October 23, 2009 -- The United States Equestrian Federation, Inc. (USEF) announces the launch of the USEF Dressage Youth/Pony Pilot Program for fall 2009. This program is designed to seek out, educate and assist the development of the young riders, and will be under the direction of Lendon Gray, appointed by the USEF Dressage High Performance Committee.
"I am thrilled that USEF is going to help to develop the best equitation and riding skills in our younger riders," Gray said. "It is so much easier to develop correct riding from the early ages than to try to change bad habits later."
The Pilot Program will consist of clinics held throughout the United States, which will be conducted by Gray, and high-performance athletes such as Michael Barisone, Pam Goodrich, Arlene "Tuny" Page and David Wightman.
"The clinics will include emphasis on position and seat, technical skills, and riding and stable management theory," said Gray.
The clinics will be available to youth 20 years old and under with a special emphasis on riders ages 10 to 17. In order to meet the minimum requirements to participate, riders ages 10-15 on a horse or pony should have obtained a 62 percent or high from two different judges at First Level and above. Riders ages 16-17 should have obtained 62 percent or higher from two different judges at Third Level and above. If space permits, clinics will be open to riders 18-20 who have obtained 62 percent or higher from two different judges at Fourth Level and above. Youth riders who do not qualify, as well as instructors, are encouraged to audit these clinics (organizers may charge an auditing fee). There will be up to ten (10) riders at each clinic.
Application deadlines extended!
Clinicians, dates, locations and application deadlines for the USEF Youth/Pony Pilot Program:
Any rider interested in the clinic must apply through the USEF Dressage Department. The application is available on the USEF website's dressage page.