Thursday, January 28, 2010

USEF Training Sessions

The upper level eventers will be back in Aiken this winter to train at Three Runs Plantation. The United States Equestrian Federation has announced that riders vying for a spot on the U.S. eventing team will be in Aiken for five separate training sessions, three in February (Feb. 7-8, 15-16 and 22-24) and two in March (Mar. 11-12, and 15-17.) Captain Mark Phillips, who is the chef d’√©quipe of the U.S. team, will be on hand. He will be assisted this year by Katie Monahan Prudent and Oded Shimoni. Katie Prudent, who won team gold at the World Showjumping Championship in 1986, is one of the most accomplished show jumper riders anywhere. Oded Shimoni is among the most respected names in international dressage. A native of Israel, he is a veteran of two World Equestrian Games and two European Championships.

This is the second year that Three Runs Plantation has been selected as the location for the high performance sessions. Three Runs, a 2,400-acre equestrian residential community, has top quality dressage and show jumping areas that are ideal for the sessions. They are particularly convenient for spectators because the Three Runs clubhouse faces the rings, so if it is cold or windy, spectators can still watch in comfort. During the final session in mid-March,Wayne Raiford, the owner and developer of Three Runs, will hold a private fundraiser for the U.S. Equestrian Team.

The training sessions are open to the public, and members of the equestrian community are encouraged to come out and watch the elite riders train. This year, the sessions are for “A” and “B” listed riders only, meaning riders that are serious contenders for a spot on the U.S. Team that will compete at the 2010 World Equestrian Games in Kentucky. Riders on the list include quite a few who already make Aiken their winter home: Phillip Dutton, Boyd Martin, Will Coleman, Stephen Bradley, Jan Byyny, Sinead Halpin. It will be a great opportunity to see some of the best get even better.

For more information, contact Laurie Garner at 704.770.0748 or

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