Buffalo Therapeutic Riding Center Announces 2010 George H. Morris Clinic Dates
RELEASE: May 20, 2010
AUTHOR/ADMINISTRATOR: By Jessica Nemzoff
Photo by ESI. (Madison Brayman aboard SBS Farms' Only Jumping Boy.)
Buffalo Therapeutic Riding Center is pleased to announce that George H. Morris will return to the facility, November 12-14, 2010, to host an educational seminar. A legendary horseman and chef d'equipe of the United States Show Jumping Team, Morris has played an integral role, not only in the development of countless renowned horses and riders, but also in the development of the equestrian sport in its entirety. Second to none, his teachings, technique, and style are revered around the world. The opportunity to partake in this remarkably educational event will be open to three groups (intermediate, advanced, jumper) of eight riders, as well as auditors seeking knowledge through observation.
United States Equestrian Federation "R" judge and highly regarded horseman Geoff Teall was in attendance for last year's clinic and commented on the value of the clinic to the industry as a whole. "I thought George's clinic last year was as good as it gets. It was a true teachers' clinic, which I think is a very difficult thing to do. It is something that very few people do well, and nobody does it as well as George Morris. The clinic was one of the rare times that you have the right teacher, the right demonstrators, and the right facility, at the same place and at the same time. It was truly a magical clinic. A clinic like this helps the industry in every way possible. If you go to a clinic like that and you cannot learn something about teaching and riding, then you probably can't learn to teach or ride. There is so much that the clinic has to offer and everyone gets something out of it, so if there are 150 people there, it absolutely helps the industry 150 times over."
Jennifer Alfano, SBS Farms rider and trainer as well as the 2009 Chronicle of the Horse
Show Hunter Horsewoman of the Year, expressed her excitement to participate in the clinic again this year. "I wouldn't miss it for the world," she said. "George is such a phenomenal horseman, and I think you can always keep learning. He has so much to offer us all, as riders, trainers, and as horsemen."
SBS Farms director and trainer Susie Schoellkopf commented on Alfano's enthusiasm, stating, "Jen learns every step of the way and is a sponge when it comes to knowledge. She never wants to stop learning, and I think that is the real key. As a rider and a trainer, that really gives her an edge in the ring with the horses, and in the care of the horses and how they feel."
Based on her success in the United States Hunter Jumper Association (USHJA) International Hunter Derby Series, Alfano received one of only two initial invitations to participate in the Hunter Derby Demonstration at the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games. Alfano has been at the top of the series since its inception and has proven her versatility as a rider, not only adapting to the demands of the derbies themselves, but also being able to do so on a number of different horses. Schoellkopf explained, "I think that Jen's eagerness to participate in every learning experience she can, such as George's clinics, has really contributed to the successes that earned her the invitation to represent show hunters as they debut on the international stage."
"There is a famous quote," Teall explained, "that experience is the best teacher. For Jen to be able to participate in that clinic is another great experience in her career. What is so awesome about Jen is that she rides just as well, or better actually, than anyone, yet she continuously puts herself in the position to learn, and she never takes it for granted. If there is this experience, or that experience, if there is something to do with riding and training horses and teaching, she does it. As a result, she is what she is. She is never too good for anything, and if there is a lesson, she is there to learn it."
Morris will return to the Buffalo Therapeutic Riding Center after traveling around the world with the United States Show Jumping Team as they complete the final leg of the Selection Trials and then proceed to compete at the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games.
Over the course of his career, Morris has been highly successful as a rider, coach, clinician, author, and judge. His insight and guidance is invaluable to anyone looking to further their riding skills, whether as a participant or as an auditor. The clinic will focus as much on horsemanship as it does on riding, offering attendees first-hand knowledge for success.
A USHJA Director, Teall has been involved in the creation and streamlining of trainer symposiums. Reflecting on the structure of the clinic, he said, "What was so great about that clinic is that you have great demonstrators, like Jen (Alfano) and Callan (Solem) who are top of line competitors, then you have someone like Chris, who rides for me as an up-and-coming young professional and will go far because he has an amazing attitude, and then you had the clinic work its way all the way to beginners. So the range of demonstrators was large, and what was so interesting, was that there was not any crazy, set-in-stone format. It was nothing more than giving a great teacher four groups of very different levels of great demonstrators, and then as things came up he fixed them, and as he fixed them, we all learned. From there everything happens, and if you have any sense, you will learn so much. We are all still trying to figure out which type of trainer symposium works best, and while you can have a rigid format work with a good teacher, you can also have the loose format work with a great teacher, such as George."
For more information, please visit www.thebtrc.org