Del Mar, CA - February 10, 2012- Running concurrently with the 2012 Rancho Valencia Dressage Affaire CPEDI3* will be the F.E.I./USEF Para-Equestrian Dressage Judge Course. With the course less than a month away six distinguished judges within the equestrian community are preparing to travel to the Del Mar Horse Park March 8-11, 2012 in Del Mar, CA. The course, directed by Hanneke Gerritsen (NED) and assisted by Sue Curry Shaffer (USA), will be a refresher seminar for Para-Equestrian Dressage Judges in addition to giving "S" Dressage judges the opportunity for promotion to F.E.I. 3* para-dressage and F.E.I. 3* para-dressage judges the opportunity for promotion to 4*. This course will give potential and future Para-Equestrian competitions more choices of experienced F.E.I 3* and 4* judges around the world and particularly in the United States.
Currently Joan Darnell "S"(USA), Betsy Gosling "R" (USA), Elizabeth McMullen FEI "0" (CAN), Adrienne Pot "S" (USA), David Schmutz FEI3* (USA), and Jaques Van Der Harst (NED) are registered for the course.
Joan Darnell is a USEF "S" Dressage Judge and a USDF Bronze, Silver and Gold Medalist. Darnell has been an active member of USDF having served in many roles. In 2004 and 2010 Darnell served as the Chef d'Equipe for the Region 9 FEI Junior/Young Rider teams at the NAJYRC. She and her daughter, Claire, have trained two horses that competed and placed in the top 10 at the 4 Year-Old, 5 Year-Old, 6 Year-Old and Developing Horse National Championships. She owns and operates Darnell Dressage from her home in Georgetown, TX along with her husband, Greg and daughter, Claire.
Darnell noted, "I am interested in becoming a Para-Equestrian Dressage judge to further broaden my judging skills and knowledge. I enjoy watching the enthusiasm and dedication of the Para-Equestrian Dressage riders and their special horses and I want to be able to better judge and evaluate their abilities."
Betsy Gosling of Metaire, LA has her Para-Equestrian Dressage license and is looking to maintain her license at the 2012 Course. Gosling has competed through Grand Prix on all types of horses earning multiple accolades regionally and nationally. Her students have competed through FEI and have been quite successful in and out of the show ring. As a supporter of Para-Equestrian Dressage Betsy is looking forward to the competition and Judge's Course in Del Mar.
Elizabeth McMullen from Palgarve, ON is an FEI "O" judge. She was recently elected to the Canadian Para-Equestrian Committee alongside Lauren Barwick of Aldergrove, BC; Kendra Flynn Stronach of Brooklin, ON; and Jessica Rhinelander of Ottawa, ON. McMullen operates a Dressage/ Thoroughbred Stable in Palgrave, Ontario Canada and is a USA Equestrian "S" and an Equine Canada "S" judge. Through her involvement, McMullen has officiated many prestigious events including multiple World Equestrian Games, Pan American Games, and multiple North American Young Rider Championships
McMullen is a CEF certified level 3 coach and she served as Chef d'Equipe to the Canadian Team at the New Zealand Dressage Derby. She conducts clinics and seminars throughout Canada the United States and Central America. For the past 5 years Elizabeth has been the Dressage coach for Guatemala. In 2006, at the Central American Games she successfully coached them to both the Team and Individual Gold. At the Central American & Caribbean Games in Bogota, Colombia; Guatemala won Team bronze. In 2007, at the Pan Am games in Rio de Janero, one of the riders made it into the top 10, which was a first for Guatemala. In 2010 she coached the team to a silver medal at the CA&C Games in Puerto Rico and the Bronze overall Individual medal.
Some of her riding achievements include competing at the World Dressage Championships in 1986, being a member of the Canadian Team at the North American Dressage Championships in 1989 and being short-listed by the team in 1990.
Adrienne Pot of Barrington Hills, IL started riding at the age of 5 at her family's stables. She is a graduate of Meredith Manor with a double English and Western Minor degree, as well as a Riding Instructor and Riding Masters degree. She completed her education with a degree from Salem College. Adrienne is the former Director, Vice President and President of the Illinois Dressage and Combined Training Association and was awarded the 1995 Illinois Horseman of the Year. She has earned her USDF Bronze, Silver and Gold medals and won numerous Regional Championships. She is currently competing at the Grand Prix level. Adrienne has had the opportunity to train with many top trainers, most recently Robert Dover and Kathy Connelly.
Adrienne has judged every level, Training through Grand Prix, including numerous Regional Championships. She is currently training riders with dispensation certificates and volunteering at a local Therapeutic Riding facility. Adrienne commented ,"My motivation to pursue the Para-Equestrian License was my exposure to the incredible determination of the Para competitors at last year's Saugerties, NY CPEDI3* and this year's CPEDI3* in Wellington, Florida. These experiences have inspired me to actively participate in the Para-Equestrian program."
Adrienne owns and operates Aspen Manor, a Dressage training facility in Barrington Hills, Illinois, where she resides during the summer months. For the winter, she relocates to her home in Wellington, Florida.
David Schmutz of Glendale, CA, is an FEI 3* Para-Dressage judge looking to earn his 4*. With this achievement Schmutz would be the only United States judge that would earn this standard. He commented, "We really need to encourage more judges to work towards achieving their FEI 4*." Schmutz has been very involved with the Para-Equestrian international competitions including being a Para-Equestrian Dressage Selector for the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games.
Jaques Van Der Harst is traveling from Nuland, the Netherlands to obtain his FEI 3* para-dressage judging promotion. Since he was 17 years old Van Der Harst was an active national show jumper and dressage rider.