March 14, 2007 -- The Dressage Foundation's Advanced Young Rider Olympic Dream Program, which selects four young dressage riders to send on an educational trip to Europe, will begin its seventh year with a trip in July. Applications are due April 23.
The concept of the program evolved as a result of former Olympian Michael Poulin's wish to offer an opportunity for gifted Young Riders to enhance their understanding of dressage theory through a European tour.
The program is open to U.S. Dressage Federation (USDF) Advanced Young Riders (riding at Fourth Level or above) who are 16-21 years of age, and 22-year-old graduates of the 2006 Advanced Young Rider Program. Participation in the North American Young Rider Championship is not required.
A Selection Committee comprised of leading American dressage persons selects from applicants who have submitted an extensive application including an essay and written recommendations. Selection is based solely on merit, riding proficiency and commitment to training in the sport of dressage and is based on the candidates' applications, essays and written recommendations.
In 2007 the four successful candidates will be in Europe from approximately July 11-21. Their journey will include the European Young Rider Dressage Championships in Nussloch, Germany, near Heidelberg. Following the show, the plan is to visit Ingrid Klimke, Jean Bemelmans, Hubertus Schmidt and American team coach Klaus Balkenhol--depending upon each trainer's availability. While traveling, the young riders will record their observations in daily journals and chronicle the events with photos and video to share with their home dressage organizations. This year's chaperones will be Sharon Poulin and Sarah Martin.
For more information on the Advanced Young Rider Olympic Dream Program and how to apply visit www.dressagefoundation.org.