Gunnar Ostergaard and Carol Lavell were the two most influential trainers in the beginning of Sharon’s dressage career during the late 1980s and early 1990s.
Currently, Sharon’s primary trainers are Michael Poulin, Pamela Goodrich, and Niels Hegstrup. “They have been the key people in my career for the last several years,” Sharon said. “I clinic with Klaus Balkenhol and Conrad Schumacher and others, but these three have been the glue for me.”
Michael Poulin, formerly of Maine and now a Florida resident, helped Sharon in her early years as a dressage professional and continues to work with her periodically throughout the year. Michael complimented Sharon on her abilities, saying, “I've known and worked with Sharon McCusker for several years. She is extremely pleasant to work with and is honest in all that she does. Sharon is an international-quality rider and always does the right thing, both mentally and physically, for herself, her horses, and her students. I highly recommend Sharon as a trainer and instructor.”
Pamela Goodrich has helped Sharon over the years with several up-and-coming horses as well as Juli Sherif. Pamela pointed out Sharon’s attributes, commenting, “Sharon McCusker is a very conscientious trainer and a perfectionist as a rider. She is always trying to improve herself as a rider while methodically improving the training of her horses. She manages to do all of this with a smile and optimism that shows in her riding and the willingness of her horses to perform.”
Niels Hegstrup of Denmark is a German-trained Bereiter that Sharon met on a buying trip in Denmark eight years ago. Sharon has developed her sales business with the help of Niels, who has been the source of many talented mounts. He comes to Souhegan Farm regularly to give clinics and work with Sharon. “My sales business really started to grow in 2001 when I started focusing more on sales with imports from Niels,” Sharon noted.
Photo: Niels Hegstrup, Sharon McCusker,Juli Sherif Credit: Marlee O'Neil