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Historic Buffalo Equestrian Center Hosts Successful Clinic with Legendary Equestrian George Morris
Buffalo, New York- November 16, 2004- The Buffalo Therapeutic Riding Center, located at the Buffalo Equestrian Center, hosted the seventh annual clinic with the legendary George Morris on November 14th-16th for riders from the region. The clinic was beneficial to riders and auditors alike, and was organized by Susie Schoellkopf, executive director of the Buffalo Therapeutic Riding Center.
George Morris is considered to be one of the most influential trainers in the history of equestrian sport. His success started early in life, as he was the youngest person to ever win the AHSA Hunt Seat Medal Finals and the ASPCA Maclay Horsemanship Finals, accomplishing this at the age of 14. He then went on to represent the United States Equestrian Team on the gold medal winning team at the Pan Am Games in 1959 and the silver medal winning team at the 1960 Olympic Games in Rome, Italy. He has also been a member of eight Nations Cup winning teams.
George turned to coaching in the 1960’s, training future Olympic medalists Conrad Homfeld, Melanie Taylor Smith, Leslie Burr Howard, Anne Kursinski, and Chris Kappler, among others. He has served as the assistant coach for the 1996 Olympic Show Jumping Team that won the silver medal, co-Chef d’Equipe for the 1999 Pan Am silver medal winning team, and Head Chef d’Equipe for the 2000 Olympic Show Jumping Team. The Show Jumping Hall of Fame inducted him as a member in 2000.
His first book, “Hunter Seat Equitation,” was published in 1971 and is now considered to be one of the most important and popular books written for riders. His new book, “The American Jumping Style,” chronicles the popularity of the American-style seat of forward riding. In addition to being an author, Morris has served as director of the United States Equestrian Team, AHSA, and National Horse Show, and vice president of the American Grandprix Association.
George Morris’ expertise was applied at the recent clinic, where three different groups- Intermediate, Equitation, and Jumper- rode for two hours on each day. The jumper group included Jennifer Alfano, two-time winner of the World Hunter Rider Championship and recent Bayer Legend Leading Hunter Rider at the 2004 HITS-on-the-Hudson Horse Show, who is based at the Buffalo Equestrian Center.
The Buffalo Equestrian Center, originally called the Buffalo Saddle and Bridle Club, was built in 1921 and is now a historic landmark. In addition to having a riding school, the facility includes the Buffalo Therapeutic Riding Center, a non-profit organization. They provide vital services to differently-abled youth riders. The use of horses has long been proven as an excellent therapeutic method of assisting people with both physical and mental challenges to improve the quality of their lives. Some of the benefits of therapeutic riding include increased physical strength and stamina, a greater range of motion combined with the development of balance and posture, improvement of communication and social skills along with an increased attention span, and most importantly of all, an overall boost to confidence and self-esteem.
The Buffalo Therapeutic Riding Center was delighted at the success of the clinic with George Morris this past weekend. In addition to helping riders improve their skills, the clinic brought more exposure to the Therapeutic Riding Center and their invaluable services. The Buffalo Equestrian Center and Therapeutic Riding Center look forward to hosting another clinic with George Morris in 2005!
For further information regarding donations or to volunteer your time, please call (716) 877-9295. Additional information about the Buffalo Therapeutic Riding Center and Buffalo Equestrian Center is available online at www.ryegate.com