The United States PRE Association is pleased to announce the following recipients of the 2012 Dressage Scholarships:
Professional Rider ($2000.00): Sabine Schut-Kery and Marques
Youth Rider ($1500.00): Emily Copeland and Festivo
Amateur Rider ($1500.00): Suzanne O'Brien and Innato HGF
Late last year, USPRE received a record number of applications for the 2012 Dressage Scholarships with a surprising statistic. 75% of the applicants were professional dressage riders, which illustrates what USPRE has been seeing for the past few years - a significant increase in interest in the PRE horse by FEI-level riders, and professional dressage riders in particular.
This year's Scholarship advisor was Robert Dover who selected the recipients. Robert is an Advisory Board Member of USPRE and a PRE horse owner and enthusiast. He reviewed all of the applications and videos and commented on the importance of the combination - horse and rider together in partnership - in his selection criteria.
From a field of so many good horses and riders, Robert noted that his "overall winner" was Emily Copeland on Festivo - a 7 year old bay PRE stallion by Gaucho III that participated in the 2011 USEF National Young Horse Championships as a 6 year old. This pair is currently in training with Tina Konyot and will be doing an exhibition at the upcoming USPRE PRE-Show on February 15 at the Global Dressage Festival.
Additionally, Robert commented on the quality of both horse and rider in reference to Professional recipient Sabine Schut-Kery and her 8 year old black stallion, Marques, as they prepare to enter FEI-level competition this year. He noted also that another pair, Cindy Ramirez-Smith and Decoroso HGF, were close seconds among the Professional applicants.
For the amateurs, Robert selected Suzanne O'Brien and her 7 year old gelding Innato HGF (by Idilio II) and commented on the harmony between the horse and rider in their work together.
USPRE Scholarship funds are to be used for training expenses, and our recipients will provide a report at the end of the year on their experiences. USPRE has already seen top results from its Scholarship program: 2011 USPRE Youth Recipient Rachel Chowanec on Embrujado XI went on to be 2011 USEF Junior Reserve National Champion.