Four American young riders have been selected for the 2012 Olympic Dream Program that annually sends U.S. young riders to Europe for an intensive 10-day dressage experience. The program is administered and funded annually by The Dressage Foundation (TDF).
An independent selection committee, after reviewing dozens of applications, chose Nicole DelGiorno (NJ), Catherine Chamberlain (AZ), Jaclyn Pepper (CA) and Jennifer Detandt (FL) to make the eleventh annual TDF trip to Europe. The selection committee based their decision on candidates’ essays, competition scores, recommendations, DVDs of their riding and signs of commitment to the sport of dressage.
Jenny Johnson, Administrative Director of TDF said, "The Board of Directors and staff of The Dressage Foundation congratulates the four candidates chosen for this year's Olympic Dream Program! We received many high quality applications, so the selection committee had quite a task."
The program, conceived by Olympic medalist and TDF board member, Michael Poulin (FL), will be led this year by Eliza Sydnor (NC) and Ashley Perkins (MD). Beth Baumert (CT) is serving as administrator as she has since the program's inception. Poulin believes TDF’s Olympic Dream program helps American young riders reach their potential. He aims to fuel “the power of the dream” for young people, and help them “develop a sense of proportion, a sense of themselves and of being proud of who they are and what they’re doing.”
On August 12, the tentative plan is for the group to travel to Germany. Subject to the schedules of German trainers, the plan is to visit former U.S. team coach Klaus Balkenhol, Spanish team coach Jan Bemelmans and German Olympians Ingrid Klimke and Hubertus Schmidt. The group also may visit Michael Klimke, Helen Langehanenberg or Matthias Rath. If possible, they will spend a few days near Birmingham, England visiting the stable of Carl Hester and his famous student, Charlotte DuJardin. The group will return to their home towns on August 22nd.
While traveling, the young riders will record their observations in daily journals and chronicle the events with photos and video to share with their home dressage organizations.
Primary chaperone, Eliza Sydnor is a USDF Certified Instructor through Fourth Level. She has been on past Olympic Dream trips, both as a young rider and as a secondary chaperone. This year's other chaperone, Ashley Perkins, is a young professional working with JJ Tate in Chesapeake City, Maryland.
“This annual trip is made possible by very generous donors,” said Jenny Johnson. "We're very grateful to those who provided funding support for this program.”
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