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Newly Retired Dr. Richard Godbee Named Premier Equestrian As He Launches New Educational Website

Newly Retired Dr. Richard Godbee Named Premier Equestrian As He Launches New Educational Website

Richard Goodbee is all smiles with his Premier Equestrian Award. (PHOTO: JRPR)

Wellington, FL (May 21, 2019) – Some people’s idea of retirement includes images of receiving a gold watch and then spending long, lazy days playing shuffle board or sitting in a rocking chair reminiscing about the good old days.

 

For Dr. Richard Godbee, however, that type of lifestyle is the furthest thing from his mind as he adjusts to his new status as a retired Director of Technical Services – Equine for Farnam, Horse Health and Vita Flex.  “I get up in the mornings about 5am” Godbee describes, “and work until 8 or 9, then I saddle up and work horses!” This new daily schedule is really only a slight adjustment to what Godbee has been doing for years. As a well known and respected speaker in the equestrian industry, he is now taking advantage of his extra time by continuing to speak and give presentations, and also by launching a new educational website that is being designed to provide complete equine consulting to horse owners of all levels.

It is this continued commitment to the horse world that Premier Equestrian – an industry leader in manufacturing world-class footing, dressage arenas and accessories – wishes to honor and the reason why Godbee was presented with the Premier Equestrian Award.

 

Godbee says he is grateful for the award which includes a striking tricolor ribbon and engraved Premier Equestrian Award commemorative plaque. “I love to teach,” Godbee explains, “I’m a pretty good teacher, and I was elected in the top ten professors at a major university. I love to watch people as they grasp new concepts and know that they are going to make a difference in a horse’s life.”  He continues, “I think everyone who owns a horse wants to do the very best they can. A lot of time they just don’t know where to go to get information that is sound, science-based or proven over the long term.” 

 

Godbee goes on to say that this is the main reason he’s developing such a comprehensive educational website that will include videos, presentations and articles on topics that range from how to brush a horse to how to properly ship semen for artificial insemination. “We want the website to have something for everybody,” he continues, “from someone who may be just looking into horse ownership to the most experienced level of equestrian professional.”  He adds that the site will include information on nutrition, reproduction, tack, safety, handling and more. “Essentially, if you were to take a class on horse production or husbandry or horse science, it’s like what this will be.  We want the horse to win, period. And the way horses win is that owners are better educated. Then, they do a better job of understanding what really makes this animal tick.”  Godbee explains that in addition to developing the website, he is looking forward to continuing to give live talks around the country, including an upcoming presentation at the Western State Horse Expo. He encourages people to ask him questions and hopes many will do so once the website is up and running.  In the meantime, Godbee says people can email him directly for more information at rggodbee@gmail.com 

 

Godbee received a Bachelors of Science in Agriculture and Masters of Science in Ruminant Nutrition from the University of Georgia.  He received his Ph.D. in Animal Nutrition/Nutritional Biochemistry with an emphasis in equine from Colorado State University.  He has numerous publications in peer reviewed journals and popular press on multiple species.  He has presented papers and given invited talks throughout the United States Japan, Ireland, England, Germany, Switzerland, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Australia, Mexico, and Canada.   He has served as a faculty or adjunct faculty member at several universities.  He has also served on the graduate committees for Master and Ph.D. candidates at numerous universities. Godbee’s research interest has included the effect of nutrition on immunity and inflammation.  He is Board Certified in Animal Nutrition by the American College of Animal Science and has achieved Professional Animal Scientist status in the American Registry of Professional Animal Scientists with a specialty in Horses.  He is also a member of the American Academy of Veterinary Nutrition, American Society of Animal Science, American Registry of Professional Animal Scientists, and Equine Science Society.  He is a member of Gamma Sigma Delta, Alpha Zeta, and Sigma Xi honor societies.  He also owns and shows cutting horses at local and national events.

 

Premier Equestrian wishes for all disciplines of equestrians and horse lovers, like Dr. Richard Godbee, to have enjoyable experiences with their horses, in or outside the show ring. The company is proud to offer an affordable choice for first-rate American-made products that enhance the equestrian performance of its customers. For more information about Premier Equestrian and its full line of products including footing, dressage arenas, and arena groomers, please call 1-800-611-6109 or visit www.PremierEquestrian.com.

Legendary Dr. Hilary Clayton Recognized by Premier Equestrian During Adequan® Global Dressage Festival 10*

Legendary Dr. Hilary Clayton Recognized by Premier Equestrian During Adequan® Global Dressage Festival 10*

Premier Equestrian Recognizes Dr. Hilary Clayton Week 10 AGDF (JRPR Photo)

Wellington, FL (March 23, 2019) – The list of accomplishments and contributions that Dr. Hilary Clayton has made to the equestrian world are impressive. As a veterinarian and scientific researcher, she has raised questions and provided solutions in areas that very few have ever considered exploring. The first incumbent of the Mary Anne McPhail Dressage Chair in Equine Sports Medicine at Michigan State University, Clayton is also a past president of the Association for Equine Sports Medicine, Past President of the American College of Veterinary Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation, and a member of the International Equine Veterinarians Hall of Fame. She is currently the President of Sport Horse Science, LC that covers all aspects of equestrian sports including training and conditioning sport horses, understanding the biomechanical and physiological basis of equine performance and the interaction between the rider, the tack and the horse.

Her commitment to the horse world as a speaker, author and consultant in the area of equine sports science, with emphasis on translating research findings into practical applications, is legendary. She states that her goal is to try to improve not only performance, but also health and welfare. It is this commitment that Premier Equestrian – an industry leader in manufacturing world-class footing, dressage arenas and accessories – wishes to honor and the reason why they have presented her with the Premier Equestrian Award during Week 10 of the Adequan Global Dressage Festival (AGDF).

“In my career there were certain things I did that nobody had tried to do before,” Clayton reflects, “Asking questions like ‘what is rein tension? How much tension is in the reins? How much tension is in your hand when you ride?’ and then to develop techniques that actually measure those things and start to study them.” She goes on to say that, as another example, she has recently developed a product that measures the horse’s head angle. “It will tell you if the head is behind the vertical, on the vertical, or ahead of the vertical,” Clayton describes, “And since we’ve developed that product, we’ve modified it so that, now, we can also measure pace. We can tell you if your horse is going within a certain range of speed or faster or slower.” She continues, “Also, if it’s hooked up to a heart monitor on the horse, it will give you instant feedback whether the horse is within a specific heart rate for training purposes, or under or below your target heart rate.”

Clayton is a life-long horsewoman, herself, and is excited to be riding and showing her 11 year old Lusitano this season. She says they are currently showing at 4th level, with hopes to get into Prix St Georges before too long. She was excited to be named as a Premier Equestrian and thanked them for the award which included a striking tricolor ribbon and engraved Premier Equestrian Award commemorative plaque. “I feel the job I’ve done, and continue to do, is like my whole life is rolled into one. My passion, my interest, my horses, riding, professional aspects – they’re all just parts of the whole!”

Premier Equestrian wishes for all disciplines of equestrians and horse lovers, like Dr. Hilary Clayton, to have enjoyable experiences with their horses, in or outside the show ring. The company is proud to offer an affordable choice for first-rate American-made products that enhance the equestrian performance of its customers. For more information about Premier Equestrian and its full line of products including footing, dressage arenas, and arena groomers, please call 1-800-611-6109 or visit www.PremierEquestrian.com.

Maintain Your Investment

Maintain Your Investment

Is grooming overrated? We don’t think so.

Even with the best sand and footing additive, proper maintenance is vital to the success of your arena and to the performance of your horses. Regular grooming, or dragging, will help eliminate divots and inconsistencies, and will help build confidence in your horses.

Grand Prix rider, Sahar Daniel Hirosh explains, “When an arena has hard spots, soft spots and different depths of footing, the horse is always questioning and not trusting himself. This creates tension and he will hold back his performance to protect himself. Having a surface that has firmness, cushioning, rebound and grip will enable the horse to develop proper fitness and confidence without having to worry about falling or an injury.” At Premier Equestrian, we believe that understanding your sand and footing is the first step to helping you better maintain an optimal surface for your horses.

Understanding Your Footing

One of the first things we analyze in an equestrian arena is the gradation of the sand particles. This refers to the range of particle sizes. A well-graded sand will have a combination of different sized particles. The variation of small particles will fill into the voids between the larger particles, stabilizing the surface from shifting and rolling. When sand has no grading, or is gap graded, you will have a severe separation of layers that are difficult to mix, and the surface can be very loose and unstable.

What does particle size have to do with grooming?

Lack of a grooming program enables the different sand particle sizes and additives to separate into layers. Vibrations and movement cause a phenomenon known as granular segregation, or “The Brazil Nut Effect”, where the largest particles end up on the surface. Watch this video for a great explanation.

Imagine a container of cereal. Initially your bowls are filled with consistently-sized pieces, but near the end of the box the pieces get smaller and smaller.

Granular Segregation, or “The Brazil Nut Effect”: When shaken, the larger particles tend to rise to the top of the mixture.

Your arena is like that container. Due to constant vibrations and movement on the surface, the small particles will settle through the voids of the larger particles toward the base while the larger particles will migrate toward the top of the surface.

When the particles separate, the top layer can become unstable and the lower layer may compact. Regularly grooming your arena combats the separation of layers and keeps particles and additives evenly mixed.

Maintaining Additives

Footing additives create a superior surface by enhancing sand qualities. Each material making up an additive has a specific function and they are designed to be well incorporated into the sand. Grooming prevents footing additives from becoming separated from the sand. Without proper mixing the mechanics of the footing matrix and the quality of the surface are compromised.

Water

Water adds beneficial stabilization and grip, keeps dust out of the air, and most importantly acts as a binder. Think back to granular segregation, or the cereal box. Vibrations shake smaller particles down which in turn push larger particles up. Keeping the surface damp when grooming will help the sand and additives stick together so they blend appropriately. Even without an additive, sand arenas will always perform better when watered.

Grooming Equipment & Patterns

 The equipment used to maintain your arena will have a direct result to its long-term performance. Older styles of equipment like chain drags, or drags with only straight teeth, will not support proper mixing of the sand particles and don’t work with textile additives. In designing our line of groomers we’ve included adjustable features that will mix, condition and finish an arena surface.

Premier Grooming Equipment

What’s the best pattern? No pattern! Just make sure you get all the areas. Changing your grooming pattern each day will help the surface to stay level and make sure all the particles are well mixed throughout. Use variations of circles, straight lines, and changing directions. By doing this you can alleviate rail ruts and high and low spots that can be damaging to your arena base as well as your horse.

Daily Maintenance

  • This will depend on how much traffic you have on your arena. As a rule of thumb, daily grooming is best. However, if there are only a few rides each day, then every other day may be sufficient. If there is no use in the arena, the footing should still be groomed at least once a week to keep it primed.
  • Arenas with textile additives will require a consistent dampness to keep the sand and textile properly combined. Watering should be done daily, or at leaston an as needed basis.
  • Always remove organic material (manure, urine and leaves) from your arena. As it breaks down it will create dust, introduce bacteria and change the consistency of your surface over time.

Weekly Maintenance (Deep Conditioning)

  • If you have a footing additive, digging and mixing a bit deeper once a week will help maintain a proper blend. Hand raking the corners, edges or hard to reach spots are also a good weekly practice.
  • If the arena hasn’t been used or groomed in several days (or longer) a more in-depth conditioning session may be in order before it is put back to use.
  • On the other hand, if the arena has had a day or two of heavy use, we recommend doing a re-conditioning session.
  • If your arena has jumps, move them around and thoroughly condition the take-off and landing spots.

 

Yearly Maintenance (Flipping)

  • If your arena has settled over a long period of time, or if regular maintenance has not been performed, then it can be beneficial to have the surface “flipped” once a year. This involves scraping up the footing above the base or base mats and flipping the sand and footing to re-blend the surface.
  • Examine the quality of your sand and footing additives. Sand breaks down over time and creates dust. You may need to incorporate some new sand and/or refresh your footing additives.

Grooming… It’s far from overrated

Great arena footing doesn’t come from just installing new sand or a brand-name additive. You wouldn’t buy the horse of your dreams and then just let him sit in a stall, would you? Creating an in-depth arena grooming and maintenance program is the best way to make sure that you are not just getting the arena of your dreams now, but also for the years to come. We strive for optimal longevity and performance from our surfaces, and good arena maintenance is one of the best things you can do for yourself and your horse.

© Premier Equestrian

Stephen Clarke Honored As A Premier Equestrian

GCDA President Noreen O’Sullivan Presents Stephe Clarke with the Premier Equestrian Award at the GCDA Symposium (JRPR Photo)

Loxahatchee FL (March 13, 2019) – Each year, many of the best dressage riders in the world gather together in South Florida for many reasons. The opportunities to learn and develop performance levels of both horse and rider are endless during the exciting winter season which provides exclusive access to professionals from all areas of the sport. 2019 is proving to be one of the best years ever, especially with presentations such as the Gold Coast Dressage Association Symposium featuring Stephen Clarke. The 2-day symposium took place following week 5 of the Adequan Global Dressage Festival and was held at May Faire Oaks Farm in Loxahatchee, FL. Participants and their horses were eager to learn as much as they could from this renowned FEI judge, and Premier Equestrian was excited to present Clarke with their prestigious Premier Equestrian Award during this successful event. As a part of being named a Premier Equestrian, Clarke was presented with a striking tricolor ribbon and engraved Premier Equestrian Award commemorative plaque.

Regarded as one of today’s best international dressage judges, Stephen Clarke describes his philosophy, “I don’t like the word ‘judge’, really, because I’m not a judgmental person,” he explains, “but my job is to assess what’s going on within each of the movements, and then award a correct mark to it.” Clarke continues, “I keep it simple. I know when it’s good and when it’s bad and when it’s somewhere in the middle. It’s just a matter of giving a fair assessment.”

Clarke is British and has won several national championships as a rider himself. Over the years, he has showed all over Europe and was a reserve rider for the Olympic team in Seoul. He explains how it all began, “I started off as a show jumping rider, and then went into fairly high levels of eventing, and then naturally developed into the dressage arena.” Clarke continues, “It was very natural for me because, even with the jumpers, I used to train the horses to go in a gymnastic way. So, it was no big deal to gradually develop into a pure dressage rider. Then, I somehow got dragged into the judging side which I find fascinating!” he laughs.

For years, Clarke ran his own stable in England where he developed young, professional trainers, which is a passion he still has today. “Over the years, I’ve had a lot of people who used to come with their own horses and stay anywhere from 1 to 4 years. They learned the ropes and have all developed into professional trainers themselves, which I’m quite proud of.” He says that current team rider, Gareth Hughes has been with him for many years and serves as the perfect example. “I’ve been round the block and done everything many times,” Clarke reflects, “For me, all my interest now is the support and promotion of the next generation of dressage professionals.” It’s this devotion to the sport that Premier Equestrian honors and therefore they were excited to present the award.
“After receiving the award from Premier, Clarke commented about the many advantages dressage horses enjoy today and said “Nothing is more important than the footing”. The team from Premier Equestrian agreed wholeheartedly.

Premier Equestrian wishes for all disciplines of equestrians and horse lovers to have enjoyable experiences with their horses, in or outside the show ring. The company is proud to offer an affordable choice for first-rate American-made products that enhance the equestrian performance of its customers. For more information about Premier Equestrian and its full line of products including footing, dressage arenas, and arena groomers, please call 1-800-611-6109 or visit www.PremierEquestrian.com.

Cesar Torrente Recognized As Premier Equestrian During Adequan® Global Dressage Festival 7*

Cesar Torrente Recognized As Premier Equestrian During Adequan® Global Dressage Festival 7*

Cesar Torrente receives Premier Equestrian honors at the Adequan Global Dressage Festival CDI 7 Joann Wieber Presenting on behalf of JRPR for Premier Equestrian

Wellington, FL (March 4, 2019) – To be successful in the world of dressage, kindness, positivity, and the welfare of the horse are of the utmost importance according to beloved International FEI Judge Cesar Torrente. It’s for this and so many more reasons that Torrente was recognized with the Premier Equestrian Award during Week 7 of the Adequan Global Dressage Festival in Wellington, Florida. Premier Equestrian – an industry leader in manufacturing world-class footing, dressage arenas and accessories, values and recognizes equestrians with exemplary character through this prestigious award. As a part of being named a Premier Equestrian, Torrente was presented with a striking tricolor ribbon and engraved Premier Equestrian Award commemorative plaque.

Known in the dressage world as being a “rider’s judge”, Torrente approaches everything in a positive way. He knows firsthand what it’s like to work, ride, train and show. “I started riding at the age of 12,” he describes, “International competitions were always my dream. I’ve had good days and bad days,” he continues, “I know the feeling when you go out there and sometimes the horse doesn’t have a good day. I know how frustrated you can feel no matter the amount of work you’ve done, and I think it’s important that the judges understand that and are a little sympathetic to the effort the riders are giving.” Torrente goes on, “That does not mean we’re giving away marks, because that’s not correct either, but give the high marks when they come, and also give the low marks when they come, but in the end, I always try to give a little comment and a tip if I can as to how to improve the performance of horse and rider.” As a judge, Torrente has unquestionable integrity. “You have to judge mark by mark,” he says, “regardless of the horse or the person who is riding. It may be a fantastic horse who is always winning, or a horse that nobody knows, and it doesn’t matter the breed. You just have to judge what you see and that’s very important.”

Torrente is from Bogotá, Columbia and has become well known around the world through his blog and Facebook page where he continuously posts helpful advice, information and guidance for all levels of dressage riders. “I come from South America where we do not always have all the trainers or the judges to give good advice,” Torrente explains, “Sometimes the federations don’t have good ways to communicate what is changing in the FEI rules and what is changing regarding training methods. So, I started using my blog so that my community around my country would learn things like what rules have changed, or to be aware that if you do this in the ring, the judges will do that. But interestingly, what has happened, is when I go to every single show in America and even in Europe, some people run into me and say, ‘You know what, you probably don’t even know me, but I’m your Facebook friend and I read a lot of your blogs – please keep on doing them!’”

His followers know that Torrente always includes “Feeling blessed” in every one of his Facebook posts, and he has been teased because of it that he must be the most blessed person in The Americas. “I truly feel that I am,” he smiles, “I get to do what I like while being surrounded by wonderful people and wonderful horses in different places each week.” He goes on to explain that he feels it’s very important to treat everyone, horses and humans alike, with kindness. “I think it’s very important that we care about the welfare of the horse,” Torrente continues, “I think the welfare of the horse must always be present in our minds when we are training, when we’re helping, when we’re giving recommendations, and you cannot forget that.”

Torrente was the first judge to be promoted through the new FEI educational system to 4*. As a rider, he has had the honor of standing on the medal podium to receive the team gold medal two times in the Central American Games. He also won many gold, bronze and silver medals in Bolivarian and Central American and Caribbean Games. Torrente is also a corporate and arbitration lawyer by profession and despite traveling the globe to judge worldwide, he has maintained the precarious balance between his career and his passion for horses with apparent ease. He has recently accepted a position in the FEI Tribunal, which decides cases on doping, horse abuse and all disputes at the FEI level including all disciplines. He also explains that he has acquired all permits to work in the US and Canada, and is downsizing his legal practice in Columbia and is thinking about moving to the US. “I’ve been here for the entire season – using it as a try out,” Torrente says, “and I can tell you for the first two months I’ve been here, I don’t like it. I love it!” He adds, “It’s wonderful. It’s a wonderful community. It’s great to be here!”

Premier Equestrian is excited for Torrente and is looking forward to all that he will continue to bring to the sport of dressage. Premier wishes for all disciplines of equestrians and horse lovers to have enjoyable experiences with their horses, in or outside the show ring. The company is proud to offer an affordable choice for first-rate American-made products that enhance the equestrian performance of its customers. For more information about Premier Equestrian and its full line of products including footing, dressage arenas, and arena groomers, please call 1-800-611-6109 or visit www.PremierEquestrian.com.

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