Thursday and Friday, November 29-30, 2001, were two intense days of discussion. Featured guest speaker Conrad Schumacher completed his trilogy of seminars with developing a good dressage seat and the training of upper level dressage horses as main issues in his speech. Thursday evening "conventioning" ended with an in-depth debate between Tom Noone, Sue Blinks and the audience on how the musical freestyle can spice up the programme of dressage competitions.
The GMO's and USA Equestrian and USDF Board of Governors presented an overview of last year's achievements and asked the audience's opinion for their 2002 agenda. Friday's highlight meeting was probably the two-hour general assembly of the USDF Board of Governers.
To unwind guest speakers, delegates, sponsors, vendors and the audience, the USDF booked Kissimee based equestrian show Medieval Times. The crowds gathered at the Medieval castle at 7.30 PM, but it wasn't until 9.00 PM that the show started. Six knights on Andalusian horses demonstrated the principles of classical dressage as well as the equestrian skills required for cavalry knights in the Middle Ages. Although the story outline to the event was hardly essential in order to enjoy the spectacle, in the end, the blue knight beat the evil black knight that invaded the king's realm to steel the queen and conquer the throne.
Text by Astrid Appels