December 3, 2013 -- Two of the six scheduled USEF Dressage Observation & Strategic Planning Sessions wrapped up last week in California. Lead by Robert Dover, USEF Chef d'Equipe/Technical Advisor, the sessions provided training and strategic guidance for athletes as they look toward international competition and the 2014 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games. The first session took place at Mary Beth Hamorski and Jeff Salatiello's Pinnacle Farm in Califon, N.J., November 16-17, featuring 10 athlete/horse combinations and the second at Michael Fowler's Epona Farm in Thousand Oaks, Calif., November 23-24, featuring 11 athlete/horse combinations.
Over two days, Dover was able to work individually with each athlete/horse combination, striving to enhance training practices and assist athletes in achieving their competition goals. Athlete's personal trainers/coaches were also invited to attend the sessions.
The Pinnacle Farm session included:
Catherine Haddad-Staller with Mane Stream Hotmail and Montrachet
Jane Hannigan with Ruling Cortes
Kim Herslow with Rosmarin
Sharon McCusker with Wrigley
Cesar Parra with Van the Man and Lindner
Lauren Sammis with Lombard V
Michael Barisone with Ellegria
Ashley Wimmer with Somerhall
"It was a pleasure to work with Robert Dover over the two days," said Haddad-Staller. "Robert has a sharp eye and a clear idea of what he wants to see from all the riders and horses. He epitomizes the power of positivity in coaching and I think he got great results from all of us!"
The Epona Farm session included:
Jan Ebeling with Rafalca and Rassolini
Brian Hafner with Lombardo V and California Chablis
Charlotte Jorst with Vitalis and Adventure
Sarah Lockman with Vinterpol
Shannon Peters with Weltino's Magic
Kathleen Raine with Breanna
Sabine Schut-Kery with Sanceo
Christine Traurig with Louisdor
"I am very grateful to have had the opportunity to participate in the strategic planning session with Robert," said Hafner. "It was great to get help from Robert on both of my horses, Lombardo and Chablis, and also to get help with organizing a training and competition plan for the upcoming year. Robert's expertise and enthusiasm made for a fun and educational weekend!"
"Following these sessions I am more excited than ever with the amazing talent of riders and horses in the United States," said Dover. "The depth of world-class combinations is growing rapidly and I am confident that America is on the path to sustained excellence and a medal-winning future. Many thanks to our hosts, Mary Beth Hamorski and Jeff Salatiello of Pinnacle Farm and Michael Fowler of Epona Farm. Thanks also to Catherine Haddad-Staller and Button Baker, all riders, grooms, owners sponsors, supporters and a special thanks to Jenny Van Wieren-Page for her tireless work and commitment. Go Team USA!"
Several combinations taking part in these sessions were recently award training grants as part of the 2013 USEF Developing Dressage Program, having been identified and selected based on their potential to successfully represent the U.S. in international competition. These combinations included: Kim Herslow/Rosmarin, Brian Hafner/Lombardo V, and Sarah Lockman/Vinterpol.
For more information about the High Performance Dressage Observation and Strategic Planning Sessions visit; http://usef.org/documents/highPerformance/dressage/USEFDressageTrainingSessions2013_2014.pdf.
Questions should be addressed to Jenny Van Wieren-Page, Managing Director of Dressage, by phoning (859) 225-6949 or via email to firstname.lastname@example.org.