Wellington, FL - February in Wellington is where the longest days can be found and during week seven of the Adequan Global Dressage Festival, it was also where you could find some of the biggest smiles as youth riders, trainers and parents enjoyed a dinner hosted at Diamante Farms by owners Terri and Devon Kane, and by Michael and Sarah Davis during the Florida International Youth Dressage Championships, presented by Dressage4Kids. The dinner, hosted with support from Dressage Today magazine, was held from 6:30 – 9:00 p.m. at the world class dressage training and sales facility on Indian Mound Road.
The Florida International Youth Dressage Championships (YDC), presented by Dressage4Kids, and sponsored by PanaCavallo/The Davis Family, Hampton Green Farm, and Dressage Today magazine, is concurrent with AGDF's Stillpoint Farm CDIO Nations Cup and CDI 3* presented by Peacock Ridge, February 19-23 at The Stadium at The Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC). Now in its second year, the 2014 YDC is open to all nationalities and riders under 25 and marks the first time its Championships will be held in the International Classes.
“Holding the Youth Dressage Championships during the Nations Cup exposes American-based youth riders to the international flavor of a large European show,” said one of the evening's hosts, dressage trainer and rider Devon Kane, of Diamante Farms. “My family and I are even happier to see so many people come to the farm for a little 'flavor' of horse show hospitality.”
The close, familial atmosphere among dressage enthusiasts of all ages made for lively conversation and connections. The Davis family, who helped host the dinner, have also watched their daughter Bebe blossom from pony rider to recent participant in the USEF Dressage Pipeline Clinic, and donated her two award winning ponies, Poldy 10 and Bodjhan to Lendon Gray for Gray's Dressage4Kids program.
“We are always looking for ways to support dressage,” said Michael Davis, who along with his wife Sarah also own Van the Man, the international Grand Prix mount of Dr. Cesar Parra who rides for the United States. “Young dressage riders are the future of our sport and it is incredibly important that we nuture young talent and support their education to ensure the success of US dressage in the future.” In the meantime, Davis’s daughter and horses will continue to compete on what has already been a successful winter circuit.
As the Florida International YDC continues in Wellington, Kane, 27, hopes to continue her string of strong (65% and better) FEI performances in front of AGDF judges with her personally-trained mount, Destiny, and is keeping an eye on qualifying for the U.S. National Championships: “Next is proving we can ride over 70 percent each time.”
For Diamante Farms and its friends, such goals are “food for thought.”
Diamante Farms of Wellington, FL offers dressage training, board, sales and clinics for riders and horses of all levels. Visit http://www.diamantefarms.com/ or call 210-240-1614.