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Two More Emerging Athletes Program Regional Clinics Receive High Praise




Lexington, KY - The high praises of the 2013 Emerging Athletes Program, presented by Dover Saddlery, continue to roll in as the Regional Clinics progress through the year. The Lazy E Arena in Guthrie, OK was the site of the July 10-13, 2013, EAP Regional Clinic. Fourteen hungry riders arrived ready to devour the expert knowledge from two of the equestrian community's best, lead clinician Julie Winkel of Reno, NV and stable manager Colleen Reed of Batavia, OH.


At each of the four-day Regional Clinics, participants are instructed on flatwork, gymnastics, related distances and course work and an intensive stable-management curriculum. Demonstrations from specialists such as USHJA Contributing Sponsor, Nutrena, on proper nutrition and conditioning are also a part of the clinics. Indoor and outdoor course layouts for the 2013 EAP Regional Clinics are created by the legendary Conrad Homfeld.

On day one, lead clinician Julie Winkel said, "Lesson one is NO do overs! When things go wrong, dig deeper." She added her first impression of the group was, "The riders were hungry for knowledge, polite, respectful and most of all grateful! The incredible improvement of both horses and riders on a day-to-day basis was remarkable."  


EAP's Stable Management expert in Guthrie, OK was Colleen Reed, who instructed students in proper care for their horses, the importance of a clean barn for both horse and rider, along with insights on good feed storage and tack cleaning.


Reed provided her summary of the clinic, "I was so impressed with the clinic in Guthrie, OK. The participants were so eager to learn and experience a higher level of horsemanship in their horse care and riding. I watched throughout the week, as all of the girls improved their skills in and around the barn. They were especially taking great pride in their care for their horses and areas."

Reed continued, "The EAP Clinics are so incredible in the way they will develop lifelong lessons of horsemanship, that they [students] will take with them through their future and into the future of the sport horse industry, which looks very bright."

Peyton Babbe of Frisco, TX echoed the sentiment of the instructors, "I believe the greatest thing I took away from the EAP Clinic is that a love for horses will take you far. The clinicians showed that their success came from a passion for this sport. I loved that the clinic prepared all of us to be well-rounded horsemen, and showed us how to take our horse care levels from acceptable to exceptional."

Sisters Courtney and Madelyn May of Austin, TX attended the clinic together. "The EAP clinic was a unique riding and horsemanship opportunity for me. It was challenging for my sister and I but it had things that both of us excelled in. We enjoyed riding and working in it together. And it was worth the early mornings and sweaty days." Courtney said.


Madelyn added, "It was really fun to be with Courtney! We both kind of had to work together because the list of things to bring was quite long and we only had a certain amount of space in our car. The best part about it for me was the impact it's already had on me after less than a month! All of the things I learned about horsemanship and being a better horse person have made me just that; a better horse person! I'm more aware of and active in the care of my horse and I can't wait to further my education in this area, because I haven't given the adequate amount of consideration to it previously. Also, the riding part has changed my life! I went to a show the following weekend and won every class I entered on my horse but three, all because I applied what my clinician taught me. It was such an edifying experience and I got to meet so many cool people and learn so many incredible things!"


The west coasters were enthralled with lead clinician Candice King, who traveled from her home base of Wellington, FL to the Sonoma Valley Stables in Petaluma, CA for the July 15-18 session. Just as the 14 riders were a little star struck about the opportunity to work with one of the sport's most respected professionals, King was in awe of their talent.

"I had a great group of kids and the facility was super. The kids were all really animated and wanted to learn. Anne Thornbury was great with the horsemanship, and that's important to me. It's something I put first before competition. We need more horsemen in this industry - it's not just about the competition side. We need more well-rounded riders." King said.

Isabelle Collins of Rancho Palos Verdes, CA appreciated King's way of thinking. "I gained so much useful knowledge and met so many amazing people. Candice improved my riding so much and helped me understand how the horse's mind works on the ground and under saddle."

EAP Stable Management expert Anne Thornbury took the time to explain and demonstrate proper methods of horse care and barn organization tips to maximize benefits for horse and rider. "I tell all the kids that I've never met a horse that stood in line to sign up for the job as show horse!  We have put them in this situation and as their custodians we must always put their needs before ours.  We should be thankful everyday that they put up with all of this nonsense."

As is the standard for the regional sessions, the riders were divided into smaller groups; each rode once a day then audited another group and acted as jump crew for King, giving additional understanding of their lessons. Very few of the participants were ever seen without a notebook in hand and were truly grateful for the valuable insights inscribed within.

"Simply put, I think EAP is a great thing for our industry and the future of our sport." King concluded.


To learn more about the Emerging Athletes Program, presented by Dover Saddlery please visit the USHJA web site or contact Carrie Vaught at (859) 225-6703.


United States Hunter Jumper Association 
3870 Cigar Lane
Lexington, KY 40511
P: 859.225.6700 
F: 859.258.9033
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United States Hunter Jumper Association | 3870 Cigar Lane | Lexington | KY | 40511