A Grand Event!
The newly formed United States PRE Association (USPRE) held its first rider education seminar in Wellington last weekend, followed by a Kick-Off Party that was a roaring success.
A free seminar with Grand Prix rider Victor Alvarez was sponsored by USPRE and over 60 people attended. Alvarez, the director of CAVA Center for Dressage and Competition (near Barcelona) and current Spanish Dressage Team member, conducted a three-hour lecture and riding demonstration on the principals of the German training system as applied to the various breeds. Seven horses and riders participated: Michael Kohl on Susan Gohl’s Westfalian Enigma; Bruce Miller on Donna McNulty’s Fresian Niko; Jessica Baum on Nan Sexton’s Versejo Interagro; Francesca Nicoletti on her own PRE Faraon; and Janne Rumbough, Hannah and Pati Pierucci on Hampton Green Farm’s PRE stallions Cosaco, Adelante, and Camaron respectively. Alvarez highlighted the natural conformational strengths of the various breeds and how to develop each horse toward a harmonious execution of the dressage movements, from basic levels through Grand Prix.
Later that evening, over 175 people gathered at Hampton Green Farm for the official Kick-Off Party for USPRE. Riders and friends from all equestrian disciplines attended the party to celebrate the formation of this new organization dedicated to the promotion of the PRE (Pure Spanish) horse in the equestrian sports community. A spread of Mediterranean dishes complemented the troupe of Andalusian Flamenco musicians and dancers that performed pool-side. Videos of PRE horses in Grand Prix competition were played throughout the night and drew many spectators, many of whom were new to the breed and had many questions. The warm Florida evening contributed to the good cheer that spread throughout this crowd, providing a warm welcome to the new organization and the lovely horses it represents. Dressage riders were joined by hunters, jumpers, polo players, breeders, and the usual line-up of Wellington and Palm Beach social stars. Guests included: Canadian Team members Chris Von Martels and Jackie Brooks, Pan Am rider Linda Alycki, Kathy Priest, Katherine Bateson, Danish Olympians Lars Peterson and Bent Jenson, John Zapoti, Melissa Taylor, Susie Dutta, United States O judges Gary Rockwell and Linda Zang, Janne Rumbough, Belgian and Mexican Olympic Teams member Patrick Burssens and his wife Marisol, Tami Crawford, Carol Ehrlich, US Team member Betsy Steiner and her daughter Jessie, USET member Kathy Connelly, Diana Miller, Allyn Schiavoni, Michael Riploh and Michael Kabal, Andreas Stano of DressageClinic.com, World Cup rider James Armstrong, Patsy and Jim Ward, Timothy Malin, Bill Landisman, Mac Cohen, Joli Burrell, Alexander Zilo and daughter Stephanie, Chicago anchorman Walter Jacobson and his jumper wife Suzy, Mary Ann Grant, polo player Ted Brinkman and Laura Peppard, Michael Kohl, Susan Gohl, Max and Cookie Cohen, Francois Lemaire de Ruffieu, Bertrand de Soultrain, Noreen O’Sullivan and John Flanagan of Gold Coast Dressage, Inc., Victor and Arturo Alvarez, Cheryl Wielly and David Derascavage, Francesca Nicoletti, Ingrid Lin, French Gold Medalist Jumper Pierre Durand, Ali Brunner, Pati and Peter Pierucci, Mary Magee, Kelly Farmer and Marilyn Fahringer, hosts Kimberly and Frederic Boyer and many more. USPRE was founded in late 2007 to answer the need for an organization to promote the PRE and provide support for competitive riders of PRE horses. It sponsors a number of educational opportunities and dressage awards, and is dedicated to promotion of the breed and its successes in the competitive equestrian environments in the United States. Its Honorary Board includes Robert Dover, Kathy Connelly, Martin Schaudt, Lendon Gray, Hillary Clayton, Victor Alvarez, and Jon Brons.