May 17, 2013 – Four young riders have been selected for the 2013 International Dream Program that annually sends 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 the following young riders to make the twelfth annual TDF trip to Europe: Katie Foster (MI), Molly Eastridge (WA), Hannah Pierucci (VA) and Molly Maloney (NY). The following two young riders were chosen as first and second alternates: Katrina Hiller (WI) and Genay Vaughn (CA). The selection committee based their decision on candidates’ essays, competition scores, recommendations, videos 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 International 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 chaperones Jennifer Baumert (NC) and Jontelle Forbus (VA). Beth Baumert (CT) is serving as administrator as she has since the program's inception. Poulin believes TDF’s International 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 5, the tentative plan is for the group to travel to England where they will visit Laura Bechtolsheimer, Carl Hester, Charlotte DuJardin and possibly Kyra Kyrklund. The group will attend the Verden CDI and the World Young Horse Championships from August 9-11. Subject to the schedules of German trainers, the young riders may also visit former U.S. team coach, Klaus Balkenhol and Spanish team coach, Jan Bemelmans. They may visit German Olympians, Ingrid Klimke, Helen Langehanenberg or Hubertus Schmidt. Finally the group has tentative plans to visit Klaus Martin Rath and his son, Matthias Rath, rider of the great Totilas, at the Ann Kathrin Linsenhoff stable, Schafhof. The group will return to their home towns on August 15th.
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, Jennifer Baumert, is a USDF Certified Instructor through Fourth Level. She has trained extensively in Germany, most recently with Olympian Klaus Balkenhol when she was riding the stallion, Don Principe. Jontelle Forbus is USDF Certified through Second Level and lived in Holland while training with Olympian, Coby van Baalen.
“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.” Further information on the Young Rider International Dream Program will be kept current on the TDF website.