Dr. Cesar Parra and Piaffe Performance Grateful for Historic USEF/USET Pipeline Clinic Experience
Wellington, FL (February 11, 2014) – Cesar Parra and Piaffe Performance horses were among the dozen selected for the inaugural USEF/USET Pipeline Clinic, January 28-29, during the Adequan Global Dressage Festival in Wellington, FL.
The USEF and USET Foundation, through the generosity of USET Foundation Trustee Betsy Juliano and Havensafe Farm, presented a two day clinic showcasing a “dressage pipeline” of American athletes and horses who worked with USEF Dressage Coaches Robert Dover, USEF Chef d’Equipe/Technical Advisor; Debbie McDonald, USEF Developing Coach; Scott Hassler, USEF Young Horse Coach; and Jeremy Steinberg, USEF Youth Coach.
“The Performance Farm team was honored to have three horses invited to this historic clinic,” said Parra. Invited were: Van the Man, in the Grand Prix; Rotano, ridden by Bebe Davis in the Junior Division, and Fashion Designer OLD, ridden by Katie Riley and owned by Martin Sosnoff and Parra, in the Six Year-Old Division.
“We were grateful to have our young horse, Fashion Designer, and our Junior rider, Bebe, there. I rode Van the Man with Robert Dover and Scott Hassler. It was excellent for us to be in the stadium and focus on total relaxation and confidence. I could not have been more proud as we walked on the buckle with Van happy in an environment that has overwhelmed him in the past.
“Robert and Scott did a great job knowing what was important for Van, so we did not school Grand Prix but rather, did exactly what the horse needed to become confident and listening,” Parra said.
Piaffe Performance’s Katie Riley rode Fashion Designer OLD under the guidance of clinicians Scott Hassler and Debbie McDonald: “We worked on making Fashion’s huge gaits adjustable while keeping him attentive and relaxed.
“This was too good an experience to pass up and we are so grateful to everyone who made this happen. We really believe that Fashion has a tremendous future and keeping USEF coaching involved in his development keeps everyone on the same page and makes every training session more productive. I loved the well-rounded approach that the clinic took. It wasn’t just riding; it was sports psychology and fitness training as well as talks on media and sponsor relations and score analysis. The topics were all very pertinent for a rider that wants to be successful at the top so I enjoyed it all– even my sore legs from the workouts.”
Parra also saw the benefits: “We saw this clinic as a great opportunity and believe, through the continuity of training the coaches are putting together, we will see improvement in ourselves and in our sport. To have riders and trainers on the same page, from Pony level to Grand Prix, is exciting. We wanted to be a part of it. Thank you, to Betsy Juliano, for making this possible and hope it is the first of many clinics.
Bebe Davis, who had a brilliant start to her CDI season the week before with a 68.90% win in her FEI Test of Choice, called the clinic “excellent.”
“I worked with Jeremy and Robert on keeping Rotano in front of my leg and good self carriage at all three gaits. We did a lot of going forward and collecting to get him listening to my aids. It was an opportunity not only to work with amazing coaches but amazing people on the ground. I loved every aspect, from the lessons to the seminars to the morning workouts.
Davis said, “I think this event was important to our industry because it helped riders understand not only riding but our personal well-being. It taught how to handle relations between ourselves and potential sponsors or clients.
“It’s important for us to realize it is not only about how we handle ourselves while riding but how we are on the ground. We tend to take better care of horses than ourselves and this helped us realize how important that is too. I took so many important things away from this event.”
USEF Chef d’Equipe Robert Dover praised the participants and clinic for demonstrating — through the use of “world-class Young Riders, Young Horses, Developing and Elite International combinations” — the federation’s commitment to excellence in training from the bottom to the top of the sport. “I am certain every trainer, amateur and child who attended went home having had no less than one ‘Aha’ moment.”
Coaches worked in pairs with riders from their respective programs. Each day started with rider fitness sessions, followed by individual mounted sessions, and afternoon sessions on Sports Psychology. Riders, owners and trainers participated in the evening discussion on media, owner, and sponsor relations.
The clinic underscored an already great start for Performance Farm this season. At AGDF, Parra and Michael and Sarah Davis’ Van the Man were top US horse and rider in the Grand Prix Freestyle. Bebe Davis and Rotano, also owned by the Davis family, earned reserve and third in her CDI Junior division, and Katie Riley and Leo continue to show “real promise,” Parra reported, for their Grand Prix tests.
Cesar Parra, DDS, MScD, operates Piaffe Performance in Jupiter, FL and Whitehouse Station, NJ. Born in Colombia, where he began riding cattle horses in the Andes Mountains of his grandparents’ farm. He has studied dressage with Herbert Rehbein, Siegfried “Bimbo” Peilicke, Hans Rueben, Herbert Kuckluck and Hubertus Schmidt. Learn more about training and sales prospects at www.piaffe-performance.com
Photo 1: Dr. Cesar Parra and Van the Man. (Photo courtesy of JRPR)
Photo 2: Bebe Davis and Rotano taking direction from Jeremy Steinberg. (Photo courtesy of JRPR)
Dr. Cesar Parra Piaffe-Performance Farm (410) 977-8352 www.piaffe-performance.com