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USDF Announces Clinicians for 2007 FEI Junior/Young Rider Clinic Series

Supported by The Dressage Foundation

Lexington, KY (December 21, 2006) - United States Dressage Federation

(USDF) announced the clinicians for the 2007 FEI Junior/Young Rider Clinic Series. Clinicians are Sue Blinks, George Williams and Kathy Connelly, a new clinician for the series.

The clinics are generously supported by The Dressage Foundation, whose mission is to cultivate and provide financial support for the advancement of dressage. "We are glad to be able to provide financial support for these clinics, as these young riders will become the dressage instructors, competitors, and judges of the future," said John Boomer, president and CEO of The Dressage Foundation.

FEI Jr/YR clinics are open to riders between the ages of 14-21 currently riding at Third Level or above. However, auditors of all ages and levels are encouraged to attend as all can benefit from observing the training methods of these respected clinicians.

Sue Blinks qualified for the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney, Australia aboard the Hanoverian gelding Flim Flam, and helped the United States earn its third consecutive Olympic team bronze medal. Blinks was a member of the United States Equestrian Team (USET) silver medal team at the 2002 World Equestrian Games. She was also a member of the fourth place USET squad at the 1998 World Equestrian Games in Rome, Italy, where Blinks rode to an individual twelfth place finish. In 2002, Sue Blinks was named United States Olympic Committee Female Equestrian Athlete of the Year.

George Williams traveled to Germany at the age of 17 to study with Egon Von Neindorff. After winning two AHSA and USDF National titles, Williams followed his mentor, Karl Mikolka, to Tempel Farms in 1981. In 2001, he began his partnership with the charismatic and popular black Westfalen mare, Rocher, owned by Chuck and Joann Smith of Gypsy Woods Farm in Richwood, Ohio. In 2003, Williams and Rocher achieved fifth place in the World Cup in Sweden, USDF Grand Prix and Grand Prix Freestyle Horse of the Year Awards, as well as being named Dressage Horse of the Year by The Chronicle of the Horse.

After an injury forced withdrawal from the 2004 Olympic Selection Trials, Rocher returned to competition in 2005 earning the title of the 2005 USET/Collecting Gaits National Grand Prix Champion, as well as a team bronze at the CHIO Aachen. However, the crowning moment of 2005 was winning the Grand Prix and the Grand Prix Freestyle at Dressage at Devon for an unprecedented third time. Williams has coached many Young Riders to Medal finishes and was also instrumental in developing the USDF Guide to Dressage booklet and the USDF booklet on arena footing, Underfoot.

Kathy Connelly is a USEF "S" judge and a popular clinician. She has won National titles at all FEI levels, including United States Grand Prix Champion and United States World Cup Champion. She has represented the United States at the World Cup in Gothenburg, Sweden and was a member of the Grand Prix bronze medal team at the North American Championships.

Connelly's additional achievements include training and coaching horses and riders to all National and FEI level titles in the United States, and coaching successfully abroad. Among the riders with whom she has worked, are the 1995 United States Young Rider Champion, the 1999 Individual Silver Medalist at the Pan American Games, the 2003 Canadian World Cup Champion, and the 2003 Silver Medal winning United States Young Rider Team.

Complete clinic information, rider applications and online registration are on the USDF web site at http://www.usdf.org/Programs/AdvancedYoungRider/index.asp.

For more information on the FEI Jr/YR Clinic Series, contact Sharon Vander Ziel, Programs and Education Coordinator, at (859) 971-7047 or via email at

jryoungrider@usdf.org.

Founded in 1973, the United States Dressage Federation is a nonprofit membership organization dedicated to education, the recognition of achievement, and the promotion of the sport of dressage. For more information about USDF membership or programs, visit http://www.usdf.org, email usdressage@usdf.org, or call (859) 971-2277.

 

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