Specialties – Developing FEI Horses and Young Riders

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Sharon McCusker - Dressage Trainer and Coach

Sharon has successfully brought many horses to the FEI ranks. “I’m good at developing FEI horses,” Sharon said. “My niche is pirouettes, piaffe, passage, and putting changes on horses. I like to take a mid-level horse and develop it to FEI. Some people love riding four-year-olds, but I prefer the finer points at the FEI levels.”

Sharon also enjoys working with young riders. “I’m lucky to have had some really good young riders to work with over the years,” she noted.

Hayley Cullen and Christina Jahl were both successful in the FEI Juniors and went on to represent Region 8 at the NAJYRC. Hayley finished in the top 15 when she was only 16, then went on to compete successfully at Intermediaire I before going to college.

Photo: Hayley Cullen and Grammatik Credit: Vicki Cullen

Marlee O’Neil rode in the FEI Junior National Championships in 2007 where she finished 9th. She rode for the Region 8 Team that same year at the NAJYRC. Marlee won the Junior Prix St. Georges Championship class at NEDA Fall in 2008. She was also 2008 USDF Region 8 Champion at Prix St. Georges.

“Sharon goes above and beyond the normal call of duty of a trainer,” Marlee said.  “She truly teaches you how to not only be a top rider, but also a top competitor. Her attention to detail and impeccable eye allow her to prepare you for the show arena both mentally and physically. She has not only helped me venture through the levels, but she has also been a mentor to the business aspect of dressage. I highly regard Sharon as a top trainer and believe that her methods and dedication clearly show through in not only her stellar results but also in all of her students.”

Erin Shea, Sharon’s assistant, was very successful at Fourth level in 2008, with many rides over 70%. Erin won the USDF Region 8 Championship at 4th level in 2008 and is currently competing at Prix St. George on a new mount this season.

“I feel that the young riders bring a lot of energy to the sport,” Sharon said. “It’s so gratifying to see them develop and mature as riders into successful young adults.”

Photo: Erin Shea amd Marine Bell Credit: Christine Shea

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