Middleburg, Va. – June 21, 2018 – It’s no secret that Middleburg, Virginia is a top destination for equestrians. Tucked away in the hills of the Blue Ridge Mountains is Aleco Bravo-Greenberg’s Rutledge Farm – an equestrian oasis stretching across 128 acres. In August of 2017, Rutledge Farm kicked off its clinic series with the inaugural Rutledge Farm Sessions taught by Olympian and long-time friend of Bravo-Greenberg, Will Simpson. The series resumed this month, most recently hosting two-time Olympic gold medalist McLain Ward.
Four of Virginia’s Hunt Country natives, Gavin Moylan, Matt Hollberg, Tiffany Cambria and Agustin Rosales stepped into Rutledge Farm’s all-weather outdoor arena, eager to absorb prolific knowledge from one of America’s top equestrian athletes. Ward touched on various aspects of training during the clinic, emphasizing the importance of simple, classic training and slowly building upon basic skills.
Cambria commented on her experience, saying “There are really no words, I mean it’s really an opportunity of a lifetime. Working with McLain. It’s really nice to hear to simplify a little bit. I think sometimes we all get caught up in trying to be perfect or trying to do the right thing for the horse and the client and it’s nice to just have someone tell you to take a breath and simplify a little bit and kind of go back to the basics.”
The afternoon concluded with a question and answer session where Ward gave the floor to auditors. Auditors had the opportunity to ask Ward anything from where to draw the line with a horse that is not coming around to training, to tips on training a green horse and even insight into Ward’s fitness routine. Ward also opened up about his struggle with self-doubt and how he has worked toward overcoming the pressures of being perfect. Auditors and athletes alike appreciated Ward’s candor and the time he took out of his busy competition schedule to teach the boutique clinic.
Ward said, “It was a wonderful experience. Aleco [Bravo-Greenberg] is an extremely enthusiastic and professional gentleman to work with and his facility is first-class – it’s really quite spectacular. I know he would like to bring high-level show jumping to Middleburg. His facility really could be a really wonderful place, not only for clinics but even possibly for events as a professional operation.”
Rutledge Farm has been in Bravo-Greenberg’s family since the 1980’s, and has recently undergone extensive renovations to better to cater to equestrians across all disciplines including show jumping, hunters, equitation polo, dressage, and eventing. Bravo-Greenberg only hopes to continue making Rutledge Farm a premier destination for equestrians from across the country.
Bravo-Greenberg said, “McLain is an icon. He’s somebody that I have known about for years, the world has known about for years. Here at Rutledge we always want to be first-class in working with the best of the best – that’s how we present ourselves. And with that in mind, McLain was a natural. He’s a great clinician, he’s able to teach in a way that’s very concrete, understandable, and important.”
Cambria commented on riding during the inaugural Rutledge Farm Session saying, “The facility is incredible, it’s just absolutely beautiful. It’s definitely something that is out of a storybook. The footing is great, the atmosphere is great, the layout is great. It’s great for the area and I think it’s something that if anybody can, should take advantage of.”
She continued, “The fact that McLain and Will are willing to come and work with the people around the area in our little town is just a great opportunity. It’s one of those things that you’re in awe that those types of people are willing to come and give us help and clinics, whether is professionals or juniors or amateurs, it’s a great thing.”
Rutledge Farm continues to break new ground in the sport at all levels and disciplines, and they have already lined up three more Olympic athletes for the Rutledge Farm Sessions. In August, Will Simpson is set to return, with Chris Kappler and Leslie Burr-Howard traveling to Rutledge Farm to host clinics in November. Already planning ahead to 2019, the Rutledge Farm Sessions will include a clinic with Olympian Peter Wylde next year. For more information on Rutledge Farm or how to attend or audit one of this year’s Rutledge Farm Sessions visit https://www.rutledgefarm.com