Thursday, May 7, 2009
Jules has taught dressage to international US eventers since 2000. Her background as a successful Australian event rider and her experience with ex-racehorse thoroughbreds has meant that she is uniquely skilled to help eventing clients with their dressage.
Her reputation as a dressage trainer for eventers began when she started teaching Belgium Olympian Carl Bouckaert who for ten years sent his eventing horses to Jules for dressage training. In 2002 Carl placed his famous Welton Molecule (Olly) with Jules for dressage training. Molecule was fifteen years old at that time and being a remarkable athlete he quickly muscled, easily learning the movements of the Grand Prix. Within a year Jules and Welton Molecule were scoring mid sixties Grand Prix in recognized competitions. Molecule then was returned to his eventing career and for many more years continued to be competitive on the international eventing scene. His retirement ceremony at 2007 Badminton **** was an emotional farewell to a great horse. Carl passaged into the huge, packed stadium, performed tempi changes and then dismounted in front of Welton Molecule’s breeder and handed her the reins and took off the saddle for the final time. Welton Molecule continues to enjoy his much deserved retirement where he was born and raised.
Carl also encouraged his daughter, Natalie Bouckaert Pollard, Michael Pollard, Julie Richards, Imtiaz Anees and Kelly McMullen Temple to lesson and train with Jules. One of Carl’s horses, West Farthing (Farthing), was with Jules for many months over a two year period and reached Intermediare 1 level, schooling some piaffe and passage. Farthing went on to perform well in eventing dressage for both Carl and Natalie; in fact Natalie was long listed on this horse for the 2004 Athens Olympics.
Multi –Olympian Julie Richards trained with Jules initially with her first Olympic mount and then with the inimitable and cheeky, Jacob Two Two who was part of the Bronze medal winning team at the Athens Olympics. Jules also had Julie’s horse, Connaught in training when Julie was pregnant. Connaught quickly learnt the tempi changes and also started some passage under Jules training program. This horse was subsequently sold to Philip Dutton who went on to win the 2008 Rolex CIC****.with a good dressage score! This year Philip and Connaught representing the United States again scored well in the dressage at Rolex and went on to earn sixth place.
Karin Donkers is a multi-Olympian in Eventing and Jules encouraged her to learn upper level dressage on her own horse, Goodwood. Karin benefited from this experience enormously and actually competed Grand Prix on Goodwood, in recognized competition scoring creditably, in the mid sixties. For many years Jules has regularly traveled to Belgium to clinic with Karin and her hard working, talented team. Jules is proud that Karin’s dressage scores are constantly improving, contributing to Karin’s ongoing international success. “Unless the dressage score is good,” Jules explains, “today’s eventers will not be in the placings”.
Jules is also proud to have helped, Imtiaz Anees. Imtiaz rode for India at the Sydney 2000 Olympics and he took regular lessons with Jules for the last three years that she was based in Georgia. Since Jules move to Virginia Craig Thompson has been taking regular dressage lessons with Jules and Libby and he has been consistently improving his dressage scores.
Jules’s eventing clients are generally seeking to improve their flying changes and the quality of their trot work, which tends to be the problem areas for many eventing horses. Jules is always up for the training challenge and says, “My eventing clients are fun to teach because they have no fear, are already balanced in the saddle; so when given good instruction they improve really fast, which is mutually rewarding”.
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