Wellington, FL – Several participants in the fourth annual Robert Dover Horsemastership Clinic have gone above and beyond the already motivated riders to glean every bit of information from the clinicians and the lecturers at the fourth annual event, sponsored in part by Dressage4Kids. These riders are on time for lessons with world-class dressage riders, they enthusiastically work -out at 7 a.m. and they
rapt attention to the lectures. Bronwyn Cordiak, 17, from Argyle, Texas, said she came to learn and her goal is to move up the levels, compete and be successful. Her 13-year-old Holsteiner gelding, Amor Amor, is a been-there-done-that kind of guy who has competed to Intermediaire II, and Cordiak says he is a generous teacher.
“I hope to compete internationally,” she said, adding that she has another horse she is also trying to bring up the levels. She said that each of the trainers have different ways of teaching and different exercises. Cordiack had lessons with Robert Dover, Laura Graves, Adrienne Lyle and George Williams and she is looking forward to taking what she’s learned home.
“It’s a fabulous opportunity to get to train with top trainers and it’s a super clinic for people to push themselves and learn to be stronger riders,” she said.
Kalie Beckers, 19, from Independence, Louisiana, is a full-time college student studying microbiology at Southeastern Louisiana University. She trains off-the-track Thoroughbreds for lives off the track, she rides her own horses and she cleans her own stalls. She is focused and fills out monthly goal sheets with attainable deadlines, with the ultimate goal of competing in the Brentina Cup. She also makes a schedule and sticks to it.
“You can never find an option like this to work with so many amazing people in such a short amount of time and get so much help in five days,” she said. “I am so thankful to be here. It’s helped me improve on the little stuff I don’t realize at home. “
She brought two horses because one of them is 22-year-old Carush, a Swedish Warmblood stallion, who would not be able to handle the intensive lessons in the South Florida heat. She rode with Robert Dover, Laura Graves, Adrienne Lyle and George Williams.
Gerlinde Beckers, Kalie’s mother, teaches at the university where Kalie goes to class and helps her haul, takes video and does whatever it takes to help.
“We live in South Louisiana and have no trainers in our area,” she said. “The minimum we have to haul is seven hours to show for qualifiers and to clinics and to get lessons. We are very appreciative of the opportunities we are given: the lectures, the instruction, the videos.” She and Kalie’s father insist that their daughter earn an undergraduate degree. “She gets up early and works all day, but it pays off.”
Rosie Simoes, 18, from Barrington, Illinois, has completed one semester at Harper College where she is a business major and she believes in the value of education. She rode a borrowed horse, Phil Bailey’s 9-year-old Friesian stallion Thys, with Charlotte Bredahl-Baker, Robert Dover, Debbie McDonald and Adrienne Lyle.
“Being in this environment is such a learning experience,” she said. “I think being down here is such an opportunity. When do you get the chance to ride with some of the best of the best in our country and to listen to professionals from all around the sport?”
Her mother and trainer, Julie Julian, has instilled a keen work ethic in her daughter from an early age.
”For me, they are here for a reason: representing the Juniors and the Young Riders,” she said. “They are here to ride. They need to enjoy it and take it all in but they need to be respectful in the way they conduct themselves, the way they dress, the way they keep the barn. But of utmost importance is the way they respect and take care of the horses. They are someday going to represent our country and this is why they are here.”
Kerrigan Gluch, 18, from Mt. Pleasant, Michigan, has been a working student at Hampton Green Farm for three winter seasons and takes online classes to graduate from high school this year. She doesn’t have the means to own her own horse so she takes her opportunities at Hampton Green and the clinic seriously and tries to squeeze as much information as possible from the experience. She rode 8-year-old PRE stallion, Vaquero, with Charlotte Bredahl-Baker, Robert Dover, Debbie McDonald and Adrienne Lyle. This is her second time to ride in the clinic but before that, she always knew someone participating and she tagged along to watch and listen to the lectures.
“I think it’s important to be involved and you can’t really learn anything without watching and observing everyone around you,” she said. “There’s so much to learn here.”
The clinic continues Wednesday when the riders go down centerline in dressage tests in front of judges Janet Foy and Charlotte Bredahl-Baker, who will provide feedback after their tests.