Whit is a dedicated horsewoman who has worked hard to improve her riding and competition skills after her first priority of raising her son and sharing her life with her husband. She’s developed a super facility in Fort Davis, Texas. However, living there meant tremendous travel for both lessons and competition. I have been lucky enough to have worked with her on developing a number of horses to the Grand Prix level and am thrilled to see her move up to international competition now that her son has grown up.
I first saw Whit ride in Fort Davis in an exhibition in the mountains of the Nature Conservancy property 9 years ago. Her elegance on the horse and the running commentary she gave about the horse and what dressage entailed fascinated me. I had to meet this woman. Three words sum up Whit Watkins: excellence: excellence in training, excellence in teaching, excellence in caring for her horses and excellence in showing. The next word: determination; determination to learn, determination to improve and determination to do the best job possible. Another word for Whit: passion: passion and love for riding, passion for precision and passion for the correct interpretation.
I love to be around winners and that defines Whit. Her goal is to make the 2012 Olympic games and she has the grit, talent and athleticism to do so. She is also very sentimental and will tear up easily when talking about a favorite horse. She keeps an impeccable barn that stables many happy horses and happy riders. As a teacher, she has such a good eye and knows exactly what the rider needs to do. She is helpful, encouraging and always ends the lesson on a high note. Whit loves what she is doing. She has ridden all of her life and her love of horses shines through.
When I visited her in Germany, she was laughing out loud with joy as she progressed with Herr Schmidt, her trainer. She was so joyful that it was all coming together. I am Whit's greatest admirer and believe she will accomplish her goal. She has the art and grace to succeed.
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