During the North American Dressage Trainer’s Symposium, held January 10–11, at the Poulin School of Dressage in DeLeon Springs, Florida, invitations to a private reception were being secretly circulated among the participants. The instructions were to arrive on time for a special announcement, and NOT to say anything to the Symposium hosts, Michael and Sharon Poulin.
As guests congregated at the lovely home of longtime friend Judith Thompson, Kate and Gwen Poulin were trying to stall their father at their home nearby. Even for his daughters, trying to stall a man on a mission is a nearly impossible task. He sat impatiently in his car, with the engine running, as the girls kept coming up with excuses. They inwardly laughed at his tirade, as the family finally sped off to the party in his honor.
Among the guests were John and Lynn Boomer, President and CEO and Administrative Director of the Dressage Foundation. Their presence indicated that the announcement would be very special indeed.
When the Poulin Family arrived, the reason for the occasion was announced by John Boomer - "Friends, students and supporters of Michael Poulin established the Michael Poulin Dressage Fund for “bold, creative, innovative ideas for the improvement and strengthening of Dressage.” In spite of being genuinely surprised, you could see the wheels in Poulin’s head begin to spin with ideas. The fund, Boomer announced is “sizable,” with an substantial asset value available on an annual basis for grant applications.
Longtime friend, student, and Barcelona Olympic team mate, Carol Lavell gave a moving testimonial to the principles of Michael’s honesty, integrity, talent and vision. Lavell pointed out, that on the 1992 Bronze Medal Dressage Team, two of the four team horses were Poulin trained; Lavell’s Gifted, and Dee Muma’s Graf George ridden by Michael.
John Boomer, son of 92-year-old Lowell Boomer, founder of the USDF expressed his Father’s warm regards to the Poulin Family. "The Poulin family," Boomer went on to say,"is one of the most influential modern-day equestrian dynasties, with wife Sharon, daughters Katie and Gwen, all active participants in the sport of Dressage.”
“Michael Poulin’s Dressage students and friends say what they most admire about him is his honesty, and that he has an uncanny ability to go directly to the heart of the matter with a horse.” continued Boomer. “After 50 years of experience in the equestrian world, Michael Poulin is still committed to furthering Dressage knowledge in this country.”
“The Michael Poulin Dressage Fund is both a living tribute and a lasting legacy for him, and for his leadership in Dressage."