Eventing 25 Clinic Participants (USEF Archives)
Lexington, Ky. – Participants selected for the 2016 Eventing 25 and 18 Developing Rider Programs prepared for the competition season during winter training sessions with USEF Eventing Developing Rider Coach, Leslie Law. The training sessions, held at Meredyth South, began January 11-15 with the Eventing 25 participants, followed by the Eventing 18 riders January 18-22. Law then traveled to California to teach the West Coast Eventing 25 and Eventing 18 participants, February 1-4 at Tucalota Creek Ranch in Temecula.
During the training sessions, Law built on the riders’ skills and worked on their preparation for the upcoming competition season. Law focused on the basics and the training scale during dressage, gymnastics and coursework during show jumping, and ride-ability on the cross-country course.
“Overall, I was very pleased with the standard of riders we have on the list this year, as I think the bar appears to be rising every year,” said Law. “I was happy to see improvement in the riders that were on the list again from last year and to meet the new ones. I hope the riders took away some homework and new exercises I gave them to help them improve themselves and their horses. But, as well, I would hope I emphasized the importance of the theory to them and the necessity to become a scholar of the sport and not just a participant while on horseback.”
The participants benefited from lectures focused on preparing their horses for competition, as well as building a well-rounded foundation for their future in the eventing industry. During the California clinics, participants learned from farrier Allen Clarke, who discussed the structure of a horse’s foot, preparing their feet for traveling overseas, and necessary farrier tools for every barn. Athletux President Frankie Thieriot Stutes focused on branding and image, social media, sponsorship contracts, and syndication. Custom Saddles offered advice on proper saddle fit. Dr. Emily Sandler of Equine Sports Medicine spoke about overseas travel and drugs and medications at FEI competitions.
“My favorite part of the clinic is always the great coaching we get form our coach, Leslie Law. His experience and knowledge with horses makes him an outstanding coach. I really enjoyed the lectures, especially the saddle fitter because she explained where and how our dressage and jump saddles are meant to fit our horses. Knowing this, we will be able to get the most out of our saddles and be sure to keep our horses comfortable,” said Patience O’Neal, Eventing 18 Program participant.
During the Florida clinics, both the Eventing 25 and 18 riders heard from top barn manager Max Corcoran on stable management and managing horses during overseas travel. Dr. Jill Copenhagen from Peak Performance Equine Services provided the Eventing 25 riders with information about FEI drugs and medications, as well as overseas shipping. During the Eventing 18 session, she touched on examining horses, palpations, and the importance of knowing the horse. Certified Equine Bodyworker Kathryn Schiess explained her physiotherapeutic approach to maximizing each horse’s potential. The Eventing 18 riders also heard from USEF High Performance Human Sport Science and Medicine (HSSM) Advisor Andy Thomas who explained the common weaknesses observed in event riders. He detailed pre-riding exercises to help with their weaknesses.
“Leslie is an amazing coach and mentor and an excellent person to have in your corner. It was great to get to know the Eventing 25 Program participants and learn from them, as well. The lunch lectures gave us an opportunity to branch out and gave us an overall picture on how to become a better horse person. I’m grateful to be a part of this program; great things happen through it. I look forward to the next one,” said Caroline Martin, Eventing 25 Program rider.
Alex Green echoed Martin’s feelings about the program. “The Eventing 25 Program as a whole has been a great opportunity and learning experience. I think Leslie is an invaluable asset to the program. He really helped me to get the best out of each horse I participated on and catered my riding to improve that horse’s weaknesses. Leslie also serves as such a perfect mentor for us to follow behind and look to if we ever needed help.”
The USEF would like to thank the guest lecturers and facility owners, Jacqueline Mars of Meredyth South and Alan and Kay Needle of Tucalota Creek Ranch, as well as Elinor MacPhail and Alex O’Neal of Red Tail Ridge South for providing use of their facilities. The USEF International High Performance Programs are generously supported by the USET Foundation, USOC, and USEF sponsors.
From the USEF Communications Department