Special Guests of the PVDA Ride for Life in 2013
George Williams – Grand Marshall and Guest Speaker
George Williams is a prominent figure in international dressage competition whose career highlights with Chuck and Joann Smith’s grand prix mare, Rocher, include: three-time Dressage at Devon Grand Prix and Grand Prix Freestyle, 2005 United States Equestrian Federation/Collecting Gaits National Grand Prix Champion, team bronze at CHIO Aachen, 5th at the 2003 World Cup in Sweden, United States Dressage Federation Grand Prix and Grand Prix Freestyle Horse of the Year as well as being named Dressage Horse of the Year by the Chronicle of the Horse. Mr. Williams has been studying dressage since 1973; he traveled to Germany to enroll at the Reitinstitute von Neindorff’ where he earned his German Bronze Rider Medal. He was later a resident trainer and rider for The Tempel Lipizzans in Wadsworth, IL for 20 years. Mr. Williams has trained in Germany with the former US Dressage team coach and Olympic gold medalist, Klaus Balkenhol, on numerous occasions. Mr. Williams was co-winner of the USEF William Steinkraus Equestrian of Honor award for his success in 2005.
He currently is active as the President of USDF, a member of the United States Equestrian Federation Dressage Committee, Chair of the USEF High Performance Eligible Athlete Committee, and is a member of the USEF High Performance Dressage Committee. He was a contributing author to the USDF’s booklet on arena footing, Underfoot, and his accomplishments and training techniques have been featured in many publications.
From the summer of 2000 until the spring of 2009 Mr. Williams rode and trained for the Smiths at their Gypsy Woods Farm in Richwood, OH. On May 1, 2009 he started to ride and train for Elizabeth Juliano’s Havensafe Farm of Middlefield Ohio and Wellington Florida. In addition he continues to teach and coach with Williams Dressage LLC.
He has successfully competed several horses for Betsy Juliano. In 2009 the Oldenburg gelding, Don Bailey was Reserve at the 2009 USEF Developing Horse Championships and in 2011 the Oldenburg mare, Horizon was Reserve in the four year old division at the USEF Young Horse Championships. He has had numerous wins, including at the USDF Regional Championships, on Cleopatra and Riccidoff as well.
Special Guests of the PVDA Ride for Life in 2012
Kathy Connelly – Grand Marshall and Guest Speaker
Kathy Connelly is one of the leading and most respected Dressage trainers in the United States. She is an International Dressage Rider, Trainer and Coach. Kathy has represented the United States Equestrian Team at the World Cup in Sweden and also was the highest scoring rider on the Bronze Medal GP team in the North American Championships. Kathy and her horse, Enterprise were United States Grand Prix Champions as well as United States World Cup Champions. Kathy trained with several horses extensively in Germany with Herbert Rehbein. Kathy also trained in Vienna with Ernst Bachinger, the former Director of the Spanish riding school. There, she developed a passion for Long Lining and Work in Hand as it relates to the development of collection and training of piaffe and passage, and its connection to riding piaffe and passage. Since that time, she has trained with many experts throughout the world.
Kathy has trained riders and horses to numerous National and International titles, both here and abroad. Among the riders who have trained with Kathy are Jessica Ransehousen, Betsy Steiner, Todd Flettrich, Reese Koffler Stanfield, Ryan Yap, Joy Condon, Pati Pierucci, Liz Austin (on Harmony’s Galant), Shannon Dueck (when she won the Pan American Individual Silver Medal and the Candadian World Cup Championship and competed at the World Cup in Sweden), and George Williams (on Rocher as well as many Havensafe horses owned by Betsy Juliano, including Don Baily who was the 2009 United States Developing Horse Reserve Champion and Horizon, who was the 2011 United States 4 year old United States Young Horse Reserve Champion.)
Kathy has also had a great deal of experience with the Young Rider programs in the United States. As a YR “A” Pony Clubber she competed on the U.S. Three Day Event team in Australia. Over the years she has trained and coached two YR Individual gold medalists, one in the NAYRC Dressage Championships and the other in the NAYRC Three day Event Championships. In 2003, Kathy was Coach and Chef d’Equipe in Australia for the Silver Medal U.S. Young Rider Team. She has served with Sue Blinks, Jan Ebeling and George Williams as one of the United States Young Rider Program Clinicians.
Kathy has served as co-Chef d’Equipe for the United States Dressage Team in Hickstead, England. Over the years, she has served on numerous committees for USDF and USEF. Kathy has served for the last ten years on the USEF High Performance Dressage Committee. She is currently Chairperson of the Ad Hoc Instruction Strategic Planning Committee as well as the High Performance Selectors Committee for the United States 2012 Olympic Dressage Team.
Kathy has partnered for the last twelve years with Toine Hoefs of the Netherlands to import some of the most prominent Dressage horses in the United States, including a number that have competed for the United States Equestrian Team and innumerable amateur rider horses. They have also bred and raised some of the top KWPN stallions in Holland and the world. www.connelly-hoefs.com
Kathy has authored numerous articles published in every Dressage Publication in the U.S. She is co-author of the book Dressage Insights- Excerpts from Experts. Kathy was hired by Radio WEG to be the International Dressage commentator for the 2010 World Equestrian Games. She has commentated internationally for the 2011 and 2012 International Master’s Class Dressage Competition in Wellington Florida (live-streamed throughout the world). She also, by request, provided live- stream TV Dressage Commentary for the 2011 Pan American Selections Trials. Dressage training sessions with Kathy Training can be seen on Dressage Clinic.com. Kathy is a popular clinician, and has conducted clinics and symposiums throughout the U.S.
She resides in Concord, Massachusetts and trains at Elysium Farm in Harvard from April 15th to December 1st and trains at Havensafe Farm in Wellington, Florida during the International Winter Dressage Circuit from December 2nd through April 14th.