On Monday, Feb. 23, USPRE will host a clinic featuring Courtney King-Dye, who has been competing on the FEI circuit with Hampton Green Farm's Grandioso. The clinic is free and open to the public and will be held at Hampton Green Farm, 13285 Southfields Rd. - Wellington, Florida 33414, from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Following the clinic, there will be a lunch and open board meeting. It'll be the perfect opportunity for P.R.E. breeders, owners and riders to learn more about what USPRE can do for them.
American-based P.R.E. horses are getting a boost of support from the new United States P.R.E. Association (USPRE). Created last year with the dual goals of promoting the development of P.R.E. horses for dressage and facilitating the registration of U.S.-based P.R.E. horses into the stud book of Spain's National Association of Breeders of PRE Horses (ANCCE), the association already has more than 400 members and growing.
PhelpsPhoto: Courtney King-Dye, Grandioso and Kim Boyer
"We have a healthy membership for our first year, but welcome more," said Kim Van Kampen Boyer, president of USPRE. "We have essentially two main types of members. One group is the breeders and the other is owners and riders of P.R.E. horses." Since its inception a year ago, USPRE has set to work helping both groups. For breeders, the organization has assisted them in the registration of their horses. For riders and owners, USPRE is helping to promote the success of P.R.E. horses in dressage.
"There are a large number of horses in the U.S. that have their Spanish papers, but there wasn't an organization that brought them all together and for breeders, we're helping to fill that gap," Van Kampen Boyer said. "The National Association of Breeders of P.R.E. Horses is based in Madrid. And while there were lots of horses in the U.S. with the bloodlines to qualify for the national stud book, ANCCE wasn't sending judges to the U.S. on a consistent basis to do the blood testing and revision on horses." USPRE worked with ANCCE to resolve this problem. "ANCCE even opened an office in Miami at our insistence to make it easier for breeders to get the same papers as they would if they were in Spain," Van Kampen Boyer said.
PhelpsPhoto: Janne Rumbough and Junior
Van Kampen Boyer's own P.R.E. horse, Grandioso, is perhaps the best-known P.R.E. competing in the U.S. at the moment. But he's not the only P.R.E. to break into the top. Last year, the P.R.E. stallion Rociero XV, with Kristina Harrison in the saddle, qualified for and competed in the Olympic Selection Trials for the U.S. Dressage Team. This year, Grandioso, a 10-year-old P.R.E. stallion ridden by Courtney King-Dye, is successfully competing at Intermediaire. At the Wellington Classic Dressage Spring Challenge CDI3*, he and King-Dye took the blue ribbon in the CDI Intermediaire I Freestyle with a score of 72.40 percent. The pair also placed second in the CDI Intermediaire I. Prior to the Spring Challenge CDI3*, Grandioso had only competed once before at Intermediaire. "He's doing awesome," said rider King-Dye. "He is going to be very competitive."
As part of its mission of promoting the P.R.E. in dressage competition, USPRE has created a number of programs, among them a High Point Awards program. The Wellington Classic Spring Challenge CDI3* was one of the events in the High Point program and Grandioso was the award winner for the CDI level. The Adult Amateur National Level high-point champions were Janne Rumbough and JR with a score of 67.857 that also earned them a second place finish. The Open FEI Level champions were Cherri Reiber and Kabileno with a score of 61.579 and the Open National Level champions were Ana Gilmour and Bolero with a score of 69.13, which also earned them first place.
"It's still relatively rare to see a P.R.E. in the show ring and even more rare to see them in the hands of professionals. We're hoping to change that," Van Kampen Boyer said. "Programs such as the High Point Awards aim to highlight the success of P.R.E. horses. With Courtney coming on board and competing with a P.R.E., it helps to give us more prestige than we've had in the past. Janne Rumbough is also often nationally ranked on P.R.E. horses." Rumbough will be one of the riders in the upcoming P.R.E. clinic with King-Dye. The other riders include both Reiber and Gilmour, as well as Maria Lithander and Jeffrey Lord.
Education is also part of USPRE's strategy for expanding the number of P.R.E. horses in competition. The organization has already hosted several clinics for dressage riders with Spanish dressage riders Victor Alvarez and Ignacio Bravo.
Van Kampen Boyer said USPRE is hoping that through its programs, which also has included working with the U.S. Dressage Federation in offering P.R.E. classes at breed shows, more people will be encouraged to bring their P.R.E. horses out into the show ring. Although the new organization is just getting off the ground, she said it's poised to grow tremendously in the next year. "We're now in the process of developing our budget and priorities for the next year and we believe that as we get out the word, we'll grow even more."
For more information about USPRE, visit its website at www.usprea.com.