Category Archives: Symposiums

2013 Para-Equestrian Dressage Symposium Motivates U.S. Riders

Ben Harper and Maggie work with Catherine Haddad Staller. Photos by Lindsay McCall.

Lyman, Maine – May 30, 2013 – The 2013 Para-Equestrian Dressage Symposium kicked off on May 29th with a “Train the Trainer” program and “SmartPak Coaches Forum”. Trainers, riders, and auditors were enlightened on Para-Dressage topics including the use of compensating aids, the classification process, and collaborative coaching techniques. FEI “O” Judge and Olympic Technical Delegate Hanneke Gerritsen, National Classifier Tina Wentz, USPEA President Hope Hand, and Former USEF High Performance Dressage Director Gil Merrick discussed each of these topics in a formal atmosphere at the Nonantum Resort in Kennebunkport, Maine. Riders then headed to the Carlisle Academy Integrative Equine Therapy & Sports in Lyman, Maine for their first lessons with Clive Milkins. Clive Milkins coached the 2012 gold medal winning Great Britain Para-Dressage Team. On the following day, May 30th, equestrians put on their tall boots, stepped into their stirrups and participated in a demonstration ride with Hanneke Gerritsen and lessons with Clive Milkins and Catherine Haddad Staller. The 2013 Para-Equestrian Dressage Symposium is the first in a series of educational events across the United States. Carlisle has partnered with the United States Equestrian Federation, United States Para-Equestrian Association, and SmartPak to make the symposium an educational package.

Throughout the day riders were treated to exceptional trainers present in the world of Dressage. United States Para-Dressage equestrians included current high-performances riders and horses in addition to a few green Para-Equestrians. Many riders did not bring their own horses due to logistics creating exciting opportunities for the rider. Clive Milkins enjoyed each aspect of the symposium weekend. He noted, “It’s fantastic to see a group of like-minded people all pulling together, in the vastness of this country, to help disabled riders become proper athletes and sportsman.”

When Clive Milkins received the phone call that he was requested in the U.S. a day before the European National Selection Trials, he was game.

“I was really excited,” expressed Milkins. “My main belief in life is to help anybody that thinks they want my help or my input. The experience I have gained over the last 20 years of doing well in Great Britain is invaluable. I will help anyone who wants help. Anybody that wants me and feels I can make a difference to their riding or their horses, I am there.”

After a full weekend of viewing the United States Para-Dressage riders, Clive Milkins was impressed. He stated, “Give yourself some more experience, work on the small items, especially what everyone is developing over the last few days. It will not be much longer until the U.S. sees another medal.”

Para-Equestrian Sydney Collier of Ann Arbor, MI, is looking towards the next medal opportunity, which is the 2014 World Equestrian Games in Normandy, France. This symposium is inserted within the high-performance schedule to help benefit each rider. With the logistics involved, not every rider could transport their horses to Maine for the symposium.

Para-Equestrian Sydney Collier of Ann Arbor, MI, brought her own horse Wentworth to the symposium. She commented, “It’s so valuable to get the trainers feedback with you and your own horses. When you borrow a horse, you are getting feedback on you and on a horse you may not have ever ridden before. It may not translate back to your own horses. I was excited to bring Wentworth this year. I like seeing what the other trainers feel about him and what they think we can do to improve our partnership. It is invaluable to be able to have both of us here at the same time.”

She continued, “It’s also crucial to have my very gracious coach Wes Dunham on the grounds to gain feedback from the symposium. I want to thank Wes, my parents, and Carlisle Academy for hosting this amazing event.”

Ben Harper of Virginia experienced this one of a kind educational event and was thrilled with the outcome. He explained, “This is a special event and a great team building symposium.”

Ben Harper is relatively new to the sport of Para-Dressage and found himself enjoying the opportunity to ride in front of the internationally acclaimed panel. For new riders like Harper, the experience of having trainers in one location beside educators, professionals, and fellow teammates is essential.

Mary Jordan and Sebastian
Mary Jordan and Sebastian

For veteran Para-Dressage, riders the ability to work on specific tasks and sharpen techniques could change the outcome at the next international competition.

The 2013 Para-Equestrian Dressage Symposium continues May 31 – June 1, 2013 with the accomplished trainer Catherine Haddad Staller, clinician Gil Merrick, and expert judge Hanneke Gerritsen.

Equestrians, trainers and coaches who have questions and who would like more information on the symposium can contact Carlisle’s Training & Leadership Program Director Joyce Brown at, or at 207.985.0374. Questions can also be directed to USPEA President Hope Hand at

Written by: Lindsay Y McCall

To view an online version of this press release with more photos, please visit:

About United States Para-Equestrian Association:

The USPEA is a network of riders, judges, national federation board members, and equestrian enthusiasts.  The association gives athletes the ability to get involved and expand their knowledge and experience in the Para-Equestrian sport. The USPEA encourages para-athletes to participate in all disciplines under the para-equestrian umbrella.

The USPEA is a recognized affiliate of the United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) which serves as the National Governing Body for the equestrian sport.  This relationship between the USPEA and USEF is to encourage para-equestrian competitors, leisure riders, coaches, fans and enthusiasts to network and get involved with the entire equestrian sport.

Ultimately the goal of the USPEA is to foster growth in the para-equestrian discipline.  From growth in the number of participants to growth as a team, and growth in the experience and knowledge of all involved.  From local horse shows to international Olympic Games, the USPEA will provide para-equestrians the knowledge of what they need to succeed.  The USPEA connects with the International Olympic Committee (IOC), the Federation Equestre Internationale (FEI), the United States Dressage Federation (USDF), and USEF which provides Para-Equestrians the top equestrian resources.

In June 2010, the USPEA earned its 501 (c)(3) status which has encouraged supporters to help supply funding to the Para-Equestrian Team as a recognized affiliate of the United States Equestrian Federation (USEF).

For more information about the USPEA, please visit or contact USPEA President Hope Hand by e-mail: or by phone: (610)356-6481.

Announcing the 2013 US National Para-Dressage Training Symposium “A Team Approach”

Lyman, ME – Join the USPEA for a four day Para-Dressage Training Symposium. World-class trainers and practitioners will be at Carlisle Academy for an educational and interactive program packed with information and training for para-dressage riders, trainers and coaches.

The Training symposium is presented in two parts, with a theme of “A Team Approach.”

Train the Trainer Workshop ~ May 29-30
Para Rider Symposium ~ May 30 – June 1

This is a U.S. Para-Equestrian Association sanctioned event and is organized and hosted by Carlisle Academy Integrative Equine Therapy & Sports, a leading nationally accredited program in Lyman, Maine.

Symposium Banquet & Keynote Address
All participants (clinicians, trainers, and riders) are invited to a symposium banquet at the Nonantum Resort in Kennebunkport, Maine on Wednesday, May 29th. Featured guest Gil Merrick will kick off the symposium theme of “A Team Approach” in his keynote address that evening. There will be time for fellowship and networking.

Featured Symposium Clinicians
Hanneke Gerritsen ~ FEI “O” Judge and Olympic Technical Delegate from Holland
Catherine Haddad Staller ~ International Dressage Competitor & Trainer
Clive Milkins ~ 2012 Paralympic Gold Medal Team Coach for Great Britain
Gil Merrick ~ Former USEF High Performance Dressage Director and National Clinician

Symposium Lecturers & Specialists
Hope Hand ~ President of United States Para Equestrian Association (USPEA)
Lora Dow ~ Fundraising & Marketing Expert
Tina Wentz ~ National Classifier and USPEA board member
Susan Grant, OTR/L, HPCS ~ Licensed Occupational Therapist; Hippotherapy Clinical Specialist
Janet Smaldone, PT, HPCS ~ Licensed Physical Therapist; Hippotherapy Clinical Specialist

The workshop portion and Symposium Banquet will be held at the classic, waterfront Nonantum Resort in Kennebunkport, Maine. We have reserved a block of rooms at a group rate for any Symposium participant. All hands-on and riding portions of the Symposium will be held at Carlisle Academy, which is centrally located in Southern Maine, just 30 minutes from Portland, ME and Portsmouth, NH. Fly into Portland, Manchester or Boston airports. The Academy, located on 150-acre Spring Creek Farm in Lyman, Maine, USA, provides an ideal environment for training. With two indoor arenas, two outdoor arenas, a therapy room and classroom, individuals and horses alike will find the space comfortable, peaceful and conducive to a productive learning experience.

Registration Due Date: Friday, May 10, 2013

Please note – there is no limit on enrollment for the Train the Trainer’s portion. However, due to the intensive nature of the Rider Symposium, space is limited to 10 riders and an unlimited number of active auditors. Carlisle Academy will hold space for 2 alternates in the event of rider cancellations. Preference will be given to Horse & Rider combinations.

Download the Registration Form Here.
Download the Information Packet Here.

Please contact Joyce Brown, Training & Leadership Program Director of Carlisle Academy Integrative Equine Therapy & Sports, at 207-985-0374 or with questions or concerns.

Contact the USPEA by emailing President Hope Hand at

Global Dressage Forum North America Treats Participants to Two-Day Educational Event

Ingrid Klimke demonstrates training the young horse. Photo by Susan J. Stickle

Wellington, FL – January 29, 2013 – The second day of the Global Dressage Forum North America (GDFNA) was packed with lectures, demonstrations and interactive panel discussions presented by a “Who’s who” of dressage clinicians, experts, judges, riders and competitors. The GDFNA, held at the Jim Brandon Equestrian Center January 28-29, was presented by and Wellington Classic Dressage.

Tuesday’s clinicians included Stefan Stammer, Bo Jena, Ingrid Klimke, Dr. Hilary Clayton and Wolfram Wittig. Dressage superstars Anne Gribbons, Kathy Connelly, Betsy Steiner, Leslie Reid, Jan Ebling, Felicitas von Neumann-Cosel, Christoph Hess, Stephen Clarke, Wim Ernes, Gary Rockwell, Lendon Gray and Sue Blinks were featured panelists.

“I’m honored to be part of the first annual GDFNA and to welcome so many top international riders, trainers and panelists,” said Noreen O’Sullivan, Managing Partner of Wellington Classic Dressage.

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Global Dressage Forum North America Kicks Off Two-Day Educational Experience

Steffen Peters kicks off the teaching portion of the clinic. Photos by Susan Stickle

Wellington, FL – January 28, 2013 − The Global Dressage Forum North America (GDFNA) launched the first day of the premier educational dressage experience in at the Jim Brandon Equestrian Center in Palm Beach County, presented by Wellington Classic Dressage and

Andreas Stano, Executive Director and Founder of the GDFNA and, welcomed top international professionals from the U.K., Germany, Holland, Denmark and Canada, as well as spectators from as far away as Canada, Europe and New Zealand.

The program began with George Williams, president of the United States Dressage Federation, outlining the issues facing dressage in the U.S. today. “We need to protect dressage for the future,” Williams said, “and we must make it sustainable.”

He emphasized the importance of supporting the highest level of the sport and the key aspect education plays in the future.

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2013 Global Dressage Forum North America: Dressage’s Most Significant Educational Experience

Wellington, FL – December 1, 2012 – The 2013 Global Dressage Forum North America (GDFNA), the world’s largest and most important educational symposium for international dressage, will be held January 28-29 at the Palm Beach County Jim Brandon Equestrian Center in West Palm Beach, FL.

Dressage trainers, riders, officials and serious dressage enthusiasts from around the globe will gather at this first annual event immediately following the CDI5* World Dressage Masters/Wellington Classic Sunshine Challenge CDI3*.

The Global Dressage Forum North America (GDFNA) will feature the world’s top dressage educators presenting training demonstrations by international and Olympic champions, revealing an in-depth insight into what makes their methods so successful.

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Dressage Rider Lauren Sammis Wears “Role Model” Hat at Riders4Helmets Safety Symposium and Young Rider Graduate Program

Lauren Sammis, who always wears her helmet while riding and competing, recently took part in the Riders4Helmets Safety Symposium and the USDF/USEF Young Rider Graduate Program in Wellington. (Photo courtesy of Sue Stickle)

Wellington, FL (January 18, 2012) – International Dressage rider and Pan Am Gold Medalist Lauren Sammis is well known for wearing her helmet in the Grand Prix ring, and thanks to that important life decision Sammis put on her “role model” hat recently and took part in the Riders4Helmets Safety Symposium in Wellington. Sammis, who competes Sagacious HF, a KWPN gelding owned by Al Guden and Hyperion Farm, sat on a panel at the Riders4Helmets Symposium entitled “We Are All Role Models.”

In addition to being a role model for wearing her helmet while riding and competing, Sammis is also a role model for young dressage riders aspiring to have a successful dressage career. On the same weekend that Sammis appeared on the Riders4Helmet panel, she also took part in the USDF/USEF Young Rider Graduate Program.

“It was a very busy weekend but I had a great time,” Sammis said. “Both programs were very important and it was an honor to be asked to participate. I am in Wellington for the winter dressage season competing Sagacious in the Grand Prix’s, but anytime I can do something that puts me in a position where I am helping other riders, I am glad to do it.”

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Riders4Helmets to Host 3rd Helmet Safety Symposium

Lexington, KY — The popular helmet awareness campaign Riders4Helmets will be hosting the 3nd Riders4Helmets Safety Symposium on January 14th, 2012, at the Hilton Airport Hotel, Australian Avenue, West Palm Beach, FL (International Room), from 8.30am to 5pm. The symposium is being sponsored by Tipperary, Charles Owen, Samshield, Ovation, One K Helmets, GPA, Equine Risk Management Group LLC, Equestrian Collections and Point Two. For those who cannot attend the symposium in person, sessions will be available via live feed (details to be announced on the website shortly).

The Helmet Safety Symposium will bring together representatives from various corners of the equestrian world to discuss the importance of wearing helmets, rider safety and to improve helmet designs, rules and more. The event will provide a series of lectures and panel discussions throughout the day. Many in attendance will also sit on the panels, including equestrians, representatives from the helmet safety testing authorities, helmet manufacturers, equestrian organizations, and neurosurgeons. The chairs of the meeting will be Dr. Craig Ferrell, physician to the United States Equestrian Team and Chair FEI Medical Council, and, Lyndsey White and Chad Mendell of Riders4Helmets.

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Amerigo Sponsored Dressage Star Kyra Kyrklund Shines at NEDA Fall Symposium

Kyra Kyrklund was the featured clinician at the NEDA Fall Symposium.

Buena Vista, VA (November 29, 2011) – World-renowned dressage trainer and rider Kyra Kyrklund, a Finnish dressage icon from West Sussex in the United Kingdom, was the featured clinician at the NEDA Fall Symposium at the UMass Hadley Farm in Hadley, Massachusetts. Kyrklund has competed in six Olympics and is proudly sponsored by Amerigo Saddles, sold in the United States by World Equestrian Brands, LLC.

“Every year NEDA brings top riders and trainers to their symposium and all of the dressage enthusiasts who attend the NEDA Fall Symposium are thrilled to be learning from the best of the best. Kyra is certainly is all that, and she is such an inspiration. It was a fantastic experience for everyone at the NEDA Symposium to be able to learn from one of the best in the world,” said Robin Moore, President of World Equestrian Brands. “Kyra is well known for her training methods and also for riding in Amerigo Saddles. At World Equestrian Brands we carry Amerigo and Amerigo Vega products and we are pleased to represent a product endorsed by Kyra.”

Kyrklund’s book, Dressage with Kyra, details Kyrklund’s unique training system, a system that has enabled her to accomplish a great deal in the dressage world. Kyrklund said she is always interested in developing better ways to communicate with horses, and she shared that knowledge with those attending the NEDA Symposium.

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Rood & Riddle to Hold Sport Horse Educational Symposium during 2011 Alltech National Horse Show

Lexington, KY – October 21, 2011 – Rood & Riddle Equine Hospital will hold an educational symposium for horsemen on sport horse health entitled “Achieving Peak Performance – A Whole Horse Approach” on Thursday, November 3 from 5 to 7 p.m. The seminar will be held in the North Exhibit Hall of the Alltech Arena at the Kentucky Horse Park, and will be free to ticket holders for Alltech National Horse Show events on that evening.

The symposium will highlight a range of veterinary topics impacting sport horses of all disciplines and levels. Talks will include “How Dentistry Affects Performance” by Brad Tanner, DVM; “Neck and Back Dysfunction” by Alex Emerson, DVM; “Hind Limb Pain and the Use of Stem Cells” by Scott Hopper, DVM, MS, Dipl. ACVS and partner at Rood & Riddle; “Shoeing for Performance” by Vern Dryden, DVM, CJF and “Nutritional Supplements for Sport Horses” by Steve Elliott, Global Product Director at Alltech. The symposium will be moderated by Chris Newton, DVM, partner at Rood & Riddle.

Rood & Riddle Equine Hospital is the official veterinarian, farrier and pharmacy of the Alltech National Horse Show, which is making its first appearance in Lexington, Kentucky this year. The 128-year-old show features a number of prestigious hunter and jumper classes, including the Double H Farm $75,000 International Grand Prix on the evening of the symposium.

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Aachen Symposium “Vital Step” in Organised Growth of Jumping

Lausanne, (SUI), 19 August 2011 – The inaugural two-day Symposium hosted by the FEI, CHIO Aachen and Aachen School of Course Design (ASCD) last month was “a vital step forward in the organised growth of national, regional, FEI 1* and 2* Jumping competitions,” according to John Madden, Acting Chair, FEI Jumping Committee.

The Symposium, entitled “How to develop, organise and sustain national and regional Jumping Events”, was held in Aachen following the World Equestrian Festival and attracted more than 50 delegates involved in event organisation from 25 countries.

“The Symposium was an exceptional opportunity for event organisers planning to hold successful Jumping competitions at national and regional level and was an ideal opportunity to connect with international specialists to share valuable insights,” he said.

“The topics covered were of huge benefit and everyone who attended has come away with vital tips on what makes a successful event and the key ingredients for competition organisation.

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