In addition to her own riding career, Diana is focusing on her career as a trainer, and her new role as Head Trainer at Cutler Farm. She took over this position in April, and is working directly with farm owner, Donna Cameron, to create a European-style training facility that both hope will become a hub for dressage education in the region and on the East Coast.
Donna opened Cutler Farm in 2006 with the help of friends Bill Warren and Bill McMullin, who not only helped with the design and construction but also served as trainers for the farm. “Both Bill Warren and Bill McMullin were an integral part of launching Cutler Farm,” Donna said. “I truly appreciate their professionalism, and their friendship throughout the last several years.”Diana also joined the training team in 2009, working with the two “Bills.” More recently, she has taken over the role as head trainer as she and Donna work together to make Cutler Farm a premier educational facility for the East Coast.
“Donna has dedicated herself to creating a state of the art dressage facility, which provides optimum conditions for riders and horses to maximize their full potential in the dressage arena. She’s put a tremendous amount of work and effort into creating a really top-caliber training facility for both horses and riders.” It’s been Diana’s experience “that so much of your performance is tied into the details – the horses have to be treated like top athletes; they need the right care, the right feed, the right footing. All of those aspects come together at Cutler. Donna has done an incredible job creating that.”
Donna, herself an amateur dressage rider, had this to say about Diana, “All of us at Cutler Farm are delighted to have Diana at our training facility in this role. With her classical dressage education, Diana brings to the table a unique combination of strength and compassion, discipline and kindness. She is a gifted rider, brilliant trainer, and trusted friend. Her seat is incredible and she can figure out the most appropriate exercises to tackle any training issue with ease. Her relationship with Pascal – (who is quite a character) – is remarkable in that they both give so much of themselves to each other. They are a delight to watch and learn from, both in the show ring and at home.”
It is also Diana’s talent for picking out champion horses that impresses Donna. And, once those horses are in her hand, they receive the best of care. “She provides exceptional horse care and her attention to the details of maintaining equine athletes is second to none,” Donna said. “Diana has an amazing knack for bringing out the best in any horse/rider combination by gently pushing the rider outside his/her comfort zone on a daily basis while always ensuring a safe environment. She is very psychologically astute in that way, probably due to her life-long immersion in the principles of Buddhism, and her deep capacity for empathy with her students. I very much wanted to have a trainer at Cutler who could combine classical European dressage training with outstanding teaching skills and tremendous integrity.”
With Diana now very much on her team, Donna has high hopes not only for her own riding, but also for the future of the Cutler Farm dream. “I wake up every day immensely grateful for the wonderful life I have and only hope that as many people as possible will be able to avail themselves of all that Cutler Farm will offer to the dressage community at large,” Donna said.
Joining Diana and Donna at Cutler Farm is Miranda van Kol, who was hired in the summer of 2010 as barn manager. Miranda has international experience as a groom, including two Olympic Games, and she has managed show barns in both the U.S. and Europe. “Donna and I have known Miranda for several years and we decided to bring her to Cutler because of her extensive experience,” Diana said. “She provides the best possible care for the horses. Donna, Miranda and I work well as a team and together are able to come up with the best possible individualized programs for our horses and riders. “
Both Diana and Donna are looking toward the future with anticipation. “We have Heike Kemmer coming to Cutler Farm in October,” Donna says. “It’s this caliber of clinician we hope to bring to Cutler Farm, and to share with the dressage community, in the very near future. Diana, with her contacts here and abroad, is an integral part of expanding horizons for all of us.”
One other thing this dynamic duo has in planning is a southern base for Cutler Farm. “We also plan to develop a Cutler Farm South in Wellington to ensure continuity in our training methodologies throughout the year,” Donna said. Diana said the southern base invites riders from throughout the U.S. to join the team in Florida in the winter and participate in the Farm’s educational programs. “Miranda van Kol travels to Florida with us and we keep our horses at a lovely barn very close to Wellington.
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