations to the Robert Dover Horsemastership Clinic that will be held for the eighth year in Wellington Jan. 2-5, as well as other U.S. federation observation events.
The American Equestrians Got Talent was begun by Robert Dover four years ago for riders and others involved in horse sports to perform at a winter-long series dinners that raised several hundreds of thousands of dollars.
An all-star extravaganza of the winners from the previous years competing against each other is planned for March in 2018. A return to auditions that were a feature of the first four years will be on the card for 2019, she said.