Dressage4Kids’ Emerging Dressage Athlete Program and Hampton Green Farm announced their inaugural winter training opportunity for youth riders, to be held in Wellington, Fla., Jan. 4-March 28, 2013. Lendon Gray will be doing the majority of the riding instruction and will oversee the program. Riders 21 and under, and with any riding level, will be considered for participation.
“Since I gave up having my own stable three years ago I have been frustrated that I could not give the opportunities to learn that I was able to provide for many working students over the years,” Gray said. “This is a different program but something I have dreamed about for a long time—a truly intensive training camp for serious dressage riders who are willing to put in the efforts that we see from the young Olympians from other sports now competing in London.”
Gray, who was voted into the U.S. Dressage Federation Hall of Fame in 2011, taught international riders Courtney King-Dye, Chris Hickey, Mica Mabragana, Meagan Davis, Jocelyn Wiese, Rachel Chowanec and Isabelle Leibler at the beginning of their dressage careers.
Gray hopes this program will give riders an opportunity to participate in consistent and extensive training and all areas of horse care, riding and training theory and competition skills. The program will include instruction in fitness of horse and rider, sports psychology, equestrian business management and other pertinent subjects. There will be guest speakers, trips to watch top riders teach and train, auditing of clinics, viewing of riding at horse shows, and discussions with judges, farriers and veterinarians.
According to Gray, “This will not be a program for the casual rider, but for young riders determined to be the best they can be. The age and level of the rider is not important; the determination, discipline, and drive are. The high standards that will be taken for granted of the riders while on their horses will also be expected in the care of their horses and their presentation of themselves at all times.”
Riders may come for the entire three months or for shorter periods if stabling permits. A few horses and ponies are available for riders who can’t bring their own. The fee for the program will cover lessons, lectures, stall with hay, grain, and bedding, coaching at shows and stable management supervision. The fee will not cover rider housing, meals, transportation, horse supplements, show fees, farrier or veterinarian bills. There will be time each day for riders who are homeschooled or being tutored.
“I couldn’t be more excited to have Dressage4Kids host their winter training camp at Hampton Green Farm in Wellington,” said Hampton Green Farm’s owner Kimberley Boyer. “This program corresponds so much to what HGF is involved with: the Lendon Youth Dressage Festival, the Emerging Dressage Athlete Program and the Global Dressage Festival. A number of the riders have been working students in the past at HGF, and they, and the others, are an important generation for the future of dressage in the U.S.”
Renee Isler is spearheading a sponsorship program to provide scholarships for the program. “I believe in this program; it’s an amazing opportunity and could only happen because of the generosity of someone like Lendon,” Isler said. “Florida is the ideal location because of the concentration of talent that will only enhance the education of this group of young people.”
Anyone interested should contact Lendon Gray at firstname.lastname@example.org.