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Kay Slater

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Hawley Bennett-Awad Makes Her First Trip to Area I

Kay Slater & Archer kick off Sunday’s XC sessions with a prelim set with Hawley at True North. Kay Slater & Archer kick off Sunday’s XC sessions with a prelim set with Hawley at True North.

Hawley Bennett-Awad, USEA ICP Level IV instructor and two-time member of the Canadian Olympic Eventing squad came to True North Farm in Harwich, MA for a 2-day eventing clinic focused on show jumping and cross country July 30-31.

Saturday’s focus was footwork and show jumping with an emphasis on balance, straightness, throughness and rhythm. Although the sun was hot, the Cape Cod sea breezes kept us all cool enough to work hard through the afternoon.

The pole and footwork exercises established an easy rhythm for the horses who grew in confidence through each line. Students worked hard to meet the challenge and each and everyone came away having gotten a good feel and thrilled with the experience. Hawley is tough but enthusiastic and this fueled each student’s excitement and motivation to try their best for her. The horses notably left each set looking confident and happy — a compliment to a good clinician.

Saturday night Hawley and her husband Gamal were treated to a real New England Lobster Bake for all our clinic riders and students that we hope will help to tempt them back to the East Coast from their Temecula, California, base soon!

Hawley took the time to talk to the young riders personally about their goals and tell her stories of her years in Pony Club up through her Olympic experiences. Little Ashlyn Alves won the Hawley Bennett C4 Custom Belt that Hawley raffled off to all the young riders and jump crew as a thank you for their efforts. We think Ashlyn might even sleep with it on from here on out she was so excited!

Ben holding his own as the only boy Eventer in the group!

Ben holding his own as the only boy eventer in the group! Photo courtesy of Kay Slater.

Cross country day was filled with both good galloping work and footwork on True North’s schooling course with lots of turning questions preparing each students to move through the levels with confidence and skill.

Riders worked drops, ditches, water and turning questions as well as galloping techniques focused on balance, straightness and rhythm with both the large group of auditors and the riders getting a real feel and idea of what Hawley was looking for.

Hawley, who is huge into discipline, good manners and effort was quick to praise and also to motivate and got the most from each rider and horse. Everyone came away thrilled with their new levels of work, confident to bring that forward and excited to set new goals and achieve them.

We have had several world class clinicians at True North, and Hawley was so clearly that perfect mix of clear communication, enthusiasm, skill, tools, knowledge and discipline that allows her to tailor each exercise to the student and get the most from each rider and horse pair. We can’t wait to have her back again soon! Stay tuned to www.truenortheventing.com for announcements of future clinics with Hawley!