Through the course of watching a riding lesson, 15-year-old George Williams saw a horse change its form and become round, and he realized that the art his father, a sculptor, had shown him when he molded a piece of clay was also possible in another form – a horse could be transformed and sculpted by dressage.
Intertwined with that vision, nine-year-old George was in the audience when the Spanish Riding School came to the United States in 1964 for one of their first US tours. George describes attending the event with his mother and father as being part of a "pilgrimage" that many horse people made to Boston to watch the historic event. It was a marker in many New England dressage riders' lives, but for George, the performance was almost prophetic; 12 years later, Karl Mikolka, who had retired as a Chief Rider from the Spanish Riding School in 1968, became George's mentor, and shortly after that, Lippizans became the focus of George's life when he joined the staff of Tempel Farms in Wadsworth, Illinois – a tenure that spanned 20 years.
But despite almost two decades of performances with the world-famous Tempel Lippizans, and a list of high-profile committees and boards he served on in the dressage community to promote the sport in the US, until his name flashed onto the reader board at the CDI in Oldenburg, Germany, aboard the Westphalian mare Rocher in 2001, 'George Williams' was virtually unknown. However, after only two years of consistently top-ranked national and international Grand Prix placings, which included a campaign for a spot on the US Dressage Team for the World Equestrian Games, plus a record-setting performance in the Musical Freestyle at the 2002 Dressage at Devon, 'George Williams' has become one of the best-known names today in the sport of dressage worldwide.
Read the superb George Williams' Who's Who, written by Mary Hilton