Shannon Dueck and James Koford win the Premier Equestrian Award at The Dressage Foundation’s Two-Tempi Challenge kick off event presented by The Horse of Course at the Adequan Global Dressage Festival (Photo courtesy of JRPR- no photo credit necessary).
Wellington, FL (March 24, 2016) — Since its inception just five years ago, the Adequan Global Dressage Festival in Wellington, Florida has grown into the world’s largest international dressage circuit, showcasing some of the best rider and horse combinations in the world. The remarkable success of the show series and its incredible year-to-year growth are partly due to the dedication of hard-working equestrians who contribute to the sport of dressage. That’s why each week of the 2016 Adequan Global Dressage Festival show series, world-class arena company and official show sponsor Premier Equestrian spotlights riders who stand up for the sport and give back to the dressage community. This past week, the company honored two internationally successful riders, Shannon Dueck and James Koford, for contributing to dressage in a unique way—by raising funds for the sport through performing two-tempis across the arena.
During the Friday Night Stars Grand Prix Freestyle presented by Havensafe Farm, Dueck and Koford participated in the half time exhibition of The Dressage Foundation’s Two-Tempi Challenge Kick-Off Event, presented by The Horse of Course. The challenge, which continues all year, is open to any rider with a horse capable of performing a two-tempi change as long as they have a supporter willing to make a pledge. The monetary pledges for each two-tempi change that the pair can perform will be given to The Dressage Foundation, which works to provide support for the advancement of dressage in the United States. Donations benefit riders, instructors, trainers, breeders, and judges by helping them continue their dressage education and build a stronger equestrian community in the United States. Details about the Two-Tempi Challenge and instructions on how to enter are available on The Dressage Foundation’s website https://www.dressagefoundation.org/.
Shannon Dueck and James Koford each perform 39 consecutive two-tempis to raise money and awareness for The Dressage Foundation (Photo courtesy of JRPR- no photo credit necessary).
Dueck and Koford, both of whom executed 39 consecutive two-tempi changes without missing a beat, volunteered to participate in order to help raise donations and pledges for The Dressage Foundation, a cause to which they both feel personally connected. In 2008, Koford was the first recipient of The Dressage Foundation’s Anne B. Ramsay grant, which allowed him to train and compete Shirley McQuillan’s American-bred Dutch Warmblood Rhett in Europe. There, he advanced the gelding to Grand Prix, and after returning home the pair went on to be nominated for the U.S. Dressage Team for the 2012 Olympics.
“The Dressage Foundation is a very important cause for me because their support of myself and Rhett was very instrumental in taking my riding to the next level,” said Koford. “I really owe them so much, and any opportunity I have to give back I absolutely want to take advantage of.”
For the Two-Tempi Challenge, Koford rode Hilltop Farm’s eight-year-old Doctor Wendell MF or “Doc” (Don Principe x Sandro Hit), a charming Hanoverian stallion that has proven to be a very successful competitor, routinely scoring in the 70s. Doc is one of several up-and-coming horses that Koford is currently working with in addition to his long-time partner Rhett.
Dueck also currently trains and competes several horses, and she executed the Two-Tempi Challenge with Elizabeth Ferber’s 11-year-old Hanoverian gelding Cantaris (Complement x Egida), lovingly known as ‘Chester.’ “Chester just started Grand Prix, and flying changes are one of his ‘party tricks.’ So I knew we could do a credible job in front of a large and discerning audience,” Dueck comments. “I think this challenge is a fabulous idea for fun competition in the often too-serious dressage world. I hope that more facilities try the Two-Tempi Challenge so that everyone can be involved and give it a try! Next time Chester and I will be going for the national record!”
To thank Dueck and Koford for their contributions to dressage through the Two-Tempi Challange, Premier Equestrian presented each with a tri-colored ribbon, an engraved plaque, and the title of “Premier Equestrian.”
Premier Equestrian is proud to honor riders like Dueck and Koford and will continue to present the Premier Equestrian Award throughout the Adequan Global Dressage Festival to recognize equestrians who contribute to a positive overall atmosphere in the dressage world.
Premier Equestrian is proud to do its part in contributing to the dressage community by also offering high-quality and affordable products to dressage riders— including premier dressage arenas, world-class arena footing, revolutionized horse jumps, and accessories. For more information about the presenter of the Premier Equestrian Award, visit www.PreimerEquestrian.com or call 800-611-6109.