World’s Finest Dressage On Display

World’s Finest Dressage On Display 2023 Adequan Global Dressage Festival Showcases 10 Weeks Of Exciting Competition

The 12th annual Adequan Global Dressage Festival (AGDF) started off its 12-week competition circuit in Wellington on Jan. 11 and runs until March 31. With two weeks off during the first four weeks, the show runs consecutively for the last eight weeks.

During these weeks, some of the top Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI) dressage riders from around the world will ride in the AGDF International Ring to compete and qualify for numerous championships, including the World Cup, Festival of Champions and the North American Youth Championships. Spectators are welcome to watch their favorite riders compete from Thursday through Sunday each CDI week.

AGDF Director of Sport Thomas Baur invites everyone out to the dressage festival showgrounds at Equestrian Village to enjoy all the beautiful horses and great performances.

The high point of each week is the Friday Night Stars event featuring Grand Prix freestyles from some of the top riders around the world.

“Our highlight of the week is always the Friday Night Stars with the musical freestyles,” Baur said. “That is always something very entertaining, and we have a lot of spectators there. That, for me, is the most recommended part of the Adequan Global Dressage Festival.”

In addition to the freestyles on Friday evenings, the two most prestigious events are the Nations Cup taking place during Week 7 and the CDI5* during Week 10 hosted at Wellington International. Some of the countries that will be represented during the circuit aside from the United States will be Germany, France, Canada, Portugal, Spain, Japan, Denmark, Australia, Sweden, Mexico, Thailand, Venezuela, Singapore, Turkey, Belgium, Chile and Switzerland.

Baur is very excited to see the flags of so many different countries on display at the AGDF, representing the many foreign dressage riders who have made the trip to spend the winter here in Wellington.

“At the Nation’s Cup week, we have seven countries being represented, and that is really something very special to have that many teams from different countries all across the world — from Europe, South America and North America,” Baur said.

The $15,000 Lövsta Future Challenge/Young Horse Grand Prix series for horses eight to 10 years of age and the $10,000 Future Challenge/Young Horse Prix St. Georges series for horses ages seven to nine years old will be held over the season as well. Riders have five weeks of qualifying chances at the AGDF during weeks 3, 5, 7, 8, and 10. The top two horses from each week will be qualified for the final to be held during AGDF Week 11. This event gives riders and trainers the chance to showcase their talented young horses in the International Ring in an exciting and electric environment without the pressure of international competition.

The most popular night of the season will be during Week 10 when dressage takes over Wellington International. The iconic International Ring will host the CDI5*, preparing the riders for a summer spent in Europe in intensely competitive environments.

“In Week 10, which is the dressage five-star week, we will have the Friday Night Stars across the street at the big jumping stadium,” Baur said. “It’s mainly for the top horses to see something else, not always at the same showgrounds, and it will also allow us to accommodate more spectators for the five-star night.”

This season is extra special because spectators are once again able to see Olympic riders such as Adrienne Lyle. Lyle is highly decorated and won the Olympic team bronze medal with her teammates Sabine Schut-Kery and Steffen Peters. She will compete with Betsy Juliano’s stallion Salvino and show in many Friday Night Stars events to prepare for the FEI World Cup Finals in Omaha.

Two weeks of the season, Week 3 and Week 9, will also feature para-dressage. Para-dressage is the only equestrian sport in the Paralympics, and riders compete in one of five different grades based on the rider’s ability and what movements are allowed in each test. Grade I is a walk-only test, while Grades II and III are walk and trot. Grades IV and V are walk, trot and canter. The riders will compete in these three-day events with a freestyle on the final day. The para-dressage events will include one of the most decorated para riders, Roxanne Trunnell, who won an individual gold medal in the Paralympic Games in Tokyo.

For more information about the Adequan Global Dressage Festival, visit


Faces of Dressage 2023

Faces of Dressage 2023

The majestic sport of dressage has returned to Wellington, home of the Adequan Global Dressage Festival, for another amazing season. Often compared to horse ballet, or dancing with horses, dressage showcases the grace, beauty and elegance of a horse and rider pair working together as one. From elite international dressage to more introductory levels to the uplifting sport of para-dressage, all levels of the sport are on display here in Wellington this winter. While the riders and their mounts make it look effortless in the ring, dressage performances are often the end result of years of hard work. If you are not familiar with this graceful sport, be sure to check it out. For those new to dressage, one way to learn more is to visit one of the Friday Night Stars events to enjoy the lyrical musical freestyle classes. Once again, we celebrate this amazing determination and hard work in Faces of Dressage 2023, highlighting just a few of the incredible riders you can see in action this winter at the AGDF.

Morgan Barbançon is not only fluent in French, English, Spanish, Catalan, Dutch and German, but she’s an Olympic dressage rider. In 2012, at the summer Olympics in London, she placed seventh as a team and 23rd in the individual competition. In 2015, at the FEI World Cup Finals in Las Vegas, Barbançon finished eighth. In January, Barbançon and Habana Libre won the Global Dressage Festival CDI4* Grand Prix in Wellington. Up until 2018, Barbançon competed internationally for Spain. She now competes for France.

Anna Buffini represents the United States in dressage, and talent runs in her family. Her mother, Beverly Robinson, played volleyball at the collegiate level. She was selected as an alternate for the U.S. team that played at the 1988 Olympic Games in Seoul. Buffini earned several top dressage results early in the 2021 season with her Hanoverian mare FRH Davinia La Douce, placing third in the FEI Grand Prix and FEI Grand Prix Special CDI3* at the Adequan Global Dressage Festival.

Patricia Ferrando is a Venezuelan dressage rider. She competed at the 2019 Pan-American Games in Lima, where she finished 12th in the finals, and at the 2015 Pan-American Games in Toronto. One of the most successful dressage riders from Venezuela, Ferrando trains with Yvonne Losos de Muñiz. She aims to represent Venezuela at the Olympic Games.

Beatrice de Lavalette represents the United States in para-dressage and was a member of the U.S. Para-Dressage Team for the Tokyo Paralympic Games with her horse Clarc. De Lavalette lost both of her lower legs in the 2016 terrorist bombing at the Brussels airport. She started riding again five months after the attack. She has an impressive résumé and has had tremendous success. Beatrice and Sixth Sense have won several CPEDI3* events in Wellington already this year.

Rebecca Hart is a para-equestrian originally from Pittsburgh. Hart was born with a rare genetic disorder, Familial Spastic Paraplegia. Her life with horses has been extraordinary, as she is a three-time Paralympian: in 2008, 2012 and 2016. She went to the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games and placed 9th individually. Beyond the Paralympics, Hart has racked up a long list of accomplishments in the sport of para-dressage. She will be back in the show ring at the para-dressage events in Wellington this season.

German dressage rider Christoph Koschel approaches his sport with the following philosophy: “Recognize the feel and diversity of each and every horse. See the positives and be able to adjust.” He competed at the 2010 World Equestrian Games and the 2011 European Dressage Championships, where he won a medal in the team competition. Last year, he rode American-owned Dunensee to win the CDI4* Grand Prix in Wellington. He is back in Wellington this year and will be an exciting competitor to watch.

Roxanne Trunnell represents the United States in para-dressage. She contracted a virus in 2009 that caused swelling in her brain, putting her in a coma and resulted in her requiring a wheelchair. Since then, she has accomplished a great deal in her riding career. She won three medals at the Paralympic Games in Tokyo, including a gold medal in the Individual Championship Test Grade I and Individual Freestyle Test Grade I events, and a bronze medal in the team open event.

Adrienne Lyle has a lengthy list of accomplishments as a top dressage rider and coach. She represented Team USA at the Olympic Games in London and Tokyo and brought home a team silver medal with her longtime partner Salvino. Lyle is currently ranked 11th in the world. Most recently, Lyle and Salvino won the FEI World Cup Grand Prix at the Adequan Global Dressage Festival in January.

The ever-impressive Tinne Vilhelmson-Silvén represents Sweden and has competed at seven Olympic Games. She placed fourth in team dressage in 1992 and in team dressage in Beijing in 2008. She also placed eighth at the 2016 Olympics. A regular at the AGDF, Vilhelmson-Silvén won the Global Dressage Festival Friday Night Stars aboard Devanto last year. It’s safe to say the crowd will be excited to see what she brings to the arenas this year in Wellington.



Creating The Perfect Freestyle

Creating The Perfect Freestyle Go Behind The Scenes With Choreographer Terry Gallo And Dressage Rider Sarah Lockman Tubman

By Charity Lucente

The word “dressage” originates from the French word “dresseur,” which means to train. Dating back to 350 A.D., dressage finds its roots firmly planted in military soil. Creating a well-trained horse that was agile, quick and clever with footfalls provided the upper hand on the battlefield, when quite literal death hung in the balance. Today, dressage is an art form pursued fiercely for more sport-centric reasons, lending itself to the professional competitor and adult amateur alike.

One of the most thrilling parts of modern-day dressage is the musical freestyle program that draws an enthusiastic following. Dressage freestyles, comparable to freestyles in figure skating, join required movements into a test choreographed to music specifically chosen by the rider to have a specific emotion they wish to present to their judges and the public.

A former gymnastics coach specializing in musical editing makes Terry Gallo of Klassic Kur a bit of an unlikely suspect to be the frontrunner in choreographing dressage freestyle programs for the biggest names in the sport. With more than three decades of experience in the field, her portfolio includes Debbie McDonald, Adrienne Lyle, Steffen Peters, Laura Graves and more.

Gallo’s process of engineering a freestyle makes sure that it checks off all three of the key ingredients — tempo, suitability and rider preference.

“Creating a spectacular and custom program requires a great deal of input from the rider,” she said. “Ideally, I am onsite for the initial consultation, so I can watch the horse and rider move and interact, find out musical preferences and pinpoint the desired feeling that the rider wants to elicit from those watching. This initial process takes about two and a half hours, but that is just the tip of the iceberg!”

Gallo brings a library of music along to the consult to match the tempo of the music to the horse’s natural gait. “I don’t sit there in an ivory choreography tower and tell the rider what to do,” she said. “I listen to the rider closely and design the program to specifically fit the horse and rider pair. I want it to look as if the horse is dancing right along with the music and moving to the beat.”

The next step in completing the program is ensuring its suitability. “You want to match the expression of the horse with the musical selections,” Gallo explained. “If the horse is a big, bold mover, you need a big, bold piece to complement it.”

Lastly, and most importantly, the rider must like the musical selections.

“Some horse and rider pairs are more musical than others,” Gallo said. “They have to feel moved by the music as a team, so the judges believe the story they are telling. By editing the music around the choreography, you can shape the way the program is visually and audibly interpreted.”

The longest part of the process is choosing and then finding the music in Gallo’s extensive library.

“After those parts are completed, I send them a file with my voice over so they can see what I had in mind for interpretation of the piece,” she said. “The riders need to study it at length before they even try to ride it. In some cases, there may be minor adjustments to the program, but all totaled, I am usually in about 20 to 25 hours of work per piece. For a Grand Prix freestyle, the fee is approximately $5,000, and the pricing goes down as the levels go down. I have to pull and edit fewer pieces of music, as there are fewer of movements to choreograph.”

When it’s showtime, Gallo is often there to watch.

“I don’t get nervous watching the pieces I have created being ridden down centerline, as there is nothing I can do at that point, but I do recall holding my breath for entirely too long watching Debbie McDonald and Brentina in Las Vegas and Steffen Peters in Aachen.”

Talented Grand Prix competitor Sarah Lockman Tubman has worked with Gallo on creating a freestyle program.

“We work with Terry to help us come up with the choreography. My husband, Lee Tubman, is also a 4* FEI judge, so he has judged many Friday night freestyles. He knows what movements look good strung together and score well,” Tubman said. “We have to submit a ‘floor plan’ before we compete that tells the judges the order in which the movements are going to be performed. We get extra points for stringing harder movements together.”

A score for a freestyle’s “degree of difficulty” plays a large part in the final score, so that’s why it’s important to push the choreography to the limit, Tubman said.

One of the hardest parts of creating a freestyle program is picking the music.

“We may have our own ideas of what we might like for music, but sometimes the music we like won’t actually go with the horse,” Tubman said. “Terry Gallo, who has created countless Olympic freestyles, uses a metronome to pick the horse’s tempo, and then we pick a few songs that work. After that, we will ride the horse to the music. It’s funny, because honestly, sometimes the horse picks the music. You will turn on the song, and the horse seems to just start dancing!”

Each level of freestyle has a list of required movements to be performed. “Almost everything is from the International Grand Prix test, from simple things like 20 meters of collected walk and 20 meters of extended walk, to piaffe for 10 steps in a straight line,” Tubman said. “Working from the list of required movements, that’s where we decide how many movements we can string together in a way to increase the degree of difficulty but highlight our horse’s strengths.”

She likes to highlight her mount First Apple’s strengths during the performance. “Apple’s highlights are the passage and also his incredible flying changes that we show on a circle and on bending line,” Tubman said. “His ability to be elastic is unbelievable, so we show an extended canter into a double pirouette into one tempi changes on a bending line.”

As a professional trainer, she uses the musical freestyle for another reason that is far less obvious to spectators.

“We have used the freestyle and the ability to choreograph our own test to help build confidence in this young Grand Prix horse,” Tubman said. “We always notice that after a freestyle competition, he is more confident in the work not only at home, but also in the regular Grand Prix tests. He is a showman and loves the atmosphere and the lights and the crowd!”

While it is important to make it challenging, it’s equally important to get the ride right.

“We have to plan as difficult a freestyle as is possible that we know we can ride mistake-free,” Tubman said. “If it’s too difficult, and you make a lot of mistakes, then you will end up with a lower mark, and the horse will lack confidence. It’s better to ride it clean and on time with the music.”

Learn more about Terry Gallo at and Sarah Lockman Tubman at


Pirouette, Piaffe & Penalties

Pirouette, Piaffe & Penalties Seeing Dressage Through The Eyes Of Rider, Coach And Trainer Debbie McDonald

By Charity Lucente

Hailing from Hailey, Idaho, Debbie McDonald is a household name in the world of dressage. During her illustrious career as a professional horseman, McDonald was awarded the bronze medal for team dressage at the 2004 Athens Olympic Games; she represented the United States, winning two gold medals at the 1999 Pan American Games; and has recently accepted the position to once again be the dressage technical advisor for the United States Equestrian Federation.

Starting her riding career as a top hunter jumper, McDonald made the switch to dressage in 1990 following several injuries and the birth of her son. “When you’re young and get injured, you just bounce back. When you’re a mom, you think to yourself, ‘I need to be around!’” she said.

The transition between the two disciplines proved to be most challenging for McDonald in ways one might not have thought.

“I couldn’t sit the trot, because riding jumpers, we never sat the trot, I posted everywhere,” she laughed, remembering her early days of dressage training. “They put me on this large, massive mound of leather, and I’m like, ‘I can’t sit on this, there is just no way.’ I was sent to Hilda Gurney, and I stayed on a lunge line for a very long time. I went from being at the very top of my sport to the bottom of the barrel in dressage. I sat there on that lunge line and figured out that dang sitting trot until I could stay quieter in the saddle. I was granted the opportunity to ride my first Grand Prix schoolmaster named Cashmere. It was then that I was sold that this is what I really wanted to do. He was older, but he knew all the buttons, and he gave me the feeling and the timing.”

Her own experiences in the saddle have made McDonald an excellent coach and teacher.

“Sometimes you watch riders from the very beginning, and you know they just have that natural and innate talent to be world class riders,” McDonald explained.

“You also have the riders who can become world class,” she continued. “I would say I was a become, because I was not a natural. When I started in jumping, I fell off every single day, over every single jump. I just couldn’t learn how to stay on the horse. I was bound and determined that I was just going to do it. When I think back to that, because I struggled and I didn’t have that natural ability, I think I can maybe pass some of that on to somebody who doesn’t quite have that natural talent. I can help them think through that experience. But, no, I was not a natural in any way shape or form.”

This lifetime of experiences has led her to her current career as a coach and technical advisor. “Getting to where the Grand Prix can be ridden in a way that looks easy, is my goal for every rider I get to work with,” McDonald said.

She loves to see a horse and rider pair that has really taken their time to develop true partnership and harmony. Classical training and harmony are a huge part of the sport, and McDonald finds working with horses just as fascinating as working with riders.

“I honestly love helping a horse figure out how to use its body in the pirouettes, passage and piaffe,” McDonald said. “What fascinates me is the timing of it and finding a way of communicating in a way that the horse isn’t stressed. You have to read the horse. Some horses are just so naturally gifted at it that it’s basically teaching them how to get in and out of the movement. Then there are other horses that people will say, ‘I don’t know. I’m not sure if they will get this.’ Taking the time to help that horse understand with the help of a good ground person, I find that process to be one of the most exciting and rewarding.”

The level of training with the horse and rider often corresponds directly to the dressage scores.

“For me, what really separates so many in the show ring is that piaffe and passage tour, because you can see the level of training there. You even see it in the walk,” McDonald said. “You can have a horse currently sitting at a 75, come down into the walk and now be in the 60s. You can have a horse that does all the other stuff and doesn’t have a quality walk that’s iffy laterally, or there just isn’t enough overstep in the extended, and it is just enough of a penalty to keep you out of the top rankings. Pirouettes are fascinating to me also. To keep a horse in an honest, true, collected canter, be able to turn around and still have that moment of suspension without becoming a spin, a canter pirouette done well is pure magic to me.”

McDonald sees herself as a true advocate for the horse.

“The biggest danger we have in the progression of this classical sport are riders in the wrong hands working on a timeline — riders who aren’t being smart and paying attention to what the horse is trying to say,” she said. “I would rather see a horse be a fantastic small tour horse rather than be broken trying to make it a Grand Prix horse, when you know in your mind that it probably won’t be a top horse. This hurts me because we need all of these horses, not just the top of the top. Make the horse the best it can be, but don’t push it past that.”

It is this attitude toward the sport of dressage that will ensure its longevity and beauty, as well as the animals that help make it happen.


Know The Dressage Movements

Know The Dressage Movements FEI 5* Judge Janet Foy On What Is Required In The Dressage Ring

By Charity Lucente

Janet Foy is a name often mentioned in competitive dressage circles. As a dressage judge, she brings high expectations of attention to detail and accurate riding.

A United States Dressage Federation bronze, silver and gold medalist herself, Foy, a native of Colorado Springs, now lives in Wellington. She has created a legacy rich in the acumen and accomplishments necessary to hold the elite position of FEI 5* and USEF dressage judge.

Being a member of the United States selector panel for the 2004 Athens Olympics, the 2006 and 2010 World Equestrian Games, the 2007 Pan Am games and the 2008 Beijing Olympics certainly more than qualifies her to be the authority in assessing the benchmark of quality within the sport of dressage.

As a dressage rider looking to progress through the levels, or the eager spectator in the grandstands, it can be a touch allusive to know exactly what the judges are looking for and what is required to get an excellent mark.

When asked what makes for a successful or unsuccessful horse and rider pair in the FEI and lower-level tests alike, Foy emphasized that in both, “inaccurate figures, not using corners and lack of preparation” are among the most common and most costly of mistakes that she sees made by the dressage riders in the ring.

Regardless of the movement itself, whether it be passage and pirouettes in the Grand Prix, or a stretchy trot circle at E in a training level test, the preparation for each individual foot fall is integral to the success, fluidity and, ultimately, the score of each unique requirement asked of the pair.

Foy stressed that no movements stand out from any other in degrees of importance.

“All movements are important to the level,” she said. “Perhaps the riders have a favorite, but it is not my job to have one.”

This beautifully stated perspective of objectivity provides some clarity to those piloting their horses down centerline — every step is of equal responsibility and deserving of the utmost attention.

With as much depth and scope of the sport from inside the judges’ box, inquiring minds want to know if there have been any distinct moments, tests or experiences that stood out as personal highlights for Foy.

“The ride in Herning [Denmark] from the freestyle of [world champion horse] Glamourdale gave me goosebumps, as did the Tokyo [Olympics] ride of Dalera BB,” she said.

To hear genuine excitement from someone who has been wrapped up in horses as long as Foy is a refreshing beacon to all who have a deep and soulful love of horses, proving that the magic of it is never lost if you just look for it.

Casting her focus toward future goals and her personal vision for the next generation of up-and-coming riders, Foy had advice on how to bring them along in the correct way. “Find a trainer who has good basics and experience at the level you are working,” she said. “Not everyone needs a Grand Prix rider at first level. Develop a good seat. If your trainer won’t do lunge lessons, find a new one.”

In other words, don’t be in a rush to move more quickly than your confirmed skill set, and surround yourself with people who will help you create a solid and correct foundation for the future demands of your riding career. The beauty of the sport is truly born in the basics.


The Mane Event

The Mane Event Keeping Horses Looking Good Goes So Much Deeper Than The Braids

By Charity Lucente

In the world of competitive horse showing, braiding and grooming are a usual part of the artistic showmanship of the event, particularly in the sport of dressage. From a functional standpoint, braiding a horse’s mane and tail has been done for hundreds of years to prevent the hair from getting tangled in the riding equipment the horse wears. Keeping the mane and tail braided as a matter of daily maintenance can keep the individual hairs from becoming damaged and broken.

In today’s modern show scene, braiding or plaiting a horse’s mane enriches the horse’s appearance by showing off the muscling and silhouette of the horse’s neck for judging purposes. When showing, competitors take great care to present a tidy picture out of respect for the horse, the sport and the judges.

In order to get a glimpse of what goes into managing and maintaining a horse at the very top of the sport, we spoke with Carly Muma, head groom and stable manager for dressage rider Susie Dutta.

Growing up in rural Michigan as a young rider, Muma participated in 4H and hunters with a premarin mare that her mother had given her. She developed a superior work ethic to complement her empathic nature and innate attention to detail, which has taken her to the top of the sport of dressage.

As an up-and-coming professional in the industry, Muma pursued the world of eventing and found herself as a groom and rider for Buck Davidson Eventing and BDJ Equestrian in Pennsylvania. In her role there, she learned just how demanding the professional horse world can be, how extremely difficult it is to find balance in your work and personal lives as a whole, and how always having an open mind allows you to learn new ways of doing things.

“We have to keep in mind that we don’t know everything and need to give priority to the controllable aspects of horse care,” Muma said.

During her time training, grooming and traveling for team BDJ, Muma forged a relationship with Tim and Susie Dutta of the Dutta Corporation, for whom she is now the head groom and stable manager of their international string of dressage horses. She finds herself truly bonded with each of the five equine athletes under her direct care and takes the time necessary to know their every behavioral pattern, bump, bruise, noise, gait and request.

Being this precise and particular about her horses’ care allows her to not miss the smallest of details and prevents issues before they start.

When asked what essential tools she could not live without in her daily grooming kit, the answer was one of a wise professional who knew that the tools of her sport only supplement the greatest asset of all — good and safe horsemanship.

“A basic, good-quality brush and curry go a long way and are accessible to everyone,” Muma said. “Good horsemanship and a quality feed and farrier are the simplest of ways to keep your horse safely at their best, starting from the inside out, from the core.”

Muma always keeps her focus on the horses in her care.

“Good, basic horsemanship was instilled in me from the beginning, and sometimes I feel like that lacks. It is so easy just to rush through your day, and then you lose the details,” she said. “It doesn’t matter if you’re doing hunter plaits, dressage button braids or banding for a western pleasure class, it is all in the details and being consistent to your program.”

As stable manager for Susie Dutta, Muma has soaked up any and all knowledge and experience to grow her abilities in horse husbandry using a wide array of modalities. In her daily set of therapies, she uses shock wave, Sport Innovations blankets and laser therapies to bolster her horses’ wellness regimen.

She offers wise advice to anyone involved in this all-encompassing love of horses.

“No matter what sport you compete in, even if you are purely a recreational weekend warrior, we all do it for the love of the horse,” Muma said. “We are their voice. It’s just making sure they are healthy and happy. Keep it simple and pay close attention to the basics of your horses’ care and maintenance. I know that if they are healthy and happy, they will do whatever it is we ask. They will put their heart and soul into it.”


Love The Process, Not Just The Product

Love The Process, Not Just The Product Dressage Rider Lauren Chumley On The Value Of Personally Training Your Own Horses

By Charity Lucente

It is easy to look at a Grand Prix test as a spectator, and get lost in the polished, shiny, seemingly effortless presentation of the horse and rider pair. What spectators may not appreciate at the moment of that final salute are the thousands of hours of incredible investment that have produced it.

Lauren Chumley of Lauren Chumley Dressage knows the hard work that is required to make top-level dressage tests happen. She knows every aspect of fashioning a horse from a foal to the CDI ring, over and over again.

Chumley has made a name for herself in the industry as a supportive and fun coach, an honest and authentic businesswoman, and a relentlessly hard-working competitor. Starting her riding career at the age of 12 in Hamilton, Ohio, she knew right away that dressage was her path.

With the funding necessary to achieve her goals not always at her fingertips, Chumley developed her well-known work ethic and adopted her philosophy that success is the only option available to her. Currently, she is a United States Dressage Federation bronze, silver and gold medalist who is making her mark in both dressage and eventing. She has competed through Grand Prix and has earned multiple USDF year-end and all-breeds awards at the national level, in addition to running a hugely successful training and sales program both in Hunterdon County, New Jersey, and in down here in Loxahatchee.

Chumley brings a unique perspective on achieving the higher levels of dressage and the hidden value of investment in the individual by competing with a mount that you have personally trained. She places a high importance on becoming a well-rounded horseman, and how that can only enhance a rider’s career as a competitive professional.

When asked how she would inspire and direct the next generation of dressage riders, she warned of the importance of setting young riders up with an emphasis placed primarily on the FEI Juniors, FEI Young Riders and Under 25 riders.

“It is a pretty tall order and very rarely done, for someone 21 or younger to train a 70-percent-plus CDI small tour horse,” Chumley said. “This means that the rider is riding someone else’s training, which is great, and it absolutely is important to learn how to navigate the test. However, at the end of that time, the riders haven’t necessarily learned the valuable process of how to produce a horse to that level. They have learned how to steer through the Prix St. George really well on a horse that somebody else put the work in on.”

While this approach has its value, she believes that there is not enough emphasis on the path of training horses from soup to nuts.

“There are a precious few trainers in this country who will ride three-year-olds and then do a CDI Grand Prix,” Chumley said. “There are just not that many.”

The pendulum of a well-rounded trainer has to swing so far to train a horse all the way through. Yet riders and trainers need this knowledge on a very deep and intimate level, so they are able to reproduce a reliable result.

While a large number of young professionals are focused on how to secure funding to fuel their programs, Chumley cautioned this next generation to not make their career reliant on a sponsor. After all, lives change, and relationships change, putting the riders’ string of horses constantly in jeopardy.

“If I were to lose one of my FEI horses right now, I’ll produce another one,” Chumley said. “You can’t unhorse me. This provides me security that no one can take away from me in this industry.”

Ideally, the sport’s focus would return to the training process and investing in becoming a trainer wealthy in experiential knowledge, able to reproduce the result, not buying the finished product. This means that riders should surround themselves with qualified instructors and a team of people to support them.

As Chumley noted, there is high value in going out and earning gold on a horse that a rider personally trains, rather than achieving it on someone else’s preparation. Put your own education as a horseman first and chip away at it. Each horse will hopefully get a little faster as you become more skillful.

Learn more about Lauren Chumley at


Brooke USA One Very Successful Event Down; Two More To Go In Wellington

Brooke USA One Very Successful Event Down; Two More To Go In Wellington

Brooke USA Foundation’s approach to building awareness among various sectors of the Wellington market proved to be right on target with the resounding success of Brooke USA’s “The Watering Hole,” a pool party targeting young riders and providing the right venue and means for relaxation on a Monday afternoon at the National Polo Center. More than 250 riders and friends were in attendance sharing drinks, food, music by DJ Lexey and entertainment, games, shopping and auctions.

In total, the event, planned by Brooke USA’s Young Professionals, raised close to $75,000 toward underwriting water troughs for working equines in Ethiopia, where access to basic water is a problem due to worsening drought conditions and lack of current services.

“Reality is that without water, crops cannot grow, and animals and livestock die,” said Emily Dulin, CEO of Brooke USA. “We are ever so grateful to Brooke USA’s Young Professionals for taking an interest in our work and for ensuring that the party truly had a purpose – helping those who are severely affected by water shortages in Ethiopia.”

Brooke USA’s Young Professionals and 2023 Event Committee for “The Watering Hole” was comprised of co-chairs Ash Atkinson and Morgan Measey, Kaela Genovese, Brianne Link and Robert Reyers. The event was sponsored by Human Touch, OnCourse Consignment, Media Zone, Equisite Elements of Style, Poll to Tail Magnawave, Cugini Winery, Star Liquors, Tito’s Handmade Vodka, Project Florida and Maxwell’s Plum. Even a Sip-and-Shop for those looking to accessorize and buy clothing, jewelry and equestrian items was on-hand thanks to La Enovese Designs, Caryna Nina, Veltri, Palm Harbor Boutique, Kai Lassen and Sofie’s Boutique. The “sip” part of the “shop” was sponsored by Hotels at Sea and Celebrity Cruises, featuring their exclusive Celebration Oasis Rosé.

Right around the corner, Brooke USA’s remaining events will be taking place Sunday, March 19 with “Ponies & Pearls,” during the U.S. Open Women’s Polo Championship Final on Field One at the National Polo Center. Sponsors, to date, include Celebrity Cruises & Hotels At Sea, Gill Johnston and Valley Bank. Only two Golden Goal Table Sponsors remain, and one Silver Goal Table Sponsor is still available. The event does offer a Bronze Goal Table Sponsorship, as well as individual tickets. “Ponies & Pearls” will benefit female empowerment programs across Kenya, as women have proven to gain most from Brooke’s interventions when it comes to husbandry and first-aid training, thus increasing women’s skills and the likelihood of added income for the family. The event is chaired by Brooke USA board members Lisa Bair, Gill Johnston and Lisa Spoden.

Lastly, “Divertimentos & Dressage, presented by Lugano Diamonds,” will offer a dressage musical freestyle to the live performances of the Palm Beach Symphony with riders JJ Tate and Rebecca Hart, both Brooke USA Ambassadors, Todd Flettrich, Sahar Daniel Hirosh, Jim Koford and Allison Kavey. On Thursday, March 23 at the Vinceremos Therapeutic Riding Center, spectators will be overwhelmed by the beauty of this event when horses, orchestra and guests share the arena. Chairs Selma Garber and Margaret Hamilton Duprey are in full planning mode for “Divertimentos & Dressage” and have a guaranteed unforgettable affair.

To purchase tickets for Brooke USA’s upcoming events, visit and follow Brooke USA on Instagram and Facebook.



Great Brews And Delicious Meals

Great Brews And Delicious Meals World Of Beer Bar & Kitchen Returns With A Reframed Concept That Pairs Hundreds Of Beer Choices With An Elevated Menu

Story and Photos by Melanie Kopacz

It’s a whole new world inside the reframed World of Beer Bar & Kitchen, now open in the Southern Palm Crossing shopping center. WOB invites beer lovers and beyond to have a cold one (or two), along with a delicious beer-paired meal and some interactive fun.

The highly anticipated return of this popular hangout, after closing its previous Palm Beach County locations, hit record-breaking sales at the new hotspot, drawing in hundreds of people to its February grand opening, welcoming back many longtime customers.

“About 10:30 a.m. we had a line about a half-mile long, and it just kept going from there,” said Regional Manager Holly Mauser, who started as a server 11 years ago. “We formerly had locations in West Palm Beach and Wellington, so we knew coming here, we’d have regulars from both, and the showing was above our expectations.”

Previously, WOB did not serve food, but the reimagined concept brings with it a laid-back, but elevated experience, including a full menu with hand-picked recipes that pair well with the hundreds of beers on offer.

“We look for the best craft beers,” Mauser said. “We have a dedicated project manager who works every week with the distributors who order beer, talks to reps, tries samples and then decides exactly what we are going to put on draft and what we’ll put in our cooler.”

WOB is ready to serve up a variety of more than 300 ice cold brews, in addition to more than 40 beers on tap, which are poured to perfection from a rotating selection. Coolers are separated geographically from areas across the United States and around the world. The selection also features specialty kegs and seasonal beers.

“In the winter, stouts; summer, lighter brews,” Mauser explained. “We definitely cater to the season and what customers in the area want. We also work with a lot of local breweries.”

Locally, that includes Royal Palm Brewing Company, Matthews Brewing Company in Lake Worth, Steam Horse Brewing in West Palm Beach and others. You’ll also find a full bar of spirits and wine.

The design is warm and inviting with upscale décor, including an eye-catching antler chandelier in the center of a massive dining room that seats close to 300. The sunny “Florida room” is welcoming with both table seating, or a corner with comfy couches, in a relaxing area with plenty of TVs in every direction.

“We’re very elevated,” Mauser said. “A good mix of casual but upscale, and I think our customers feel that when they come in. The team is meticulous, and so is the service.”

Stay and try a flight of beers. Build your own from local brews, or order a flight of WOB’s proprietary Secret Llama beers.

Long known for its beer selection, WOB now has a full kitchen. Shareables come in large servings, including the popular giant German Pretzel. It’s baked soft on the inside and crispy on the outside, salted and served with house-made, stone-ground mustard. Add amber ale beer cheese for a few extra bucks. It goes well with a Kona Longboard brew.

The WOB Chicken Wings are perfectly glazed and served with celery and a choice of house-made blue cheese or ranch. It pairs great with a glass of the Secret Llama IPA. Other appetizers include the Loaded Taters with amber ale beer cheese and topped with jalapeños, applewood smoked bacon, scallions and sour cream.

Moving on to meals, Mondays are BYO, build your own burger, all day for $6.95, made from fresh Angus beef and plenty of toppings to choose from. The Mac Bite Burger is a must try. It’s made with fresh Angus beef topped with WOB’s award-winning fried pepper jack mac and cheese patty, crisp applewood bacon and lettuce, and finished with sriracha aioli. It pairs well with a pint of New Belgium Fat Tire.

The Steak Frites make for a rich and hearty meal of marinated flat-iron steak that is grilled and thinly sliced, then topped with a dollop of garlic butter, served with broccoli, fries and garlic aioli. It pairs well with the St. Bernardus Abt 12. For lighter fare, the Cali Bowl is a great choice, stacked over jasmine rice or spring greens, with grape tomatoes, shredded carrots and cucumbers, drizzled with Sriracha-lime aioli and topped with fresh avocado, toasted sesame seeds and scallions with several protein options. It goes well with a glass of Schneider Weisse Helle Weisse.

Each menu item has a suggested beer for pairing, and the servers are happy to make recommendations.

Work off some of those calories and have fun in one of two Topgolf Swing Suites — an immersive, virtual, social experience offering guests a comfy lounge to enjoy food and beverage service while playing golf, hockey, football and more. Prices vary by time of day, and reservations can be made online.

“We cater to families, large parties, business meetings, everyone,” Mauser said. “Our patio is pet friendly — we even have a pup menu.”

Whether it’s exploring the massive selection of beers, taking in a great meal or having some interactive fun, there’s something for everyone at WOB, which is open Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to midnight; Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m. to 1 a.m.; and Sunday, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.

World of Beer Bar & Kitchen is located at 11121 Southern Blvd. in Royal Palm Beach. For more info., call (561) 834-2430. Visit for beer selections, the food menu and rewards.


Boots Fit For Olympians

Boots Fit For Olympians
USA, Der Dau Brings Classic And Fashionable Footwear To Wellington

By Eleanor Bourne 

Founded more than 50 years ago by Jose Der, Der Dau Custom Made Boots & Shoes incorporates the skills of master leather artisans to thoughtfully craft the best riding boots for customers.

Der Dau has built its reputation throughout the decades, and the company is highly regarded by top riders for exceptional quality and comfort. Now operated under Jose’s son, Joseph Der, Der Dau continues to help dedicated equestrians of all levels create boots that match their riding needs and personal style.

Each boot is hand-crafted to fit the individual customer, using a wide selection of the finest leathers with an array of designs available to ensure that each boot captures the specific needs of every client. Der Dau boots are designed to the exact measurements of each rider and molded to ensure a “second skin” fit.

Over the years, Der Dau has been known for its remarkable hands-on customer service. In addition to the firm’s thoughtful care during the creation process, the company also offers alterations and repairs for every Der Dau customer. The team of experienced leather craftsmen will repair any damaged boot so that customers can avoid the expense of replacement. They work closely with every rider to ensure product longevity, so clients don’t have to worry about the inconvenience of repeatedly breaking in boots.

Der Dau boots have been the top choice of riders of all levels, including Olympians.

“Der Dau has been a partner of mine for most of my career,” five-time Olympic medalist and professional show jumper McLain Ward said. “Not only is their product first-grade and enhances our performance, but they’re a great group of people to work with.”

Ward has worn his Der Dau boots to countless championships and maintains a loyal relationship with the company.

“We won the Grand Prix of Geneva in December in the boots I’m wearing today,” Ward said. “For us, it was one of the biggest achievements in the sport.”

Der Dau boots are worn by many other well-known professionals, including champion hunter rider Peter Pletcher, who has worked with Der Dau for many years.

“I’ve known [Joseph Der] for as long as I can remember — since the first Der Dau stand started,” Pletcher said. “I think everybody should give Der Dau boots a try.”

In an effort to give back to the equestrian community, Der Dau has partnered with the Rider’s Closet to make riding boots accessible to more equestrians. Through a trade-in program, customers receive credit toward a new, custom pair of Der Dau “Dream Boots” when they trade-in a pair of boots of any brand. The old boots are then repaired as needed by Der Dau’s expert craftsmen before being donated to the Rider’s Closet.

Show jumper Georgina Bloomberg, founder of the Rider’s Closet, works closely with Joseph Der in order to help more riders.

“I have known Joseph Der for years now and always respected his work and his involvement in the horse show community,” she said. “I am thrilled to be able to work with him and his company, as well as humbled and overwhelmed by his generosity toward my program.”

In addition to the company’s popular tall boots, Der Dau also offers custom paddock boots, half chaps, dressage boots, western boots and more in order to fit the needs of every rider, no matter the discipline. Der Dau also offers customizable leather belts and bags using a variety of exotic leathers in various colors for accessories that are functional and fashionable.

While Der Dau’s home base is in New York, they travel to the country’s most prestigious shows to exhibit products, including the Winter Equestrian Festival at Wellington International. Located in Vendor Village, the company offers on-site fittings, as well as drop-offs for repairs or trade-ins.

To learn more about Der Dau and designing a “Dream Boot” with Joseph Der, visit or visit the vendor booth at WEF.


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