Largest EDAP Clinic to Date at LYDF Midwest 201607.08.2016
The last weekend in June is the annual Lendon Youth Dressage Festival at Hampton Green in Michigan. The show started six years ago and from the first year, it included a two-day Emerging Dressage Athlete clinic. These clinics--sponsored by Dressage4Kids, a 501C3 non-profit organization, have grown exponentially around the country as the most successful youth dressage program in the United States--over 200 riders will participate in one or more EDAP clinics in 2016. Hampton Green Farm's Michigan clinic was one of the first, and from it some prominent national riders have emerged including NAJYRC medalists and USEF National Champions.
At this year's EDAP clinic, there were 15 riders whose applications were accepted for participation. Selection is based on criteria stated on the Dressage4Kids website and includes a video, test submission and a written application. The clinic stretched over three days and Lendon Gray was assisted by HGF resident trainer Maria Lithander to accommodate all the riders. Trainer Andrea Landis spoke to the group about fitness and cross-training, and Dr. Jane Bistline spoke about risk management to avoid the kinds of injuries that she treats most often in riders.
All EDAP riders then competed in the Youth Festival--a three part competition consisting of a written exam, a dressage test and an equitation test. This year's Judge, Marilyn Griffin, judged all levels from Walk/Trot to Prix St. George, along with Stephanie Beamer who presided over a demanding Equitation Division.
Saturday evening's special speaker was international Grand Prix rider Devon Kane, an inspiring and impressive young professional who described her journey from youth rider to US Nations Cup Team member. Her experiences from the early years of grooming and being a student, to competing with the top riders of the world, were eye-opening and instructional to all who attended. Devon is a funny, approachable, accomplished young woman who easily drew the admiration of the younger aspiring riders.
Young Rider Kerrigan Gluch spoke on Sunday afternoon, telling her recent experiences while training and competing in Europe on the USEF Euro Tour.
The weekend concluded with an awards ceremony, with top placings for those who excelled in the highy competitive environment. Results show that the youth riders who have consistently been a part of LYDF Midwest are improving and competing now with scores that wiill rank them with the best in the country.
Our thanks to all the volunteers and parents who assisted this weekend, for the generous spirit of our sponsors and for our fantastic youth riders, from the littlest (6) all the way up to the seasoned FEI competitors.
Full results available on the LYDF Midwest page on Facebook.