Olympic U.S. dressage medalist Laura Graves taught ‘Dressage for Jumping’ in a clinic, awarded to the winners of the 2017 Washington International Horse Show (WIHS) Barn Night video contest and sponsored by BarnManager, on Tuesday, August 14, at Ohana Equestrian Preserve in Aldie, VA.
Following their submission of a video that fit the 2017 WIHS Barn Night theme of ‘Equestrians Around the World,’ the riders of Kama Godek LLC were chosen as the winners of the WIHS Barn Night video contest, presented by BarnManager. On Tuesday, nine of those riders enjoyed the winning award, learning one-on-one from Graves, the 2018 FEI World Cup™ Dressage Final runner-up and the recent winner of the CDIO5* Grand Prix in Aachen, Germany. Auditors were also invited to attend the clinic at no cost.
“We’re all consistently learning; that’s the only way to really be a true horseman,” said Nicole Lakin, founder and CEO of BarnManager, the official barn management software of US Equestrian. “At BarnManager, we really support education and furthering learning in the sport no matter what. When the opportunity presented itself to sponsor this clinic through the Washington International Horse Show, we really jumped at it.
“We were extra fortunate to have Laura Graves as the clinician because she really represents everything that we stand for,” continued Lakin. “She’s truly connected with her horses and is passionate about their care and their well-being. I think her success is a testament to her approach to the horses and to the sport, and we were lucky to have a full day to just learn from her and watch her work with riders of all levels. We’re happy to be involved with WIHS and even more so to be a part of this clinic, which we think was really special.”
Participating in the clinic were riders Maya Aryal, Nicole Butchko, Erin Gilmore, Kama Godek, Abby Grabowski, Stefanie Oberhausen, Casey Osborne, Stefan Parker, and Piper Tyrrell – all representing various levels of riding, ranging from early beginner to grand prix jumper, and all competing in the hunter and jumper rings rather than the dressage arena.
“Whether you’re jumpers, or eventers, or dressage people – everyone struggles with all of the same things,” said Graves, who worked extensively with all riders on keeping their horses in front of their leg, straightness, and creating the desired response from their horse while exerting less effort.
“My number one goal is to make sure that the rider understands something that will hopefully change the way that they ride for the rest of their life,” said Graves. “I really try to make sure that I deliver a clear message to every person that they say, ‘I really learned something today.’”
For those unable to attend the clinic, graciously hosted by Melissa and Jim Pankas at their Ohana Equestrian Preserve, or watch the live stream, the entire day is available to view on-demand on USEF Network here.
For those interested in entering the 2018 WIHS Barn Night video contest, sponsored by BarnManager, and winning a clinic of their own in 2019, visit http://www.wihs.org/barn-night/ to learn more.
“These clinics are an incredible opportunity to bring these top athletes to our area to share their knowledge and expertise with the community,” said WIHS president Vicki Lowell. “In this case, we were able to bring auditors as well as the winners of the Barn Night clinic which was fantastic and exciting. It’s a special opportunity, and we thank BarnManager for the support.”
To learn more about BarnManager, visit www.barnmanager.com.
BarnManager is a software solution for stable managers and owners from across all breeds and discplines. The cloud-based software offers digitized record keeping for the many facets of horse care and intuitive and simple business tools to make small business management accessible and easy.