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George H. Morris Clinic at Canterbury Farm Emphasizes Horsemanship and Hunt Seat Style of Riding

Hampshire, IL - December 8, 2008 - Canterbury Farm recently hosted the annual George H. Morris Clinic, and the event was a huge success. Held from Nov. 28-30, 2008, the clinic was held in Hampshire, IL. Diane Carney of Telluride Farm, which is based at Canterbury Farm, helped organize the event. The November George H. Morris Clinic has been an annual tradition in the Chicago area for the past 20 years.

The clinic welcomed groups who ranged in experience from the 1.10m competition height to the grand prix level. About 200 auditors also joined to watch the three-day clinic. "The clinic with George is always fabulous, and it gets better every year," stated Carney. "I say that sincerely after watching two decades of George Morris's November clinics in Illinois. I think it gets better because we, as participants, get better at understanding George's message."

"Along with addressing the importance of balance, distance and the basic principles of riding, he really emphasized that it is hunt seat riding. It is riding with the motion, not behind the motion," she said.

"He spent a tremendous amount of time discussing the horse's hind end, the anatomy, and the joints that make up the hind end," said Carney. "He reminded us how important it is to understand the horse's motor and where the horse's impulsion and desire to go forward come from. The clinic is great because he addresses all of the training lessons that apply to everyone at every different level."

On Saturday, Nov. 29, Zone 5 sponsored a lunch for participants and auditors, and all of the guests watched film excerpts of the U.S. show jumping from the 2008 Olympics in Hong Kong. Morris discussed, in great detail, his experience as the Chef d'Equipe for the United States Equestrian Team and the essential elements that led to their Team Gold Medal victory.

"George stood in front of a big screen television, and everyone sat around him in a circle. You could have heard a pin drop," described Carney. "He told everyone that every facet of the United States Team contributed to winning the Gold Medal. Grooms were out grazing the horses and assisting their riders in the warm-up rings. Everything from the horses' handlers to the riders, grooms, veterinarians, farriers and owners were intricate parts of winning the Gold Medal; it was truly was a team effort."

She revealed, "In honor of the Gold Medal victory, we acquired, with permission, a duplicate of the Chinese wall jump from Hong Kong. In the Olympics, it was the last fence of the individual show jumping competition, where Beezie Madden won the Bronze Medal. It was exciting because we used this jump in the clinic, in addition to an indoor bank and open water."

The George H. Morris Clinic had another successful year in 2008 at Canterbury Farm and continued its rich tradition of horsemanship and excellence. Morris agreed to return again next year, and participants from this year's event are already putting it on their 2009 calendars.

"Everyone really appreciated Zone 5's luncheon, and the USET Foundation was extremely generous for providing us with the video footage," explained Carney. "A lot of people donated to the Foundation because they were so grateful for having the opportunity to watch the footage with George Morris himself."

Carney has been both an active participant and influential trainer in the hunter and jumper community for many years. Her contributions to the industry extend to the many clinics that she teaches every year at her farm and across the country. These clinics are in addition to those that she hosts annually for U.S. Show Jumping Chef d'Equipe George H. Morris and top hunter/jumper trainer Don Stewart Jr.

Photo Caption: Beezie Madden and the Olympic wall jump used in China at the 2008 Olympic Games. This wall was later duplicated for the George H. Morris Clinic at Canterbury Farm. Photo 2008 Jenny Ross/PhelpsSports.com Photograph may be used only in relation to this PMG press release.


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