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Olympian Michelle Gibson Rides Dark Diamond in Clinic with Olympian Hubertus Schmidt

WELLINGTON, FL - January 23, 2008 - Michelle Gibson, a member of the Bronze Medal Team at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, trained with Germany's 2004 Athens Olympics Team Gold Medalist Hubertus Schmidt in a two-day private clinic, January 15-16, at Diamante Farm in Wellington, Florida.

Gibson is the head trainer at Diamante Farm and her students and Diamante clients were invited to watch Schmidt teach. Up to eight students and clients attended the sessions both days, taking advantage of the exceptional educational opportunity to watch two Olympians work together.

"I love riding with Hubertus," said Gibson. "He was in town doing clinics this whole week at different farms and came to Diamante to work with me and one of my students, Lily Zilo, who is aiming to qualify for Hong Kong's team at the 2008 Olympics."

Gibson rode Dark Diamond, a sale horse owned by Diamante Farm, in her sessions with Schmidt. Dark Diamond is a seven-year-old, 17-hand, dark bay Westphalien mare by Diamond Hit. Her dam sire is Ramiro's Son.

"We worked a lot on flying changes," said Gibson. "We worked on collection for the pirouettes. We had really good success with the changes as well as the collection in the canter both days. The trot work is all very good, and Hubertus was happy with that. She's a very nice, super talented mare. She has the talent for the piaffe work. I was happy to have the help. It's always good to have somebody as eyes on the ground."

Schmidt taught Gibson's student Lily Zilo on her own Stradivari 14, a 15-year-old Hanoverian gelding. "Lily bought her horse through Hubertus during the summer," Gibson noted. "Basically they worked on parts of the grand prix - canter pirouettes in particular, some piaffe/passage. Hubertus sat on him and gave him a little tune up, which was really super."

Gibson has been training Zilo since March 2007 and appreciated having the opportunity to watch her student work with Schmidt. "It's always good to watch and learn from someone like Hubertus," Gibson said. "Even putting things in a little bit different context can really be super helpful. There are definitely things that they worked on that I can follow through with."

Summing up the two-day training session, Gibson said, "I appreciated having Hubertus as my eyes on the ground to help me put Dark Diamond together in some areas and give me a little push along in some other areas. It went really well!"

Michelle Gibson Dressage

Michelle Gibson, a member of the Bronze Medal Team at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, is based in Wellington, Florida. She is head trainer at Diamante Farms - a dressage training, showing, and boarding facility owned by Dick and Terri Kane. Gibson is currently showing two world-class FEI horses - Don Angelo and Lex Barker. Gibson's student, Devon Kane, won the Individual Gold and Team Bronze at the 2007 CN North American Junior/Young Rider Championships. Gibson is currently accepting new horses into her program for training, showing, and sales. Gibson is available for dressage clinics nationwide. For more information, contact Michelle Gibson at 678-575-1201 or visit http://www.michellegibson.com

PHOTO CAPTION: Michelle Gibson, head trainer at Diamante Farm, Wellington, FL, working with Hubertus Schmidt. PHOTO CREDIT: Photo courtesy of Diamante Farm.


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