The concept of the program evolved as a result of former Olympian Michael Poulin’s wish to offer an opportunity for gifted Young Riders to enhance their understanding of dressage theory through a European tour. The program is both funded and administered by The Dressage Foundation of which Poulin is a National Board Member.
The program is open to USDF Young Riders, riding at Fourth Level or above, who are 16-21 years of age. Also, 22-year-old graduates of the 2010 Advanced Young Rider Program may apply. Participation in the NAJYRC is not required.
The current plan is to visit Ingrid Klimke, Jean Bemelmans, Matthias Rath, Hubertus Schmidt and former American team coach, Klaus Balkenhol—depending on each trainer’s availability. While traveling, the young riders will record their observations in daily journals and chronicle the events with photos and video to share with their home dressage organizations.
A Selection Committee comprised of leading American dressage persons selects four candidates based on their applications including an essay, DVD and written recommendations. Committee members want to see riding proficiency and commitment to training in the sport of dressage. The 2011 applications are due April 8, 2011. Candidates are encouraged to apply early and follow directions carefully.
This program is made possible by donors to The Dressage Foundation (TDF), a nonprofit, tax-exempt organization whose mission is “To cultivate and provide financial support for the advancement of Dressage.”
The application and further information on this extraordinary program is available on the TDF website: www.dressagefoundation.org.