Top riders have come through the George H. Morris Chicago Clinic in Chicago. Pictured above, Stephen Foran, Caitlin Boyle, Caitlin Hope, George H. Morris, Lauren Tyree, Catherine Tyree and Elizabeth Benson.
Three young riders from Chicago earned a coveted spot in the 2013 George H. Morris Horsemastership Clinic in Wellington, Florida. Catherine Tyree, Stephen Foran and Abigail McArdle started their new year with the five-day clinic January 2-6th at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center. Riders receive an invitation to the clinic based on their rankings in the equitation and junior jumper divisions and other special programs such as the Emerging Athletes Program. Participants ride and learn barn management from various professionals such as vets, stewards and other well-known professionals. The program helps develop future horsemasters for the US teams.
Stephen Foran, Lake Forest, was the winner of the Emerging Athletes Program Finals, which earned him a spot in the clinic. Foran rode a horse named Zarkan from McLain Ward.
“The best part was probably the last exercise George had us do,” said Foran. “It was a figure 8 with a big vertical and an oxer where we had to do extremely tight inside turns between them. George wanted us to ride in a forward seat and really gallop. It was a blast!”
“I was on break so I didn't miss any school. I also learned a ton about horse shoeing, medical care, anatomy and horse care in general. Overall it was a great experience and I feel like it truly improved my riding and skills as a horseman.”
Foran will spend the year as a working student for Missy Clark and North Run Farm.
Catherine Tyree, Chicago, has participated in the George H. Morris clinics in Chicago several times but remarked at the difference in experiences.
“First off, it was five days long instead of three. Each day, we focused on topics that continued to build on each other and then applied everything we had learned to the course we jumped on the final day,” Tyree stated. “This clinic was also different than past ones I've done because there were a number of speakers we were fortunate enough to hear and interact with. My favorite session was probably with Dr. Ober, the US team vet. It was very interesting to hear him speak about evaluating horses as well as teaching us how to palpate various areas on our horses. It was very hands on and he was willing to answer all of the questions we had! We were also fortunate enough to have Karen Golding as our barn manager. She is so knowledgeable and puts the horse’s care at the top of her priorities. She was able to answer every possible question we had and I really learned a lot about horse care and management from her during the week.”
Tyree also had the opportunity to travel to Europe to show at the Gucci Masters Show in Paris and the Pappas Amadeus Horse Show in Salzburg, Austria.
“The two shows I went to were so incredible,” said Tyree. “The entire experience was so different than being at the shows in the US. These two shows are at the top level when it comes to management, production, and importance, so to be able to attend these shows was very special. At the Gucci Masters, the stands were PACKED at every single class, which is something you don’t see often in the US. The show was very inviting and entertaining for spectators, having light shows before night classes as well as fun classes like the costume class and pony races. The riders competing there were the best of the best.”
Abigail McArdle was the third rider from Chicago to earn a spot. McArdle had an extremely successful year, winning the Young Riders Individual Gold Medal this summer as well as the Zone 5 Team Gold Medal in the USEF Prix de States Team Championship at the Pennsylvania National Horse Show this fall, just to name a few. McArdle is also no stranger to the George H. Morris clinics in Chicago.
“I felt very lucky to be riding in the George Morris clinic,” McArdle commented. “Every time I work with George I learn something new. It was great to be able to use my horse Bravoman since I will be showing him this circuit down in Wellington. The clinic was a wonderful way to kick off what I hope will be a very successful season.”
McArdle will be showing with Katie Prudent in Wellington this winter and then heading to Spruce Meadows in Canada again this year for the summer.
All three riders have shown as junior riders, getting their start in the Chicago area. Their skills and hard work have moved them up the ladder to the largest National and International competitions. Clinics such as the Chicago area George H. Morris clinic, have given these riders the competitive edge. To audit or ride in the 2013 George H. Morris Chicago clinic, go to www.tellluridefarm.com.