Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Hunter/Jumper: USEF: 2012 George H. Morris Horsemastership Training Session Concludes After Five Informative Days

Riders from the 2012 George H. Morris Horsemastership Training Session. (Photo Courtesy of Stacey Nedrow-Wigmore)

January 10, 2012

From the USEF Communications Department

Wellington, FL- The sixth annual 
George H. Morris Horsemastership Training Session presented by the United States Hunter Jumper Association (USHJA) and Adequan concluded Saturday at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center in Wellington, FL. Held January 3-7, participants honed their riding skills and learned valuable lessons in overall horsemanship.

Due to a severe cold, Morris, the legendary horseman and U.S. Show Jumping Chef d'Equipe, was unable to teach the training session sponsored by The Dutta Corporation, Farnam, Practical Horseman, and Equestrian Sport Productions. However, Morris' protégés Anne Kursinski, Kent Farrington, McLain Ward and Beezie Madden stepped in to conduct the morning mounted sessions. 
The culmination of the training session was Saturday's mock Nations Cup. It was a unique opportunity for riders to practice jumping in the Nations Cup format, and the group was split into four different teams. The Gold medal-winning team from the 2011 Pan American Games (Farrington, Madden, Ward and Christine McCrea) served as Chefs d'Equipe as riders jumped two rounds over Anthony D'Ambrosio's challenging course. 

"I think we're working with a great group of riders," said Farrington. "Being a clinic, if you're able to walk away with anything, even if it's just one thing new that you learned, it's more than worth its while." 

In the afternoons, riders and auditors attended informative sessions on an array of topics including veterinary and farrier care, horse selection, the importance of fundamentals in horse management and course design. On Friday evening a forum was held for participants and the public to learn more about the Artisan Farms Young Rider Under -25 Series, the 2012 European Junior and Young Rider Tour, FEI Medication Rules as well as Mr. Morris' legendary Principles, Policies and Procedures for International riders presented by John Madden.

Jacob Pope jumps Anthony D'Ambriosio's course. Photo from Amy Serridge/USEF Archive
Jacob Pope took part in the Training Session for the first time and was sorry that Morris was unable to teach but nonetheless learned valuable lessons in horsemastership.

"It was disappointing and too bad that Mr. Morris wasn't able to train us, but USEF staff, Lizzy (Chesson) and Amy (Serridge), managed to put together a fantastic set of clinicians - Anne, Kent, McLain and Beezie were great!" said Pope. "Where else could you get all that at once, as well as great clinics from a vet and farrier, and advice from Katie (Prudent) on how to select a horse, Adequan on joint care, and Pancho Lopez on horse care and barn management?  And all of this with a group of top notch riders from across the nation; the personal connections will hopefully last a lifetime. The knowledge and wisdom that was shared with us was priceless."

On the final day, the USET Foundation hosted a luncheon.  Bonnie Jenkins, Executive Director of the USET Foundation congratulated all of the riders on a successful week.  "The USET Foundation is proud to be part of this week and continuing our mission of supporting athletes, promoting international excellence and building for the future."

The George H. Morris Horsemastership Training Session would not have been possible without the generosity of the clinicians who donated their time: Anthony D'Ambrosio, Kent Farrington, Anne Kursinski, Pancho Lopez, Beezie and John Madden, Allyn Mann, Christine McCrea, Dr. Tim Ober, Dean Pearson, Katie Prudent and McLain Ward.

The presented by Smartpak hosted wall-to-wall coverage over the five days of the training session. Video on demand is available for all the morning riding sessions and many of the educational afternoon sessions. All video, photos from the week and information about the participants and clinicians can be found at

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