Page 1

usdf Connection u s d f. o r g

J u ly / a u g u s t 2 0 1 8

Official Publication of the United States Dressage Federation

youth issue Is an NAYC Medal a Golden Ticket? (p. 30)

Causes of Bit and Noseband Pain Estate Planning for Horse Owners

Adrienne Lyle and Salvino

Lebanon Junction, KY Permit # 559



OSPHOS® (clodronate injection) Bisphosphonate For use in horses only. Brief Summary (For Full Prescribing Information, see package insert) CAUTION: Federal (USA) law restricts this drug to use by or on the order of a licensed veterinarian. DESCRIPTION: Clodronate disodium is a non-amino, chlorocontaining bisphosphonate. Chemically, clodronate disodium is (dichloromethylene) diphosphonic acid disodium salt and is manufactured from the tetrahydrate form. INDICATION: For the control of clinical signs associated with navicular syndrome in horses. CONTRAINDICATIONS: Horses with hypersensitivity to clodronate disodium should not receive OSPHOS.

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WARNINGS: Do not use in horses intended for human consumption. HUMAN WARNINGS: Not for human use. Keep this and all drugs out of the reach of children. Consult a physician in case of accidental human exposure. PRECAUTIONS: As a class, bisphosphonates may be associated with gastrointestinal and renal toxicity. Sensitivity to drug associated adverse reactions varies with the individual patient. Renal and gastrointestinal adverse reactions may be associated with plasma concentrations of the drug. Bisphosphonates are excreted by the kidney; therefore, conditions causing renal impairment may increase plasma bisphosphonate concentrations resulting in an increased risk for adverse reactions. Concurrent administration of other potentially nephrotoxic drugs should be approached with caution and renal function should be monitored. Use of bisphosphonates in patients with conditions or diseases affecting renal function is not recommended. Administration of bisphosphonates has been associated with abdominal pain (colic), discomfort, and agitation in horses. Clinical signs usually occur shortly after drug administration and may be associated with alterations in intestinal motility. In horses treated with OSPHOS these clinical signs usually began within 2 hours of treatment. Horses should be monitored for at least 2 hours following administration of OSPHOS. Bisphosphonates affect plasma concentrations of some minerals and electrolytes such as calcium, magnesium and potassium, immediately post-treatment, with effects lasting up to several hours. Caution should be used when administering bisphosphonates to horses with conditions affecting mineral or electrolyte homeostasis (e.g. hyperkalemic periodic paralysis, hypocalcemia, etc.). The safe use of OSPHOS has not been evaluated in horses less than 4 years of age. The effect of bisphosphonates on the skeleton of growing horses has not been studied; however, bisphosphonates inhibit osteoclast activity which impacts bone turnover and may affect bone growth. Bisphosphonates should not be used in pregnant or lactating mares, or mares intended for breeding. The safe use of OSPHOS has not been evaluated in breeding horses or pregnant or lactating mares. Bisphosphonates are incorporated into the bone matrix, from where they are gradually released over periods of months to years. The extent of bisphosphonate incorporation into adult bone, and hence, the amount available for release back into the systemic circulation, is directly related to the total dose and duration of bisphosphonate use. Bisphosphonates have been shown to cause fetal developmental abnormalities in laboratory animals. The uptake of bisphosphonates into fetal bone may be greater than into maternal bone creating a possible risk for skeletal or other abnormalities in the fetus. Many drugs, including bisphosphonates, may be excreted in milk and may be absorbed by nursing animals. Increased bone fragility has been observed in animals treated with bisphosphonates at high doses or for long periods of time. Bisphosphonates inhibit bone resorption and decrease bone turnover which may lead to an inability to repair micro damage within the bone. In humans, atypical femur fractures have been reported in patients on long term bisphosphonate therapy; however, a causal relationship has not been established. ADVERSE REACTIONS: The most common adverse reactions reported in the field study were clinical signs of discomfort or nervousness, colic and/or pawing. Other signs reported were lip licking, yawning, head shaking, injection site swelling, and hives/pruritus.

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As with all drugs, side effects may occur. In field studies, the most common side effects reported were signs of discomfort or nervousness, colic, and/or pawing. OSPHOS should not be used in pregnant or lactating mares, or mares intended for breeding. Use of OSPHOS in patients with conditions affecting renal function or mineral or electrolyte homeostasis is not recommended. Refer to the prescribing information for complete details or visit www.dechra-us.com or call 866.933.2472.

CAUTION: Federal law restricts this drug to use by or on the order of licensed veterinarian. * Freedom of Information Summary, Original New Animal Drug Application, NADA 141-427, for OSPHOS. April 28, 2014. Dechra Veterinary Products US and the Dechra D logo are registered trademarks of Dechra Pharmaceuticals PLC. © 2016 Dechra Ltd.

Distributed by: Dechra Veterinary Products 7015 College Boulevard, Suite 525 Overland Park, KS 66211 866-933-2472 © 2016 Dechra Ltd. OSPHOS is a registered trademark of Dechra Ltd. All rights reserved. NADA 141-427, Approved by FDA


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In this Issue

30 38 40

Springboard to the open waters

4 Inside USDF Charting a Course

By Catie Staszak

6 Ringside Coming of Age

Is an NAYC medal the ticket to dressage success?

Meet the YPAS

By George Williams

By Jennifer O. Bryant

A special subcommittee ensures that youth get a voice in USDF. Let’s meet the members.

20 horse-health connection Are Your Bit and Noseband Hurting Your Horse?

USDF names Youth sport horse ambassadors

26 all-breeds connection Spotlight: German Sport Horse Association

By Jan Scarbrough

By Hilary Clayton, BVMS, PhD, Diplomate ACVSMR, MRCVS

50 reviews Smart, Sensible Solutions

They’re spreading the word about sport-horse education

quiz show

56 The Tail End After the Limelight

By Stacy Durham

42 44

Unique competition tests college students’ dressage “book smarts” By Jan Scarbrough

if I die, what will happen to my horse?

You need to do estate planning anyway. Here’s how to make provisions for your horse. By Sarah Evers Conrad

By Jennifer O. Bryant

By Lucy Rangel


In Every Issue

8 member connection 10 Heads UP 17 Sponsor Spotlight 52 Shop @ X 54 USDF Connection Submission Guidelines 54 Usdf OFFICE CONTACt DIRECTORY 55 Advertising Index

on our cover Before she became an Olympian and a World Equestrian Games competitor, Adrienne Lyle (riding her 2018 WEG hopeful, Salvino) was an FEI North American Youth Championships medalist. Photo by SusanJStickle.com.

Volume 20, Number 3

USDF Connection

July/August 2018


inside usdf



Charting a Course With a strategic plan as a guidepost, the USDF undertakes a comprehensive review of its programs


Lisa Gorretta

18120 Snyder Road, Chagrin Falls, OH 44023 (216) 406-5475 • vicepresident@usdf.org SECRETARY

200 Aurora Lane, Tryon, NC 28782 (828) 859-6723 • secretary@usdf.org

it is not ready to make any recommendations. This year, the USDF Sport Horse Committee has undertaken a comprehensive review of the USDF Breeders Championship Series. Task forces will also be reviewing the Dressage Seat Medal Program and the USDF annual conventions. The purpose of these reviews is to ensure that each USDF program is effective in meeting its objectives, that each enjoys maximum participation by the intended membership segment, and that each is cost-efficient. In one decision, the Executive Board voted to discontinue the Team Competition Program effective following next year’s final team competition, which is scheduled for November 10, 2019. Two big projects that are under way are the transition of the education of dressage licensed officials from US Equestrian to the USDF; and a new FEI-Level Certified Instructor Masters Initiative. These are exciting developments. There will be some US Equestrian oversight of the process of educating US Equestrian-level licensed officials (“r,” “R,” and “S”), but the education itself will be handled directly by the USDF. There will be a transition period, with the complete changeover happening by 2020. The USDF is actively building FEIlevel instructor certification as the need to identify, recognize, and certify qualified FEI-level instructor/trainers increases. In the process, we are also looking at how we can partner with US Equestrian for continuing education,

4 July/August 2018 • USDF Connection



79 Jewett Street, Georgetown, MA 01833 (978) 360-6441 • treasurer@usdf.org



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330 North Mill Creek Road, Noblesville, IN 46062 (317) 773-4532 • region2dir@usdf.org REGION 3 AL, FL, GA, SC, TN

Susan Bender

1024 Grand Prix Drive, Beech Island, SC 29842 (803) 295-2525 • region3dir@usdf.org REGION 4 IA, KS, MN, MO, NE, ND, SD

Anne Sushko

1942 Clifford Street, Dubuque, IA 52002 (563) 580-0510 • region4dir@usdf.org REGION 5 AZ, CO, E. MT, NM, UT, W. TX, WY


22750 County Road 37, Elbert, CO 80106 (303) 648-3164 • region5dir@usdf.org REGION 6 AK, ID, W. MT, OR, WA

Carolynn bunch

18430 111th Place SE, Snohomish, WA 98290 (360) 577-6201 • region6dir@usdf.org REGION 7 CA, HI, NV


31895 Nicolas Road, Temecula, CA 92591 (714) 514-5606 • region7dir@usdf.org REGION 8 CT, MA, ME, NH, NY, RI, VT


160 Woods Way Drive, Southbury, CT 06488 (203) 264-2148 • region8dir@usdf.org REGION 9 AR, LA, MS, OK, TX


18216 S. 397th East Avenue, Porter, OK 74454 (918) 640-1204 • region9dir@usdf.org


Sue Mandas

9508 Bridlewood Trail, Dayton, OH 45458 (937) 272-9068 •ald-activities@usdf.org ADMINISTRATIVE COUNCIL


PO Box 248, Dexter, MI 48130 (734) 426-2111 • ald-administrative@usdf.org Technical COUNCIL


6 Whitehaven Lane, Worcester, MA 01609 (508) 459-9209 • ald-technical@usdf.org

usdf file photo


421 Park Forest Way, Wellington, FL 33414 (937) 603-9134 • Fax: (740) 362-5539 president@usdf.org

Margaret Freeman

By George Williams, USDF President hese are exciting times, but with them come a few challenges. In many ways, the USDF is entering a period of transition. Some of this is brought on simply by our age—after all, the USDF has been around for 45 years. Over the years, we have grown and matured into a strong organization. However, along with a general increase in the cost of doing business, the dressage world is continually changing, and the USDF’s role in that world is changing, as well. We sometimes reminisce about the good old days, but I believe that the changes are ultimately for the better. Much of the time at April’s spring Executive Board meeting was spent looking at adjusting to the changes, starting the process of assessing programs, and working on new initiatives. A year ago the board approved a new strategic plan, which has become the guide and road map we refer to as we navigate into the future. A major step forward came in April of this year, when the USDF signed a master Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with US Equestrian. Though it might seem obvious, this marked the first time that the fundamental roles of the two organizations have been formally agreed on, along with the recognition of the USDF as the “expert” in dressage. The master MOU includes “attachments” specific to all of the various programs that we run in conjunction with US Equestrian. Per the strategic plan, we have begun to appoint task forces to review some existing USDF programs, with a goal of tackling two to three programs a year. In 2017, a task force began reviewing USDF’s awards program. The group has reported some preliminary findings, but its work continues, and at this point


especially in areas applicable to all disciplines for coaches and Instructors. We are working closely with US Equestrian on SafeSport and have incorporated the requirement to complete the US Center for SafeSport’s training modules every other year into several of our programs. The new USDF National Education Initiative is gaining ground and helping to bring more educational offerings by USDF group-member organizations (GMOs). We are looking at other ways to help GMOs and hope to release more information in the near future. I continue to believe that the USDF is stronger than ever. We are dedicated to pursuing, creating, and maintaining the best programs possible. Sometimes this requires tweaking, and sometimes it requires an overhaul. I’m excited not only about where the USDF is today, but also by the determination of our staff and our volunteer leadership to remain at the forefront of American dressage, now and in the future. s

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www.dehner.com USDF Connection

July/August 2018




Coming of Age Life lessons, and lessons about life

The Official Publication of the United States Dressage Federation EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

Stephan Hienzsch 859/271-7887 • stephh1enz@usdf.org

——— Editorial——— EDITOR

Commencement is a bittersweet time, as excitement and pride mix with the realization that it’s time to leave one’s youth behind. I’m sure those who are “aging out” of the YR ranks can relate. But what Catie’s report offers is affirmation that, like a college graduate, an NAYC veteran has obtained the foundation to go forward and pursue future goals, whatever they may be. Although this is our annual youth issue, much of what’s in these pages is aimed at all USDF members. The fates can intervene at any age and stage of life, and so we wanted to learn the answer to the question, “If I Die, What Will Happen to My Horse?” (page 44). Horse owners— even those who have done estate planning for themselves and their loved ones—may not have given this issue much thought. The ramifications of the various legal options, or of failing to plan, can be significant. I for one learned that I need to revisit my existing estate plan in order to ensure that my horses’ future is secure. Should something happen to me, a thoughtful plan for their welfare will be the final act of love I can give to them.

Jennifer O. Bryant, Editor @JenniferOBryant

6 July/August 2018 • USDF Connection

Jennifer O. Bryant 610/344-0116 • jbryant@usdf.org CONTRIBUTING EDITOR


Melissa Creswick (CA) Margaret Freeman (NC) Lisa Gorretta (OH) Anne Gribbons (FL) Terry Wilson (CA)


Janine Malone Lisa Gorretta • Elisabeth Williams


Emily Koenig 859/271-7883 • ekoenig@usdf.org


Karl Lawrence 859/271-7881 • klawrence@usdf.org


Danielle Titland 720/300-2266 • dtitland@usdf.org USDF Connection is published ten times a year by the United States Dressage Federation, 4051 Iron Works Parkway, Lexington, KY 40511. Phone: 859/971-2277. Fax: 859/971-7722. E-mail: usdressage@usdf.org, Web site: www.usdf.org. USDF members receive USDF Connection as a membership benefit, paid by membership dues. Copyright © 2018 USDF. All rights reserved. Reproduction of articles requires permission from USDF. Other text may be reproduced with credit given to USDF Connection. USDF reserves the right to refuse any advertising or copy that is deemed unsuitable for USDF and its policies. Excluding advertisements, all photos with mounted riders must have safety head gear or USEF-approved competition hat. USDF assumes no responsibility for the claims made in advertisements. Statements of fact and opinion are those of the experts consulted and authors, and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the editors or the policy of USDF. The publishers reserve the right to reject any advertising deemed unsuitable for USDF, as well as the right to reject or edit any manuscripts received for publication. USDF assumes no responsibility for unsolicited material. All materials must be accompanied by a self-addressed, stamped envelope. Questions about your subscription or change in address? Contact USDF Membership Department, 859/971-2277, or usdressage@usdf.org. POSTMASTER: SEND ADDRESS CHANGES TO: USDF, 4051 IRON WORKS PARKWAY, LEXINGTON, KY 40511. Canadian Agreement No. 1741527. Canada return address: Station A, P.O. Box 54, Windsor, Ontario N9A 6J5.



sked to reflect on their experiences at what’s now known as the FEI North American Youth Championships (NAYC), former junior and young-rider medalists sound a lot like people looking back on their college years. They say things like: The experience was less about getting the best grades and more about the people I met and the life lessons I learned. And: When I graduated I thought I’d summited my education, but in fact the learning was just beginning. Never having participated in an NAYC, I was curious about whether making a team is indeed the golden ticket to future dressage success, or whether there are a lot of one-hit wonders in the lists of past medalists. The answer, as freelance writer Catie Staszak discovered (“Springboard to the Open Waters,” page 30), is: both. Scan the results archives and you’ll spot the names of bona fide international stars and established dressage professionals. (The USDF office and I had fun digging some #TBT NAYC photos out of the archives for a “where are they now?” sidebar.) There were names I didn’t recognize, though, and indeed not every gung-ho dressage kid goes on to pursue an equestrian career, or even continues to ride into adulthood, as Catie learned. Regardless of former Jr/YRs’ life and career arcs, the ones Catie talked to all said the same thing: that it was the experience that mattered. The lessons learned along the way. The exposure—in dressage, that most solitary of sports—to teamwork, and to striving for a cause greater and more important than yourself. The friendships forged that led to lifelong bonds, professional opportunities, and in a few cases even to love.

usdf Connection



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member connection A Loaded Issue You produce a fantastic magazine, and I truly appreciate all your great work. I especially appreciate your instructional articles, from which I always learn something to apply to my riding. However, in the May issue, I was disturbed by the wording of the title “USDF Members Speak out for Gun Control” (“Heads Up”). Neither member mentioned in the story spoke out for gun control. One encouraged gun-violence research, and the other took part in March for Our Lives, which was against gun violence. Gun violence and gun control are not the same thing. Millions of law-abiding Americans are totally against gun violence but also against gun control because we are Americans, and we have the right to defend ourselves. Leanna Cinquanta Delta, CO


I just read the May issue of USDF Connection. Generally, I enjoy the magazine very much. However, I hope that it will stay out of the gun controversy. It has nothing to do with dressage. Everyone can have their own opinion, whether they are famous or not, and take whatever action they deem appropriate without the implied imprimatur of USDF. Most of us enjoy our horses very much. They offer a chance to get away from the terrible divisiveness we are experiencing in this country. Let’s keep it that way. Ellen Hodos Scottsdale, AZ

Grow Your GMO I enjoyed your May editorial (“Ringside: Agents for Change”) and wasn’t surprised to read about the disheartening trends in USDF group-member organizations (GMOs) around the country. I was elected president of our




GMO in November of last year. Our group was down to only 21 members, with some meetings going unattended by any members at all. As a marketing and advertising professional, I saw an opportunity to rebrand the group and change its messaging to reverse this trend. I’m proud to say that in six months, our membership has grown to 42 and we’re hearing raves about our new direction. I’d be glad to share some marketing and programming strategies for GMOs if you have any editorial planned on this subject in the future. Thanks so much for the great job you do for USDF Connection. I look forward to every issue. Jean Rude President, Eastern Iowa Dressage and Eventing Association Iowa City, IA Very impressive, Jean. Thanks for sharing your success story. We’ll be in touch, for sure.

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V I S I T T H E C O L I C R E S O U R C E C E N T E R AT S M A R T PA K . C O M / C O L I C

Heads Up

Your Dressage World This Month



he dressage classical master Walter Zettl, whose writings and clinics endeared him to countless riders, died June 7 in Canada, his adopted country. He was 89. Born in Bohemia (now part of the Czech Republic), Zettl received his equestrian education in Germany,

ALWAYS FOR THE HORSE: Zettl in an undated photo

studying under Col. Herbert Aust for eight years, according to the biography on his website, WalterZettl.net. In 1950, the 21-year-old Zettl earned the German Equestrian Federation’s gold riding medal for achievements in dressage and jumping. He would have ridden on the 1952 German Olympic dressage team, but at that time professional athletes were not permitted to compete in Olympic Games. In the 1950s and 1960s, Zettl worked as a trainer, received his Reitlehrer certification, and coached several successful students. During that time he won an

10 July/August 2018 • USDF Connection

international Grand Prix in Salzburg and the Bavarian Dressage Championships. Zettl moved to Canada with his wife, Heide, in 1981 after he was recruited to train and coach there. He coached the Canadian young-rider dressage squad to three consecutive team gold medals and four individual medals at the FEI North American Young Riders Championships (now Youth Championships). He also served as the dressage coach for the 1984 Canadian Olympic eventing team. It was through his clinics, books, articles, and DVDs that Zettl gained his widest following. His first book, Dressage in Harmony, was published in 1998, its message of working sympathetically with the horse resounding with enthusiasts who were making dressage the fastest-growing equestrian discipline at the time. A popular clinician, Zettl brought his teachings to a broader audience with his fivevolume instructional DVD series, A Matter of Trust, which began in 2002. It was followed by the books The Circle of Trust (2007) and Ask Walter (2013). Over the years, Zettl contributed articles to USDF Connection and occasionally spoke at USDF conventions. At the 2000 convention in Cincinnati, he gave a lecture based on his book Dressage in Harmony followed by a day-long mini-symposium at Paxton Farm, Batavia, OH, with demonstrations of “Dressage in Harmony Through the Levels.” The USDF debuted its Adult Clinic Series, with well-known trainers teaching in each region, in 2003. According to USDF Education Department manager Kathie Robertson, the series was developed for Zettl, who headlined in 2003 and 2004. Zettl attracted attention from dressage enthusiasts, not all of it positive, when he began instructing Linda Parelli, wife of Parelli Natural Horsemanship founder Pat Parelli. Zettl and the Parellis appeared together at several educational events, and the Parellis were on the bill when Zettl co-headlined the 2013 Dressage Summit in Wellington, FL, with fellow European dressage masters Christoph Hess and Charles de Kunffy. In 2011, the Toronto chapter of the Canadian Dressage Owners and Riders Association (CADORA) inducted Zettl into its Hall of Fame. In the Facebook post announcing Zettl’s death, his friend Heidi Zorn, co-owner of the Utah-based ridingarena company Premier Equestrian, a division of which published some of Zettl’s work and maintained his website, wrote: “He showed us how to be grateful and generous to our horses, to our families, and to our friends and neighbors. He led with gallantry, poise, and sophistication. Walter was a true gentleman and a genuine role model for kindness.”


Walter Zettl


Townend Dethrones Jung in Nail-Biter at Land Rover Kentucky


ermany’s eventing machine Michael Jung and Fischerrocana FST looked to be in perfect position to extend their winning streak at the Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event for an unprecedented fourth time in a row. But an unexpected rail in show-jumping forced Jung to settle for second behind Great Britain’s Oliver Townend on Cooley Master Class. It was the first win for Townend at the Kentucky CCI****, held April 25-29 at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington.

to lose, and he did, by a rail. Little jumped clean to finish third. USDF co-hosts Champions Live! After the success of the inaugural Champions Live! panel discussion last year, USDF once again co-hosted the event along with the US Hunter Jumper Association, Equestrian Events Inc., and the US Eventing Association.

WILD RIDE: Marilyn Little’s field-topping dressage achievement was overshadowed by an incident involving blood in RF Scandalous’s mouth on cross-country


THE NEW KING OF KENTUCKY: Great Britain’s Oliver Townend and Cooley Master Class

Jung led after day one of dressage on 27.1 penalty points, followed by Americans Boyd Martin on Tsetserleg (31.2) and Tamra Smith on Wembley (32.1). On day two, US pair Marilyn Little on RF Scandalous took over the lead with a personal-best score of 24.8. Australia’s Christopher Burton on Nobilis 18 sat in third with 27.9. Run under nearly perfect conditions, cross-country saw Jung reclaim the lead, adding only 0.4 penalty point to his dressage score. Burton remained in second place with a clean

trip, and Townend also went clean to move up to third. Despite a cross-country round with no jumping faults and eight time faults, Little received unwanted attention when “Kitty” displayed blood in her mouth from a cut on her lip. Officials and veterinarians inspected the mare and cleared her to continue, but angry fans took to social media to complain. Less than a rail separated the top five riders going into show-jumping. Townend set the standard with a gorgeous fault-free round, and then two rails knocked Burton down to ninth place. Kentucky was Jung’s

STARS UP CLOSE: Jim Wofford (right) moderates panelists Margie Engle, Reese Koffler-Stanfield, and Boyd Martin during the Champions Live! discussion

US eventing Olympian Jim Wofford moderated the informal discussion, held the morning of showjumping day. He encouraged panelists Reese Koffler-Stanfield (dressage), Boyd Martin (eventing), and Margie Engle (jumping) to share both horsemanship insights and humorous anecdotes from their many years riding and competing. —Emily Koenig

Digital Edition Bonus Content

Watch highlights from Oliver Townend and Cooley Master Class’s win at the 2018 Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event.

USDF Connection

July/August 2018


Heads Up


Behind the scenes

Tiffany Donnelly, Specialty Equestrian Designer and Retailer

Equestrian DVDs Now Available for Streaming

atch your favorite equestrian videos where and when you want. Trafalgar Square Books now offers streaming options for six of its bestselling titles: Centered Riding 1 and Centered Riding 2 by Sally Swift; Is Your Horse 100%? Resolve Painful Limitations in the Equine Body with Conformation Balancing and Fascia Fitness by Margret HenANY WAY YOU kels; Dancing with Horses: The Art of WANT IT: Bestselling Body Language by Klaus Ferdinand Centered Riding videos Hempfling; Horse Agility: A Stepand others can now be by-Step Introduction to the Sport streamed by Vanessa Bee; and Wendy Murdoch’s 5-Minute Jumping Fixes: Favorite Solutions for Better Jumping Performance in No Time by Wendy Murdoch. To learn more, visit HorseandRiderBooks.com and click on DVDs. More streaming options will be added in the coming year, the Vermont-based publisher said.

The Near Side


ob title: Owner, Equus Couture, Mount Vernon, OH (equus-couture.com) What I do: We create individual, one-of-a-kind works of art for horse, rider, and dog. Every product we sell is designed by me. I have surrounded myself with a team of experts in the fields that are not my skill set: an Amish leather crafter, a full team of seamstresses, various photographers and graphic designers, and my artist husband. EQUESTRIAN FLAIR: Donnelly How I got started: I was and her Friesian gelding, Boaitsen an art major in college and have had horses since I was eleven years old. I looked for a way to combine my love of beautiful things with my love of horses. Best thing about my job: I absolutely love designing. Then to see that thing I created on a horse or rider—there isn’t a better feeling in the world. Worst thing about my job: This doesn’t happen too often, but it’s when the artistry, time, and hard work that go into a piece aren’t appreciated. My horse: Boaitsen is a seventeen-year-old Friesian gelding. In 2017, we competed in dressage at several recognized shows. Tip: In giving character to an old staple item, we’re helping people to think of it in a new way. —Katherine Walcott

para-equestrian dressage


Para-Dressage Grant Fund Established

he Dressage Foundation, Lincoln, NE (dressagefoundation.org), in May announced the creation of the Para-Equestrian Dressage Fund, to provide financial support for para-dressage riders to attend educational events. The Dressage Foundation is organizing an online auction this summer to benefit this new fund and is seeking donations of goods and services. Contact Jenny Johnson at jenny@dressagefoundation.org or at (402) 434-8585 for more information.

12 July/August 2018 • USDF Connection



Your Dressage World This Month

2018 Adequan /USDF Annual Convention ®

November 28-December 1 Salt Lake Marriott Downtown at City Creek Salt Lake City, UT


Heads Up

Your Dressage World This Month


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——— Editori



he work of dressage trainers, instructors, judges is inextricably and entwined. Trainers and instructors want to understand how judges critique, to better their those of their scores and students. Judges want to be able good training to recognize and riding, to reward it appropriately correctly identify and to areas in which a competitor is But until this lacking. year, educational events for instructor/ trainers and those for judges were largely kept separate— until the USDF and US Equestrian (formerly the US trian Federation) Equesdecided the 2017 Adequan®/US to try an experiment: combining DF FEI-Level with a portion Trainers Conference of the 2017 US Equestrian Judges The Trainers Forum. Conference, held January 16-17 Meadow Farm at High in Loxahatchee , FL, adhered to mat: high-quality its usual fordemonstration horses and riders ing with world-class workclinicians, with ringside and given the audience sitting ample opportunitie the presenters. This year, the trainer s to ask questions of attendees sat along long sides of host Mary Anne McPhail’s the the judges occupied covered arena while bleachers on the short side by “C. The dual-purpose ” format created a bump in attendance: about 390 registrants, up from 300-plus ated a challenge in 2016. It also for the presenters, crethe recently retired 5* judge Lilo Fore FEI of California and the FEI 5* judge Christian Matthiesen Hans of Denmark. structure change Aware of the eventand eager to appeal and the judges, to both the trainers Fore and Matthiesen that doing so was both said afterward a balancing act.

Trainers Conferenc e judges together brings trainers and for the first time


O. Bryantusdf.org Jennifer jbryant@ -0116 •


Cindi Wylie, Georgetown, MA


G , IBUTIN PhD, MRCVS STORY AND CONTR Second BVMS, PHOTOGR APHS Clayton, lots BY JENNIFER Hilary M. RS there are re my mare, O. 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Contact @usdf.org. me weat of a lovely, Extre natural-disasvictims of naBY NATA of freak address: usdressage TER: SEND ADDRESS that a , LEXINGTO scarred lored vision ing return To help BY CATIE STASZAK Canada as battlePOSTMAS WORKS PARKWAY g becom tion my rose-co I reminded myself 1741527. N9A 6J5. well No. IRON as 4051 n concep on avoidin Agreement Windsor, Ontario experts Canadian P.O. Box 54, gifted foal, wrong betwee aboard A, best advice go Station g ride for their lot can , Editor 32 April 2017 —and that 28 July/August 2017 • USDF CONNECTION first thrillin wrath. • USDF CONNECTI r O. Bryant ture’s and that homebred mount , if Jennife and ryant ON saddled not Blizzards one’s own could wind up @JenniferOB uakes? I idension, with if it did, oes? Earthq s planning by the expres ents. N to tornad rednes ECTIO you’ll pardonpasture ornam your region. area prone two disaster-prepa to strike Is your USDF CONN make one but ? Start your weather events that may not 2018 • anuary ice storms likely r events can cause ber 2017/J the most even weathe s and high winds, tifying s. 6 Decem mind that rstorm other problem most Keep in as thunde fires, or s that are es, such outages, headlin , power to all hazard that plan efdamage responds to enact property ” says Dr. e, a plan that and being able g “Havin g and practic al Large you live, n where of Technic , takes plannin and commo author -rescue and effectivelyMacon, GA, ficiently leads equine Those last ez, of rg). , who a Gimen Rebecc ncy Rescue nationwide (tlaer.o ez calls the Emerge s Gimen Animal g course says. or what does,” she ort ncy trainin and practice, ne g emerge eff everyo it takes the plannin something that steps— ation, and re not coordin “two Ps”—“a it takes prior , you date.” welfare it up to time, horse’s to“It takes and keep ns your to leave it happen r threate may need to make want to l disaste and he case you’ll If a natura him. You in which take him. evacuate to you’ll home, may need nity him at and where you keep you’ll go horse-commu gether if e where , and your advanc friends ask plan in stable, members, g plan. Let family of your stratng or trainin ues know at a boardi their emergency colleag the facilhorse resides er about er, put If your or manag manag owner or the , give copies in writing the facility you’re the owner tand if tion plan and unders egy. And ncy and evacua ers know all staff sure ity’s emerge , and make 47 to clients protocol.  2017 r N • June the disaste ECTIO CONN USDF

Tag-Team Trainin





e Scenario


MUTUAL APRECIATION : Judges and trainers praise for the alike had high demonstration pair Nora Batchelder and Fifi MLW


to get your s? you prepared threaten disaster WAY: Are IN HARM’S danger if a natural out of horses N

2017 46 June



2017), took second place; and Natalie DeFee Mendik’s guide to disaster preparedness, “When the Big One Hits” (June 2017), was third. In the design category, USDF senior creative coordinator Karl Lawrence’s advertisement for the 2017 USDF Sport Horse Seminar, illustrated by former USDF staffer Sydney Manning, took third place in Publication Staff Single Advertisement.



Pony Clubbers Receive Specialty Ratings

ongratulations to these USDF members, who have achieved US Pony Clubs dressage specialty ratings: C-3 Dressage: Barbara Brogan (NJ), Deena Cahill (NJ), Anna Douglas (MA), Charlotte Greatwood (CA), Julia Marrinan (CT), Ella Morehead (NC), Deme Smith (NC), Emily Smith (CA), Lindsay Vollinger (MA), Grace Whitmore (OR) B Dressage: Nila Venkat (CA), Grace Walker (NY) A Dressage: Katelyn Duda (MD). The following USDF members earned USPC recognition for participating in both USDF competitions and USPC rallies: Medallion Club (one USPC dressage rally at Training Level or above as a competitor or volunteer, and one USEF-licensed/USDF-recognized competition at Training Level): Megan

There are not many FEI 5* dressage Fore (who judged judges, and so having her final CDI at Devon in Pennsylvania last September before “aging out”) and Matthiesen same arena was in the a rare opportunity for participants from two of the to learn world’s most experienced Fore is equally dressage judges. well known to USDF members time instructor-ce as a longrtification examiner teacher, trainer, and and coach. Matthiesen, an outstanding narian by profession, an equine veteriis a former FEI member and Dressage Committee has served as the Danish team for nine years. veterinarian At the Trainers Conference, Fore of the trainer’s-pers did most pective commentary took the judge’s while Matthiesen role, with Fore offering additional insights. judging In Trainers Conferences, the demonstratio riders work with n horses and the presenters both days. Day 2017 event was one of the fairly traditional, with Fore and instructing for Matthiesen about 30 minutes of each pair’s 45-minute USDF CONNECTI ON • April 2017 33


Envision Your

ourth Level USDF-certified instructor Cindi Wylie operates Quarterline Dressage at Rosebrook Farm in Georgetown, MA, which she owns with her husband, USDF treasurer Steve Schubert.

De Michele (VA), Jocelyn Hunt (MD), Kalin MacQueen (MI), Sophie Wayner (NJ). Bronze Medal Club (one USPC dressage rally and one recognized dressage competition at First Level): Megan De Michele (VA), Lucas Garvey (VA), Santina Hackett (TX), Haley Johnston (PA), Brianna Nevins (WI). Silver Medal Club (one USPC dressage rally and one recognized dressage competition at Second Level): Megan De Michele (VA), Natasha Enegren (ID), Lucas Garvey (VA), Katrina Rose (MD). Gold Medal Club (one USPC dressage rally and one recognized dressage competition at Third level or above): Megan De Michele (VA), Danielle Doughty (FL), Lindsey Savoy (OR). Visit ponyclub.org to learn more about this recognition program.

14 July/August 2018 • USDF Connection

STAR PERFORMER: Wylie on Edelrubin at a show in 2017

How I got started in dressage: The farm I rode at growing up had regular clinics with Karl Mikolka and General Jack Burton. They got me hooked! My horses: Audacity is a 20-yearold, 15.1-hand, Morgan-rescue cross that I trained and competed to Grand Prix. Edelrubin is an 11-year-old Westfalen gelding that I imported at age four. He is schooling Grand Prix and showing at Intermediate II. Flirt is a four-year-old by Fürst Piccolo. My two yearlings are Don Ramon (by Donarweiss) and First Angel (by Fidertanz). Highlight of the Instructor/Trainer Program: It made me a bettereducated instructor while also helping me to become more organized. Training tip: To help your posture, stretch your ears upward. Contact me: cindi@ quarterlinedressage.com or (978) 590-8722. —Jamie Humphries





aterial published in USDF Connection last year took home a total W of five awards in the 2018 American Horse Publications Equine Media Awards contest. Awards were announced at the 2018 AHP Equine Media Conference in Hunt Valley, MD, in June. USDF Connection editor Jennifer Bryant’s December 2017/January 2018 “Ringside” column, “Getting out of the Gene Pool,” won first place in its circulation category for Personal Column Single Article. Her report on the 2017 Adequan®/USDF FEI-Level Trainers Conference, “On the Same Page” (April 2017), took second place in Editorial Event Coverage Single Article. In the Service to the Horse Industry Single Article class, freelance writers’ contributions took two honors. Catie Staszak’s look at academic solutions for traveling young riders, “Distance Learning” (July/August

NECTION the USDF CON tion of ion Publica

USDF National Education Initiative ...making education more accessible

The USDF National Education Initiative was created to support new and affordable programs, and to engage members. The following programs are being offered as part of the USDF National Education Initiative.

Symposium with Janet Foy Central Plains Dressage Society October 20-21, 2018 www.centralplainsdressage.org

Trainers Workshop with Lisa Wilcox Oregon Dressage Society October 26-27, 2018 www.oregondressage.com

Clinic with Bruno Greber

Southwest Virginia Dressage Association October 20, 2018 www.swvada.org

Ride-a-Test with Barbara Lewis Tri-State Dressage Society September 8, 2018 tristatedressagesociety.com

For more information about these and other National Education Initiative opportunities, visit


Funding support provided by the USDF National Education Initiative Grant Program.


Heads Up

Your Dressage World This Month

usdf Bulletins

What you need to know this month Are You Qualified for Regionals? Check your qualification status for the 2018 Great American Insurance Group/USDF Regional Championships on the Regional Championships Competitors page of the USDF website. Make sure you’re listed on the preliminary qualified horse/rider list. While you’re at it, go to USDFScores.com and verify that all applicable scores are correctly designated as qualifying.

Competitors: Check Your Scores Check your scores on USDFScores.com. If you spot an error, e-mail scorecorrections@ usdf.org or call (859) 971-2277. All corrections must be reported by October 15 at 5:00 p.m. ET.

Adult Equitation Program Qualification Info You might be qualified for a USDF Adult Amateur Equitation Regional Final, which will be held at each of the nine Great American/USDF Regional Championships competitions. To qualify, earn a score of 70 percent or better in an applicable dressage-seat equitation class, or qualify at any level (excluding freestyles) for a Regional Championships.

All-Breeds Awards Declaration Deadline If you want your horse to be eligible to receive a 2018 USDF All-Breeds award, submit his breed-registry papers and a completed All-Breeds awards declaration form to the USDF office before August 1.

Convention Grant Available to Group Member One deserving USDF group member will receive the Ruth Arvanette Memorial Fund Grant to attend the 2018 Adequan®/USDF Annual Convention in Salt Lake City, UT. The grant includes full convention registration and partial reimbursement for travel expenses. See the USDF website for an application, which is due in the USDF office by August 31.

Register for the Sport Horse Prospect Development Forum The 2018 USDF Sport Horse Prospect Development Forum will be held at Sonnenberg Farm, Sherwood, OR, October 20-21. Presenters Scott Hassler and Michael Bragdell will explain how to develop a consistent training foundation for sport-horse prospects as they progress from in hand to under saddle and eventually to competition. Rider applications and auditor preregistration are available through the USDF website.

16 July/August 2018 • USDF Connection

USDF Benefit Classes USDF benefit classes support dressage education in the US though USDF educational programs. Winners receive special USDF awards. Ask USDFrecognized competitions to host the USDF benefit class.

Are You Bluegrass-Bound? If you’re hoping to qualify for the 2018 US Dressage Finals presented by Adequan®, start by visiting usdressagefinals.com to declare and to download the prize list. Horse/rider combinations must declare their intention to participate by completing a Declaration of Intent form. Declare by midnight on the day prior to the first day of your Great American/ USDF Regional Championship competition (including any day of open classes before the start of championship classes). There is no fee to declare, but you must declare at the level(s) and eligible division(s) in which you intend to compete.

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horse-health connection

Conclusion: New findings regarding equipment use in dressage competition By Hilary Clayton, BVMS, PhD, Diplomate ACVSMR, MRCVS


n the June issue, I explained the findings related to the use of spurs and whips in a recently published research study (“Horse-Health Connection: Could Your Equipment Be Hurting Your Horse?”) that I conducted along with FEI veterinarian Mette Uldahl. In the study, we recorded the types of spurs, whips, bits, and nosebands used on sport horses during

How the Study Was Conducted A total of 3,143 randomly selected horse/rider combinations competing in Danish Equestrian Federation competitions in dressage, jumping, eventing, and endurance were examined immediately after competition by licensed technical delegates (TDs) who had been trained as data collectors for the study. For the part of the study that I’ll describe in this article, the presence and types of bits and nosebands were recorded; noseband tightness was measured; and the presence of abrasions, blood, or both at the corners of the lips was noted. Statistical analyses determined the relationships among equestrian discipline, level of competition (levels 0-7 on the Danish competition scale), type and tightness of equipment, and the incidence of injuries.

Bits and Related Oral Lesions

(DIS)COMFORT ZONE? Bits and nosebands can cause pain—but not always the ones you’d suspect

competitions in Denmark. We looked for associations between types of equipment used and the presence of visible lesions on the horses’ bodies. In this article, I’ll present our findings regarding bits and nosebands.


The data collectors noted whether each horse was wearing a bit or a bitless bridle, and the type of bit used. Of the horses studied, 82 percent had snaffle bits, 9 percent wore double bridles (bridoon plus curb), 7 percent had pelham or kimberwick bits, and 2 percent were being shown in bitless bridles. The inside of the horse’s mouth can develop lesions on the tongue, on the palate (roof of the mouth), on the bars, or inside the cheeks. Lesions can also form on the skin or mucosa around the corners of the lips. Because our study was performed during a competition, the oral examination was limited to the skin and mucosa at the corners of the lips. It was not pos-

July/August 2018 • USDF Connection

sible to perform a full intra-oral examination of the insides of the horses’ mouths, and so lesions involving these structures were not evaluated or included in the results. The TDs who participated in the study as data collectors inspected the corners of the horses’ mouths on both sides. If the skin or mucosa of the lips was lacerated, with or without the presence of blood, it was recorded as an oral lesion. Across all sports, 9 percent of horses had oral lesions at the corners of the lips. The presence of lesions differed significantly among disciplines and was highest in dressage, with 10 percent of dressage horses and 16 percent of dressage ponies showing lesions at the corners of the lips. There was no difference in the incidence of injuries on the left versus right sides of the mouth; but if a lesion or blood was found on one side, there was a significantly increased risk of finding a lesion or blood on the opposite side, as well. The presence of oral lesions increased with the level of competition but did not differ between bit types, including bitless bridles. Therefore, riding bitless does not protect against the development of lesions at the corners of the lips.

Nosebands The presence or absence of a noseband was recorded and the type of noseband was noted. Two percent of the competitors studied used no noseband. Of those with nosebands, 51 percent used a cavesson with flash, 26 percent used a cavesson only, 4 percent used a cavesson with flash and jaw strap, 8 percent used a drop noseband, 6 percent used a crossed (Mexican or figure 8) noseband, and 5 percent used a Micklem bridle. To facilitate the statistical analysis, noseband straps were classified as upper and lower. The upper straps included the cavesson and the upper strap of a crossed noseband or a Micklem bridle. The lower straps included drop nosebands, flash attachments, and the lower strap of a crossed noseband or Micklem bridle.


Are Your Bit and Noseband Hurting Your Horse?


Figure 2. Multi-tool being used to measure noseband tightness.


Figure 1. Yellow arrow shows where tightness of the upper noseband was measured. Blue arrow shows where tightness of the lower noseband was measured.

Noseband tightness. A multitool was developed specifically for this study. The tool has a caliper on one end to measure spur length and a tapered probe on the other end that slides under the noseband and is marked at intervals. The markings on the probe can be converted to a linear measurement that indicates how much the noseband strap

would need to be tightened in order for it to lie flat against the bridge of the horse’s nose. Tightness was categorized as less than 2 cm, 2-3 cm, or greater than 3 cm. Tightness of the upper noseband was measured by inserting the multitool beneath the noseband in the middle of the nose. Tightness of the lower

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horse-health connection noseband was measured at the side of the nasal bone (see Figures 1 and 2). In total, 92 percent of the horses in our study wore an upper noseband. In 53 percent of these horses, the noseband had insufficient slack for it to be tightened by 2 cm. In 34 percent of horses there was room for the noseband to be tightened by 2 to 3 cm, and in 13 percent of horses it could be adjusted by more than 3 cm. A lower noseband was present in 80 percent of horses. Tightness levels were: less than 2 cm, 43 percent; 2-3 cm, 42 percent; more than 3 cm, 16 percent.

Lesions Related to Noseband Use and Tightness Interestingly, the incidence of lesions at the corners of the lips was higher without an upper noseband (14 percent) than with an upper noseband (9 percent). Compared with horses wearing a loose upper noseband, the incidence of lesions in horses without an up-

per noseband was 2.4 times higher. This was an unexpected finding and is likely related to the fact that, without a noseband, the horse can resist the rein aids by opening its jaw widely. With the jaw wide open, the cheeks and lips can be caught and abraded between the bit rings or bit cheeks and the premolar teeth. The rider, feeling a loss of control, is likely to tighten the reins and put greater pressure on the corners of the mouth, thereby causing the type of lesions observed in the study. For horses wearing a noseband, lesions at the corners of the lips were related to tightness of the upper strap of the noseband (cavesson, crossed, or Micklem) but not to tightness of the lower noseband strap. When the upper-noseband tightness decreased by one category, the incidence of lesions at the corners of the lips decreased by about one-third. Neither the presence nor tightness of a lower noseband (flash, drop, crossed, or Micklem) influenced the incidence of lesions at the corners of the lips.

USDF Benefit Class USDF Benefit Classes support dressage education in the US through USDF educational programs. Winners receive special USDF Awards! Ask USDFrecognized competitions to host a USDF Benefit Class!


July/August 2018 • USDF Connection


The positive association between lesions at the corners of the lips and upper-noseband tightness is likely the result of the tight noseband’s squeezing the cheeks and lips against the premolar teeth. Superimposed on this, if the rider applies excessive rein tension or if the horse resists the action of the bit, the crushing effect at the corners of the lips may be exacerbated. A tight upper noseband is also likely to cause the inner surfaces of the cheeks to be abraded against the cheek teeth, but this could not be evaluated in our study due to the limitations of working in a competition environment. Because the lower noseband strap lies in front of both the corners of the lips and the cheek teeth, it would not be expected to cause mucosal abrasions. The correlation between tightness of the upper noseband strap and pressure exerted under the noseband has not been measured, and little is known about how horses perceive noseband pressure. In order to function effectively as a training tool, the noseband needs to


Figure 3. Illustration from US Equestrian dressage rules showing where noseband tightness is checked manually in US nationallevel competition.

have a little laxity so there is no pressure on the horse’s face when the mouth remains closed. When the horse opens its mouth, the noseband tightens and puts pressure on the horse’s face; when the mouth closes, the pressure is relieved immediately. This applies the principle of training through negative reinforcement. On the other hand, a very tight noseband mechanically prevents the

horse from opening its mouth, but a tight noseband also exerts pressure continuously rather than acting as a training tool that teaches the horse to hold the bit quietly with only small movements of the jaws and tongue. Under US Equestrian rules, noseband tightness is assessed on the side of the jaw, just behind the head piece of the noseband, which is a safer place to use your fingers to assess tightness (Figure 3). In other countries, including Denmark, noseband tightness is measured over the middle of the nasal bones by trained personnel (technical delegates) using a special measurement device. Note that you should not insert your fingers between the noseband and the nasal bones due to the risk of having your fingers crushed if the horse opens its mouth.

New Insights Challenge Conventional Wisdom Conscientious dressage riders and trainers want their horses to feel and

perform their best, free of pain or discomfort. There can be legitimate concerns about overly tight nosebands, and some dressage enthusiasts believe that bitless bridles are gentler and more humane than traditional bitted bridles. However, our findings indicate that such sweeping generalizations are not necessarily accurate. Although dressage instruction places great emphasis on the development of an elastic contact and a “giving” hand, our study found that dressage horses and ponies showed a higher incidence of lesions at the corners of the lips than horses competing in other disciplines. Likewise, though one might assume that horses and riders at higher competition levels are more skilled and able to communicate via light rein aids, especially using a double bridle, we found that mouth lesions were significantly more common at higher competition levels. Also somewhat unexpectedly, the type of bit did not affect the incidence

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horse-health connection of mouth lesions. In addition, the same percentage of mouth lesions was seen with bitless bridles as with traditional bits. A tight upper-noseband strap was associated with a higher incidence of lesions at the corners of the lips, but tightness of the lower noseband strap did not have an effect.

Meet the Expert


Finally, some riders may believe that removing the noseband entirely makes the horse more comfortable, but our results showed that removing the noseband was not protective against the development of lesions at the corners of the mouth. In order to safeguard the health and safety of horses during competition and


r. Hilary Clayton is the professor and Mary Anne McPhail Dressage Chair emerita. She was the original holder of the Mary Anne McPhail Dressage Chair in Equine Sports Medicine at Michigan State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine, East Lansing, from 1997 to 2014. At the same time, she was a professor in MSU’s Department of Large Animal Clinical Sciences. A world-renowned expert on equine biomechanics and conditioning, Dr. Clayton is president of Sport Horse Science, LC, which is dedicated to translating research data into practical advice for riders, trainers, and veterinarians through lectures, articles, and private consultations. A USDF gold, silver, and bronze medalist, she is a longtime USDF Connection contributing editor and a past member of the US Equestrian Federation’s Dressage Committee.

P ed to rivate Sal throu a Friend o e: gh Jul f Dres y 1, 2 018 sage


training, it is necessary to understand the potentially damaging effects of the equipment used and to apply this information in the formulation of rules that protect horses from injury. The FEI blood rule eliminates a dressage horse if the judge at C sees fresh blood anywhere on its body, or if the steward finds blood in the mouth or in the area of the spurs in the post-ride equipment check. This study provides data that can guide trainers in choosing and adjusting equipment so that it is least likely to injure the horses or result in an infringement of the rules. s

in the next issue

• Caring for the senior horse • Hock injections • The amateur rules

Dressage happens here Cloverlea Farm is the turn-key dressage facility of your dreams, nestled into the charming New England countryside. Owned by the Baumert family since 1973, it is a private facility that developed countless first class riders. The Baumerts’ wish is that the farm be sold to a friend of dressage who will continue to utilize the facility for educational purposes.

Contact: Elizabeth Clarke 413-247-6112 equinebiz@comcast.net


July/August 2018 • USDF Connection

courtesy of dr. hilary clayton

43 acres, located in Columbia, CT


DRESSAGE FOUNDATION Building U.S. Dressage Through Your Generosity

Financial Support for Youth and Young Adult Riders Young Rider International Dream Program Top Young Riders travel to Europe for a one week introduction to European dressage trainers and events. Young Riders observe and discuss dressage theory and training with leaders of the sport. Cynthia Aspden Youth and Young Adult Development Fund Provides financial assistance to youth and young adult riders (age 25 and under) to aid in their development in dressage. Heldenberg Training Center Fund Provides financial assistance to attend educational seminars at Spanish Riding School’s Training Center in Heldenberg, Austria. Karen Skvarla Fund Enables young dressage professionals to pursue a variety of training or educational opportunities.

TDF’s generous donors understand the importance of supporting the next generation of dressage riders in the United States. These grants provide financial help for the continuing education of our youth. Please join us— donate today!

Trip Harting Fund Provides funding assistance for a Pony Club rider to attend the USDF ‘L’ Education Program or Instructor/ Trainer Program. Carolyn Van Cise Memorial Sportsmanship Fund For Michigan youth to attend a educational dressage event of their choice. Jack Fritz Young Professionals Grants Offers grants for individuals to attend the USDF/USEF Young Rider Graduate Program. Gerhard Politz Instructor Education Fund– Coming Soon Offers grants for young adults, ages 18-25, to participate in the USDF Instructor/Trainer Program.

THE DRESSAGE FOUNDATION 1314 ‘O’ Street, Suite 305 Lincoln, NE 68508

TDF’s 2016 Young Rider International Dream Program Participants and Chaperons with FEI 4* Judge Christoph Hess in Aachen, Germany.

402-434-8585 info@dressagefoundation.org www.dressagefoundation.org

all-breeds connection

Big-time dressage quality from this consortium of smaller German registries


he German Sport Horse Association (Deutsches Sport Pferd, or DSP) was formed in 2009 with the purpose of consolidating the breeding and marketing efforts of several smaller registries in the southern and eastern regions of Germany. The purpose of the association is to achieve high breeding standards

Most breeders in our territory are small hobby breeders, and the horses are considered “family members,” and so they are always happy to learn that their young horses go to good and loving homes. GSHA-registered horses you might know: The late FBW Kennedy (by Tiro), ridden by Robert Dover (FL), won a team bronze medal at the 2004 Athens Olympic Games. He was the 2004 USDF Grand Prix Dressage Horse of the Year, Musical Freestyle, and Musical Freestyle Challenge champion. In 2005, he was the USDF Grand Prix Musical Freestyle champion and the Musical Freestyle Challenge reserve champion. QUALITY OVER QUANTITY: Halston, owned by Kim Schisler Sosebee Georgia(GA), is an example of what the German Sport Horse Association can based dresproduce sage pro Kim Schisler by offering a broad range of modernSosebee bought Halston (pictured) type dressage bloodlines. The member (Hotline – Sweet Love, Laurentio) as registries work together in defining a four-year-old at the GSHA’s annual breeding goals related to the conforMarbach weekend auction in Germation as well as the character traits many. They competed at Intermediof the breeding stock. Because of the ate I in 2017 and are now showing at broad range of bloodlines represented, Intermediate II. riders can always choose the horses All-Breeds awards offered: that are best suited to their goals. Top three placings in all performance


July/August 2018 • USDF Connection

and dressage sport-horse breeding (DSHB) categories. How to participate: Owners and riders must be members of the German Sport Horse Association. The horse must be registered with one of the following German participating organizations: • Landesverband Bayerischer Pferdezüchter • Pferdezuchtverband BadenWürttemberg • Pferdezuchtverband RheinlandPfalz-Saar Pferdezuchtverband Sachsen-Thüringen • Pferdezuchtverband BrandenburgAnhalt • Verband der Pony und Pferdezüchter Hessen E.V. (ponies only) • Bayerischer Zuchtverband für Kleinpferde und Spezialpferderassen E.V. Learn more: deutschessportpferd.de (click on “USEF/USDF Membership” banner) or (770) 2654356 (US phone). s

A Celebration of Breeds


he “All-Breeds Connection” column spotlights a USDF All-Breeds awards program participating organization and the breed it represents. Information and photos are furnished by the registries. The USDF does not endorse or promote any breed or registry over another. The USDF All-Breeds awards program is designed to reward the accomplishments of specific breeds in dressage, with recognition offered at the USDF Salute Gala & Annual Awards Banquet, and in the annual yearbook issue of USDF Connection. For eligibility requirements and a list of current participating organizations, visit usdf.org / Awards / All-Breeds.


Spotlight: German Sport Horse Association


American Connemara Pony Society *American Dutch Harness Horse Association American Hackney Horse Society American Haflinger Registry American Hanoverian Society American Holsteiner Horse Association American Morgan Horse Association American Mule Association American Mustang & Burro Association American Paint Horse Association American Quarter Horse Association American Rhineland Studbook American Saddlebred Registry American Shire Horse Association American Trakehner Association American Warmblood Registry American Warmblood Society and Sporthorse Registry Appaloosa Horse Club Arabian Horse Association Belgian Warmblood Breeding Association Canadian Hanoverian Society Canadian Horse Breeders Association Canadian Sport Horse Association Canadian Warmblood Horse Breeders Association Cleveland Bay Horse Society of North America Curly Sporthorse International Draft Cross Breeders & Owners Association Fell Pony Society of North America The Foundation for the Pure Spanish Horse Friesian Heritage Horse & Sporthorse International Friesian Horse Association of North America Friesian Horse Society Friesian Sport Horse Registry Friesian Sporthorse Association

*German Sport Horse Association Gypsy Cob & Drum Horse Association Gypsy Horse Registry of America Gypsy Vanner Horse Society Hungarian Horse Association of America International Andalusian and Lusitano Horse Association International Drum Horse Association International Friesian Show Horse Association International Georgian Grande Horse Registry International Rescue Horse Registry International Sporthorse Registry/Oldenburg NA Irish Draught Horse Society of North America Knabstrupperforeningen for Danmark KWPN of North America New Forest Pony Society of North America North American Danish Warmblood Association North American Shagya Arabian Society North American Thoroughbred Society NorthAmerican Sportpony Registry Norwegian Fjord Horse Registry Oldenburg Horse Breeders Society NA Division of GOV *Percheron Horse Association of America Performance Horse Registry Performance Shagya-Arabian Registry Pinto Horse Association of America Rheinland Pfalz-Saar International Spanish-Norman Horse Registry Swedish Warmblood Association of North America United States Lipizzan Federation United States P.R.E. Association Welsh Pony & Cob Society of America Weser-Em Ponies & Small Horses *Westfalen NA *Denotes a new Participating Organization for 2018.

A complete listing of the AdequanÂŽ/USDF All-Breeds Awards Participating Organizations, program rules, and award standings are available on the USDF website at www.usdf.org. For questions e-mail allbreeds@usdf.org.

2018 All-Breeds Participating Organizations

These organizations, in partnership with USDF, promote and recognize a high standard of accomplishment within their breed, through their participation in the AdequanÂŽ/USDF All-Breeds Awards Program.

Nov. 8-11, 2018 • Kentucky Horse Park

featuring $100,000 in prize money $50,000 in US Dressage Finals Travel Grant Funds Available To help alleviate some of the financial burden for those traveling the greatest distances to the US Dressage Finals, USDF is making up to $50,000 in travel grant funds available to eligible competitors.

Four Important Steps and Deadlines 1. Declare - Complete a Declaration of Intent for each level and division for which the horse/rider combination may qualify.

2. Qualify at one of the Great American/USDF Regional Championships. 3. Nominate - Each US Dressage Finals horse/rider combination is required to complete the nomination (preliminary entry) process.

4. Enter US Dressage Finals Deadlines Regional Championship




Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Thursday, October 18, 2018


Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Thursday, October 18, 2018


Thursday, October 11, 2018

Thursday, October 18, 2018


Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Thursday, September 13, 2018


Thursday, October 4, 2018

Thursday, October 11, 2018


Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Thursday, September 27, 2018


Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Thursday, October 4, 2018


Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Thursday, September 27, 2018


Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Above deadlines are midnight in the time zone of the specified Regional Championship

Entry Closing Date is October 25, 2018 midnight Eastern Time Deadline for Alltech stabling priority is five days after the nomination deadline for each region. See Official Prize List for more information.

For additional qualifying, declaration, nomination, and entry information visit


Springboard to the

Open Waters Is an NAYC medal the ticket to dressage success?

BIG STAGE TO WORLD STAGE: 2004 Young Rider team bronze medalist Adrienne Lyle has gone on to ride at the 2012 Olympics and the 2014 World Equestrian Games. With Salvino (shown in Lyle’s career high-scoring Grand Prix Freestyle in March), she hopes to make the 2018 WEG team.

30 July/August 2018 • USDF Connection


By Catie Staszak



t’s March 2018, and the Florida winter dressage show circuit is in full swing. The pressure is on Adrienne Lyle as she trots down center line aboard Betsy Juliano’s 11-year-old Hanoverian, Salvino, at the Adequan® Global Dressage Festival in Wellington. This Grand Prix Freestyle is the bay stallion’s (Sandro Hit x Donnerhall) first time under the “Friday Night Lights,” and it’s also Lyle’s opportunity to solidify her mount’s potential as a candidate for the upcoming FEI World Equestrian Games (WEG) in Tryon, NC. She’s been working with Salvino for three years, and her patience is paying off: The pair notched a victory in the CDI 5* Grand Prix Special in February, and they finish tonight’s GP Freestyle on a score of 78.275 percent, the highest of Lyle’s career, putting them second only to the current US superstar pair of Laura Graves and Verdades. “What I love most is the training process,” says Lyle, 33, of Ketchum, ID. “I love taking the time and figuring out how each horse ticks. I’m lucky to have a great team of owners and trainers, and I didn’t get pressure to put Salvino in the show ring right away. He needed time to tap into his potential. It’s been really rewarding, like when you have kids go off to school for the first time. Understanding what you want and seeing it come to fruition in the show ring is the affirmation of correct training.” Lyle has been developing her own horses since her Pony Club days growing up on Whidbey Island, WA. And as a veteran of the 2012 Olympics and the 2014 WEG, she is no stranger to high stakes. But 14 years ago, it was the FEI North American Junior and Young Rider Championships (renamed the Adequan®/FEI North American Youth Championships presented by Gotham North, or NAYC, beginning with the upcoming 2018 edition) that introduced Lyle to the world of international dressage competition. She’s one of numerous successful dressage professionals to channel their experiences at the event to achieve great heights. The NAYC is the premier equestrian competition in North America for juniors and young riders, ages 14-21. Run under FEI (Fédération Equestre Internationale) rules, the event is the only FEI championship held annually in North America. In 2004, Lyle was part of the bronze-medalwinning team from USDF Region 6 aboard a Thoroughbred she bought “sight unseen” from Europe and brought up through the Jr/YR ranks. Her strong result at the NAJYRC confirmed Lyle’s long-asserted belief that dressage would become her career. “Medaling at NAJYRC is a great thing to have on your resume,” Lyle says. “The program is well known, and I think it’s a great stepping stone. Before NAJYRC, I never knew

THEN: Todd Flettrich winning YR individual gold aboard Arion in 1991

NOW: Riding Otto for Team USA at the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games

what a jog [a horse inspection] was. We didn’t have CDIs [FEI-sanctioned dressage competitions] in my hometown. Having a chef [d’équipe], learning the rules, and going from the junior to the young-rider ranks makes you much less of a deer in the headlights if you’re fortunate enough to make it to the international stage.” [ USDF Connection

July/August 2018


A year after that medal win, Lyle began a working-student position with Olympian and US Equestrian developing dressage coach Debbie McDonald, setting in motion a series of events that would eventually lead her to a full-time job at McDonald’s home base, River Grove Farm in Hailey, ID. The rest, as they say, is history. Lyle is one of the “youth dressage pipeline’s” success stories: a dressage enthusiast whose talents and skills were developed through the USDF Junior/Young Rider program, who made an NAJYRC team and won a medal, and who later parlayed the entire experience into not only a thriving career as a dressage professional, but also to the very top of the high-performance ranks. There are others like her, but there are also NAYC veterans—even those who medaled— who drop off the dressage radar, sometimes for good. Besides Lyle, we wondered where some of the other NAYC stars of yesteryear are now, and whether they’re still active in dressage. Here’s what we found out.

Passing Perseverance On Todd Flettrich used four years of NAYRC competition (the event was for Young Riders only until 2006, when the FEI Junior division was added) to propel him to a career as a dressage pro that, like Lyle’s, ascended to the elite level. Aboard Cherry Knoll Farm’s Otto, Flettrich represented the USA at the 2010 Alltech FEI WEG in Kentucky. The first year he competed at “Young Riders,” Flettrich says, he finished “dead last.” But by the fourth year, 1991, the working student for Pennsylvania-based Olympian Jessica Ransehousen had honed his skills and claimed the YR individual gold medal, along with team silver for USDF Region 1. “Competing at NAJYRC was extremely exciting,” recalls Flettrich, 48, a native of New Orleans who now resides in Wellington, FL. “For me, it had a very international feeling. They did a super job. It really felt like you were going to the Olympics. The first year inspired me so much.”

From Then to Now: NAYC Dressage’s Exponential Growth


n the nearly 40 years since its addition to the lineup of what this year will be known as the Adequan®/ FEI North American Youth Championships presented by Gotham North, dressage has evolved into a prestigious championships for both FEI Juniors (ages 14 to 18, per the FEI definition) and FEI Young Riders (ages 16 to 21). “The difference from then to now is quantity,” says 1991 YR individual gold medalist Todd Flettrich. “Back then, they used to have to combine the teams [with riders from different regions] to get them to fill. There are few regions like that any more. Nowadays, you have waiting lists. The year I won, I was also the only male rider, and in general there were very few male riders anywhere. Since then [participation by males] has tripled, and it just amazes me.” The FEI North American Young Rider Championships, as it was originally called, was established in 1974 as a continental championship for young riders in the sport of eventing. Dressage was added to the program in 1981. The third Olympic equestrian discipline, jumping, is the other NAYC mainstay; other disciplines, such as reining, endurance, and para-equestrian dressage, have been included on occasion over the years. In dressage, the junior division, as well as freestyle medals, joined the NAJYRC lineup in 2006. Eligible nations may send multiple teams in each

32 July/August 2018 • USDF Connection

division, each coached by an appointed chef d’équipe. The US groups its teams geographically: by USDF region, US Eventing Association area, or US Hunter Jumper Association zone. “The NAYC is the first introduction for our young athletes to international team competition,” explains Hannah Niebielski, US Equestrian director of dressage national programs. “For some, it is their first time in the international arena, especially one with five FEI judges from around the world scrutinizing their rides. In that manner, it serves as a real stepping stone for those interested in pursuing international competition, and it provides an environment where we can nurture and educate our riders.” All NAYC disciplines were traditionally held at one singular venue, but last year the disciplines began being separated. The HITS on the Hudson grounds in Saugerties, NY, hosted jumping and dressage in 2017, while Rebecca Farm hosted eventing. Eventing will again take place at that Kalispell, MT, venue, July 1522, while NAYC dressage and jumping move to Old Salem Farm, North Salem, NY, August 1-5. “The NAYC has been a major influence on our youth and the development of dressage in the United States (and Canada),” Niebielski says. “In its current form, NAYC is aspirational but still within reach for a large enough group of young people to be a real force in motivating them to pursue dressage at a higher level.”

Today Flettrich still rides for Cherry Knoll Farm, West Grove, PA, owned by dressage rider and supporter Margaret Duprey. He has two up-and-coming Grand Prix horses, is a sought-after clinician, and is a former member of the US Equestrian Dressage Technical Committee, Safety Committee, and High Performance Eligible Athlete Dressage Committee. He also saw his NAJYRC involvement come full circle in the 2000s when he coached sisters Mary Alice Malone Jr. and Catherine Malone to a total of five Young Rider medals. In her last year of YR competition, in 2005, Catherine Malone repeated her trainer’s accomplishment by winning the YR individual dressage gold. (Learn more about the sisters’ dressage journeys—and what they’re doing today—in “Two Sisters, Two NAYC Medalists, Two Career Paths” on page 35.) “In my younger twenties, I didn’t really have a horse to move up on, so I took my energy and made a living [by teaching], but I also took my desire to win and put it on my students,” Flettrich says. “That gave me a very good feeling. To help somebody else do what you can’t do was a great feeling. “For me, [Malone’s gold] was especially rewarding because I brought Catherine along since she was eight years old,” he adds. “That was an awesome experience. I wish I had a better word for it than that!”

“It’s always really great to be a part of somebody else’s journey and to be able to be there at those competitions—the peak of their careers at the time—and navigate them through my own experiences. It’s really exciting,” echoes David Marcus, a dual US-Canada citizen who earned team bronze and silver medals for the US at the 1996 and 1997 NAJYRC, respectively, before going on to coach several other NAJYRC competitors. Marcus, 37, who’s based in Wellington with partner and fellow dressage pro Nicholas Fyffe, also made it to the Olympics (2012) and the WEG (2014), both times riding for Canada. He’s currently bringing up a group of FEI Under 25 riders along with promising Grand Prix mount Dean Martin and Illuster van de Kampert, who won an Intermediate I class in Wellington this past winter. “Medaling at NAJYRC is a big deal,” says Marcus. “I definitely used my success at that level to promote myself and try and build a business at the scale that was reasonable at the time. “The first NAJYRC that I competed in was in 1996 at Tempel Farms [in Wadsworth, IL]. I would call that experience overwhelming,” Marcus recalls. “I came out of the Midwest in Nebraska, where there was not a lot of highperformance dressage. NAJYRC was the first CDI and by far the biggest show I had ever been to.” [

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USDF Connection

July/August 2018


Marcus, along with others we interviewed, stresses that although medaling is the ultimate goal at NAJYRC, the most valuable part of the competition is the relationships formed with other riders, trainers, and professionals in the industry. “I think one thing that NAJYRC does is that it gives kids a real pathway for the future in the sport,” Marcus says. “The US and Canada are two huge countries where things are really spread out. The common goal across countries is to come together and meet each other. I did a talk [in January] for the [USDF/USEF] Young Rider Graduate Program, and it made me look back on my own NAJYRC experiences. I met peers there who would become my friends for many years to come.”

The NAJYRC Power Couple

David Wightman and Kathleen Raine met as working students at Keenridge, Olympian Hilda Gurney’s dressage facility in Moorpark, CA. Both would earn medals at NAJYRC (Raine brought home team bronze in 1985, as well as team

gold at the 1986 “alternative championships” staged after location issues led to the cancellation of that year’s NAYRC; Wightman rode to team gold in 1988), and both would go on to run a successful dressage business—together, as husband and wife. “In 1988, I was lucky enough to ride Chrysos, the alternate horse from the 1984 Olympics,” Wightman says. “That was a really life-changing event, and it gave me the inspiration to keep doing the sport.” “I loved the whole experience of being there with the team,” Raine says. “I had grown up in Pony Club and was used to doing that kind of competition, but not on that level. It was really a great experience to work together with everybody, and several of the people on my team are professionals now.” Now running their Adventure Farms in Murrieta, CA, Wightman, 50, and Raine, 52, have 25 horses in training, both for themselves and for clients. They travel frequently, compet-

Creating Well-Rounded Individuals


34 July/August 2018 • USDF Connection

LIFE GOALS: 2013 YR team gold medalist Teresa Adams (left) decided against a dressage career

trainer, Nadine Pestana, gives her horses to ride when she comes home to visit. “One day, I’ll get back into riding,” Adams says. “It’s a really great sport for kids to do. I don’t think I would be as responsible of an adult without it.” Even though Adams isn’t pursuing dressage professionally, she believes that competing at the championships set her up to be successful in life. “It was a great experience,” she says. “The whole qualifying process teaches kids a lot about responsibility, setting goals, and reaching them. To get there, you had to plan your horse’s plane tickets, your plane tickets, and pack containers upon containers of things to bring. It was neat to accomplish it. I had fun; I wish every kid could have that experience.”


eresa Adams isn’t where she initially imagined she’d be after leading the victory gallop with her Region 7 teammates at the 2013 FEI North American Junior and Young Rider Championships. Adams was a member of the gold-medal-winning Young Rider dressage team with her Dutch Warmblood gelding, WeeJee, and had visions of pursuing dressage as her career. “I really wanted to ride professionally,” says Adams, 21, Woodland, CA. “I actually dropped out of high school to spend more time riding. I was working at a coffee shop and commuted to ride. I spent two years doing that when I would have been in high school.” But when Adams turned 18, she came to a crossroads: She had to either commit to riding full-time or go to community college and get on track to earning a degree. She ultimately elected to finish her schooling. “I loved giving clinics, but I felt like I should go to school,” Adams says. “I was planning to pursue a four-year degree and maybe keep my horses, but then I started taking architecture courses. [The University of Southern California] does a five-year-program, and I started as a second-year student. Maybe if I pursued a different major, I could have done both.” Kept busy with her studies and an internship with Paul Davis Architects in Venice Beach, CA, Adams hasn’t appeared in the show arena in a few years, but she isn’t completely removed from the sport. Her

Two Sisters, Two NAYC Medalists, Two Career Paths


or some people, horses and dressage are lifelong passions. For others, the enthusiasm wanes, or life takes them in a different direction. Sisters Mary Alice Malone Jr. and Catherine Malone had similar backgrounds and dressage educations, and both medaled at FEI North American Youth Championships—yet today one is still heavily involved in dressage while the other has largely hung up her spurs. Daughters of the well-known sport-horse breeder Mary Alice Malone, Mary Alice Jr. and Catherine grew up riding at their family’s Iron Spring Farm in Coatesville, PA. Under Todd Flettrich’s tutelage, the girls won Young Rider THEN: Catherine Malone prepares to win YR individual gold aboard Michigan with NOW: Showing Iron Spring Farm’s silver medals as Region 1 teammates in 2001 trainer Todd Flettrich in 2005 Dilona as an adult amateur in 2017 and again in 2003. Catherine Malone capped her YR career with the 2005 individual gold. art school and learned various forms of craftsmanship, Today Catherine Malone is an active adult-amateur then undertook further study and entered the world of dressage rider, showing Iron Spring-owned horses sucfashion design. Mary Alice Malone Jr. founded and is the cessfully through the FEI levels on the East Coast and on creative director at the London-based Malone Souliers, a the Florida winter circuit. Her older sister, however, has designer of haute couture footwear. pursued a non-horse-related career path. She attended

Hospitality Sponsorship Opportunity


Show your support to competitors and event staff as a US Dressage Finals Hospitality Sponsor! Hospitality Sponsors will receive valuable onsite exposure to over four hundred of the top competitors from around the country, as they compete at this showcase event. Hospitality Sponsorships are available starting at $1000. Hospitality Sponsors will receive exposure in the event program and through onsite signage at hospitality events throughout the week. Additionally, Hospitality Sponsors have the opportunity to include a promotional gift item in the competitor gift bags. Items must be recieved by USDF no later than October 12, 2018 to be included in the competitor gift bags.

For more information about Hospitality or other sponsorship opportunities, contact:

Ross Creech rcreech@usdf.org (859) 971-7038

USDF Connection

July/August 2018


Whatever Happened to…?


THEN: Martin Kuhn winning YR team bronze aboard Romulus in 2003

THEN: Heather Mason riding to YR team bronze aboard Limerick in 1988

NOW: Mason winning the Fourth Level Open championship at the 2017 US Dressage Finals on her Oldenburg RTF Lincoln

Heather Mason (YR team bronze, 1988): FEI-level competitor and trainer; winner of numerous Adequan®/ USDF Horse of the Year awards, Lebanon, NJ

THEN: Jeremy Steinberg as the 1996 NAYRC dressage individual gold medalist

NOW: Finishing sixth at the 2017 Markel/USEF Four-Year-Old National Championship with Ronin (Wolkentanz II x Contango), owned by Phil Pan and Debra Klamen

Martin Kuhn (YR team gold, 2002; YR team bronze, 2003): USDF-certified instructor and FEI-level trainer/ competitor, StarWest, New Berlin, IL; husband and dressage-business partner of 2001 YR team bronze medalist Kate Fleming-Kuhn; coach/trainer of 2016 NAJYRC Junior individual gold medalist and team silver medalist Jenna Upchurch Devon Kane (YR individual gold and team bronze, 2007): International competitor and trainer, Wellington, FL

NOW: Steinberg (right) teaching a USDF Jr/YR clinic in 2012 with 1985 YR team bronze medalist Scott Hassler

Jeremy Steinberg (YR individual gold and team silver, 1996): Inaugural US Equestrian national dressage youth coach; past USDF symposium clinician; FEI-level trainer and competitor, Del Mar, CA Louise Labrucherie (YR team and individual gold, 1997 and 1998; YR individual gold and team silver, 2000): FEI-level instructor/trainer and clinician, Santa Rosa, CA

36 July/August 2018 • USDF Connection

THEN: Kassandra Barteau winning YR freestyle gold and team silver aboard GP Raymeister in 2009

NOW: Training a horse at AlMarah Arabians (FL) in 2015

Kassandra Barteau (YR team gold, 2005; YR team silver, 2006, 2007, and 2009; YR individual bronze, 2007; YR freestyle gold, 2009): Head trainer, Al-Marah Arabians, Clermont, FL.


he list of past FEI North American Youth Championships dressage medalists contains some of the best-known names in our sport today. Besides the ones mentioned elsewhere in this article, a sampling: Scott Hassler (Young Rider team bronze, 1985): Inaugural US Equestrian national dressage young-horse coach; past USDF Sport Horse Committee chair; frequent USDF educational-event clinician; head trainer at Hassler Dressage at Riveredge, Chesapeake City, MD

ing and teaching clinics. They’ve also coached a few NAJYRC champions of their own, including Catherine Chamberlain (junior individual and freestyle silver, 2010; YR team gold, 2011; YR individual, freestyle, and team gold, 2014; YR team gold and individual silver, 2015), YR team gold medalists Jaclyn Meinen (2007) and Amanda Cargile (1996; Cargile also won YR team bronze in 1999), and YR team silver medalist Natalie Hamilton (2002). Wightman has also served as the chef d’équipe of the USDF Region 7 team. “It’s been a lifetime of experiences there at Young Riders,” Wightman says. “I think it’s a great event. It’s truly lifechanging for a lot of people. After all those years of going, I’ve learned that it’s not about medals. It’s really about the experience of going through the process of the whole thing.”

Worth More Than Medals When “Young Riders” added a junior division in 2006, Meagan Davis jumped at the opportunity. She earned a team bronze medal that year, and in 2008 she returned as a young rider to one-up herself with a team silver. Now a 28-year-old dressage professional, Davis has her own training business and brought 14 horses to Wellington last winter, spending summers near Saugerties, NY. She says that the NAJYRC equipped her with the skill set needed to properly manage a business. “For me, it taught me a lot about how to organize your show schedule,” Davis says. “When you have clients that

want to show and have goals, you have to be able to organize not only your own show schedule, but also your clients’. I have five clients, and one has four horses, so there are a lot of horses in the barn. You have to navigate different shows, keep up with qualifying, and know the scores everyone needs. Doing that as a young rider definitely prepared me for a career as a professional.” Davis points out that “the probability of medaling [at NAYC] is slim—everybody’s there, and everybody wants to medal” but emphasizes that “the relationships you will gain with your teammates will last you a lifetime. I was fortunate to win team medals, but I had to work hard to do it, and I still work very hard. It’s not about how many medals you’ve won. If you put the time in, anything is possible.” Lyle agrees. “I never was a [NAJYRC] gold medalist and knew I wasn’t going to be, but you don’t have to be a gold medalist to go on and be successful in the sport. There’s so much to get out of these programs, even if you’re not going in with the best horse or team.” s

Catie Staszak is a host, reporter, and show-jumping analyst, leading broadcasts around the globe and writing stories along the way. When she’s not working, she’s pursuing her own competitive goals in the saddle and spending time with her retired horse, who’s now 24.

Register Your Horse with USDF! The USDF Lifetime Horse Registration: • Fulfills USDF horse registration requirements for ALL USDF award and championship programs.* • Never needs to be renewed. *For information about rider/owner membership requirements for award and championship programs, visit the USDF website.

www.usdf.org USDF Connection

July/August 2018


Youth Focus

Meet the YPAS A special subcommittee ensures that youth get a voice in USDF. Let’s meet the members.

he USDF Youth Program Advisory Subcommittee (YPAS), a subcommittee of the USDF Youth Programs Committee, was formed as an avenue for USDF’s youth and young-adult members to give input and help make decisions regarding USDF’s youth-oriented programs. YPAS service exposes committee members to the “behind the scenes” aspects of dressage and USDF governance. YPAS members strive to engage USDF’s under-25 members in the organization’s activities and governance. The group’s goals are: • To increase youth participation in the sport of dressage • To foster communication among USDF’s regional directors, coordinators, and youth members in each region • To foster communication among youth in each region in an effort to help them become more aware of youth activities, including those held at the USDF convention. The current YPAS members are six diverse individuals who represent the views and opinions of their various USDF regions. Let’s meet them now.

Mickayla Frederick, Johnston, IA, 2018 YPAS Chair When she was eight years old, Mickayla rode a horse for the first time while visiting her grandmother in Alaska and immediately fell in love with horses. She and her current mount, Wrainier Q, have come up through the levels together and are currently working toward the Intermediate level. Together they have achieved many of Mickayla’s goals, such as competing at the

Mickayla Frederick, 2018 YPAS chair

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USEF Dressage Festival of Champions and at the FEI North American Youth Championships. Mickayla trains with Betsy and Jessie Steiner and was a working student with them during the 2017 winter season. She is a sophomore online student at Oregon State University, where she is majoring in cultural and linguistic anthropology with a minor in Asian history. She has made the National Society of Collegiate Scholars and the Dean’s List at OSU. She is excited to be a member of the YPAS and looks forward to promoting USDF’s youth programs and getting to know aspiring juniors and young riders.

Sophia Chavonelle, Windham, ME Sophia began riding when she was six years old. As soon as she saw what she described as the enormous, beautiful horses dancing, she was hooked on dressage. Riding coach Tanya Rennie’s Grand Prix mare, DeJure, Sophia competed through Third Level before getting her own horse, Spotlight. Sophia and Spotlight tackled the Sophia Chavonelle FEI Junior Level while building their relationship and figuring each other out. Last fall, Spotlight was diagnosed with a benign tumor in his front foot, which was successfully removed, and they spent the end of Spotlight’s rehabilitation in Aiken, SC, where Sophia continued as Tanya’s working student. After a very focused winter, a few Fourth Level debuts, and a much stronger relationship, Spotlight and Sophia are ready to tackle once again the journey to NAYC, and they hope to pursue more international goals in the future.



By Jan Scarbrough

In 2016, Sophia received the prestigious USDF Youth Volunteer of the Year award and in 2017 was a recipient of the USDF Youth Convention Scholarship. She is honored to be a part of YPAS and hopes to successfully bring news and information to the youth riders of Maine.


Isabel Gregory, Dallas, TX Isabel has loved horses since she was a little girl but didn’t start riding dressage until she was 13, when she got her first pony, Charlie Brown. She enjoys dressage in part for the environment with other people her age, for feeling supported by her parents, and because of the op- Isabel Gregory portunities available to her through various youth programs. Isabel is a USDF bronze and silver medalist and has earned multiple regional titles. She attended her first USDF convention in 2016, when she was a recipient of the Youth Convention Scholarship. She has audited and ridden in regional junior/young rider clinics, competed in Dressage Seat Medal classes, and feels she has gotten a lot out of USDF youth programs, even those that didn’t involve riding. She joined YPAS because she wants other youth to have the same positive experiences she’s had. She thinks the future of our sport depends on keeping up-and-coming riders happy and motivated throughout their training and education.

Annan Hepner, Wellington, FL A native of Virginia, Annan Hepner began riding dressage at about six years of age. Throughout high school she was an active youth board member of her GMO, the Shenandoah Valley Dressage Association. When she entered the University of Virginia, she became the secretary of the Charlottesville chapter of the Virginia Dressage Association. While in college, Annan worked as an FEI groom and trained her horse to Prix St. Georges. She was president of the Virginia Eventing and Dressage Team, a club sport; and she co-founded UVA’s Intercollegiate Dressage Association team.

Since graduating in 2015, Hepner has become the editor of the dressagenews website PS Dressage and is also a senior account executive at the equestrian-sportsfocused Phelps Media Group. She also works as a parttime groom for Olympians Adri- Annan Hepner enne Lyle and Debbie McDonald. After she attended the 2012 USDF convention with the help of the USDF Youth Convention Scholarship, Annan was inspired to get more involved with national programs and joined YPAS.

Victoria “Tori” Retamoza, Goshen, KY Tori was a member of the Region 2 Young Rider Team in 2011 and 2012. In 2012 she placed in the top ten individually at NAJYRC and was invited to the USEF Youth Elite Dressage Training Session. She was the only Region 2 YR to receive an invitation that same year to the USEF Dressage Festival of Champions. She has won multiple regional Victoria “Tori” Retamoza and national championships and has collected many year-end awards. A USDF bronze, silver, and gold medalist and silver freestyle bar recipient, she is also a former Under 25 Grand Prix competitor. Tori is an active member of the Louisville (KY) Dressage Society and served as the Kentucky Dressage Association’s USDF Connection

July/August 2018


Youth Focus inaugural Jr/YR chair. In 2016, she graduated from Spalding University with a bachelor’s degree in business administration with a concentration in marketing. She trains out of Wanaja Farm in Goshen, KY, where she enjoys teaching and training horses from green to the FEI levels.

Nila Venkat, Hayward, CA Nila began competing in dressage almost nine years ago by accident when her 24-year-old event horse wasn’t sound enough to jump any more. Since then, the sport has stuck with her. She bought her horse, Skyler, three years ago, and together they have competed through Nila Venkat Prix St. Georges and are schooling Intermediate. She is a USDF bronze and silver medalist and a USDF silver freestyle bar recipient. She repre-

sented Region 7 at the 2016 NAJYRC as a junior and in 2017 as a young rider. Nila received a USDF Youth Convention Scholarship to attend a USDF convention, where she became involved in discussions about future youth programs and implementing additional resources. She hopes to use her involvement in YPAS to further these amazing programs that are so beneficial to USDF’s young riders. She also hopes to combine her work with USDF and the US Pony Clubs through shared resources and opportunities to help young riders achieve their goals in the sport of dressage. s

Jan Scarbrough is a USDF senior education coordinator.

Your Youth-Programs Resource


he USDF has many educational, competitive, and awards programs for youth members—and you can find a complete listing all in one place on the USDF website. From the usdf.org home page, click on the FAQ tab on the top menu bar and then select the Youth link.

USDF Names Youth Sport Horse Ambassadors They’re spreading the word about sport-horse education


he USDF Youth Sport Horse Ambassador Program, launched this year, is a new means of engaging our younger members in the dressage sport-horse industry and in USDF’s related educational programs. The ambassadors are active participants, aged 18 to 30, who have attended multiple USDF Sport Horse Education

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Program events. They will help to promote the opportunities for all dressage enthusiasts to learn about dressage sport horses and sport-horse breeding—from examining the role of conformation and movement to immersive experiences at some of the country’s top breeding facilities. Let’s meet the three inaugural youth sport-horse ambassadors.


By Stacy Durham

Erin Bell Altman Erin Bell Altman owns a small dressage breeding and training facility in Bulverde, TX. Most recently, she attended the USDF/USEF Young Rider Graduate Program with a grant from The Dressage Foundation. She and her Erin Bell Altman and Rose horse, Rose, have been a demonstration pair for several symposiums, including the 2017 USDF Sport Horse Prospect Development Forum and the Georgia Dressage & Combined Training Association’s 2018 Trainers Symposium. Continuing her education and helping others with theirs are Erin’s central focus. Her desire to share the passion of dressage  with future generations has led her to sport-horse breeding and to teaching young riders.

Caitlin Gallagher, of Bath, PA, is entering her senior year at Delaware Valley University (PA), where she is majoring in equine science: breeding. Through her participation in various USDF sporthors e-e duc ation programs, she became interested in Caitlin Gallagher breeding, handling, and competing in dressage. In 2016, she attended the USDF Youth/Young Adult Dressage Sport Horse Breeders Seminar and the USDF Youth Dressage Sport Horse Breeder/Handler Seminar. She completed an internship at Hilltop Farm (MD) last summer, and last fall participated in the USDF Sport Horse Seminar. She is now a member of the USDF Sport Horse Committee. Caitlin enjoys riding and competing in dressage with

Noel Williams Noel operates her own division of Williams Dressage LLC in Loxahatchee, FL, competing, training, and selling horses at all levels, from young horses to Grand Prix. She attended the inaugural USDF Youth Dressage Sport Horse Breeder/Handler Seminar in 2015 and also participat- Noel Williams and Caprice ed in the 2016 USDF Dressage Sport Horse Youth Breeders Seminar. She is passionate about sport-horse breeding from a rider’s and trainer’s perspective, particularly US breeding. Noel is a USDF bronze, silver, and gold medalist and a USDF L program graduate with distinction. She was a member of the 2007 NAJYRC Region 2 silver-medal-winning team and the 2005 USEF Junior Dressage Team Championships gold-medal team. She was also the 2005 USEF Junior Dressage national champion.

Learn More For more information about the USDF Youth Sport Horse Ambassador Program, send e-mail to sporthorse@usdf.org or call (859) 971-2277. s Stacy Durham is a USDF senior education coordinator.

Podcast Alert



Caitlin Gallagher

her draft-cross gelding, Arturo, and educating her local 4-H group on everything equine. After graduation, she plans to continue her education in veterinary medicine, specializing in equine reproduction.

Listen to our Youth Special Edition with Adrienne Lyle, Catherine Chamberlain, and Christine Traurig on episode 158 at usdf.podbean.com.

USDF Connection

July/August 2018


Youth Focus

Quiz Show Unique competition tests college students’ dressage “book smarts” By Jan Scarbrough Photographs by Ron Schwane


ow well do you know dressage-training theory and the competition rules? College students took a different sort of exam at the 2018 USDF/Intercollegiate Dressage Association (IDA) Quiz Challenge Finals, testing their knowledge to vie for honors in four categories. Preliminary rounds at Introductory Level, Lower Training Level, Upper Training Level, and First Level were held online through eTRAK, USDF’s online educational portal. The five high-scorers in each category advanced to the Quiz Challenge Finals, which were held as part of the 2018 Custom Saddlery IDA National Championships, April 28-29 at Lake Erie College, Painesville, OH.

INTRO LEVEL FINALISTS: Christina Hyde, Ashley Corbin, Erin Diehl, Madeline Augustine, Kayla Thomas

QUIZ WIZ: Grand-prize winner Kiersten Pratt of Lake Erie College (OH)

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The Quiz Challenge finalists were: Introductory Level: Madeline Augustine, Averett University; Ashley Corbin, Meredith Manor; Erin Diehl, Lake Erie College; Christina Hyde, Averett University; Kayla Thomas, St. Andrews University

LOWER TRAINING LEVEL FINALISTS: Odessa Thacker, Alexa Clark, Morgan Blanyer, Jessica Allanson, Megan Grimes

FIRST LEVEL FINALISTS: Elizabeth Ginn, Kate Brown, Giuliana Raggio, Caroline McConnell, Victoria Ruiz

Lower Training Level: Jessica Allanson, Averett University; Morgan Blanyer, Lake Erie College; Alexa Clark, Lake Erie College; Megan Grimes, Averett University; Odessa Thacker, Emory & Henry College

Erin Diehl (Introductory Level), Morgan Blanyer (Lower Training Level), and Giuliana Raggio (First Level). The USDF and the IDA thank Hilltop Farm Inc., Colora, MD, for donating the Quiz Challenge grand prize of an internship or intensive training opportunity; and Big Dee’s Tack and Vet Supply, Streetsboro, OH, for providing gifts for the round-one participants as well as prizes for the division champions and the grand-prize winner.

Intermont Equestrian Takes Seventh National IDA Title

UPPER TRAINING LEVEL FINALISTS: Kristen Kelley, Noel Muehlbauer, Kiersten Pratt, Elizabeth Affeld, Elise Sund

Upper Training Level: Elizabeth Affeld, Lake Erie College; Kristen Kelley, Averett University; Noel Muehlbauer, Averett University; Kiersten Pratt, Lake Erie College; Elise Sund, Cazenovia College First Level: Kate Brown, Rutgers University; Elizabeth Ginn, Emory & Henry College; Caroline McConnell, Centenary University; Giuliana Raggio, Lake Erie College; Victoria Ruiz, Johnson and Wales University. Lake Erie College, coached by Debby Savage, swept the Quiz Challenge, winning high honors at all four levels. Lake Erie student and Upper Training division champion Kiersten Pratt was the overall grand-prize winner. Fellow winning “Stormers” were

Intermont Equestrian at Emory & Henry College, Emory, VA, coached by Lisa Moosmueller-Terry, bested 11 other teams to take its seventh IDA championship title. E&H students Bobbie Jo Adsit and Eliza Ginn were named highpoint rider and reserve high-point rider, respectively. Team results: 1. Emory & Henry College 2. Otterbein University 3. University of Findlay 4. Centenary University 5. Mount Holyoke College 6. Stanford University 7. Bridgewater College 8. Miami University 9. University of Florida 10. St. Andrews University 11. University of New Hampshire 12. Lake Erie College. Learn more about the IDA at teamdressage.org. s Jan Scarbrough is a USDF senior education coordinator. USDF Connection

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IN MEMORIAM: The late adult-amateur dressage rider and renowned veterinarian Lesley King (on her Time Lord at Dressage at Devon 2014) set up a trust that has cared for her horses since she lost her battle with cancer in 2016

HONORING HER FRIEND’S WISHES: Trustee Bonnie Olie now cares for “Romy” and is responsible for his expenses and welfare

If I Die, What Will Happen to My Horse? You need to do estate planning anyway. Here’s how to make provisions for your horse.


hen adult-amateur dressage rider Lesley King, MVB, learned that she was dying of breast cancer, she was determined to ensure that her two horses would be secure for life and never sold. King, a noted small-animal criticalcare pioneer at the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Veterinary Medicine in Philadelphia, created a trust containing a sum of money that she calculated would be sufficient to fund her horses’ care for the rest of their lives. The Dublin-born King, who retained Irish citizenship despite her decades in the US, asked her close friend Bonnie Olie to serve as a trustee to her estate. Olie, 65, a retired

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dressage-barn manager and a longtime horse owner from West Chester, PA, would care for and ride the FEI-level German warmblood Time Lord and the retired Irish Sporthorse eventer Carrabeg Journey, would use the money to pay the horses’ expenses, and would be empowered to make all decisions about the horses’ welfare, Olie says. In May 2016, King died at the age of 51. The grief was still fresh when Olie began to discover that the trust’s red tape was more complicated than she’d anticipated. Making matters worse, Olie was shocked when Uncle Sam laid claim to 39 percent of King’s trust-fund sum. “Basically, forty percent of all the money Lesley had,


By Sarah Evers Conrad

which she thought would go a long way in taking care of the horses, suddenly left,” Olie says. “There has to be a better way to do this, because if you want to leave money for your animals, you don’t want it all to go to taxes. You want it to go to the animal.” For advice on finding that better way, we turned to J. Stoddard Hayes Jr., a lawyer at Gawthrop Greenwood PC, West Chester, PA, who specializes in estate planning, trust and estate administration, personal and fiduciary income taxation, and equine law. With his wife, Sophie, Hayes also operates Nanasau Farm LLC, a family-owned horse farm and boarding facility in Joppa, MD.

Who’s Who in the World of Estate Planning If you became disabled or otherwise unable to make decisions about your horse’s care, you’d want to know that a trusted family member or friend was empowered to act in your best interests, and those of the horse. You make that happen through power of attorney, which is a document that appoints a person—known as an agent—to handle your affairs during a time of incapacitation. “An agent under a power of attorney has the authority to deal with the disabled person’s money,” explains Hayes, adding that an agent also has the fiduciary (financial) responsibility to protect the person’s money and not spend it on things that aren’t for the benefit of him or her. One potential rub: “That [fiduciary responsibility] creates a conflict if that person has animals, because animals require an expenditure of funds, and those funds being expended can be argued not to benefit the disabled person. If there is no specific authorization, if that isn’t dealt with properly in the power of attorney, they can’t [spend money on the care of the animals].” A person who creates a will typically names an executor (also known as an administrator or personal representative, or some variation thereof ). The executor, Hayes explains, is “one person or group of people who become entitled to step into the decedent’s [the deceased person’s] shoes and take possession of the decedent’s personal property and real property within that state and administer it to carry out the terms of the will.” Some people create a trust instead of a will for their estate, and we’ll discuss these options more in a minute. In the case of a trust, the decedent—who may also be referred to as the grantor or settlor—appoints a trustee or multiple trustees to carry out his or her wishes after death. Until recently, only people could be beneficiaries of a

trust. Today, however, many states allow trusts to be created to benefit animals, including horses, as Lesley King did. An estate planner may or may not be a lawyer, but a lawyer’s services are required in drawing up legal documents. If making provisions for a horse you own is important to you, look for an estate lawyer with knowledge of horses and equine law, Hayes recommends.

Wills, Trusts, and Retirement Facilities Start by asking yourself: If my horse outlives me, what do I want to have happen to him? As Hayes explains, there are three options for dealing with horses in the estate-planning process. Leave your horse to someone in your will. This is the most common estate-planning method used by horse owners, according to Hayes: bequeathing the horse to a person you think will give the horse a good home. If you decide to leave your horse to someone in your will, Hayes recommends also bequeathing all of the horse’s equipment and tack. You could also choose to leave the heir a sum of money, intended to aid him or her in caring for the horse. Create a trust for your horse’s care. A trust is another kind of an advance directive, but trusts differ from wills in several important ways, according to Gaby Lapera and Dan Caplinger of the financial website The Motley Fool. One of the most significant differences is that a will must be adjudicated before a judge in what’s known as probate court, meaning that 1) there can be a delay between the death and the time the estate and its assets are disbursed; and 2) a will becomes a public document, which some people find objectionable. Trusts do not go through probate, meaning that assets tend to pass on with less delay, and their details can be kept confidential. Because a trust can be established during one’s lifetime and assets can be transferred to the trust, some people prefer trusts over wills, especially if they are wealthy enough to appreciate the resulting tax advantages, say Lapera and Caplinger. As Hayes explains, there are two types of trusts. A testamentary trust (so named because it is enacted through a person’s will, formally known as a last will and testament) is irrevocable, meaning that it cannot be altered or removed. A living trust (aka an inter vivos trust), as its name suggests, is created and takes effect during a person’s lifetime. Until the person dies, a living trust is revocable, meaning that specifications within it can be changed, money can be USDF Connection

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moved in and out of the trust’s financial accounts, or the trust can be dissolved entirely. Hayes suggests funding a living trust with cash and securities or with a life-insurance policy, the latter of which, he says, is the easiest option. “When you die, then the trustee would collect the life insurance, would invest it, and would use the income and the principal for the care and maintenance of the horse. If you fund that trust while you are alive, or if you have a life-insurance policy that’s payable to the trust immediately on your death, then you can provide an immediate source of funds to care for the animal just as soon as the trustee takes over.”

A trust created for the care of a horse should spell out the type of care that is desired, as well as what the funds can be spent on in caring for the horse, Hayes recommends. If the horse dies while monies remain in the trust, then the remaining funds are usually dispersed according to language in the trust document. The trust document may dictate that leftover monies go to a family member, but “that has some risk associated with it,” Hayes says, “because the family member then has a vested interest in not taking care of the animal if they are also charged with that responsibility.” Instead, “my preference is to name a charitable organization as the remainder beneficiary of the trust.”

Equine Red Tape: How to Transfer Ownership Records


our estate directives may designate who, or what entity, will inherit your horse if he outlives you. But he’s registered with the USDF and perhaps also with US Equestrian and a breed registry, all in your name. How should executors or trustees go about changing the ownership records? Start by ensuring that the records are up to date and reflect the correct current ownership. “Transferring ownership helps keep USDF records accurate and prevents problems for future owners by allowing USDF to record ownership history of the horse,” says Melissa Schoedlbauer, USDF’s Membership Department manager. In the case of a testamentary trust (see page 45), the executor or trustee acquires title to the horse and becomes the new owner through the probate process, says lawyer and estate-planning expert J. Stoddard Hayes Jr. If a horse owner creates a living trust, then the ownership of the horse is actually transferred to the trust while the owner is still living, via an assignment or bill of sale for “zero dollars” consideration, he explains. Once the change of ownership is made official after the owner’s death and a trustee or executor has been named as the new or interim owner, then it’s time to contact the equine organizations. “In the case of the executor, of course, this [ownership status] is only for a limited period of time,” says Hayes. “The executor will carry out the provisions of the will regarding the horse, and shortly after the decedent’s death will make distribution to the next owner, giving her or him a ‘bill of sale.’” The USDF process. According to Schoedlbauer, the USDF requires the new owner to submit a transfer-ofownership form along with one of the

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following: the horse’s USDF certificate, bearing the previous owner’s signature; a bill of sale signed by the previous USDF owner of record; or breed-registry papers showing the horse in the new owner’s name. If none of these documents is available, then submit a notarized Transfer of Ownership II form. The USDF charges fees for ownership transfers: $35 for lifetime-registered horses and $15 for horses with Horse ID (HID) numbers. If multiple horses are being bequeathed from one decedent to one heir, only one transfer fee is assessed, Schoedlbauer says. Schoedlbauer’s tip: Make sure that all appropriate documentation is prepared and in place when it is time for the transfer of ownership to be submitted. The US Equestrian process. Individual owners should fill out a US Equestrian transfer form and submit along with the bill of sale. If a family member is assuming ownership, the process is even easier, says Ken Ball, US Equestrian’s director of horse registration and services, with written notification from the family deemed sufficient. However, if the horse’s original US Equestrian recording certificate or the bill of sale is not available, or if signatures of all previous owners are not on the bill of sale, then US Equestrian requires submission of an ownership affidavit. If a trust is in place, then a farm, corporate, syndicate, or partnership recording application must be filled out before the horse is recorded. Ball’s tip: A trustee of a horse-owning trust must become an individual US Equestrian member (or pay the nonmember fee) in order to participate in US Equestrian-licensed competition. —Sarah Evers Conrad

CARETAKER: In addition to the hands-on horse care, Olie spends considerable time keeping the books as trustee for her late friend’s horses

Direct that your horse go to a retirement facility. According to Hayes, an increasing number of equine charitable retirement facilities are taking retired horses, usually with a donation from the estate to help defray the costs of keeping the horse for the rest of its life. But for this to happen, you’ll need to specify your wishes in your estate plan. “If you don’t authorize it, the executor can’t spend money that is required for the entry of a horse into a long-term care program,” Hayes explains.


Weighing the Options If money isn’t an issue for you, then Hayes suggests considering a trust because it offers the highest degree of customization. (But “trusts for animals can be much more expensive to administer than trusts created for human beneficiaries for a variety of reasons. A horse owner considering use of a trust for his or her animals should consider the costs very carefully and make sure that they are taken into account in the estate planning.”) Trusts aren’t a perfect solution. They siphon money away from the estate (i.e., there will be less for your survivors to inherit). And as Olie discovered, the tax burden is high. A few states impose an inheritance tax. There is income tax, as well. “What makes the income tax on trusts so onerous,” Hayes explains, “is that they hit the maximum bracket at a very low threshold—$12,801 of income. A trust for an ani-

mal cannot deduct what it distributes for care of the horse, so it hits that maximum rate with very little income.” There are ways to get around the big tax bill, however. “If the trust is invested in tax-free bonds, then it’s not an issue,” says Hayes. Although trusts tend to be settled more quickly than wills, the way that a trust is created can affect whether there is a delay in the administration of the estate. Funded living trusts are not subject to delays. There can be delays in the administration of an unfunded living trust or of a testamentary trust, but “the delay can be minimized if the will is properly written and gives the executor clear authority to pay for expenses,” says Hayes. A trust also offers some risks to the person or people who agree to be trustees (see “The Role of the Trustee” on page 48). If the trust is set up for a horse’s care, after the animal dies and the remaining funds are set to be disbursed to the remaindermen of the trust (the beneficiaries after the horse dies), those beneficiaries can demand that the trustee provide documentation and justification for anything spent during the management of the trust. If the beneficiary feels that the trustee has spent funds irresponsibly or has been negligent, then the trustee is at risk of being sued, says Hayes. “Trustees are held to a very high standard, and their actions may be closely scrutinized,” he explains. “If the remainderman is not friendly, this can create a lot of risk for the trustee. One benefit of naming a charity as the remainderman of the trust is that a charity will generally underUSDF Connection

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stand and sympathize with the trustee and will be less likely to be critical of expenditures.” Wills are less complicated than trusts, but think through the possible ramifications before you bequeath your horse to someone, Hayes says. If you leave your horse to someone who decides they no longer want him, the heir can get rid of the horse using any legal means. Or if the heir turns out not to be the responsible owner you thought, then the horse’s care could suffer. Finally, as Hayes points out, a will contains no specifications as to how an inheritor must spend any additional monies you bequeath for your horse’s care, so an unscrupulous person could jet off to the islands instead of using the money to care for your horse. Which brings us to option 3: the equine retirement facility. If your estate is more modest in size or you don’t want to deal with the issues and potential future complications of a trust, then this may be a better option than a will for ensuring your horse’s lifelong care, Hayes says.

Will or Will Not If the horse is not to be transferred to a living trust during the horse owner’s lifetime, the process of getting authority for the executor to take control of the decedent’s bank accounts can take a while. During that time, according to Hayes, the horse cannot change hands and its expenses cannot be paid unless someone steps up to cover the bills and is willing to eventually be reimbursed by the estate. To avoid this onerous situation, put language in your will authorizing the executor to expend funds to care for the horse during the administration of the estate and prior to the distribution of the horse to its next owner, Hayes recommends. Realize that, in the case of a will, there will be a period of six months to two years during which the executor—not the decedent and not the person to whom the horse was bequeathed— actually owns the horse, he says. If you die without a will, then your estate—including your horse—will be disbursed by a court-appointed administrator according to the laws of your state, says Hayes. Legally speaking, horses are chattel—tangible personal property, no different from your car or a piece of jewelry. If you leave no directive, then the administrator could choose to give your horse to a family member who knows or cares nothing about equines, and that person could sell the horse by any means desired, including at auction.

The Role of the Trustee Olie admits that she had no idea what she was getting into when she agreed to be the trustee for King’s horses. Besides

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the time she spends on horse care, she estimates that the related bookkeeping takes her four or five hours a month. “Trustees have a fiduciary obligation to keep the trust assets separate from their own, to invest the trust’s assets as a prudent investor would, to maintain the trust’s books and records, and to file the trust’s annual tax returns,” says Hayes. “There is a lot of work associated with being a trustee.” Olie maintains a separate checkbook, accounting records, and bank accounts for King’s trust. “I have to keep very detailed reports on every activity and every penny spent,” she says. Some trustees are compensated for their efforts, says Hayes, but state statutes vary and some are vague on how much a trustee should be paid (often not much). “If you are thinking ahead, you can write the trust to provide adequate compensation for the trustee and other people that are involved,” he says.

For Those You Leave Behind Not surprisingly, it can be difficult to find someone who’s willing to take on the responsibility of being a trustee— much less multiple people, for Hayes recommends naming a succession of trustees in case one can no longer serve. And when horses are involved, the burden on the trustee may actually increase over time as age-related health issues crop up, points out Olie, who made the difficult decision to have “Hank,” King’s retired eventer, euthanized in May after the elderly gelding suffered a severe case of laminitis. “It was as if another little piece of Lesley died,” she says of her latest loss. “Someone needs to know that it’s a very selfless job,” Olie says of the trustee’s position. “Would I do it again for her? Yes; she was that special of a person. But I would have to think long and hard before I would do it for just anybody.” Estate-planning experts encourage adults to write wills or other advance directives. Horse owners in particular will have peace of mind knowing that there is a plan in place for their beloved animals. Seek the guidance of qualified professionals to help ensure that no unpleasant surprises await your horses—or your heirs. s Sarah Evers Conrad, of Lexington, KY, is a journalist, editor of the Certified Horsemanship Association’s The Instructor magazine, and a digital marketer. She has been a staffer at The Horse magazine and at US Equestrian’s Equestrian magazine before serving as US Equestrian’s director of ecommunications. Now as owner of All in Stride Marketing, she helps small businesses with their marketing and content needs in addition to writing for publications.

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Smart, Sensible Solutions Expert answers to your dressage and sport-horse questions By Jennifer O. Bryant

You Mean They Aren’t All Perfect? It can be frustrating when the descriptions of the perfect horses and the ohso-correct riders in the dressage textbooks bear little resemblance to one’s own struggles in the saddle. So we welcome Ride Better with Christoph Hess (Trafalgar Square, 182 pp.). Hess is a renowned trainer, clinician, and FEI 4* dressage and younghorse judge (he conducted the 2012 Succeed/USDF FEI-Level Trainers Conference). Better yet, despite his involvement with the highest level of the sport, he has not lost touch with the aspirations and challenges of the “average” dressage horse and rider. In Ride Better, Hess addresses dozens of real-world questions: how to straighten the wiggly horse, get the unfocused youngster to stop staring and spooking, and fix late flying changes. The photo models may be “top class,” as Hess would put it— German stars Ingrid Klimke and Uta Gräf are among those featured—but they’re aspirational in an inviting way, and Hess’s advice is straightforward, easy to understand, and of course classically correct.

From the Horse’s Mouth One of the great perks of attending a top-level dressage symposium or lecture is the opportunity to get advice from world-class experts. Now imagine getting to query a slew of

renowned riders, trainers, veterinarians, and scientists, all in one room. That’s what Swedish veterinary researcher and equestrian journalist Cecilia Lönnell has done in her brisk and inviting text, Sport Horse Soundness and Performance (Trafalgar Square, 191 pp.). With a foreword by the legendary George Morris, Lönnell has compiled advice on choosing a horse, designing a training regimen to optimize performance and soundness, feeding, and more. Her expert panel includes such names as USDF Connection contributing editor Dr. Hilary Clayton and British veterinary researcher Dr. Sue Dyson; dressage stars Carl Hester and Kyra Kyrklund; top jumper riders Beezie Madden and Rodrigo Pessoa; and eventer Pippa Funnell. Sport Horse Soundness and Performance is an equestrian dream team in a book. Read, study, and learn.

For the Rider-Athlete Ever wish you had a personal trainer who could custom-design a fitness and sportpsychology plan to improve your performance in the saddle? Now you do, courtesy of Fit & Focused in 52, subtitled The Rider’s Weekly Mind-and-Body

50 July/August 2018 • USDF Connection

Training Companion (Trafalgar Square, 174 pp.). The author, Daniel Stewart, is an equestrian coach and sport psychologist whose previous books include Ride Right with Daniel Stewart (learn more about him in “Behind the Scenes,” April). In his latest effort, Stewart outlines his philosophy of developing athletic toughness on the inside and out, then offers weekby-week exercises to develop your focus and your fitness as an athlete. The clever organization leads the reader through the program, one step at a time, so she never becomes overwhelmed or intimidated by the thought of undertaking massive changes, all at once.

Your Horse’s PT Plan Dressage trainer and author Jec Aristotle Ballou (101 Dressage Exercises for Horse & Rider) doesn’t call it physical therapy for horses, but that’s basically what her latest book, 55 Corrective Exercises for Horses (Trafalgar Square, 171 pp.), is. Subtitled Resolving Postural Problems, Improving Movement Patterns, and Preventing Injury, 55 Corrective Exercises offers ground-work moves and mounted exercises that can help improve a horse’s core strength, lateral stability, agility, balance, and more. Each exercise comes with a photo, an easy-to-follow description, and an explanation of its purpose. You don’t need an array of special props to do Ballou’s exercises—some require cavaletti poles and blocks, which many equestrian facilities already possess; the most unusual, a “squishy mat” for work on an unstable surface, can take the form of a gymnastics mat from a sporting-goods retailer—and you won’t be required to memorize complicated exercise

patterns. The 55 Corrective Exercises would also make great get-out-of-thearena work (several exercises incorporate hill work) as well as engaging, productive time with your horse on those days when you don’t feel like riding or the weather curtails your plans.

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Colorful Remedies You’ve probably seen human athletes sporting strips of colorful stretchy tape. Maybe you’ve used the tape yourself, or have had it applied by a therapist or a fitness trainer to address an issue such as swelling or weakness. The practice is called kinesiology taping, and proponents say it offers support and stabilization of soft tissues, and can also activate or relax muscles, depending on how it’s used. Horse people started wondering whether taping could help horses with similar issues, and German equine physiotherapist and kinesiology-taping practitioner Katja Bredlau-Morich (who’s certified to tape horses in both the US and her home country) says yes. Newly translated from the original German, Bredlau-Morich’s book, Kinesiology Taping for Horses (Trafalgar Square, 147 pp.), is a comprehensive guide to this unique modality. Although taping isn’t invasive, done incorrectly it has the potential to do harm (just like wrapping or bandaging), and so Bredlau-Morich spells out what not to do and when kinesiology taping is contraindicated. A book like this needs plenty of good photos to illustrate the techniques, and the author delivers. She concludes with a series of case studies, describing how kinesiology taping helped horses suffering from issues ranging from lymphedema and soft-tissue injuries to postural misalignment. s


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USDF CALENDAR To make sure we provide our members with the most up-todate deadlines and events, the USDF Calendar has moved online.

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USEF licensed/USDF recognized competitions Breeders’ Championships Regional Championships USDF sponsored events USDF University accredited programs All the important deadlines and dates you might need

54 July/August 2018 • USDF Connection


MARCH 2010

Official Publication of the United States Dressage Federation


NEW TRAINING SERIES: What Other Disciplines Can Teach Dressage Riders Basics of Freestyle Creation


Accounting......................................................................(859) 271-7891....................................... accounting@usdf.org Address and E-mail Updates............................................(859) 971-2277............................................changes@usdf.org Adult Education Programs ..............................................(859) 271-7882......................................... education@usdf.org Adult Team Competitions.................................................(859) 971-7317.............................. teamcompetition@usdf.org All-Breeds Awards ...........................................................(859) 271-7895...........................................allbreeds@usdf.org All-Breeds Declarations.....................................................(859) 271-7884..............................horsedeclarations@usdf.org Applications Submitted at Competitions...........................(859) 271-7880...........................................affidavits@usdf.org Breeders & Materiale Championships Series......................(859) 271-7894........................................ sporthorse@usdf.org Demographics and Statistics............................................(859) 271-7083................................................. stats@usdf.org Donations........................................................................(859) 971-7826..............................................donate@usdf.org eTRAK..............................................................................(859) 271-7882.................................................etrak@usdf.org Group Membership..........................................................(859) 971-7048................................................. gmo@usdf.org Hall of Fame and Lifetime Achievement Awards...............(859) 271-7882........................................ halloffame@usdf.org Horse Performance Certificates.........................................(859) 971-7361.............................horseperformance@usdf.org Horse Registration............................................................(859) 271-7880...............................horseregistration@usdf.org Horse/Rider Score Reports. .............................................(859) 271-7894..............................................reports@usdf.org Human Resources/Career Opportunities............................(859) 271-7885..................................................... hr@usdf.org Instructor Certification.....................................................(859) 271-7877........................instructorcertification@usdf.org Insurance Certificates for Competitions............................(859) 271-7886........................................... compins@usdf.org Junior/Young Rider Clinics................................................(859) 971-7360...........................................jryrclinics@usdf.org L Education and Continuing Education.............................(859) 971-7039.......................................... lprogram@usdf.org Mailing Lists.....................................................................(859) 971-7038.........................................mailinglist@usdf.org NAYC Criteria and Procedures...........................................(859) 971-7360............................................... najyrc@usdf.org National Education Initiative............................................(859) 271-7882......................................... education@usdf.org Nominations – Delegates, Regional Directors....................(859) 271-7897..................................... nominations@usdf.org Participating and Business Memberships...........................(859) 271-7871..................................... membership@usdf.org Prize List Questions..........................................................(859) 271-7886.............................................prizelist@usdf.org Regional Championships Program....................................(859) 271-7896........................................regchamps@usdf.org Rider Awards...................................................................(859) 971-7361...................................... riderawards@usdf.org Score Corrections.............................................................(859) 271-7895................................scorecorrections@usdf.org Secretary/Manager Services .............................................(859) 271-7895.....................................competitions@usdf.org Show Results...................................................................(859) 271-7895...............................................results@usdf.org Sponsorship Opportunities...............................................(859) 271-7887...................................... sponsorship@usdf.org Sport Horse Education.....................................................(859) 271-7894........................................ sporthorse@usdf.org Store Merchandise...........................................................(859) 971-7828..................................... merchandise@usdf.org University Accreditation and Credit Check.........................(859) 971-7317.......................................... university@usdf.org Year-end Awards..............................................................(859) 971-7361............................................. awards@usdf.org Young Rider Graduate Program........................................(859) 271-7876................................................youth@usdf.org Youth Outreach Clinics.....................................................(859) 271-7876................................................youth@usdf.org Youth Programs...............................................................(859) 271-7876................................................youth@usdf.org Youth Team Competitions................................................(859) 971-7317.............................teamcompetitions@usdf.org

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air Your Views USDF Connection welcomes letters to the editor. Please send your digital submission by e-mail to jbryant@usdf. org. Please include your hometown, state, and daytime telephone number. We’ll publish letters as space allows; all submissions are subject to editing. Unsigned letters will not be considered, although writers may request that their names be withheld. All letters become the property of USDF.

ask a Question Do you have a dressage- or USDFrelated question? Send it to “FAQ” and you may get an expert response in a future issue of USDF Connection. Send your question, along with your full name, hometown, state, and daytime telephone number to editorial@usdf.org. Include “FAQ” in the subject line of your message.

Share Your Story... …or your views on a topic pertaining to dressage or USDF in “The Tail End,” USDF Connection’s member-written “back page.” Share your dressage discoveries, “aha” moments, challenges, and oberservations. Short “guest editorial” essays are also considered. All “Tail End” columns are the opinions of the writers and not necessarily those of the editors or USDF. Submissions accepted by e-mail only. Send submissions, along with your full name, hometown, state and daytime telephone number to jbryant@usdf.org, subject line should read “The Tail End.” Please be prepared to supply a clear color digital photograph of yourself if your piece is accepted. Simultaneous submissions will not be accepted.

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USDF Connection

July/August 2018


After the Limelight

What will happen to your horses when you no longer want them? An open letter to equine professionals By Lucy Rangel


friend of mine purchased a nice-looking off-the-track Thoroughbred as a dressage prospect. She worked with this horse for four years, including a year off to recover from an undisclosed track injury, only to have him suddenly sicken and die of kidney failure at age 12 as a result of drugs he was given during his racing career.

disposable objects. I call on the industry to change the way it thinks of and treats the horses we all profess to love. Trainers: Don’t start horses that are too immature to hold up to the demands of the work, both physically and mentally. Don’t drug horses beyond what is needed for treatment purposes. Do your best to develop sound, sane horses that can go on to lead productive lives after their show-ring or racing days are over. Breeders: There are too many unwanted horses. Be more selective in your breeding decisions. Choose only the best-tempered, sturdiest, bestperforming stock to increase the odds that the next generation will be a good one, valuable to prospective buyers. Judges: Aim to recognize those horses that are sound in MULTI-DISCIPLINE: The writer and her homebred Tennessee Walking mind and body. Horse mare, Mr. Twister’s Sister, in 2015 Whatever the breed, reward Many horses today have multiple the animals that truly reflect the careers and owners during their breed standards and that can actually lifetimes. Improved veterinary care perform according to the purpose is enabling horses to live into their for which they were developed. The twenties or even longer. But too “show” horse should be the same as many horse-industry professionals the “working” horse. seem tor regard horses as short-lived If all equine professionals

56 July/August 2018 • USDF Connection


operated according to the assumption that their horses will have multiple careers and live to a ripe old age, Quarter Horses shown in halter classes might not have massive bodies with tiny feet so that they win a championship at age two but can’t stay sound under saddle. Trainers and exhibitors of riding horses might be careful not to ruin horses’ feet, tails, or minds. Ex-racing Thoroughbreds might have fewer lameness issues and other health problems. Slaughter is the unfortunate end for some lame or otherwise “throwaway” horses. If there were fewer unwanted or ruined horses, fewer animals would find themselves destined for the auction house. We could come closer to achieving the Unwanted Horse Coalition’s goal of a home for every horse. Dressage horses are known for having much longer careers than horses in some other disciplines, but these issues affect the dressage community, as well. There is a thriving market for reasonably priced, suitable mounts, and many such horses have traditionally been “second career” animals making the transition to dressage from racing or other fields. But in order for these horses to succeed, we need for them to be sound and sane. Dressage is for every rider, and every horse, at every level. We just need the horses to be sound and healthy, and not ruined. And this I lay at the feet of the equine professionals, for it is their actions that ultimately dictate the fate of the horses. s Lucy Rangel, of Peculiar, MO, is a retired federal law-enforcement officer who has owned horses since she was a teen. Her equestrian interests encompass dressage, saddle seat, and hunter seat; and she is president of the GaitWay Horse Association and a member of the Kansas City Dressage Society, among others. She and her husband currently own five Tennessee Walking Horses and two half-Arabians.


the tail end

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July/August 2018 USDF Connection  

United States Dressage Federation Official Publication

July/August 2018 USDF Connection  

United States Dressage Federation Official Publication

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