Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Sunday at The George H Morris Riding Clinic

This past Sunday I got to spend the day photographing the George H Morris riding clinic. What a treat! That is one assignment that I look forward to every year.

It is one thing to attend major horse shows and see the top riders compete, it is completely another thing to get to see how they train. The clinic is all about learning. Learning for the riders, the auditors, the participants of the Trainer Certification Program. There was a wide variety of auditors in attendances from trainers, riders, owners and everyone in- between.

George H Morris demonstrating techniques to make the horse softer through use of flatwork and legs. The horse must respect the legs! Below photo shows Mr Morris riding Richard Rinehart's horse with no stirrups. He did this for a good 10- 15 mins. Impressive!

George H Morris demonstrating riding to the base with pace on Caitlin Boyle's horse.

Stephen Foran, 2012 USHJA Emerging Athletes Program winner.

Caitlyn Boyle of West Dundee, IL.

George H Morris demonstrating correct hands position to both the auditors and riders.

Carl Weeden from Brookwood Farm.

Elizabeth Benson, winner of the WIHS Equitation Finals.

Richard Rinehart, previous USET Maxine Beard Award winner.

Lisa Goldman, IHJA Horse Person of the Year.

Auditors packed the seating area of the clinic!

For additional coverage of the 2012 Chicago George H Morris Riding Clinic you can go to www.chicagoequestrian.com and like us on Facebook!!

If you have never attended a George H Morris riding clinic you must make it a priority! Mark your calendar for Thanksgiving weekend 2013!

- Posted by Steph from my iPad

Location:Canterbury Farm (West of Chicago)

Monday, November 5, 2012

ASPCA Maclay National Championship

Sitting in the Alltech Arena at the 2012 Alltech National Horse Show watching the 152 riders go through the course was absolutely a joy to see. The course was deceivingly difficult. Looking at the course it seems simple but ended up being more difficult for some that were not prepared. It resembled a course that would be present at a George H. Morris Clinic. A beautiful APSCA jump in the middle of the arena to a tall skinny planter with no standards to the last wall jump which has a long hand gallop approach. There was plenty of time through the course where a rider could over analyze and lose focus. Those that were fortunate enough to make it through as planned with excellent equitation were called back for later testing. Watching these hardworking junior riders is always inspirational.

Only three Chicago riders made it into the second part of the Maclay National Championship: Taylor Schmidt, Catherine and Lauren Tyree. They had to perform in separate groups showing off their remarkable flat work. After watching the second round, even more riders were eliminated, including Taylor Schmidt. The Tryee's are still in the race for the win. While patiently waiting to hear what the third part was going to be; the ring was in a quick disarray while the course was rearranged, it became evident that they would be riding the course backwards. After watching the final group go through with nail biting moments, there was still no clear winner. The top four were called back into the ring and a Chicago rider was lucky enough to make it. Catherine Tyree. They had to switch mounts and ride the course backwards again. Everyone was on the edge of their seats anxiously waiting to see who would succeed and who would fail. They were called out of the ring and a few silent minutes passed by while the judges decided the winner. The top riders were asked backed into the ring as the riders were called with their standing. As we got closer to the top four it was evident that two Chicago riders were to be in the top 10. Lauren Tryee placed 9th and after her diligent and hardwork Catherine Tryee placed 3rd. The ring exploded with applause. Watching her move through the 152 spots to reach the top 4 was amazing. The Maclay National Championship truly shows the level of horsemanship and skill that these riders are capable of.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Puissance makes a comeback!

Last night was another brand new experience. I got to watch the ever infamous Puissance competition. Now before yesterday I had no idea what Puissance was. I was told that it consisted of a maximum of 5 rounds, though last night there were only 4 rounds and this event was not timed. The first round started the Puissance wall at a height of 5'9" and it was absolutely exhilarating. The first round is a unique round as it's the only one that consisted of 4 jumps, which obviously including the Puissance wall. The remaining four rounds were even more exhilarating. It was heart stopping excitement. The Puissance wall continued to climb and grow from round to round to reach a height of 7'. Though Tim Gredley on Unex Valente didn't break the current indoor record of 7'10", he did win the 2012 Alltech National Horse Show $50,000 Puissance by flying over the 7' wall. This amazing event showcases the athleticism of these amazing horses. These horses demonstrate the true meaning of Puissance meaning "power". I am looking forward to see more athleticism and amazing shows of horsemanship at the $250,000 Alltech Grand Prix.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Welcome to the Alltech National Horse Show!!

Being here is a brand new experience for many people; including myself. The National Horse Show is a fantastic experience for both spectators and riders. The special part about it is that not everyone can enter; you have to qualify. These riders are the best of the best from this show season. With all of these people here you can end up standing right next to an Olympian getting some coffee like a normal day. The $10,000 Junior Jumper Class is going on right now!! The horses are amazing and the riders are staying calm and focused. It's going to be an exciting rest of the day! Tonight is the Puissance class, so stay tuned to our Facebook Page for some exhilarating posts and pictures.