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Young Horses and Riders Benefit from Successful Markel/USEF Young Horse Observation Sessions

RELEASE: April 5, 2012
AUTHOR/ADMINISTRATOR: The USEF Communications Department

Scott Hassler evaluates a young athlete/horse combination in San Juan Capistrano (Sigrid Wolff/Cavallis)
Scott Hassler evaluates a young athlete/horse combination in San Juan Capistrano (Sigrid Wolff/Cavallis)
Lexington, KY
- The Markel/USEF Young Horse Dressage Program wrapped up March with the second of two Observation Sessions held in 2012. Taking place March 3-4 in Loxahatchee, FL, the first session ran prior to the Palm Beach Dressage Derby. The second session was held March 28-29 in San Juan Capistrano, CA, prior to the Festival of the Horse. These two-day Observation Sessions allow USEF Young Horse Dressage Coach Scott Hassler the opportunity to evaluate athlete/horse combinations as they work. He then discusses the horse's status, training and goals for participation within the Markel/USEF Young Horse Dressage Program with the rider and/or owner.

At the first session, Hassler saw a group of 10 talented young horses including three four-year-olds, four five-year-olds and three six-year-olds. In the second Session, Hassler evaluated eight riders who presented 10 horses including four five-year-olds and six six-year-olds. The majority of these horses are currently qualifying to earn a spot in the Markel/USEF National Young Horse Championships, August 24-26, 2012 in Wayne, IL.

"Both Observation Sessions went very well," said Hassler. "At San Juan Capistrano the overall quality of the horses was promising. There were several familiar riders to the program who brought new horses and many riders who have just entered the program as well. There were even several horses that traveled all the way from Seattle, WA. It was also a pleasure to have John and Lisa Seger from Markel Insurance observing the sessions on Wednesday. I am looking forward to seeing how these horses and riders develop this year and hope to see some of them at the Markel/USEF National Young Horse Championships in August."

In addition to Observation Sessions, Hassler is also conducting a series of Training Sessions which are run in a clinic format. The next Training Session is scheduled for April 14-15, 2012 at Twinwood Equestrian Center in Simonton, TX.

For further information on the Markel/USEF Young Horse Dressage Program and Training Sessions, please contact Hallye Griffin, USEF Director of Dressage National Programs, , 859.225.6918 or visit