EN reader Denya is back with multiple reports from recent clinics taught by Clayton Fredericks with the Canadian team and Jessica Phoenix with the Canadian Young Riders. Denya submitted one of our favorite clinic reports for 2012, and we’re excited that she’s back to share more from Canadian eventing. Her first report looks at the Canadian team’s final preparation before Bromont. Take it away, Denya!
The Canadian team spent May 31st and June 3rd training with International Technical Advisor Clayton Fredericks, who prepped riders going to Bromont and provided on-going coaching for eventual teams over the next few years. Each rider had twi sessions with Clayton to work on what they felt most important for them to be successful. The beautiful property of Jorge and Mandy Bernhard was made available for the coaching, with excellent footing despite all the rainy weather prior to the training sessions. Not only did the Bernhards generously offer their facilities, they are that most cherished of all people: horse owners who contribute to the sport every day, day in and day out — a huge thank you!
Clayton stressed the talent among the current riders and their commitment to representing Canada successfully at the 2014 World Equestrian Games. While pleased with good results recently, the goal is to create a winning team, instilling in the riders their ability to win. Managing the horses sensibly, creating opportunities to learn and improve, and capitalizing on the talent already hard at work is key.
In these sessions, it was easy to see the rapport that Clayton has built with the riders. His comments were incorporated immediately; there were positive exchanges between riders/coach; and every instruction had a “what we’re looking for” … and let’s not forget the little jokes and laughter that softened his “tough love.” The whole environment was supportive and cheerful.
Clayton described competing as holistic — each piece has to be addressed so the puzzle works. Given his accomplishments, as both an active competitor and coach, Clayton feels he can act as a mirror for the riders, and, in his words, he is not letting any small mistakes slip by, and the riders are looking for the input and direction to be winners.
Go Bromont! Go Canada! Go Eventing!