‘A Golden Opportunity’ to Learn from Top Eventers at GMHA Festival

Tom Davis in a dressage lesson with Allison Springer. Photo by Joan Davis/Flatlandsfoto.

Green Mountain Horse Association’s Festival of Eventing opened Monday, August 6 with a three-day long event clinic. Forty amateur and professional riders have come to do twice daily lessons with four internationally known clinicians: Bobby Costello, Rebecca Vick, Allison Springer and Sharon White.

John Burgess, a return camper, is here this year with a new horse, Butch Cassidy, that he’s had for only six weeks. He sees the clinic as the perfect environment for developing their partnership. “You’re here just to ride and take care of your horse. You spend all day with him. You’re building a relationship with him.”

John Burgess in a dressage lesson with Becca Vick. Photo by Joan Davis/Flatlandsfoto.

The camp is scheduled so that the riders work with each of the clinicians. “This clinic is really great because you get four different sets of eyes watching you and seeing different things,” John said. “This is a golden opportunity to accelerate the learning curve.”

Diane Johnson, another camp veteran who rides at Preliminary level, praised the quality of teaching. “These clinicians have not only competed at the highest level of the sport, but they are able to communicate their knowledge so effectively. It’s an amazing gift to be able to do both.”

John Roach doing foot work drills with Bobby Costello. Photo by Joan Davis/Flatlandsfoto.

Although GMHA offers other eventing clinics, this one is unique because it leads up to the weekend’s horse trials. The clinicians direct some of their attention specifically to preparation for the event.

Bobby Costello enjoys working with riders who are in “competition mode.” “It’s fun to work with riders when they have that goal at the end of the week. Everybody’s looking forward to the competition.”

Cindy Welch cantering a gymnastic exercise with Sharon White. Photo by Joan Davis/Flatlandsfoto.

“GMHA is a such special place,” said Sharon White, who came from her base West Virginia with four working students and 12 horses who will compete this weekend. “We love it here!”

Stay tuned for more more GMHA! Thank you to Joan Davis/Flatlandsfoto for providing photos from the first day of the clinic. Click here to visit the GMHA website.

Lindsay Briggs in a show jumping lesson with Bobby Costello. Photo by Joan Davis/Flatlandsfoto.