Ana Gilmour and Maria Lithander Join Hampton Green Farm's Dressage Training Program

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Hampton Green Farm is pleased to introduce its new training staff: Head Trainer Maria Lithander and Assistant Trainer Ana Gilmour.

"We are entering a new era,” says owner Kim Boyer. “Following the departure of our former Head Trainer, Pati Pierucci, it has become clear to us that we’ve moved beyond the point of needing a single rider who could represent us in shows and demonstrate the abilities of the PRE breed. We have grown, both as a breeding farm and in our training needs, into a center for not only the development of our own horses, but as a resource for riders of PREs across the country. We have more high-quality young horses under saddle than ever before, and with Courtney King-Dye’s new role with Grandioso and our success with our young horses at Devon last year, the potential coming from HGF is receiving a higher level of attention than in the past.”

Assistant Trainer Ana Gilmour was an immediate choice. Ana comes with one of the best dressage educations in the country—seven years under Hilda Gurney, where as an Assistant Trainer she worked with every level from young horses through Grand Prix.  Says Gurney about Ana: “I have every confidence that Ana will prove to be an excellent addition to Hampton Green and I believe she has a very bright future to look forward to in this sport.” Additionally, Ana was very familiar with PREs, having lived and worked in Spain. Ana was also the first trainer to work with Margaret Carrera’s Rociero XV when he arrived in the States and is responsible for his early re-training—her specialty being tempi changes for which she received 8s in her first year of showing the horse at Prix St. George. “We are thrilled to have Ana as part of the team and look forward to her growth here as a rider and trainer,” says Boyer.

Head Trainer Maria Lithander has been living in Wellington for four years and operates Horses Forever Farm. She was born in Sweden and her initial dressage training was under Ingamay Bylund, Swedish Olympic rider and medalist. Her riding career eventually took her to Mexico, where she was part of the training circles of Bernadette Pujols and Patrick Burssens. While there, she continued to work with top visiting European trainers, including Herbert Rehbien, George Theoderescu, and Bo Tibblin. She has over 70 Regional and National Championships/Reserve Championships and qualified more than once to represent Mexico in Pan American competition, although unable due to her Swedish citizenship.

During that time she was introduced to the PRE horse. “About 15 years ago, one of my best clients brought me a young PRE to train,” explains Lithander.  “I was very hesitant, and I had even discouraged clients from bringing PREs into my training program. I believed, at that time, that they were better suited for the circus than the dressage ring! However, I felt I could not turn down my best client and I began to work with her young horse. I was completely unprepared for the positive and fulfilling experience that I would have with him. I trained him up to the Grand Prix and competed him successfully through Prix St. George, and I became thoroughly converted. I eventually began to work with many PREs preparing and competing them for the required Functionality tests of the breed shows.”

In Wellington, Lithander trains with Sue Jaccoma and Lilo Fore. “I enjoy training Maria because of her genuine appreciation of the horse,” says Jaccoma. “Her quickness to reward gives the horse a very clear foundation from which to train. Maria has a very clear understanding of the training scale. Her positive attitude brings out the best in her horses.”

“We considered a number of excellent, qualified riders—from California and Florida to Germany, Holland, and Spain,” says Boyer. “We compiled a list of criteria—age and experience, nationality, location, etc.—for what we needed, but we found that a correct and consistent training philosophy—through all the levels—was our first priority.” Lithander has made the commitment to make Michigan a part of her summer routine and she will take over the reins of Hampton Green’s top horses this coming year in Wellington. Says Lithander: “After working with PREs for over 15 years now, I really want to be part of the growth of the breed in this country, by convincing more people that they are not only noble and honest, but also have everything necessary to be successful at the highest levels.”

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