USEF Dressage Kicks off 2012 with USET/USEF pre-Olympic Games Clinics and USEF Developing Dressage Clinic

For Immediate Release
Thursday, January 26, 2012


Heather Blitz, Betsy Juliano, Anne Gribbons, James Kofford on Pharaoh and Steffen Peters (USEF Archive).

Lexington, KY - Continuing with preparations for the 2012 Olympic Games, the United States Equestrian Team Foundation (USET) and United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) kicked off 2012 with two training sessions for Dressage Olympic hopefuls. Betsy Juliano graciously opened the doors of her Havensafe Farm South to riders in Wellington, FL, January 6-8. The following weekend, Steffen Peters hosted a session for West coast riders at his Arroyo Del Mar farm in San Diego, CA. Also taking place in California, the first USEF Developing Dressage Clinic of 2012 was held at Epona Farms, owned by Michael and Linda Fowler in Thousand Oaks, CA.

The USET/USEF pre-Olympic Games clinics, made possible by a gift from Betsy Juliano to the USET Foundation, featured instruction from USEF Technical Advisor and Coach Anne Gribbons and Olympian Steffen Peters. At the Florida clinic were seven horses (six riders) including 2011 Pan American Games Team Gold and Individual Silver medalists Heather Blitz and Paragon. Over three days the combinations worked with Peters and Gribbons individually, rode the Olympic Grand Prix Special and reviewed video of the tests with Gribbons.


Steffen Peters, Anne Gribbons, Christine Traurig and Kathleen Raine on Breanna (USEF Archive)

In California four combinations honed their skills over the two-day session. Participating in the California clinic was USEF grant recipient Kathleen Raine with her mare Breanna. Gribbons praised the pair's progress stating, "They had their best foot forward and showed a real improvement after the USEF grant supported training and show tour in Europe this fall. The mare just went to a national show and received a score of 74% in the Grand Prix Special. After working with Peters and me on day one, she went through the test on day two and proved she had earned the score from the show. Raine's home trainer, Christine Traurig, was present both days, and she has every reason to be pleased with the way her student is progressing."

Focusing on the development of the next generation of U.S. dressage talent, the USEF Developing Dressage Clinic at Epona Farms included nine horses with seven riders. Under the guidance of USEF Developing Dressage Coach, Debbie McDonald, these combinations worked to polish movements and improve training practices. Renowned U.S. dressage rider Leslie Morse presented two up-and-coming horses at the clinic, Fluer and Excalibur. Other participants included David Blake with Royal Prinz and Lord Albert, Rebecca Rigdon with Solei, Brian Hafner with Lombardo LHF, Elizabeth Ball with Avanti, Oryla Wiedoeft with Galanta, and Barbi Breen-Gurley with Vindicator. The 2012 USEF Developing Dressage Program, including these clinics with McDonald, has been made possible by a gift from USET Foundation Trustee Akiko Yamazaki/Red Husky Foundation.

The next USET/USEF pre-Olympic Games clinic will take place in February in Florida; a complete schedule is available here: .

The next USEF Developing Dressage Clinic will take place in late January in Florida; a complete schedule is available here: .

Founded in 1973, the United States Dressage Federation is a nonprofit membership organization dedicated to education, recognition of achievement, and promotion of dressage. For more information about USDF membership or programs, visit, email, or call (859) 971-2277.