2005 USDF National Symposium Offers Exciting Line-Up of Demonstration Riders Featuring Klaus Balkenhol and Dr. Gerd Heuschmann

For Immediate Release
Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Six Olympians and a host of other top U.S. riders will serve as demonstration riders at the United States Dressage Federation's 2005 National Symposium, "How the Rider Builds the Horse," December 2-4, at the Los Angeles Equestrian Center in Burbank, CA. The weekend will feature instruction by United States Olympic Team Coach Klaus Balkenhol.

Balkenhol was the strength of German Dressage Team from 1991 to 1996. He won two team gold medals and one individual bronze medal at the Olympic Games in 1992 and 1996. Moreover, he received team gold in the 1991, 1993 and 1995 European Championships. In 1994, Balkenhol received a silver medal in freestyle at the World Equestrian Games.

Dr. Gerd Heuschmann will work with Balkenhol during the symposium. Heuschmann is a veterinary surgeon in Warendorf, Germany, as well as an active breeder and Bereiter. He was also division head of the breeding department of the German National Federation from 1989 to 1990.

Activities will commence on Friday evening with an opening lecture at the Hilton Burbank Airport & Convention Center entitled "Functional Anatomy of the Dressage Horse – Today and the Future." A portion of the presentation will address the latest research by the University of Veterinary Medicine Hannover regarding the anatomy of the horse's mouth and its relevance to the materials and shape of the bit. On Saturday and Sunday, attendees will have a unique opportunity to watch in-hand and under saddle demonstrations from First Level through Grand Prix by some of today's most successful dressage riders. Renowned breeder and trainer Willy Arts and DG Bar Ranch will provide the in-hand demonstration horses.

Participating Olympians and World Cup competitors include:

Guenter Seidel, a three-time Olympian and three-time FEI World Cup competitor
Seidel won team bronze medals at both the 1996 and 2000 Olympic Games and won several 2004 Grand Prix Olympic qualifying events. He also participated in FEI World Cup in 2003, 2004 and 2005. In addition, he won team silver at the 2002 World Equestrian Games.

Steffen Peters, a 1996 Olympian and 2004 Olympic team alternate
Peters received a team bronze medal at the 1996 Olympic Games. He also received a gold medal at the 1994 U.S. Olympic Festival. He was a competitor in the 2002 FEI World Cup. Recently, Peters took first place in the 2005 Collecting Gaits Farm/United States Equestrian Federation National Intermediaire I Dressage Championship.
Sue Blinks, a 2000 Olympian
Blinks competed in the 2000 Olympic Games, where she was the highest-placed American entry and part of the bronze medal team. She was a member of the silver medal winning team at the 2002 World Equestrian Games and a member of the fourth-place USET team at the 1998 World Equestrian Games. She was also named 1998 USOC Female Equestrian Athlete of the Year. 

Charlotte Bredahl-Baker, a 1992 Olympian
Bredahl-Baker received a team bronze medal at the 1992 Olympic Games. In addition, she was a 1989 and 1994 U.S.Olympic Festival team bronze medalist. She was also part of the silver medal winning team at the 1997 North American Championship. Bredahl-Baker has been a licensed dressage judge since 1985, and she is certified as an "S" Judge. 

Hilda Gurney, a three-time Olympian
Gurney won a team bronze medal at the 1976 Olympic Games. She was also an Olympic competitor in 1980 and 1984. In addition, she judged the sectional trials for the 2004 Olympic Games. She holds six USET Grand Prix National Championship titles. Gurney is certified as an FEI "I" Judge, a USEF "S" Judge and a USEF "R" Dressage Sport Horse Judge.

Christine Traurig, a 2000 Olympian
Traurig received a team bronze medal at the 2000 Olympic Games and was named the U.S. Olympic Committee's Female Equestrian Athlete of the Year. In 2002, she finished fifth at the World Equestrian Games selection trials, earning a place on the short list.

Leslie Morse, a 2004 Olympic alternate and two-time FEI World Cup competitor
Morse secured an admirable sixth place finish at the 2005 FEI World Cup Dressage Final and received the 2005 Aachen Nations Cup team bronze. She also represented the United States at the FEI World Cup in 2004.

Several additional top U.S. riders will participate, including:

Kathleen Raine, a two-time U.S. Olympic Team alternate and 1994 WEG U.S. team bronze medalist
Christina Beal, the 2004 NAYRC individual and team gold medalist
David Wightman, a two-time FEI World Young Horse Championship qualifier 
Laurie Doyle, the 2005 USEF Markel 5-Year Old Young Horse reserve national champion
Shannon Peters, the 2005 Collecting Gaits Farm/USEF National Prix St. George champion and Intermediaire I reserve champion
Linda Alexander-Walton, a United States Dressage Federation gold medalist

For more information on the USDF National Convention and Symposium, please refer to the special pull-out section in the September 2005 issue of USDF Connection, call (859) 271-7875 or go to www.usdf.org.

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 www.usdf.org, email usdressage@usdf.org, or call (859) 971-2277.