From Australia to Virginia to Georgia and Back
Wednesday, May 6, 2009
Jules first came to the U.S. in 1996 to join her mother in Virginia at her mother's Jilba Dressage. While there, Jules was able to clinic with such people as Gary Rockwell, Steffen Peters, Michelle Gibson, Oded Shimoni, Bent Jensen and Hanne Valentine. In 1996, the mother and daughter purchased a horse that was to take Jules to the top – Goodwood. It was with Goodwood that Jules earned a spot on the 2000 Australian Olympic Dressage Team. He was clearly a world-class horse. In 1999 and 2000 Goodwood was ranked 4th and 3rd respectively in the Grand Prix Freestyle for the USDF.
"Goodwood exceeded the dreams that my mother and I had for him, and it was so sad that we did not go to Sydney due to a nine-month layoff with a ligament injury. In 2002, Goodwood, having returned to his competitive peak, passed away due to a terrible reaction to anesthetic from simple surgery - I will always remember him as the greatest!," Jules said.
In her pursuit of the 2000 Olympic dream, Jules and her mother decided that she should work with a leading American Olympian and chose Michelle Gibson. That's what led Jules to Georgia. "I relocated from Virginia to be her working student for five months and then was a client for the next two years with various horses. Michelle really taught me the value of a "system" and showed me the possibilities of riding half-halts with my body. In addition to her help with Goodwood, particularly in the piaffe/passage tour, Michelle helped me with Increase, who went on to win Prix St. Georges and Intermediaire I at CDIs, and with Wurlitzer, who I trained from Training Level to Grand Prix," Jules said.
The move to Virginia is relatively recent for Jules. For most of the past decade, she was building her business and her reputation from her base in Georgia. While there, she honed her skills as a trainer, bringing 10 horses of various breeds and personalities from the start of their dressage careers to Grand Prix. When she speaks of a team, Jules is quick to include her clients. The solid relationships she builds with clients is one reason for Jules' business success. "My Teamwork Dressage clients in Georgia have won many awards, medals, highpoints, personal bests and championships and I am so proud of each one of them," Jules said. "Of course, I miss my friends and clients in Georgia. I have wonderful memories of my time there and I know the ‘team,’ will stay in touch."