Three New Level 3 Dressage Coaches Complete Qualification

  • 27 January 2017, 19:51

The HSI Level 3 Dressage Coach course concluded earlier this week with the final assessments which took place at Hartpury College, Gloucester, UK. The assessments ran over 2 days when coaches were paired up with an unfamiliar horse and rider combination at Prix St George level. Three coaches were successful at the assessments; Ruth Hayes from Wicklow, Gerald Bloomer also from Wicklow and HSI Pony Dressage High Performance Manager and 2016 Development Coach of the Year, Anne Marie Dunphy, from Kilkenny. This course kicked off in November 2015 along with the show jumping and eventing candidates when all coaches attended the first 5 days of the course together. Following on from day 5 of the course, the candidates split into their chosen discipline specific course. The HSI Level 3 Coach course aims to provide coaches with the capacities to train performance riders to compete at the highest level in regional and national competitions.

The Dressage section of the course was delivered by HSI Tutor, Level 3 Coach and international dressage rider Heike Holstein who also mentored the coaches throughout the process. Coaches continued their own professional development throughout the course duration on their own time, working with Tutors and polishing their skills before presenting for final assessment this week. On Tuesday (24th January) coaches arrived at the centre and were randomly paired with a horse and rider combination working at Prix St George level. They were then permitted a short time slot to gain as much information about the horse and rider combination as possible. Coaches then made a plan for their initial coaching session which followed, with the ultimate aim of riding a Prix St George test on the following day.

On Wednesday (25th January), the coach was required to warm the horse up and prepare the combination to ride the test in a simulated competition. The test was marked and then the coach then debriefed the rider and the assessors on what they had seen and what the long term training plan would be for their particular combination. The assessors were former international dressage judge Angelika Froemming and former international rider, trainer and equitation author Susanne Miesner, both from Germany.

Congratulating the successful coaches HSI Director of Breeding and Programmes Alison Corbally said:

“Congratulations to Gerald, Ruth and Anne Marie; the Level 3 Coach certificate is a huge achievement. The course itself is extremely demanding with 9 days contact time and at this level coaches will have put in several months of self-development including shadowing and working with higher qualified coaches on their own time across a period of fourteen months. It is wonderful to have three more talented Level 3 Dressage coaches qualified and hopefully it will further assist the growth and development of dressage participation and competition here in Ireland.”

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