Wellington, FL— Seen constantly around the Adequan Global Dressage Festival grounds and soon to be heading to the Reem Acra FEI World Cup Dressage Final is this week’s winner of the Premier Equestrian Sportsmanship Award—dressage coach and Olympian Debbie McDonald. McDonald may not be a competitor this year at the international show series, but that doesn’t deter her from demonstrating her incredible sportsmanship and love of the discipline. Her past successes as a rider and her current successes as a coach prove her dedication to the sport, and influence others to want to follow in her footsteps.
McDonald received a tri-colored Premier Sportsmanship Award ribbon, a copy of Horse Angels (a novel by Premier Equestrian’s CEO, Mark Neihart), and a Premier Equestrian embroidered polo shirt in recognition of her integral role in US Dressage. A sponsor of the 2015 Adequan Global Dressage Festival, Premier Equestrian presents the Sportsmanship Award to reward those who demonstrate exemplary sportsmanship. The Premier Equestrian Sportsmanship Award recognizes the individuals who help to make the overall experience of the show a positive one, and encourage others to do the same.
McDonald’s influence can be seen throughout the grounds as she is consistently coaching top riders, helping to create an event that manifests positivity and quality riding and sportsmanship. Her story illustrates her love of horses and her dedication to the equine industry. Starting young, as many equestrians do, McDonald first began in the show jumping field before taking up dressage, where she found her true passion. Her primary horse, Brentina, a now retired twenty-four year old Hanoverian mare, competed with McDonald in the 2004 Athens Olympics, earning a Team Bronze Medal and placing fourth individually. The pair also competed in the World Championships in 2005 where she placed third. As a member of the United States team, they helped to bring home a bronze in the 2006 World Equestrian Games. In 2008, McDonald and Brentina went on to compete in Hong Kong Olympics. McDonald has served as the United States Equestrian Federation Developing Dressage Coach for several years, and was named the U.S. Equestrian Federation Developing Dressage Coach of the Year in 2008.
Currently spending most of her time coaching, McDonald is incredibly appreciative of all the support that she and her husband, Bob, have received since arriving in the Wellington, Florida area. Currently operating out of TYL Dressage, McDonald states, “we feel so blessed, to have someone who can give us such a facility to work out of.” Her appreciation shows as she demonstrates to all who she meets what an incredible, positive attitude she has to share with the dressage world, which earned her this Sportsmanship Award.
To learn more about Premier Equestrian, CEO Mark Neihart, and his book The Horse Angels, visit www.PremierEquestrian.com or call 800-611-6109.