June 2018 - Dutch Treats

West Coast Dressage Convention brings Edward Gal & Hans Peter Minderhoud to Southern California.

photos & text by Kim F. Miller

Scott Hayes, Edward Gal, Monty Roberts, Hans Peter Minderhaud

West Coasters are getting a little spoiled with the caliber of coaches brought in from afar these last few years by Scott Hayes Productions. On April 21-22, Dutch Olympians Edward Gal and Hans Peter Minderhaud came to the peacefully gorgeous El Campeon Farms in the Los Angeles area’s Hidden Valley. They worked with seven horse/rider pairs each day, the same pairs each day except Saturday the finale was Sabine Schut-Kery and her budding Grand Prix star Sanceo, while on Sunday, Dawn White O’Connor worked with the 9-year-old, Esperanza, by the accomplished Dutch Warmblood sire, Jazz.

With the El Campeon court surrounded by approximately 500 people each day, the setting was lovely and the weather perfect. The horses, however, found it quite electric. Edward and Hans Peter spent much time sharing their strategies for gently getting training work done even when the horses preferred to take in their surroundings and strut their stuff. Every horse needed something a little different, but there was common advice to the riders: be patient in training while asserting a leadership role and go forward!

The Man Who Listens To Horses author and renowned horseman Monty Roberts demonstrated accomplishments with a formerly wild Mustang during Saturday’s lunch break. The rest of the weekend’s downtime was easily filled by shopping for everything from a new shadbelly to arena footing re-dos and simply strolling around the beautiful El Campeon campus. The privately-owned farm, by the way, donated all of the approximately $20,000 facility rental fee to the Ventura County firefighters and sheriffs.

For information on upcoming West Coast Dressage Conventions, visit www.shproductions.ca.


Kim McGrath & Zilarda, a spectacular half-sister to Laura Graves’ Verdades, with Edward Gal

Monty Roberts

Dawn White-O’Connor & Esperanza

The Roberts family brings a little western culture to the Dressage Convention

Hilda Gurney fills in a divot after the reining demo

Jackie Ahl-Eckhaus & Hans Peter

No job too big or too small for organizer Scott Hayes

Amelie Kovac & Ivar working with Hans Peter Minderhoud

Helen Stacy & Binck

It was a treat to see Sabine Schut-Kery & Sanceo in their home environment, El Campeon Farms

Stine Van Halen & Abacus VH