The U.S. Dressage Federation has announced the inaugural Sport Horse Prospect Development Program, presented by Dressage at Devon, to be held Sept. 14-15 at Apple Knoll Farm in Millis, Mass.
The forum will be led by U.S. Equestrian Federation Young Horse Coach Scott Hassler and Ingo Pape, one of Germany’s most respected breeders and horsemen.
Hassler, a former chair and current member of USDF’s Sport Horse Committee, said that the idea for the forum came about as the group discussed the need for more education in the first year of a dressage horse’s career.
“It’s really going through every single horse as an individual, as an athlete. I think this is one of the most difficult times to make decisions with horses. Should I do more, should I back off? Should I let him grow? Is there something I’m missing?” he said. “There are so many things that come into play in that first year. We’re hoping to show and educate the group and get them involved about looking at a horse and then evaluating it and making good decisions on how this horse should go forward.”
Hassler sees the forum as an ideal supplement to USDF’s in-hand classes and Breeder’s Championship Series and hopes to focus on everything from nutrition to training to mental development and confidence.
The forum will feature eight young horses and will be open to a limited number of auditors for a cost that has not been announced yet. Hassler hopes to put on one to two forums per year in the future. “I’m thrilled and excited that we have this program now. I think this is going to be a very broad based forum with a lot of information and I think a lot of good things can come out of it and spread through the country,” he said.
For more information about program, contact the USDF office at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call (859) 971-2277.