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GM Horsemastership program postponed until 2020

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  • Original Poster

    Originally posted by lifeishorsesarelove View Post
    but I would like to share that the typo of "hosemastership" in the thread title gave me flashbacks of wrestling with the hose while bathing and watering (like tonight, at night check) and caused me to choke on my drink. I would sign myself up for that clinic!
    bhahaha, I know I proofread it! You gave me a laugh!

    It will be interesting to see what they develop for 2020. I do hope it’s something along the lines of the suggestions! And I think it would be so interesting to see them do a program for adult amateurs.


    • #22
      There is a program like this for adult amateurs! It is called the USHJA Gold Star Clinic. I am 49, and I got to do it last year.

      It took place over several days at Coachella. There were wonderful sessions given by great speakers in sports psychology, veterinary medicine, shoeing, social media management, and flatwork, and we had several wonderful days of clinics with Richard Spooner. We had to groom and care for our own horses and learned great stable management tips. On the last day, we had a Nations Cup-type competition and got additional coaching from Dianne Langer, Kirsten Coe, Rich Fellers, and Will Simpson.

      It is part of the USHJA Team Jumper Championships. You qualify by going to the Championships (which are really fun on their own) and getting an individual medal in the 1.10, 1.20, or 1.30 division, or, if you come in further down the placings like me, you fill out an application for a wild card slot. It is open to juniors and adult amateurs of any age.

      It is a great program! I had a blast and learned so much. Everyone participated as a team, and it was just a really positive experience. The young people had such great attitudes and were really into caring for and learning about their horses.


      • #23
        Again the USHJA & USEF lines are getting blurred. USHJA's EAP program covers pretty much exactly what everyone is saying the Mastership program lacks. Mastership is run by USEF, who has a primary objective to field an international team. I fully agree these kids, who may one day field an international team, need a more immersive experience than a weekend with BNTs they already train with. I hope that is what USEF has realized and is retooling with this break.

        I think it's also worth noting, you could come from a very, very well-off family, and still not have the means to pursue an international career. It's a brutal reality that they may be retooling simply to target an income bracket only 1 or 2 levels down from the top, but I think it's also an honest realty. Hopefully EAP is finding and funneling talent from even lesser means, which can set them up with a top trainer, and filter them into the Mastership program ranks.

        And as rosebecard shows, USHJA is trying to offer more diverse & inclusive programs. They really are, I've worked on some and watched others be passionately fought for. If we could more clearly define what we want each of these organizations to handle; say international objectives from USEF and grass roots/outreach support from USHJA, and remember, always, that they are separate organizations doing & supporting very different things, I think we could get a better picture of a path forward. One that isn't to just trash it all and start over, and realize in 10 years that actually didn't solve anything.
        EHJ | FB | #140 | watch | #insta


        • #24
          Originally posted by ynl063w View Post
          It's a nice idea to want to revolve this opportunity around the less fortunate but talented kids that are out there, but is it really practical? Who will finance their transportation, lend them appropriate horses to ride, put them up somewhere, etc. And even if some wealthy benefactor(s) make that happen for the 4 or 5 day event, what happens to these kids after that? They're going to go back home to their mediocre horses and trainers in their non-competitive areas of the country and nothing will change for them, unless they can find wealthy benefactors who will continue to finance their riding careers in competitive areas of the country (and their parents will have to be ok with that, unless said benefactors finance a family move to the new area).
          Actually, a couple of kids have gotten noticed at this clinic and have had it springboard their future - Jacob Pope for example. Got into the clinic via winning EAP, got noticed at the clinic by Andre and ended up winning the Maclay finals the next year.


          • #25
            Originally posted by meupatdoes View Post

            Sadly agree.

            The program is designed for kids who will never teach a lesson or clinic in their lives to play groom for a few days and briefly dabble in the curiosity of tacking up and blanketing their own horse, never to be repeated before or after.

            However the USEF gets to spend the membership fees from the rest of us on the children of billionaires (who will, I repeat NEVER teach a lesson to the rest of us with this information) and congratulate itself on all the efforts it's making to develop the sport.

            If these kids wanted to learn how to be horsepeople they'd be with their trainers as working students instead of as full service clients and show a passing interest in grooming their own the other 362 days of the year. But it only seems to be of interest when the equestrian media is chronicling their every move and asking them to do interviews and blogs on what amazements they have discovered about basic horsecare.

            And before anyone starts with blaming trainer control, I'd imagine if you told any trainer "I will board a million dollars worth of horses with you on the condition you teach me how to take care of it too," the trainers would **figure out** how to incorporate that into their program. Hell, they could probably even charge extra.

            If the USEF wants to do a horsemastership clinic for 6 people a year there are literally thousands of adult amateurs and young pros who would give their eyeteeth to do this, but the program is carefully tailored to provide the information only to people who will never use it, much less pass it on.
            Maybe that's what it's become, but the root of this program was different. This clinic was started by George Morris and the Syracuse Invitational management and was paid for by sponsors and with the donation of time by George and other professionals, as well as top grooms, as well as the donation of space at WEF.

            Riders were chosen by the equitation ranking list, winning equitation finals and wild cards chosen by George. There was definitely more to it than "playing groom." Auditing was always free and this was one of the first clinics to be livestreamed (for free) and was turned into educational dvds and archived on the internet for viewing.

            I think if you look at the list of the participants from 10 years ago, you might find a few that have certainly gone on to pass on their knowledge as trainers/professionals -

            —Kimberly McCormack (Clermont, NJ): 1st on Bates Equitation Rankings
            —Maria Schaub (Holmdel, NJ): 2nd on Bates Equitation Rankings
            —Jennifer Waxman (Chagrin Falls, OH): 3rd on Bates Equitation Rankings
            —Carolyn Curcio (West Islip, NY): 4th on Bates Equitation Rankings
            —Tina Dilandri (La Jolla, CA): Highest-ranked Bates Equitation West Coast Rider
            —Natalie Rae Medlock (Orange, CA): Winner of USEF Talent Search West
            —Nikko Ritter (Geneva, FL): Winner USEF Talent Search East
            —Aurora Griffin (Westlake Village, CA): National Individual Junior Champion
            —Hillary Dobbs (Sussex, NJ): Wild card invitation based on overall performance
            —Charlie Jayne (Elgin, IL): Wild card invitation based on overall performance
            —Karl Cook (Woodside, CA): Wild card invitation based on overall performance

            I hope it returns in 2020 with success.



            • #26
              I loved watching it. My impression was that it was a way to give highly successful junior riders horsemanship and stable management skills, not just riding skills. As much as I would like to think that hunter/jumper land can be more inclusive, unless we can reduce the costs of owning, riding and showing, it will never be a sport that allows middle income or less participation. It is a sport for the rich and very rich at the A and AA levels - as much as I hate to say that.


              • #27
                In the past I did not like the way GM picked on certain individuals in such a cruel manner. Otherwise, it was great.


                • #28
                  I’m so sorry to read that they’re suspending this program until 2020. It was a great opportunity for everyone involved, riders, parents, sponsors, horses and trainers. My daughter Zazou Hoffman (local California Trainer Meredith Bullock and working student for Misdy Clark) winner of the 2009 Maclay Final and currently at Trainer w/ Meadow Grove Farm benefitted enormously from the Mastership programs that she participated in. It allowed her to meet a host of individuals who have benefitted her in her career. She would never have crossed paths w/ these important horsemen and women had she stayed in California. The riders were even instructed to send thank you notes to every one of the sponsors and often overlooked gesture of appreciation that is essential to compete at an international level.
                  winter hoffman


                  • #29
                    Continuing on I want to add that a talented young rider from our area was the wild card last year and her father took my advice and borrowed a horse that was already at WEF this insuring that his daughter was well-mounted and that a host of people were looking after her once she arrived. She made tremendous progress and it allowed her to see the bigger picture of the sport. It makes me sad to see all these comments saying that only rich kids were selected-not true! The sport is made up of all different people from all different backgrounds and the great professional realize that early on!
                    winter hoffman