Jan 05, 2018

Meet Your Clinicians for the 2018 Educational Symposium in Ocala

By Kate Lokey - USEA Staff
Kai-Steffen Meier and Leslie Law, featured clinicians at the 2018 Educational Symposium. USEA/Leslie Law Photo.

This February, the USEA will once again combine three of its educational programs – the Instructors’ Certification Program (ICP), the Young Event Horse (YEH) Program, and the Future Event Horse (FEH) Program, for a full week of fun and education. The Symposium will take place February 19-22 in Ocala, Florida.

The Instructors’ Certification Program’s symposia will take place Monday and Tuesday, February 19-20 at Longwood Farm South. These first two days will be led by clinicians Leslie Law and Kai-Steffen Meier. Wednesday, February 21 will focus on the Young Event Horse Program (YEH) with Marilyn Payne explaining the new judging and scoring system in the morning classroom session at the Clubhouse at the Ocala Jockey Club. That afternoon, clinicians Leslie Law and Kai-Steffen Meier will ride demo horses on the flat and over fences. Thursday, February 22 will focus on the Future Event Horse Program (FEH) with FEH Committee co-chairs Robin Walker and Susan Graham White leading a discussion for judges, Dr. Shauna Spurlock adding a veterinary perspective, and special guest Chris Ryan speaking on breeding and the importance of broodmares. The Clinicians will host a morning classroom session at the Ocala Jockey Club, and move to Longwood Farm that afternoon to evaluate demo horses.

Kai-Steffen Meier and Leslie Law riding in the Young Event Horse demo portion of the 2016 Symposium. USEA/Leslie Mintz Photo.

Meet the Clinicians

Leslie Law – ICP and YEH Special Guest Clinician

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. Law 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, Law has racked up a huge list of accomplishments, including being a three-time winner of the Advanced American Eventing 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.

Kai-Steffen Meier – ICP and YEH Special Guest Clinician

Kai-Steffen Meier is a top German event team rider who grew up in an equestrian family. His parents were sport horse breeders and all of his horses up through the young rider level were homebreds and self-broken and trained. After finishing school, Meier rode for the German army program and was based in Warendorf where he could train with many German national trainers. He then moved to northern Germany and worked and trained for two years under Andreas Dibowski. By 2009, Meier had started his own business and concentrated on finding young horses to produce to the top levels of eventing. Meier has won the prestigious Bundeschampionat and placed several horses in the top 10. He has also competed five times at the World Championships for Young Horses at Le Lion d’Angers with four top-15 finishes. He has been a member of the German Eventing Team since 2004 and has competed and placed at two European Championships as well as other prestigious events such as Badminton, Luhmuhlen CCI4*, and Pau CCI4*. In 2014, Kai-Steffen Meier married Belgian Event rider Lara de Liedekerke, who competed at two WEGs and two European Championships. Together they have a daughter and they run a stable with 25 event horses in the middle of Belgium. www.arville-sporthorses.com  

Marilyn Payne - YEH Speaker and Judges Clinician

Marilyn Payne'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, N.J., and Payne 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, and has 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, Payne 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. She was also President of the Ground Jury at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. When not sitting at "C" or galloping cross-country, Payne 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 crossrail to the 3* and 4* levels.

Chris Ryan – Featured International Clinician for FEH

Chris Ryan comes quite simply from one of the most respected equestrian families in Ireland. Following in his father’s footsteps, 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, he is best known for finding and producing McKinlaigh (who won an individual silver medal at the 2008 Olympics with Gina Miles in the irons) as a 5-year-old. 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.

Robin Walker - FEH Clinician

Robin Walker 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, Walker 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, co-chair of the Future Event Horse Committee, 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. Walker 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 Clinician

Susan Graham White is a USEF licensed Eventing "S" and Dressage "R" judge as well as a Dressage Sport Horse Breeding "r" judge. She is also a licensed FEI Eventing 3*/4* judge. Graham White has judged over 200 USEF/USEA recognized competitions, more than 50 international events, including the 2006 and 2007 North American Young Rider Championships, Scotland’s Blair International in 2006, and the Eventing Young Horse Championships at Le Lion d'Angers, France in 2009. Still an active competitor, Graham White 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 to central Florida during the winter to provide training for her students and gain easy access to the southeastern winter show circuit. Graham White currently sits as co-chair of the Future Event Horse Committee.

Dr. Shauna Spurlock – FEH Guest Clinician

Spurlock Equine Associates opened its doors in 1990. After 10 years at University Teaching Hospitals in Ohio, Massachusetts and Virginia and with two young children, Drs. Gary and Shauna Spurlock were looking for ways to combine family life with professional passion. The clinic offers outpatient appointments for routine lameness evaluations, pre-purchase examinations, and other routine work-ups. They offer diagnostic capabilities and surgical facilities as well.

Dr. Shauna Spurlock is a New Hampshire native. She and her sister showed American Saddlebreds and Morgans. She attended the University of New Hampshire before heading off to Ohio State University for her veterinary training. After graduation she completed a Master’s degree and Residency in Clinical Pharmacology. She then received addition training in Internal Medicine at Tufts University and became board qualified with the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine. She was on the faculty of Virginia Tech before putting her pharmacology training to work at the Food and Drug Administration’s Center for Veterinary Medicine. She has been in private practice at Spurlock Equine Associates since 1991.

Register for the Symposium

Attendees must register for each the ICP Symposium and the FEH/YEH Symposium separately.

To register for the FEH/YEH Symposium, click here. Competitors, judges, organizers, breeders, owners, or anyone interested in the development of young horses may attend the symposium. The fee, whether you choose to attend for one or both days, is $45 for USEA members and $50 for non-USEA members.

To register for the ICP Symposium, click here. The Symposium is open for auditing to the general public for $90 for both days or $50 for one day. ICP Certified Instructors, FEH/YEH Symposium Participants, and USEF Licensed Officials will be able to pay a reduced fee of $60 for both days or just $35 for one day. There is also a reduced price for children.

Request for Demo Horses

If you have a young horse that you’d like to be used in either the FEH or YEH portion as a demo horse, please contact [email protected] to be put on the wait list. The USEA is compiling a list of demo horses and will select them off the wait list two weeks prior to the symposium. There will be no fee for the FEH demo horses, but there will be a $75 demo horse fee to have your horse ridden and evaluated by Kai-Steffen Meier or Leslie Law for the YEH day of the Symposium.

Additional Information

For more information on the ICP Symposium taking place Monday and Tuesday, February 19-20, 2018, contact Nancy Knight at [email protected] or (703) 669-9997. Contact Kate Lokey for more information about the FEH and YEH symposium at [email protected] or (703) 779-9897.

A hotel room block has been set up for Symposium attendees at the Marriott Courtyard Ocala February 18-24, 2018, so please email [email protected] or [email protected] for more information.

The USEA would like to thank ICP, FEH, and YEH Sponsors, who make these programs possible: Retired Racehorse Project, Standlee Hay, Merck Animal Health, SmartPak, and Professional’s Choice.

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