Jane Savoie was inducted into the Roemer Foundation/USDF Hall of Fame in 2019, by USDF President Lisa Gorretta. Her induction took place at the 2019 Adequan®/USDF Annual Awards Banquet and Salute Gala, with Lisa giving the following speech.
Jane Savoie is a woman who wears many hats, which is why she is the Dressage Icon that she is.
Hat # 1 – Jane the kid
Like most of us, Jane Savoie was a horse crazy kid. She was born into a non-horsey family in Massachusetts in 1949. Fortunately for Jane, her family supported her obsession. She was 9 years when she started riding.
She started with a pony and then moved up to a horse. She mostly jumped and did some eventing, eventually riding for the UMass Collegiate Team.
It was there at UMass, that she met a fellow by the name of Rhett Savoie who had returned from VietNam, (with a Purple Heart, I might add). Jane got her degree in Animal Science and Rhett earned his Master’s in Forestry. She was 24 and he was 26 when they married. They have been married 45 years.
One day, Linda Jaskiel Brown asked Jane to groom for her at Gladstone for the Olympic selection trials. Linda Zang was there riding Fellow Traveller, and she told them of a Thoroughbred horse in her barn that had a tendon injury. The problem was the owners had abandoned the horse, owing her money. Jane could have the horse for the $500 in back board. Jane called Rhett, as it was their life’s savings. He said, “Do it”. And she did. Thinking that the horse would not stand up to eventing; she switched to dressage.
And ladies and gentlemen, that is how Jane Savoie got her start in dressage.
Hat #2 – Jane the Competitor
Over the years, Jane competed many horses, but the one who brought her to the international scene was a bay gelding named “Zapatero”. Together they were the reserve for the US Bronze medal winning Olympic Team in Barcelona, Spain. She was also long listed by the USET on Genaldon, and Jolicoeur. She has won 9 Horse of the Year Awards and 3 National Freestyle Championships.
Jane has competed in Canada, Holland, Belgium, France and Germany.
Hat #3 – Jane the Coach
1996 in Atlanta and 2004 in Athens, Jane was the Olympic dressage coach for the Canadian 3 Day Team.
In 2000, Jane went to the Sydney Olympics to help her friend and rider, Sue Blinks secure a bronze medal for the US Dressage Team.
Hat #4 -Jane the Author
Charlotte Bredahl, who was Jane’s roommate while they were training at the famed Herbert Rehbein’s stable in Germany, recalls, “We would all go out dancing at night. Except Jane. She would stay back typing at her typewriter. Sometimes when we would come back, she would still be typing. Little did we know, she was, of course, writing, That Winning Feeling. And the rest is history.”
Jane’s book, That Winning Feeling: Program Your Mind for Peak Performance was published in 1992. It is now in it’s 8th Edition. She was one of the first to address the need for utilizing Sports Psychology and positive thinking in competition. She has written 9 non-fiction books as well as developed collateral DVDs and home study courses. Some of which include, The Happy Horse Home Study Course, and Dressage 101.
Her best-selling books have been translated into French, German, Dutch, Spanish, Italian, and Polish. They are also distributed in England and Australia. Currently, Jane is working on her first fiction novel.
Jane’s books have been turned into videos, which is no surprise. Her husband, Rhett, who has been with her every step of the way; was *THE* video guy. So much so, that he named his company, “The Video Guys” and was found on one side or the other of the booth at “C” for all the major competitions for many years.
Not to be left out of the internet revolution, Jane utilizes Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and her website to reach her audience. Her blog on her website uses the entertaining persona of her horse, “Moshi” and her dog, “Indy” to answer questions and help riders. She has an interactive mentor program that has been wildly successful.
Hat #5 – Jane the Motivational Speaker
The success of That Winning Feeling resulted in Jane being asked to be a motivational speaker and keynote speaker at many events, some of which were not horse-related. Jane’s ability to describe how to break down how you can train your mind and shape your attitudes to achieve a higher level of skill influenced more than just the dressage community.
Hat #6 – Jane in the USDF Hall of Fame
What really landed Jane in the USDF Hall of Fame is best summarized by her good friend, Ruth Hogan Poulsen:
“Jane spent her whole life helping the amateur rider understand the essence of dressage. She spoke to the average horse owner without Olympic aspirations who keeps a horse and learns at home.”
Wait, there is one more hat –
Hat #7 – Jane the Dancer
Remember when Charlotte said that Jane stayed back when they all went dancing? Jane decided that she, too, would be a dancer. And what a dancer she is!
It is with great pleasure that I am able to induct Jane Savoie into the USDF Hall of Fame.