Wellington, FL (January 18, 2011) – Olympic Dressage rider Dottie Morkis, who in 1976 anchored the Olympic U.S. Dressage team to help the Americans win the bronze medal, is in Wellington, Florida for the winter dressage circuit and is accepting new students and teaching clinics. During the Olympics, Morkis also placed fifth in the Grand Prix Special and will go down in history as the first American to earn that accomplishment.
While Morkis looks back fondly on her Olympic days, her list of accomplishments stretches far beyond her bronze medal. Morkis is a Pan Am Gold and Bronze medalist, has been in the winner’s circle multiple times at prestigious shows such as Devon and Washington International, coached the Gold Medal Paralympics Team in Atlanta, has shown horses to the USDF Horse of the Year title, served 12 years on the Athlete Advisory Committee as the equestrian representative to the U.S. Olympic Committee, twice won Team Golds at the Olympic Festival, was reserve rider for the World Cup and was long listed for the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona.
“Looking back at my career I feel very fortunate,” Morkis said. “In addition to competing and traveling around the world, I have been coming to Wellington every winter for the past 24 years and always enjoy it. I love to ride and compete, but I also love to teach. When a student is excited and shows a great deal of interest in improving, I find it to be a rewarding experience.”
Morkis is wintering at Fifi Baldwin’s farm (Belmont and Wellington Trace) and said she looks forward to teaching new students in Classical Dressage. “I love helping riders do everything from learning how to ride tests to putting together freestyles for them,” she said, adding that she likes to emphasize the importance of the rider’s core. “If the posture is correct, it translates to correct and quiet hands, effective leg aids and a much more harmonious ride overall.”
Morkis will also be showing during the Florida winter show season. “I will be competing Mr. Big and a new five-year-old Dutch horse named Artiest, who I am really excited about,” Morkis said.
Morkis has trained with Ernst Bachinger, the current Director of the Spanish Riding School of Vienna, for many years. “I also train with Rien van der Schaft and he is coming to Wellington to teach a clinic January 23-25. Rien is very classical and his clinics are always wonderful.”
Morkis also teaches half day, full day and weekend clinics. “During the winter I am in Wellington but the rest of the year I work out of my White Horse Farm in Dover, Massachusetts,” Morkis said. “This year, however, I am hoping to find a full time teaching position at the end of the winter circuit and I am willing to relocate. My passion has always been dressage and through my teaching I am able to share that passion.”
To learn more about Dottie Morkis, visit her website at www.dottiemorkisdressage.com or call 508-612-8500.
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Dottie Morkis Dressage