Wellington, FL - There are very few women who as are accomplished in the sport of dressage as two-time Olympian Debbie McDonald. Although McDonald is no longer going down centerline at international competition, she still was seen at the in-gate of the stadium at the 2016 Adequan Global Dressage Festival in Wellington, Florida almost every day of competition.
McDonald, who was the first American to win a World Cup Final in dressage on her famous mare, Brentina, is currently the Developing Coach for the U.S. Dressage Team and mentors successful riders including Adrienne Lyle, Laura Graves, and Kasey Perry-Glass. During the final week of competition at the 2016 Adequan Global Dressage Festival, McDonald was recognized by Adequan Global Dressage Festival founding member, Carol Cohen, for McDonald’s contributions to the sport and her hand in developing the sport’s future stars. As McDonald assisted in coaching Team USA to first place in the Stillpoint Farm FEI Nations’ Cup CDIO 3*, Cohen was thrilled to present her with the Global Dressage Visionary Award.
Cohen told McDonald, “I have admired you for many years. You wear so many hats for our sport, especially as a rider and a mentor for young people.”
McDonald, who travels to Wellington every winter with her husband Bob from their home in Idaho, explained to Cohen, “This is my fourth year coming to Wellington. I used to go to California for the winters, and then Adrienne (Lyle) and I had the opportunity to come here with her horse Wizard. The trip was really an eye opener for me. As far as I am concerned, there is no place like Wellington— in some ways it’s better than Europe because you can drive around the corner and sleep in your own bed at night!”
McDonald, like Cohen, began riding dressage after first competing as a show jumper. After switching her focus to dressage, McDonald found her “horse of a lifetime” in Brentina. Brentina competed with McDonald from the age of three to eighteen, and the partnership helped launch McDonald into international stardom. Highlights of their time together included Individual and Team Gold medals at the 1999 Pan American Games, Team Silver at the World Equestrian Games in 2002, Team Bronze at the World Equestrian Games in 2006, Team Bronze at the 2004 Athens Olympics, and World Cup champion in 2003.
Carol Cohen’s Global Visionary Dressage Award recognizes professionals and dressage enthusiasts who have put an incredible amount of effort into the growth and promotion of classical dressage. This award distinguishes people who, like Cohen, have followed through on their unique vision to make their beloved sport excel in the world. McDonald personifies the Global Dressage Visionary qualities that Carol Cohen values.
“I was blessed with a horse of a lifetime in Brentina, and it is hard to top what I had— except that now I am coaching some amazing young women, and that is so rewarding,” said McDonald. Those amazing young women helped Team USA to win the Nations Cup competition during the final week of showing this season at the Adequan Global Dressage Festival. In this weekend’s Friday night freestyle competition, McDonald’s student Laura Graves received the highest score ever recorded at the Adequan Global Dressage Festival (82.8 percent). McDonald’s student Kasey Perry-Glass was close behind, earning second place with an 81.325 percent.
Carol Cohen is proud to have been a sponsor of the 2016 Adequan Global Dressage Festival, where she presented the Global Dressage Visionary Award to individuals like Debbie McDonald who have worked their entire career to make the dream of international level competition in the United States a reality.
To watch Debbie McDonald receive her Global Dressage Visionary Award, check out the video below. For more information about Carol Cohen and her business as a real estate advisor in Wellington, please contact Cohen at 561-756-4844. As a professional with a strong commitment to promoting the equestrian lifestyle through luxury real estate sales, Cohen’s attention to detail and impeccable taste is sure to continue to transform homeowner’s visions into realities.