Four American young riders have been selected for the 2018 International Dream Program that sends top U.S. young riders to Europe for an intensive dressage experience.
The program is administered by The Dressage Foundation (TDF) and funded by generous donors, led this year by Margaret Duprey and Cherry Knoll Farm.
Hannah Irons (MD), Callie O’Connell (MA), Amanda Perkowski (NJ), and Emma Smith (MN) were selected to participate in this year’s program. The selection committee based their decision on candidates’ essays, competition scores, recommendations, videos of their riding, and signs of commitment to the sport of dressage.
The program, conceived by Olympic medalist and TDF board member Michael Poulin, will be led this year by chaperones Charlotte Bredahl (CA) and Meaghan Byrne (VA). Beth Baumert is serving as administrator as she has since the program's inception, and Eliza Sydnor Romm is assisting her.
Poulin believes TDF’s International Dream program helps young American riders reach their potential by fueling the “power of the dream” for participants. Michael hopes the program will help them “develop a sense of proportion, a sense of themselves and of being proud of who they are and what they’re doing.”
The group will depart for Germany on July 16, where they will attend the CHIO Aachen to watch some of the top riders in the world train and compete. They will have the chance to sit with judges, discuss training with coaches and riders, and watch the warm up as well as the competition rides.
While traveling, the young riders will record their observations in daily journals and chronicle the events with photos and video to share with their home dressage organizations.
Primary chaperone, Charlotte Bredahl, was a member of the 1992 US Olympic Team. She is a FEI 4* judge, has traveled and trained extensively in Europe, and is the USEF Assistant Youth Coach for dressage. Meaghan Byrne is a USDF Certified Instructor through Second Level, a teaching faculty member at Averett University in the Business Department, and has led student groups on European tours.
Photo © Callie Heroux
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