February 20, 2012 -- The first Markel/USEF Young Horse Training Session of 2012 was held over the weekend at Shannondale Farm in Milton, Ga. with USEF Young Horse Coach, Scott Hassler. The ten participating horse/rider combinations included two four-year-olds, six five-year-olds and two six-year-olds. The two-day training session, which was open to auditors, included a well-attended evening lecture offering a unique opportunity for riders, owners, breeders and other young horse enthusiasts to gather, discuss the program and ask questions on topics including young horse judging, presentation and breeding.
"This new concept of an open training session was very rewarding since it offered both young horse training and an opportunity for breeders to come together," said Hassler.
The majority of the participating combinations plan to compete in the designated young horse qualifying competitions in hopes of earning an invitation to the Markel/USEF National Dressage Young Horse Championships, August 24-26 2012 at Lamplight Equestrian Center in Wayne, Ill.
"Overall, I'm very pleased with the quality of horses and riders," commented Hassler. "We had several riders who have participated in the program in past years, but we also had some new riders who we hope to see lots of this year. We also had several quality US-bred horses which is always exciting."
This training session was the first in a series of Markel/USEF Young Horse Training Sessions planned for 2012. The next session is scheduled for April 14-15, 2012 at Twinwood Equestrian Center outside of Houston, Texas.