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Tue, 2017-01-31 09:23

Chris Burton, Chris Ryan and Leslie Law To Be Feature Clinicians at the 2017 ICP and Young Horse Symposium

Leslie Law at the 2016 Young Horse Symposium. USEA/Leslie Mintz Photo.

The Instructors’ Certification Program (ICP) and the USEA’s Future Event Horse (FEH) and Young Event Horse (YEH) Programs are teaming up to bring USEA members the ultimate educational opportunity in Florida this winter. Historically these educational seminars are hosted separately, but they have joined forces to ease travel requirements for instructor and young horse enthusiasts. Join us in Ocala, Fla. February 20-22, 2017, for three days of learning from a variety of professionals.

The ICP Symposium will take place Monday and Tuesday (February 20 & 21) at Longwood Farm South. The lead instructor for the ICP Symposium at Longwood will be Chris Burton, who is outlined below. On Monday, he will teach dressage training to riders on young event horses and to also to riders on more experienced event horses. On Tuesday, he will teach cross-country riding and training to the same range of horses as well. Burton will interact with the symposium audience and describe to them as well as the riders what he sees, would like to confirm or improve, and the movements/jumping choices he makes for doing so.

The Training and Education of the Young Eventing Horse Symposium will take place Monday (February 20th) and Wednesday (February 22nd). Both dates will host morning classroom sessions at the Clubhouse at the Ocala Jockey Club, with live horse sessions taking place both afternoons at Longwood Farm South. Monday, February 20th will primarily be focused on the Future Event Horse Program (yearlings to three-year-olds), featuring legendary Irish young horse producer and judge, Chris Ryan who is also outlined below. Ryan will analyze bloodlines, type, and emphasize what the top horses look like in Eventing, teaching how we can breed and produce these types at home. Wednesday, February 22nd will be focused on the Young Event Horse Program (4- and 5-year-olds under saddle), led by the ICP’s featured clinician, Chris Burton. The seminar will include discussion of young event horse training and education, with both Chris Burton and Olympian Leslie Law doing riding demonstrations that afternoon at Longwood Farm.

Meet the clinicians below:

Chris Burton – Featured Clinician for ICP and YEH

Australian Chris Burton is a young, yet experienced event horseman who now lives in England.  Burton was a member of both the 2012 and the 2016 Australian Olympic teams, and in 2016, he won at Burghley on Nobilis 18. More recently, at the Le Lion D’Angers event competition for 6- and 7-year-olds, Burton won on his 6-year-old Fire Fly. He trains and competes horses of all ages and experience levels, from youngsters to four-star caliber.   

“One of the most important things I practice and preach is riding with a forward hand,” said Burton. “I think this is especially important when training young horses. I also believe that any horse can and should be ridden with light aids. If I ask with a light aid and get no response, they get one strong aid. I never nag with consistent kicking and I never consistently hold on to their mouths. Horses need to be responsive when you ask them to do something. Consistency in training is so important:  you need to decide what you want, how you want to get there, and then stick with it. Nothing happens without hard work and persistence."

Chris Ryan – Featured Clinician for FEH

Chris Ryan comes quite simply from one of the most respected equestrian families in Ireland. Following in his father’s footsteps, Chris Ryan hunted the legendary Scarteen hounds for 28 seasons. The Scarteen hounds have been in the Ryan family for more than 400 years. From racing in his youth, to huntsman, and now as a judge and commentator, Ryan has become a regular part of eventing life in Ireland and Europe. One of the foundation selectors of the Goresbridge “Go For Gold Elite Event Horse Sale” held every November in Wexford, Ryan has developed a keen eye for young stock.

In the United States, we know him best by finding and producing Mckinlaigh, who earned an individual silver medal at the 2008 Olympic Games with Gina Miles. International winning and top placed horses Copper Beach, Rourkes Drift, Cooley SRS, November Night, Prince Mayo, Glencento, Reenmore Duke, Ballymurphy Mark and many others all came under Ryan’s eye. Blending his experience with an instinct for what is required and the genetics to operate at the highest level gives us an insight into what has kept Ireland at the top of the world eventing rankings for 21 of the 23 years they have been in existence.

Leslie Law – Special Guest Speaker and Rider for YEH

Leslie Law is well-known as an international event rider. Riding Shear L’Eau, he was the individual Olympic gold medalist at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens and helped Great Britain earn the team silver medal. Leslie has a long record of major successes including the team silver in Sydney in 2000, European team gold medals in 2001, 2003, and 2005, the World team bronze in 2002, as well as 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th place finishes at the Badminton CCI4*. Since arriving in the United States in 2006, Leslie has racked up a huge list of accomplishments including being a three-time winner of the American Eventing Advanced Championship, Young Event Horse Champion and Reserve Champion, along with multiple CCI3* and CIC3* wins. He has now become one of the most sought-after coaches and clinicians in the United States and has served the USEA through his work on the Board of Governors, and his support of both the Young Event Horse Program and Young Riders Program, also serving as the USEF Eventing Developing Rider Coach.

Robin Walker -FEH

Robin began his riding life in England and prior to moving to the USA had ridden at the Advanced and International levels of Eventing. Since then, Robin has continued to ride at the upper levels in Eventing and he also show jumps successfully up to the Grand Prix level. In addition, he is an ICP Faculty member and is the Advisor to the Developing Event Horse Programs. He is the expert coordinator of the development of the Future and Young Event Horse Programs to ensure goals are consistent with the FEH horses transitioning smoothly into the YEH program. This fits well with the small but successful breeding program that continues at his farm. Robin is based at Maute House Farm in Grass Lake Michigan. The farm has developed into a fully self-contained facility for the production of both horse and rider.

Susan Graham White - FEH

Susan Graham White is a USEF licensed judge in Eventing (S), Dressage (R), and Dressage Sport Horse Breeding (r). She is also a licensed FEI 3*/4* Eventing judge. Susan has judged over 200 USEF/USEA recognized competitions, more than 50 international events, including the 2006 and 2007 North American Young Riders Championships, Scotland’s Blair International in 2006, and the Eventing Young Horse Championships at Lion Anger, France in 2009. Still an active competitor, Susan is currently showing in dressage classes at the FEI levels, and also presents young horses in hand and under saddle at breed shows. She teaches and trains at her lovely Wolfhaven Farm in southern Maryland and heads for central Florida during the winter to provide training for her students and gain easy access to the southeastern winter show circuit. Susan currently heads the USEA Future Event Horse committee.

Marilyn Payne -YEH

Marilyn's interest in developing young horses began more than thirty years ago when she started breeding, training and competing her own young horses. Today she and her husband Dick live at their Applewood Farm in Oldwick, NJ, and Marilyn continues to compete successfully in both dressage and Eventing, bringing along her homebreds from the day they are foaled. She is presently co-chair of the USEA YEH Committee, having been involved in the YEH program since it began. Her contributions have been instrumental in developing and improving the program and encouraging breeders, owners and competitors to participate. An FEI Eventing 3/4* judge, Marilyn is also a USEF "S" Eventing judge and "S" Dressage judge. She has judged nearly every 4* FEI Event in the world as well as the 2008 Olympics in Hong Kong and the 2010 WEG in Kentucky. When not sitting at "C" or galloping cross-country, Marilyn conducts training sessions for both Dressage and Eventing judges in the USA and for FEI Eventing judges overseas. Following in their mother's footsteps, her children Doug and Holly are prominent Eventing riders and trainers, devoted to bringing horses along from their first cross-rail to the 3* and 4* levels.

How to Sign Up

The fee for attending the ICP symposium February 20-21 will be $50 for a single day fee for the general public, or a $35 fee for ICP Certified Instructors, USEF Licensed Officials, or those who are attending any days of the FEH/YEH symposium. The 2-day fee at the ICP symposium will be $60 for ICP Certified Instructors or USEF Licensed Officials, or $90 for the General Public. Contact Nancy Knight for more information: [email protected] or 703-669-9997. To register for the ICP Symposium, click here. Demo riders will also be needed for this symposium. If you would like to sign up to be a demo rider click here and email your form to Sue Hershey at [email protected]

The fee for attending the Training and Education of the Young Eventing Horse Symposium with the FEH and YEH Programs will be a one-time fee of $50, whether you choose to attend one or both days (Monday, February 20th and Wednesday February 22nd). Please keep in mind that attendees may audit both Monday and Wednesday for $50 total, and then receive a discount to audit the ICP Symposium on Tuesday for only $35. A hotel room block has been set up at the Marriott Courtyard Ocala for FEH/YEH Symposium attendees in Ocala, Florida. Contact Kate Lokey for more information about the FEH and YEH symposiun: [email protected] or 703-779-9897. To register for the FEH/YEH Symposium, click here.

Please note the room block cutoff date is February 4, 2017 and pre-registration is encouraged as slots may fill up as they did in 2016. Email Kate or Rebecca for room block details.


The Ocala Jockey Club and Retired Racehorse Project have teamed up to host a relaxed social dinner on Tuesday night (2/21) for all USEA symposium attendees and friends! Your $30 ticket includes supper and beer/wine. Please purchase your tickets in advance for the BBQ Party, here. 

ICP Symposium Registration | Young Eventing Horse Symposium Registration


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