The Third Annual Robert Dover Dressage Horsemastership Week (RDHW) presented by Dressage4Kids, Inc.

 

Robert Dover coaches Genay Vaughn Photo: DressageDaily
Robert Dover coaches Genay Vaughn Photo: DressageDaily

The Third Annual Robert Dover Dressage Horsemastership Week (RDHW) presented by Dressage4Kids, Inc. will be held January 2 - 6, 2014 in the Van Kampen Indoor Arena at the Global Dressage Festival show facility in Wellington, Florida. This special week for youth dressage riders coincides with the George Morris Horsemastership Clinic for youth jumping riders. Riders for the RDHW are chosen from Dressage4Kids (D4K) Emerging Dressage Athlete Program clinics held around the country as well as from major competitions including the North American Junior/Young Rider Championships, The US Equestrian Federation Festival of Champions and the Dressage Seat Medal Finals. Auditors for the riding portions of this clinic will be allowed to attend this year for a minimum donation to D4K of $20 per person per day. Auditors may sign up ahead of time by contacting Annie Cizadlo at 218-349-3452 or by email at kodester1@yahoo.com or just sign up at the door for the day.

Chosen participants for this year are: Kalie Beckers (LA,) Rachel Chowanec (CT,) Allie Cyprus (TX,) Lindsay Holleger (GA,) Leah Marks (GA,) Emma Patterson (TX,) Cassie Schmidt (TX,) Elle Turner (GA,) Ayden Uhlir (WA,) Bebe Davis (NJ,) Jamie Pestana (CA,) and Genay Vaughn (CA.)

 

Selected auditors include: Kate Conover (TX,) Jessica Fan (TX,) Allison Hopkins (TX,) Rebekah Mingari (KY,) Alexander Dawson (WI,) Devon Wycoff (CO,) and Mikayla Fredericks (IA.)

 

Anne Gribbons coaches at the 2013 Robert Dover Horsemastership week Photo: DressageDaily
Anne Gribbons coaches at the 2013 Robert Dover Horsemastership week Photo: DressageDaily

The clinic week has been designed as an extensive educational experience for all the participants and auditors. Attendees become immersed in a week of intense dressage information. The educational experience centers around training sessions with top international competitors, but extends far beyond just the reach of a typical clinic lesson.

 

All participants begin each day of the week with a rider work-out designed by personal trainer Bob Gutowitz. He stresses the importance of a rider being just as physically fit as the horse if you intend to participate in top international competition.

Next on the daily agenda includes participants each having lessons with top international trainers. Trainers for this year’s event are Robert Dover, Shelly Francis, Jan Ebeling and Debbie McDonald.

In between riding sessions, participants also attend daily lectures from other top professionals that form the “team” required to make a successful and competitive international competitor. This year’s speakers are USET Team Veterinarian Dr. Rick Mitchell, sports psychologist Dr. Jenny Susser, nutritionist Dr. Mary Beth Gordon, top farrier Don Later, Jane Savioe, media professional Ken Braddick and USEF Youth Team Coach Jeremy Steinberg. These professionals will expose the youth riders to all the necessary aspects that constitute a solid base from which a horse and rider combination can succeed. The group will also take a few field trips to some local international level training facilities in Wellington, FL.

On the last day, participants will ride a test appropriate to the level of their ability and their horse’s ability. International dressage judges Janet Foy and Linda Zang will provide feedback to participants from the judge’s perspective about their performances.

 

Ayden Uhlir competing at the Fesitval of Champions  Photo: Lisa Fleck Uhlir
Ayden Uhlir competing at the Fesitval of Champions Photo: Lisa Fleck Uhlir

This intense educational experience was started in 2011 and modeled after the US Hunter Jumper Association’s Emerging Athlete Program. The Hunter Jumper program was proving to be successful in providing the necessary insight for youth riders into the complexities of top international training and competition. Lendon Gray and Robert Dover have emulated this model from the Hunter Jumper program to introduce the advanced youth dressage riders to the training and “team” building required of top international dressage athletes.

 

Dover added, “We need to continue to expose and encourage the talented youth riders in this sport in order to continue to strengthen the pipeline which will eventually lead to creating competitive international dressage squads to represent the United States at ALL international competitions. This RDHW provides the emersion into dressage that these youth riders need at this age in order to understand what is required to be a top competitor.”

Auditors for the riding portions of this clinic will be allowed to attend this year for a minimum donation to D4K of $20 per person per day. Auditors may sign up ahead of time by contacting Annie Cizadlo at 218-349-3452 or by email at kodester1@yahoo.com or just sign up at the door for the day. Riding sessions will be held at the Global Dressage Facility under the covered arena and in the International ring during the first 4 days of the clinic. Riders will be riding a test in front of the judges on the last day of the clinic. 

Dressage4Kids sponsors much of the RDHW activities to keep costs for participants to a minimum. This year, the clinic also has the generous sponsorship from several local vendors. Kim Boyer and Hampton Green Farm has continued extensive sponsorship of this entire event. Equestrian Sport Productions is generously donating the use of their facility, The Global Dressage Festival show grounds for all of the clinic lessons and stabling for the horses. The Dressage Connection, Horse of Course, ShowChic and Kastel Denmark are donating embroidered items. Other sponsors for the week include the Tackeria, SunBolt Embroidery and Dover Saddlery. 

Additional sponsors are always needed in many capacities. Dressage4Kids, Inc. is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization that provides educational and competitive opportunities for youth riders in order to encourage those same riders to become true horsemen, develop good sportsmanship skills and to have fun. D4K also supports programs for adults who support and educate youth. For more information, or to donate to the organization, visit www.Dressage4Kids.com. For more information or to offer sponsorship for the RDHW clinic specifically, contact Annie Cizadlo at kodester1@yahoo.com.

 



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