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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.

Carl Hester Named as Premier Equestrian During Adequan® Global Dressage Festival CDI 5*

Carl Hester Named as Premier Equestrian During Adequan® Global Dressage Festival CDI 5*

Carl Hester receives the Premier Equestrian Award at the Adequan® Global Dressage Festival CDI 5*- JRPR’s Joann Weiber presenting (JRPR Photo)

Wellington, FL (February 18, 2019) – Gold Medal Olympian, Carl Hester, says his secret to winning is all about keeping his horses happy. This is why he has been named as a Premier Equestrian during Week 5 of the Adequan Global Dressage Festival CDI (AGDF). “I find it totally normal to keep horses in a way that they’re happy,” says Hester, “They’re turned out a lot, we hack a lot, and we only school four days a week at home.” He adds, “We’re seeing this more and more with Dressage horses having a chance to have a break and stretch their legs and go out to roll and have fun.” Hester continues, “It’s a sport and it’s tough and they go through a lot of training, so it’s lovely to know that they have some down time as well. A horse, of course, wants to be a horse!” he smiles.

It’s Hester’s exemplary character that Premier Equestrian – an industry leader in manufacturing world-class footing, dressage arenas and accessories, values and wishes to recognize through the Premier Equestrian Award. As a part of being named a Premier Equestrian, Hester was presented with a striking tricolor ribbon and engraved Premier Equestrian Award commemorative plaque during the AGDF in Wellington, Florida. “I’m flattered for the award,” Hester smiles, “Thank you!”

Hester was raised in the UK on the tiny Channel island of Sark. The island has no cars, and so horses are very much part of lifestyle. At 19 Hester had no ambition or aspirations, but with no jobs on Sark and winter coming, he decided to apply for a job with horses on the mainland. Through an advertisement in Horse and Hound, he arrived at the Fortune Centre in Hampshire, where adults with learning and physical disabilities are given a sense of freedom and achievement through riding. It was there Hester had his first opportunity to compete and it was on the Fortune Centre’s skewbald mare, Jolly Dolly, that Hester won the 1985 Young Dressage Rider Championship.

Hester’s career took the most dramatic turn when Dr Bechtolsheimer approached him to join his yard as a rider. “I was totally overawed at the interview; I had never seen a yard like it or horses of this caliber. When Dr B asked me how much I would want, I said nothing! To ride the horses would be enough!” he continues, “I remember Dr B smiling and saying how does £XX a week and a cottage sound. I thought all my birthdays had come at once!”

This part of Hester’s career is well documented but it is sufficient to say that he feels a lasting fondness and debt to Dr and Mrs B who literally gave him the chance of a lifetime.” I rode and trained with Dr B for three and a half years and in 1990 went to the World Championships on Rubelit von Unkenriff, the European Championships in 1991 and in 1992 the Barcelona Olympics on Georgioni. I was the youngest British rider to ever compete in an Olympic Games. It was the most amazing thing that had ever happened to me, and a period that changed the course of my life.” From there, Hester went on to win the gold medal in the 2012 London Olympics and a silver medal from the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, and he continues to be a shining star on the Great Britain Team.

Today, Hester considers himself fortunate for the opportunity to come to the US each year to help and train with his long-time friend, Katherine Bateson during the winter season in Wellington. Back in the UK, he and his team are also training for the European Championships coming up this year in Rotterdam. “This will be quite fun for us,” Hester explains, “because it was last time in Rotterdam, in 2011, when the GB Team won our first gold medal,” he continues, “We’re really looking forward to going back this year and seeing what we can do. Holland is a great place to have the European Championships, and Rotterdam is exciting,” he adds. Hester goes on to say that they also have the Olympics in mind for next year, and he’s looking forward to what the future holds. “We make a gold medal team, and now we’re getting gold medal facilities, and great shows” he says about life in the UK, “So, it’s a wonderful place to start producing great horses for the future!”

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.

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