November 2015 - Benefits All Around

Hunter/Jumper rider Kathy Spano with Cheryl, Elizabeth and Lisa Blaufuss

Everybody wins when Elizabeth Johnson donates dressage clinic proceeds to two admired equestrians.

Last month Elizabeth Johnson donated all proceeds from a dressage clinic held at Peppertree Farms in Poway to benefit California Riding Magazine’s founder Cheryl Erpelding and dressage show manager Lisa Blaufuss. Cheryl and Lisa have both needed expensive medical treatments that their health insurance companies are failing to step up and cover. Elizabeth helped Cheryl last year with her specialized lymphedema surgery – suction-assisted protein lipectomy – for her right leg last year and once again decided to donate her training to help Cheryl with her left leg lymphedema surgery and Lisa’s chemotherapy for her stage 4 breast cancer.

Eight riders turned out to ride with Elizabeth and help Cheryl and Lisa with their medical needs. Teri Walsh, Shelly Devine, Stephanie Bauer, Gayle McCall, Laura Sholl Faremouth, Lisa Vidov, Kathy Spano and Dr. Christi Garfinkle all braved hot conditions and got individualized attention from Elizabeth. Elizabeth has trained and competed successfully through FEI and has earned her USDF Bronze and Silver medals. Several auditors came out and watched.

Cheryl posted photos of the clinic on her Facebook page. Rider Teri commented, “Awesome clinic. I learned some new tools to continue to advance with my awesome mare Tango. Thank you to the organizers and to Elizabeth for the tips.” Stephanie Bauer posted, “Thank you to the organizers of the clinic, to the two beautiful ladies it was for, and to Elizabeth for a very insightful and fun lesson. Bring on the shows!” Auditor Robin Alvarez stated, “Enjoyed the clinic especially with questions and answers at the end of each ride, and wonderful tasting goodies that Cheryl created. Thanks to the organizers for a great job.”

Cheryl has reached her fundraising goal for her second lymphedema surgery, but Lisa is still in need of financial support. To learn more about Lisa’s situation and to help her with donations visit her website:

For more information about Elizabeth Johnson visit

Elizabeth Johnson

Clinician Elizabeth Johnson is a longtime Southern California dressage competitor and coach. She has trained horses up to and competed at the FEI level and has her USDF bronze and silver medals.

After many years coaching professionally, Elizabeth gained further insights training her two daughters in dressage. Her oldest daughter, Katie, earned individual and Region 7 team gold at the North American Young Rider Championships and has gone onto a professional career herself. Along the way, Elizabeth has been strongly influenced by Steffen Peters, Shannon Peters and Debbie McDonald, along with many top trainers.

“My goal and aim as an instructor is to be able to bring these experiences to the lessons I teach,” she explains. “I strive to offer my students nuggets of inspiration taken from my own training and experience, which students can take away and use in all walks of their equestrian life.”

Based at her private Artisan Dressage in San Diego’s El Cajon, Elizabeth works with riders primarily in the San Diego area and she welcomes opportunities to clinic further afield, including out of state.

For more information, visit