SmartPak/USHJA Trainers Symposium to be held at Savannah College of Art and Design

March 4, 2009

Lexington, KY – The USHJA along with title sponsor SmartPak will offer a Trainers Symposium May 1-3, 2009 at the Savannah College of Art and Design in Savannah, Georgia. Top industry professionals, Candice King, Patricia Griffith and Val Renihan will headline the event giving riders and trainers the opportunity to participate in practical training sessions and roundtable discussions.

The USHJA first introduced the Trainers Symposiums in the fall of 2006 as a means to better educate members at all levels of the sport. Each symposium lasts three full days and features expert clinicians in each of the three main USHJA riding disciplines: hunter, jumper and equitation. Each discipline is broken into sections and clinicians are given four riders to work with throughout the session.

Grand prix rider, Candice King of Wellington, Florida, will open the symposium with a session on jumpers. A lifelong equestrian, King has ridden on the grand prix circuit for two decades and has earned numerous titles in the United States and Europe. As a junior, she qualified for all the major indoor shows in the equitation divisions. Throughout her career, King has ridden on numerous Nation Cups and Samsung Super League teams, and was named Leading Lady rider at both Rome and Cannes. In 2006, she earned a spot on the short list for the World Equestrian Games.

Patricia Griffith of New York will lead the hunter session on Saturday. Named The Chronicle of the Horse 2008 Horsewoman of the Year, Griffith trains at Heritage Farm in Katonah, New York and holds an R-rated judges license from the USEF. Her recent show ring accomplishments include being named the leading hunter rider at the Hampton Classic, winning the USHJA International Hunter Derby at Showplace Productions, and winning the $15,000 WCHR Pro Challenge Class – Capital Challenge. Her accomplishments as a trainer include training the Grand Champion and Champion Pony Hunters in all three green divisions as well as the medium and large pony divisions at the 2008 Pony Finals.

The last day of the symposium will be dedicated to equitation led by Val Renihan. Renihan’s students have both won and been in the top four “Best Child Rider” awards at the Pennsylvania National, Washington International, Old Salem Spring 1 & 2, and HITS, to name a few. Equitation wins include the ASPCA Maclay Regionals five times, champion and world champion at the Capital Challenge Horse Show, as well as numerous equitation wins at shows such as Devon, WEF and Lake Placid. Jumpers purchased and trained for her clients have represented the U.S. in FEI World Cup Finals and the Samsung Super League, have won major grand prixs and numerous classes throughout Florida and the East Coast. Renihan currently owns and operates Findlay’s Ridge, LLC, located at Old Salem Farm in North Salem, New York.

Each day of the symposium includes a roundtable discussion where participants are encouraged to ask questions of the clinicians and their peers. Topics covered throughout the event range from training exercises to business practices. Throughout the event, participants are given the chance to network with professionals from across the country.

For more information regarding registration and schedule information, visit the USHJA website Questions may be directed to Melanie Fransen or 859-225-6960.

Contact: Rachelle Wilhelm 859-825-6005

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