The Lendon Gray Youth Dressage Festival Midwest Results

Saturday, June 29, 2013
Posted by Betsy LaBelle


The participants of the 2013 Lendon Gray Youth Dressage Festival Midwest
The participants of the 2013 Lendon Gray Youth Dressage Festival Midwest
Lendon Gray understands the drive to excellence on the high performance level in the sport of dressage and creates a path for youth. The Lendon Gray Youth Dressage Festival held at Hampton Green Farm, June 23, 2013, set a way for youth, the age’s 8-21years, to learn correct dressage. With three manageable phases, a written test, a dressage test, and an equitation class, the challenge for the youth participants proved rewarding. Basic yet straightforward, Lendon’s caring yet honest nature shines through to each and every participant as they smiled with confidence when checking their scores.This past weekend, Hampton Green Farm in Fruitport, Michigan, a farm located on the western side of the state of Michigan, a few short miles from Lake Michigan, hosted the event. The home for over 50 USPRE, Spanish bred horses, owned by Kim and Frederic Boyer, Hampton Green Farm nestles in absolute beauty with young horses in big fields, separated by age group. The youngsters could be seen playing tag or sleeping in bunches during the weekend.

High Point Show Champion –Nicole Gallant on Parrus Total of  254.315 Points
High Point Show Champion –Nicole Gallant on Parrus Total of 254.315 Points
Sixteen year old Nicole Gallant from Midland, MI with her horse Parrus, a 10 yr old Dutch Warmblood cross from Canada, swept all three phases to become the High Score Winner. Gallant said, “The show offered a great opportunity to be able to ride some tests in a show atmosphere and get feedback from a great judge without really needing the scores for qualifiers or anything else.” Before the competition, Lendon held a two day, Emerging Dressage Athletes Program clinic in which Nicole participated. Nicole’s coach for 4 yrs, Carolyn Van Cise was on hand and helped her succeed during the festival. Gallant continued, “We (my trainer Carolyn and I) tried to use that opportunity to experiment with everything we had learned during the clinic and my lessons. Both my horse and I were pretty tired by the show; we'd had two days of demanding lessons during the clinic as well as the general stresses of traveling. Carolyn did a perfect job of helping Pete and I focus on what we needed to do to perform at our best. We were just beyond thrilled with the improvements we made with Lendon's help and can't wait to do it again next year.”

Lendon Gray inspired the youth by sharing stories on what it takes to be a high performance rider, one who could compete in the Olympics. Every opportunity to have a top athletes share their journey proved influential and the parents and youth sponged up by the information. Who comes with big goals to achieve the Olympic Dream? I think we know that all participants come with that dream. Lorraine Stubbs shared her road to the 1972 and 1976 Olympics. Nicholas Fyffe shared his current rise as a top athlete, and how grooming at many World Equestrian Games, and Olympics helped his confidence and drive. He spoke on the day to day challenges, as well as his journey from youth to top rider for Australia.

Lendon asked all the right questions to allow the youth to really hear the day to day discipline involved; the horses that must be trained and sold, and the tenacity the rider as well as business aspect that a rider must dedicate to the effort.

The written exam
The written exam
The Three Phases to the Lendon Gray Youth Dressage Festival include:

Phase 1: Written Test:

The Youth first take a written exam, a very straight-forward test taken from one of three books. Lendon makes the task clear, if they study one book thoroughly, they will pass with flying colors, and everyone did. Nearly all the kids were in the 80% or above. Not over-faced, the task looks clear and concise in its purpose of following the books information.

The older participants could choose two of three books to focus on, depending on their age group. The three books included:

1. Down to Earth Dressage by Carl Hester and Bernadette Faurie

2. All About Worms by Sonia Davidson

3. 40 Fundementals of English Riding – Essential Lessons for Learning right by Hollie H. McNeil

And the younger aged kids worked on the D - Level USPC Pony Club Manual

Nicholas Fyffe and Claire Kendall
Nicholas Fyffe and Claire Kendall
Phase 2: The Dressage Test: The youth could choose the level of USDF Dressage Test that they had prepared with their pony or horse. Lorraine Stubbs, Canadian Olympian and 4* rated Dressage Judge was the judge at C for this phase.  And high performance rider Nicholas Fyffe, advised them after the test. Each participant had the opportunity to have a turn-out inspection before riding their Dressage Test. The indoor arena acted at the warm-up area where the participant could work with a roving trainer, a dressage professional or elite athlete who volunteered to be there. Andrea Landis did a fantastic job in this area.

The Equitation phase
The Equitation phase
Phase 3: Equitation Class: The youth participated in an equitation class with other participants in their level and age group. High performance rider, Laurie Moore, not only judged these classes, but encouraged riders with tips for improvement after each class.

The three major endeavors tallied up the overall winner.

The care of the participants and families during the event speaks volumes for the wonderful hosts of the event. Kim and Frederic Boyer are warm and inviting.

Frederic Boyer designed meals that were as delicious as they were wholesome. His impeccable approach to feeding all the participants and their families made each one of us feel special as well as well-fed. Known for the huge pans of seafood and chicken Paella, he makes fresh cooked over hot coals. “Wow” is all I can say for Fredric’s culinary genius. Café Fredo gets two thumbs up.

Lyn Kendall explains the program to the participants
Lyn Kendall explains the program to the participants
The show management, Lyn Kendall, Marilyn Farhinger, Whitney Peterson and Maureen Sharp did a fantastic job helping the kids understand the format, as they answered any and all questions with a large smile on their faces. The announcer, Jim Guthrie traveled from Chicago to be a part of this wonderful event.  Barbara Moss – the Horse Inspection Judge did exceptional job checking equipment, sending the youth to the indoor warm-up arena where the roving trainers helped to prepare the youth for their dressage tests.  

RESULTS: 2013 Lendon Gray Youth Dressage Festival Midwest Championship Award Winners:

High Point Show Champion –Nicole Gallant on Parrus Total of  254.315 Points

Wildlife Plaque Donated by Wildlife Galleries

High Score for Written Test – Kylie Heitman Score:  98 

Ariat Grooming Bag with Books by Lendon Gray & Betsy LaBelle

High Score Dressage Test – Nicole Gallant on Parrus Score: 71.315

Double Bridle Donated by Millbrook Tack

High Point Equitation – Kerrigan Gluch on Lentisco  Score: 88

Painting Donated by Liz Pizzo Designs

Turnout Inspection Champion – Claire Kendall on Dandi Score: 29.7  

Grooming Gift Bag donated by Betsys Bougie

High Point Walk/Trot – Williow VanAntwerp on Amazing Grace 

Spurs, Book & Pony Boots

High Point Intro C & Training Level – Nick Skillen on Siraj 

Back on Track Exercise Boots

High Point First Level – Nicole Gallant on Parrus 

Back on Track Exercise Boots

High Point 2nd & Up- Nicole Gallant on Parrus

Back on Track Exercise Boots

High Scoring PRE USPRE –Rachel Chowanec on Cochise

USPRE Saddle Pad & Shirt

High Point Pony & Rider – Ella Angelo on Major Attraction

US Pony Club Store Gift Certificate

High Score Horse/Pony Started by Rider - Kylie Heitman on Champs Proof 

HGF Framed Poster of Dani & Grandioso

Outstanding Sportsmanship Award - Claire Kendall

HGF Framed Poster of Dani & Grandioso

Most Valuable Volunteer Award -  Isabelle Clark

Gift Bag

Other thanks must go to the sponsors: 

  • Wildlife Gallery
  • Betsy Bougie
  • Liz Pizzo Designs
  • Jamaica Stall Rental 
  • United States P.R.E. Association
  • Millbrook Tack
  • United States Pony Club
  • A1 Tents
  • DressageDaily.com
  • VanKampen Boyer Molinari Foundation

For more information on Lendon Gray’s Youth Dressage Festivals, D4K organization, The Winter Intensive Training Program (WIT) please go to: http://www.dressage4kids.org

Photos:  Betsy LaBelle and Kim Boyer