Tag Archives: USEF

US Equestrian Is Excited to Launch Para-Equestrian Dressage Coach Certificate Program

Michel Assouline working with Para-Dressage athlete and Coach.

Lexington, KY – January 16, 2019 – US Equestrian is excited to launch the Para-Equestrian Dressage Coach Certificate Program, a first of its kind for the industry. This certificate program covers the principles of para-dressage coaching including guided improvement process, coaching philosophy, and sport-specific skill acquisition.  It develops a coach’s ability to prepare athletes from grassroots education to international competitions, along a continuum of progressive certificate levels. With the goal of coach development, the program uses classroom lecture time as well as simulated lessons, where coaches are given information and feedback on their teaching, knowledge, and overall performance.  The certificate program will take 3-6 months to complete, with a fast-track program offered, and involves onsite practicums, self-study, online exams, and final assessments.

Michel Assouline, USEF Para-Equestrian Dressage Technical Advisor and Head of Coach Development, is responsible for spearheading this initiative, bringing a decade of curriculum development and Paralympic coaching experience to bear. Michel will be joined by other USEF-approved faculty to approve applications, deliver on-site practicums, and perform final assessments. The 2019 dates for the Para-Dressage Coach Certificate Program are listed below. The link to the full information booklet showing the application process and certification levels can be found here:  https://www.usef.org/compete/disciplines/para-equestrian/para-equestrian-dressage-programs-forms/usef-para-dressage-coach-certificate-program.

US Equestrian would like to thank the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs for providing the Federal Adaptive Sport Grant which has helped to make this coach certificate program possible. This initiative has been conducted in partnership with the Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship with a goal of increasing awareness and coach education opportunities within Paralympic Equestrian Sports and to aid in the development of a USEF Coach database to support the competition pipeline for para-eligible athletes.

2019 Dates: Para-Dressage Coach Certificate Program

Program Launch Announcement: January 11, 2019, USEF Annual Meeting, Wellington, FL

Fast Track Program: (candidates choose one if they are eligible)
*    Option 1: March 3-4; Vinceremos Therapeutic Riding Center, Loxahatchee, FL
*    Option 2: September 7-8; Tryon International Equestrian Center, Mill Spring, NC

Formal Program: (candidates attend both)
*    Onsite Practicum 1, May 15-16; Tryon International Equestrian Center, Mill Spring, NC
*    Final Practicum & Assessment, Sept 9-10; Tryon International Equestrian Center, Mill Spring, NC

For more information on dates and eligibility, please contact Laureen Johnson, Director of Para-Equestrian, at USEF, 859-225-7693, lkjohnson@usef.org.

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

Verdades and Cobra Win at 2018 Horse of the Year Gala

West Palm Beach, Fla. – US Equestrian is pleased to share that Verdades, owned by Laura Graves and Curt Maes, has been voted the 2018 International Horse of the Year, and Cobra, owned by Marsha Hartford-Sapp, has been voted the 2018 National Horse of the Year.

Verdades (Florett AS x Liwilarda/Goya), a 16-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding, affectionately known as Diddy, began his journey to international success in 2014 after garnering attention from his reserve-champion finish at the U.S. Dressage Festival of Champions presented by The Dutta Corp. Since his launch into the spotlight with his life-long rider and trainer Graves, Verdades’s achievements and continued success are profound. In 2018, Verdades again proved why he is one of the best horses to grace the international dressage ring as he won the Grand Prix at the FEI World Cup™ Dressage Finals in Paris and helped the U.S. team earn a silver medal in the FEI Dressage Nations Cup™ Germany. He and Graves then rode for silver medal-winning The Dutta Corp. U.S. Dressage Team at the FEI World Equestrian Games™ (WEG) Tryon 2018.

Since being rounded up in the mountains of Nevada at the age of six, Cobra’s trainer and owner Marsha Hartford-Sapp has been devoted to the 14-year-old mustang gelding and proceeded training him with caution and respect for his instincts, creating a deep bond. Their mutual trust has seen them through competitions in both classical and Western dressage, where Cobra’s versatility and talent for each has been apparent. As one of the founding horses of USEF Western dressage competition, Cobra was one of the first recipients of the 2015 Horse of the Year awards in that discipline and has continued to collect numerous accolades ever since.

“It wasn’t even about that moment when the Olympic medal was placed around my neck. It was about the joy. Despite hardships, heartbreaks, and massive, massive life failures, always overwhelming joy… [and] the fact that this great horse brings so much joy to so many people.” – Laura Graves on her 2018 International Horse of the Year

“Several years ago, I stood in the middle of a round pen with a horse that was six years old, rounded up by a helicopter, and never touched by human hands.” – Marsha Hartford-Sapp

© 2019 US Equestrian Federation

Victoria Colvin Honored as Emerson Burr Trophy Recipient at US Equestrian Pegasus Awards

Colvin and Private Practice.

Wellington, Fla. – Jan. 11, 2019 – Victoria Colvin capped off an outstanding 2018 competitive season and will be heading into the 2019 winter horse shows with a new accolade to her name as the newest recipient of the Emerson Burr Trophy, which was awarded to her at the US Equestrian Pegasus Awards on Jan. 10, 2019. As the distinguished winner, Colvin was also one of the 2018 USEF Equestrians of Honor, a title she shares with the incredible company of eight of other esteemed horsemen and horsewomen, including international athletes Laura Graves and McLain Ward.

“I am so honored to be recognized as the winner of the Emerson Burr Trophy and to be in the company of all of the other amazing award recipients this year,” said Colvin. “I couldn’t have had such a successful year without my team behind me, and I am forever appreciative of all the hard work they put in on my behalf. To receive this award is truly an honor and I’m excited to hopefully continue with this momentum headed into the 2019 horse show season.”

The Emerson Burr Trophy recognizes horsemen or horsewomen who have excelled above all others in equestrian competition for the current year, while demonstrating superior sportsmanship and dedication to the principles, vision, and mission of the United States Equestrian Federation, specifically within the hunter ring. Colvin shares the distinction with notable past winners such as Liza Boyd, Peter Pletcher, Scott Stewart, Danny Robertshaw, and Jenny Karazissis.

Throughout 2018, Colvin accumulated wins in hunter divisions and derbies across the nation, most impressively defending her title as the reigning champion at the 2018 USHJA International Hunter Derby Championships aboard Brad Wolf’s Private Practice, solidifying herself as only the second athlete to win the finals more than once. Earlier in the year, Colvin earned the Winter Equestrian Festival Overall Hunter Rider circuit championship thanks to consistent top placings atop numerous mounts, and she also navigated Private Practice to victory in the Welcome Class and both rounds of the $50,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby during the Deeridge Derby.

For more information, please visit victoriacolvin.com.

Watch Equestrian Film “Desert Flight” for Free with US Equestrian

US Equestrian and the producers of the new equestrian documentary “Desert Flight” invite you to the film’s USEF Network premiere on Tuesday, Jan. 15. The 39-minute documentary, a love letter to equestrian sport that examines the joy horses bring to our lives, will stream free on demand for US Equestrian members on USEF Network. To take advantage of this special opportunity, go to US Equestrian or sign up for a free fan membership using the promo code DESERTFLIGHT.

“Desert Flight,” which received awards for Best of Festival and Best Sports Documentary at the EQUUS Film Festival in September, follows the stories of several top jumping athletes and reveals how they got their start in horses and why they love equestrian sport. Riders appearing in the film include Olympic team gold medalist Will Simpson, Richard Spooner, Rich Fellers, Ashlee Bond, and Mandy Porter. Impressive desert scenery serves as the backdrop for horses and riders as they aim to peak for the AIG $1 Million Grand Prix at the end of the 2017 HITS Thermal winter circuit.

US Equestrian Announces Charlotte Bredahl Appointed as U.S. Dressage Development Coach

Photo provided by Charlotte Bredahl: Debbie McDonald (left) and Charlotte Bredahl (right)

Lexington, Ky. – US Equestrian has announced the appointment of Charlotte Bredahl as the U.S. Dressage Development Coach, pending final contract negotiations. Bredahl will take over for the newly appointed U.S. Dressage Technical Advisor and Chef d’Equipe, Debbie McDonald, who previously held the position of Development Coach. The role of the Development Coach is to work hand in hand with the Managing Director of Dressage, the Technical Advisor, and the Dressage Sport Committee to assist with the development of a sustainable system to produce combinations for the Dressage Elite Athlete Pathway.

The collaboration between Bredahl and McDonald has been longstanding through their work in their previous roles over the past four years, and will continue in their newly appointed positions.

“I have had the opportunity to work closely with Charlotte [Bredahl] over the last few years,” said McDonald. “She is an excellent fit for the U.S. Dressage Development Coach position. She has a great eye, and she is not only experienced as an international rider and trainer, but also as a judge. She will lead this program to the next level, and I’m thrilled to have her as my right hand!”

Bredahl’s standing relationship with the athletes, her strong communication skills, and her knowledge and understanding of the sport made her a strong candidate for the position. She will begin her new position as the U.S. Dressage Development Coach immediately.

Her responsibilities will include assisting and advising on setting and tracking targeted key performance indicators for the Development Program and its athletes and their personal trainers, leading and implementing the Developing Program itself, strategic planning and guidance for the athlete/horse combinations, coordinating educational opportunities for the athletes, and more.

“I am so incredibly honored and humbled by this appointment,” stated Bredahl. “For the past four years, I have had the privilege to serve as the U.S. Dressage Assistant Youth Coach and have worked side-by-side with fellow USEF coaches, Debbie McDonald, Christine Traurig, and George Williams, as well as Technical Advisor Robert Dover. I am thrilled to continue to be part of this great team now led by Debbie [McDonald]. I am looking forward to supporting all our talented athletes and their trainers, and can’t wait to jump right in!”

Christine Traurig will continue to serve as the U.S. Dressage Young Horse Coach, while George Williams will continue as the U.S. Dressage Youth Coach.

From the US Equestrian Communications Department

US Equestrian to Recognize Georgie Green and Isabela De Sousa at Pegasus Awards

Isabela De Sousa (Shawn McMillen Photography)

Lexington, Ky. –US Equestrian is pleased to announce the recipients of the Lifetime Achievement Award and the Junior Equestrian of the Year Award to be acknowledged at the 2019 US Equestrian Annual Meeting at the Hilton West Palm Beach in West Palm Beach, Fla. Georgie Green is the winner of the 2018 Lifetime Achievement Award, while Isabela De Sousa is the 2018 Junior Equestrian of the Year. Both Green and De Sousa will be recognized at the Pegasus Awards on Thursday, January 10, 2019, along with other prestigious award winners.

Green (Morgan Mill, Texas) has been a dedicated leader for the Morgan breed. For more than 40 years, Green and her husband, John, have owned and operated Roadshow Morgans, the largest Morgan breeding operation in Texas and one of the largest amateur operations in the country. They purchased their first Morgan horse, Funquest Paddy, in 1972 and their first breeding stallion, Showcase, in 1973, which has led to more than 100 horses with the Roadshow prefix. These top-quality horses have become world and national champions, local winners, and beloved family pets. Green’s dedication to this American horse is exemplified by her work to foster interest for pedigreed livestock in younger generations.

Green joined the American Morgan Horse Association (AMHA) Board of Directors in 1980. Five years later, she was named AMHA’s Woman of the Year, as well as the organization’s first female president. She served as AMHA president from 1985 to 1988 and again from 1993 to 1996. For nearly 30 years, Green served on its Board of Directors and chaired several committees, including the all-important Registry Committee. Outside of AMHA, Green served on the show committee for the Grand National & World Championship Morgan Horse Show® for many years, serving as show chair three times. She also served on the USEF Board of Directors as the Morgan breed representative and currently sits on the USEF Morgan Sport Committee.

Green was honored with the National Pedigreed Livestock Council’s 2007 Distinguished Service Award for those whose dedication to their chosen breed is exhibited through extensive altruistic endeavors. Now, Green is the recipient of the USEF Lifetime Achievement Award for her undying commitment to the Morgan breed, which has elevated the sport’s excellence.

As Junior Equestrian of the Year, De Sousa (Lexington, Ky.) will be presented with the Ruth O’Keefe Meredith Memorial Trophy. At the age of 17, De Sousa is already an exemplary ambassador for equestrian sport, in particular for the Thoroughbred horse. She has been riding all her life and has been retraining off-the-track Thoroughbreds for the last few years. De Sousa has found much success in the Retired Racehorse Project’s Thoroughbred Makeover, winning the show jumping division from 2015 to 2017. She displays her maturity as a consummate horsewoman by treating the Makeover as icing on the cake versus a hard-fought goal for the Thoroughbreds she retrains. Her ultimate goal is to provide the horses with a solid foundation and start them on a second career path that they can enjoy in their new homes.

In 2018, she retrained Cozmic One, the first foal of famed racehorse Zenyatta, and finished fifth in the Makeover show jumping division. In addition to her strong placing, De Sousa used her social media influence on the de Sousa Stables Facebook page throughout Cozmic One’s retraining process to educate fans about how Thoroughbreds can be retrained after their careers on the racetrack and the positive side of racing and the Thoroughbred industry.

De Sousa also secured top results in the show ring throughout 2018, including competing in her first equitation finals in the USHJA 3’3” Jumping Seat Medal Final, the Dover Saddlery/USEF Hunter Seat Medal Final, and the ASPCA Maclay National Championship.

To learn more about US Equestrian’s 2019 Annual Meeting, visit usef.org/annual-meeting.

From the US Equestrian Communications Department

Skidmore College and SCAD to Be Honored at the Pegasus Awards Ceremony

SCAD won the ANRC National Intercollegiate Equitation Championship for the fourth time in 2018. Photo courtesy of SCAD.

FAIRFIELD, Conn. – Nov. 26, 2019 – US Equestrian, the national governing body of equestrian sport, will hold their annual meeting and Pegasus Awards in Palm Beach, Florida in January. New to the Pegasus Awards celebratory evening, the 2018 Intercollegiate and Interscholastic Equestrian Team Awards will be presented Thursday evening, Jan. 10.  US Equestrian’s Pegasus Awards honor some of the great men and women of equestrian sport. The 2018 Intercollegiate and Interscholastic Equestrian Team award winners demonstrated their excellence in USEF-affiliated collegiate and scholastic organizations in 2018 and will be recognized for their achievements and success during Pegasus night.

Skidmore College, the IHSA Collegiate Cup Hunter Seat Championship Team, led by head coach Cindy Ford and assistant coach Belinda Colgan, will be presented with a 2018 Intercollegiate Award. Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD), coached by Ashley Henry and assistant Abbie Gibson, the 2018 ANRC National Intercollegiate Equitation Overall Championship Team, will also be honored.

IDA National Championship Team Intermont Equestrian at Emory and Henry, ISSRA Championship Team University of Louisville, NCEA National Championship Auburn University and USEA Eventing Championship Team Auburn University, and IEA Champion Upper School Hunter Seat Team Lucky Stables will also receive awards.

During the Pegasus Award event, US Equestrian will also present awards to the recipients of the USEF Lifetime Achievement Award the Walter B. Devereux Sportsmanship Award, the Pegasus Medals of Honor and other prestigious equestrian industry awards.

To learn more about US Equestrian’s 2019 Annual Meeting, visit usef.org/annual-meeting.

For more information, go to IHSAinc.com or contact media@IHSAinc.com.

USEF Announces Intent for Partnership with Univ. of Ky. for Development of Equine Testing Lab

Lexington, Ky. – The United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) and the University of Kentucky have entered into a Letter of Intent to develop an equine regulatory testing laboratory based in Lexington, Ky.

In January 2018, the USEF Board of Directors appointed a task force headed by Tom O’Mara to work with senior leadership to analyze USEF’s laboratory functions and future options for their sample testing program. The creation of the task force led to conversations with the university regarding potential collaborations. The USEF Board of Directors met on October 3, 2018 and unanimously approved the signing of this letter.

USEF President, Murray Kessler, stated, “Our senior leadership and task force have done a fantastic job of analyzing our laboratory and equine testing program. The recent announcement by the UK College of Agriculture, Food and Environment that Scott Stanley will be joining their faculty in January provides a unique opportunity for UK to build upon the foundation of the USEF Laboratory and expand the program under the direction of a leading expert in this field. This arrangement will provide USEF members with state of the art equine testing, research, and the independence between the laboratory and the USEF regulatory process.”

The lab will expand upon UK’s expertise in equine pharmacology and toxicology. Additionally, this partnership builds on the college’s mission of serving Kentucky and the world through unparalleled teaching, transformative research, and relevant service.

“We are excited about our partnership with USEF,” said Nancy Cox, dean of the College of Agriculture, Food and Environment. “Dr. Stanley has an international reputation for sound application of the best technologies to pharmacology in the horse. Under his leadership, the lab will enhance our ability to provide state-of-the-art, dedicated service to the health and welfare of the horse.”

USEF and UK expect to finalize the details of an agreement in the near future.

From the US Equestrian Communications Department

US Equestrian and United States Dressage Federation Publish 2019 Dressage Tests

Lexington, Ky. – US Equestrian (USEF) announced today that the co-branded 2019 USEF/United States Dressage Federation (USDF) Dressage Tests are now available and published online through USDF.

Effective December 1, 2018, through November 30, 2022, the 2019 USEF/USDF Dressage Tests are newly co-branded with the USDF as the two organizations work together to continue to proliferate and promote the sport of dressage in the United States. The 2019 USEF/USDF Dressage Tests continue to serve as a measure of the horse and rider’s schooling and training, while each level builds upon the preceding level’s principles.

USDF’s “On the Levels” will continue to provide examples of the new Introductory through Fourth Level dressage tests.  “On the Levels” features engaging videos to help athletes understand the requirements for tests within each level, with commentary from top U.S. trainers and judges and segments geared toward improving difficult movements at each level.  Keep an eye out for the launch of this product in the coming months.

Additional test products will include a new test app containing both the USEF and USDF tests and, once produced, a test booklet, which can be purchased through the USDF online store at store.usdf.org.

Click here to view the 2019 USEF/USDF Dressage Tests. For information on licensing the new tests, contact USDF at copyright@usdf.org.  For questions or additional information, contact Hannah Niebielski, Director of Dressage National Programs, at hniebielski@usef.org.

From the US Equestrian Communications Department

Deaf Horse Dazzles at Western Dressage World Show

With his pure white coat with just a black “sun visor” for a marking, Smokin White Gun, known as “Danny,” has become one of the best-recognized horses at the Western Dressage World Show.

But Danny is unique for another reason: He is deaf.

Deafness can be associated with lack of skin pigmentation, says his rider, Joanne Haughan from Pennsylvania. Joanne, who is a veterinarian, explains that the cells governing a horse’s pigment and its hearing have a similar origin in the embryo and genes responsible for skin pigmentation are associated with deafness in some Paint horses.

Working with a deaf horse does pose some unusual challenges, Joanne says. “He doesn’t spook at things ordinary horses spook at,” she says. At their farm, while the other horses will flee from the lawnmower, Danny will follow it around, hoping for treats.

But he will spook at things that suddenly appear in his field of vision. He hasn’t heard them coming, so they startle him. Joanne says she has learned to be his ears, listening for anything she can hear coming that’s likely to bother him, recognizing when it’s likely to appear for him and then distracting him or keeping him turned away from it.

Where he lives at Bally Vae Farm, near Lincoln University in Pennsylvania, his handlers have all learned that he may have issues with things over his head, or with sudden contrasts between light and dark.

“It has been a learning curve for both of us,” Joanne says.

But for all that, she wouldn’t trade him for the world.

He started life as a reining horse and came to a barn where Joanne was learning reining. Having been born in England and grown up in Austria, she’d ridden a number of horses there, but as soon as she met Danny, she knew he was special.

That was three years ago.

“The minute I sat on him, I thought, ‘This is the horse for me’,” she said. She rode him for about two weeks, under the tutelage of her trainer, Lauren Annett, then bought him.

She started riding him as a reining horse, but after a while, “I think both of us were getting a little bit burned out with that.”

Joanne in particular was having a particularly hectic year. She was working full time, trying to finish work for her Ph.D. in veterinary medicine (her subject of study is analysis of the relationship between osteoarthritis and periodontal disease in horses), working full time, and trying to ride and show, as well.

She ended up moving Danny to Bally Vae Farm, which is much closer to her home, and gradually switched to Western Dressage.

“It has really done him a world of good,” she says, noting how much his gaits have improved. “But I think he chose it more than I did.” He made it clear that this was work he liked, and “he does have a great work ethic.”

But still, she laughs, “I think his dream job would be to be in a petting zoo… he’d love to stand around being petted all day and being given treats.”

By Barb McLintock
Western Dressage Association of America

© 2018 US Equestrian Federation