Lendon Youth Dressage Festival Midwest and the Emerging Dressage Athlete Clinic Bring Aspiring Dressage Stars to Hampton Green Farm

For three days last week, Fruitport Michigan was the place to be for top youth talent and young equestrians with big dreams. On Friday and Saturday, 11 hand-picked riders participated in the first ever Emerging Dressage Athlete Section A Clinic. This program was conceived last winter by three Olympians--Robert Dover, Lendon Gray and Courtney King-Dye-and patterned after the successful program of the same name for Young Jumpers. The 11 riders, all under 21 years old and all young women, were given an exam on the first morning based on a reading list, and then two in-depth riding sessions each with Lendon Gray and/or Courtney King-Dye. The riders came from Michigan, Illinois, Ohio, Florida and New York to participate, hoping to be selected for the Section B clinic in November in Wellington with Robert Dover.

Not all of the riders were able to bring their own horses, and so mounts were loaned to them from various owners. The level of work was high and the atmosphere intense, but all 11 rode their very best and took away invaluable lessons for the future. Many of the riders brought their own trainers from home, who were able to interact with the clinicians during each session. A dinner on Saturday evening ended with an extended question and answer session between the riders, their trainers and Courtney and Lendon.

On Sunday, the clinic riders joined other local riders ages 8 to 21 for the Lendon Youth Dressage Festival Midwest--a one-day competition that involved three components: a written exam, a dressage test, and an equitation class. In spite of a long weekend for some and a demanding show day for all, the enthusiasm among the riders, trainers and parents remained high and the day ended with many awards and personal bests. Congratulations to our Champions and all participants!

Our thanks to our staff, volunteers and sponsors for making this possible:

Show Manager: Lyn Kendall
Show Secretary: Maureen Sharp
Assistant Manager: Marilyn Fahringer
Dressage Judge: Colleen Haveman
HGF Staff led by Joan Mack and Sandy Talbot
Parents and Trainers
Millbrook Tack
Coopersville Hardware & Feed
A1 Tents
West Michigan Veterinary Clinic
Ver Duins Printing
Sunset Valley Horse Stalls
Jen Kaiser and Baker College and her nursing students
Sycamore Lane Farrier
Lendon Gray and Courtney King-Dye

Grand Champion (sponsored by Millbrook Tack): Megan Heeder 239.32
Reserve Grand Champion (Sponsored by Millbrook Tack): Chelsea Reed 227.89
Division One (15 and Under) Champion: Chelsea Reed and Lentisco 227.89
Division One Reserve Champion: Chelsea Reed and Kabileno 225.49
Division Two (16 and Older) Champion: Megan Heeder and Simpatico 239.32
Division Two Reserve Champion: Elizabeth Mauer and Wynshire's Valiant 223.58
Millbrook Tack Turn-Out Champion: Emily Gillispie and Goodnight Moon
USPRE Champion: Chelsea Reed and Lentisco
Hampton Green Farm Young Horse Champion: Megan Levine and Rhomann
Coopersville Hardware and Feed Volunteer Award: Jim Guthrie