Young Riders, Amateurs and Pros Alike Enjoy 3 Days of Clinics with William Fox-Pitt!

The campus at Stable View has been buzzing with activity throughout the past 3 days as William Fox-Pitt concluded 3 days of his clinic yesterday, promptly switching gears to focus on today’s horse trial.  As we previously reported, last night he was able to spend time in the ring with fellow Olympian Boyd Martin, with a final ride on Tura Lura in preparation for today’s competition.

We were also able to catch up with a few participants in the clinic.  Levels ranged from Novice to Advanced, with a diverse range of amateur and professional riders, as well as green and seasoned event horses.

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Mia Braundel aboard Cashmere- Prelim Section of the WFP Clinic at Stable View. Photo Lisa Thomas/Stable View

The format of the clinic built upon fundamentals by naturally progressing through instruction in dressage and stadium jumping before heading out to the cross country course.  Each day at lunch, participants were also invited back to enjoy a lunch with William before heading back out for the afternoon sessions to ride in front of the auditors.

We were able to catch up with Mia Braundel, who has become a familiar face here at Stable View.  Mia is a talented 16 year old rider who took part in the Preliminary level group on Sunday.  She hails from Clayton, North Carolina and trains out of Portofino Equestrian Center, home to Holly Hudspeth and Aaron Stuckey-Hill.   We met and interviewed Mia last year when she came off the XC course during her Preliminary competition during Oktoberfest.

We asked Mia for her reflections on the WFP clinic and she graciously complied!

“I attended the William Fox-Pitt Clinic January 28-30 at Stable View Farms.  On Saturday we worked on the flat and show jumping.  William Fox-Pitt spent time with each rider in my group to work on the flat individually so that each of us got personalized feedback.  In the show jumping he stressed the importance of making mistakes and learning from them, creating the perfect learning opportunity for both the horse and rider.

“On Sunday we went and schooled cross country.  A lot of the exercises consisted of skinnies, ditches, and banks to get the horses to think about what they were doing. What I found interesting was his approach on schooling ditches and banks. He had us start out trotting everything so that the horse paid attention to what they were jumping, whereas on a cross country course at a show, the horse is galloping and hardly notices the jumps.  It was an incredible opportunity to ride with an Olympian and learn from him”

We are so thankful to Mia for her input and happy to chart her progress on Cashmere as she works her way up through the levels.  She did confirm that she is aiming to enter our 21 Challenge Young Rider Series which kicks off in March, and we are sponsoring this series in conjunction with our friends at Fair Hill and Plantation Field!

On Monday, the Intermediate and Advanced level riders split their time under the covered arena for the dressage and show jumping before heading out for their exercises on XC.   It was interesting to observe how William took each group level through the same set of paces and exercises…..focusing on adjustments appropriate to that riding level.   Meghan Perry (MP Eventing) and Jan Byyny (Surefire Eventing), who were the two pros who rode in the Advanced section on Monday, graciously allowed us to do a short interview at the end of the day.  Both these ladies were on horses who have been longtime campaigners throughout their upper level careers;  Meghan Perry riding Nicos and Jan aboard Inmidair.

We hope you enjoy the following interview:

We wish to thank all of our participants, auditors, and volunteers from the University of Georgia (UGA) riding team, our hard working staff, and of course William Fox-Pitt, for such an educational and inspiring 3 days of teaching.

For more photos from throughout the weekend, please visit our FB Page.

Stay tuned for a report from the horse trials, which is underway right now.  Time to get out onto the cross country course!

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