Canterbury Farm Hosts Successful United States Hunter Jumper Association Emerging Athletes Clinic with Melanie Smith Taylor and Ray Texel
RELEASE: September 9, 2009
AUTHOR/ADMINISTRATOR: By Jenny Ross Koning
This past weekend, Canterbury Farm in Hampshire, IL, hosted a clinic for the United States Hunter Jumper Association (USHJA) Emerging Athletes Program. Held on Saturday, September 5, and Sunday, September 6, the clinic was conducted by renowned equestrians Melanie Smith Taylor and Ray Texel.
Diane Carney of Hampshire, IL, was the on-site coordinator for the event, which was a Level II Training Session. The clinic was part of the Emerging Athletes Program, an educational program that focuses on developing grassroots members of the hunter/jumper industry. The program provides top level instruction for young riders and helps prepare them for future competition in equestrian sport. Twelve riders were invited to participate in the clinic, and a large group of auditors attended as well. The weekend was hosted by Greg Franklin and his family, the owners of Canterbury Farm.
Darren Roberts was the official stable manager for the weekend, and he was assisted by Audrey Symowitz. Roberts reported, "I was in charge of the stable management part of it. All of the students were responsible for doing everything for their horses, from mucking to grooming to washing. I was overseeing all of that and guiding them, giving them pointers. If I saw them doing something I didn't think was right, I gave them some new suggestions and kept them organized."
"This was the first time that I participated in a clinic, and I really enjoyed it," he said. "I work with Ray Texel, and we've worked together for a number of years. When we heard they needed someone to do the stable management part, he suggested I come out and help. It went really well, and we've talked about doing it again in the future. Ray has done a lot of clinics, and we'd love to do it again for the USHJA."
He added, "I met Diane [Carney] for the first time this weekend, and she was just great. She made the weekend go so smoothly and was extremely accommodating with the use of the farm."
The clinicians utilized Canterbury Farm's outstanding facility throughout the weekend. The veterinary segment was held in the aisleway, and the viewing room was used for lunch breaks and a test created by Melanie Smith Taylor. In addition, a farrier demonstration by Red Renchin educated riders on proper shoeing techniques.
Carney commented, "It was an outstanding weekend. The Franklin family was a wonderful host for the event, and the riders were very appreciative of the experience. They did all of their own work and left the facility clean, if not cleaner, than they found it. We respect their hard work and their genuine appreciation for being part of the program."
"One of the exercises was a simulated jumper class, with a first round and a jump-off held on the grass field," noted Carney. "It was really cool for the kids to be able to ride on the grass, which was in perfect condition. The courses were very interesting, and it was fun to see the exercises and the kids' ability on the flat and over fences."
"Everyone at Canterbury Farm hopes the program has continued success," stated Carney. "With such incredible enthusiasm from the clinicians, it can only grow and succeed. They are truly winners on every level, and they bring that enthusiasm to the program."
Carney has been both an active participant and influential trainer in the hunter and jumper community for many years. Her contributions to the industry extend to the many clinics that she teaches every year, in addition to those that she hosts annually for U.S. Show Jumping Chef d'Equipe George H. Morris and top hunter/jumper trainer Don Stewart, Jr. In 2008, she was voted 'Horse Person of the Year' by the Illinois Hunter Jumper Association, and she is also Vice Chairperson of the Zone 5 USHJA Hunter Committee.