The North American Dressage Trainers Club held a unique symposium for FEI trainers, judges and riders January 4 to 5, 2003, at the training center for Olympian, Michael Poulin, in DeLeon Springs, Florida. Featured speakers were Dr Volker Moritz, FEI "O" Judge and trainer from Germany, Jean Bemelmans, FEI trainer and Spanish Dressage Team Coach and Mariette Withages, chairwoman of the FEI Dressage Commission and "O" Judge.
This was the first symposium of its kind in the U.S., with approximately 50 Trainers and Judges from North America in attendance. Discussed were the new FEI rules, as well as the new Grand Prix Test which was also demonstrated by both Heather Bender and Suzanne Dansby-Phelps.
Additional participants were Sharon, Gwen and Kate Poulin, Stacey Schettkoe, Tina Konyot, Jason Canton, and Julia Martin. Some time was also be spent on the FEI Young Horse Tests for 5+6 year old horses with added input from Janet Brown FEI "I" judge from USA . One issue that stimulated quite a bit of discussion, was the walk, and how the movement is defined and judged.
The discussions and perspectives stimulated interaction between the speakers, and the paticipants, which was the objective of the program. Michael Poulin announced another longer and more in depth symposium is in the works. Stay tuned to Dressagedaily as we will be announcing the next event for for the North American Dressage Trainers' Club.
Watch for an in depth article by Beth Baumert in an upcoming issue of Dressage Today.