‘Busy’ is a word that describes George’s life. He generally has 12 horses in training with him at the farm, which also does some breeding. He starts his day working with the competition horses, then gives lessons and works with young horses. By the end of the day, he’s worked with 12-15 horses. His strong work ethic and talent has earned George much respect as one of America’s leading dressage riders and trainers. A USDF Bronze, Silver and Gold medalist, his educational background includes time spent training with Egon von Neindorff in Germany, many years as a student of Karl Mikolka and training with Klaus Balkenhol for the past seven years. This is not a man who blows his own horn. And for that reason, while George’s talent as a rider is widely known from his show ring successes, his talent as a trainer seems to be a well-kept secret.
George spent nearly 20 years of his riding career at the famous Tempel Farms in Wadsworth, Illinois, where he trained numerous horses from start to Grand Prix – Lippizans and Warmbloods alike. During his years at Tempel Farms, George added to his successful record as a trainer and rider, winning a number of regional and national championships. In 2000, he relocated to Gypsy Woods Farm in Richwood, Ohio in order to focus more exclusively on his competitive career. As a result, in the past few years George has become one of America’s leading international riders.
In addition to his skills as dressage competitor, trainer and teacher, George devotes tremendous time toward the advancement of dressage in the U.S. He serves as vice president of the U.S. Dressage Federation, is chair of the U.S. Equestrian Federation High Performance Dressage Committee, co-vice chair of the U.S. Equestrian Federation Dressage Committee and is a member of the U.S. Equestrian Federation Board of Directors. He also served as co-chair of the former American Horse Show Association’s Equestrian Dressage Committee.
George’s involvement in the USDF and USEF stems from his desire to develop programs that help transform young riders into future high performance riders. “That’s the main reason for my involvement. That’s why I’m most involved with the high performance and young rider programs. “I want to make certain our future is secure,” George said.
In 2005, George joined Debbie McDonald and Sue Blinks in being the named clinicians for the USDF FEI Jr/Young Rider clinic program. He and the other clinicians, now including Kathy Connelly and Jan Ebeling, conduct clinics for the FEI Juniors and Young Riders across the United States. It is a program that serves as the pipeline to the other “developing programs” that will mold the future U.S. high performance riders. The program, through the guidance of George and with input from the other high performance clinicians, is an evolving program that will soon be integrated into a cooperative effort with the USEF to create a path for riders to follow from ponies to the Olympic level.