The 2020 Adequan®/USDF FEI-Level Trainers Conference will be held January 20-21 at High Meadow Farm in Loxahatchee, FL. The conference will feature Anne Gribbons, FEI 5* Judge, Ashley Holzer, Olympian, Lars Petersen, Olympian, and Gary Rockwell, FEI 5* Judge. We take this opportunity to look back on a conference from 3 years ago.
The Trainers Conference, held January 16-17 at High Meadow Farm in Loxahatchee, FL, adhered to its usual format: high-quality demonstration horses and riders working with world-class clinicians, with the audience sitting ringside and given ample opportunities to ask questions of the presenters. This year, the trainer attendees sat along the long sides of host Mary Anne McPhail’s covered arena while the judges occupied bleachers on the short side by “C.”
The dual-purpose format created a bump in attendance: about 390 registrants, up from 300-plus in 2016. It also created a challenge for the presenters, the recently retired FEI 5* judge Lilo Fore of California and the FEI 5* judge Hans Christian Matthiesen of Denmark. Aware of the event-structure change and eager to appeal to both the trainers and the judges, Fore and Matthiesen both said afterward that doing so was a balancing act.