Traverse City, MI – July 30, 2008 – The 2008 Horse Shows by the Bay equestrian festival kicked off its third and final week today with the first day of the Zada Enterprises, LLC Dressage by the Bay series in the Robert D. Van Kampen Arena. The horse show, held at Flintfields Horse Park in beautiful Traverse City, MI will run through August 3.
The first day of dressage competition got underway this morning with the breed classes, which were sponsored by Hampton Green Farm and Kimberly Van Kampen Boyer. Kimberly is the owner of Hampton Green Farm, which is a breeding and training facility based out of Fruitport, MI and Wellington, FL. The farm specializes in the promotion of the Pure Spanish Horse (PRE).
Kimberly has been involved with Horse Shows by the Bay since its second year. “It is just great,” she said. “I like the whole team here and I have a lot of respect for how hard they have worked.”
“I am just happy to be a part of it,” she continued. “I feel that this show has all of the potential to grow into a big summer equestrian festival. It is a nice vacation area, beautiful land, good prices and all of the good things that Michigan brings. The weather is so perfect here.”
Kimberly, originally from the Chicago area, spent a lot of time in Michigan with her family during the summers. She first got involved with Dressage by the Bay because she was thrilled to have a show so close to them that was run at such a professional level.
“We like going to shows that involve the hunters and jumpers because they bring a lot of excitement,” Kimberly said. “Alex (Rheinheimer) asked me a couple of years ago if I would get involved in some of the construction here and I thought that it would be a nice tribute to my father who loved Michigan and loved horses, so that is why I got involved the way that I did.”
Both the Robert D. Van Kampen Arena and the Robert D. Van Kampen Pavilion were built on the horse show grounds in tribute to Kimberly’s father, thanks to her generous contributions.
Kimberly immediately got into dressage when she first started getting into horses. She started with Warmbloods and was eventually introduced to the Spanish horses, which she loved and started breeding and competing.
“We have horses at all the levels of Grand Prix around the country,” Kimberly explained. “The one who is getting the most news right now is probably the stallion that is with Courtney King-Dye, Grandioso III. Courtney was invited to go to Aachen, Germany to train with the Dressage Olympic Team over there for the month that they were in quarantine.”
Kimberly is excited to be involved with Dressage by the Bay this year after missing it last year due to the illness of one of her horses. This year she is back and has brought four horses for the week’s dressage competition. Kimberly is also excited to have her new assistant trainer Ana Gilmour in attendance for the show. Ana, who was previously one of Hilda Gurney’s assistant trainers, started with the farm just a couple of months ago. “I am really excited to see how she does,” Kimberly said. The farm’s head trainer is Maria Lithander.
“I think it is the horses that I love, regardless of the breed,” Kimberly said of her love for dressage. “The types of horses that are selected for dressage have to be artists themselves. Especially if they are going to go to the Grand Prix, they have to love what they do and understand it and sort of interpret the test in their own way. They have to be light and lovely; it is the aesthetics of dressage that I really love.”
Kimberly looks forward to a successful week of dressage competition here at Horse Shows by the Bay in this, its final week. She also looks forward to the show continuing to improve and grow as it goes on in the future.
“I would like it to go all the way,” she said. “I would like to see dressage offered on two weekends and maybe eventually become a CDI (Concours de Dressage International) event, which would be fabulous for Michigan. I think that there are a ton of Canadian riders that would come down for the dressage, and I think this horse show has the potential to become a major circuit.”
For more information on Dressage by the Bay, please go to www.horsesportsbythebay.com.