August 2020 - Editor's Notes
Written by CRM
Monday, 03 August 2020 05:17


I was grateful to have gotten out to one of the first shows back on the calendar in our area, Nilforushan EquiSports’ Temecula Valley National hunter/jumper competition at Galway Downs in late June. Everybody was in great spirits and compliance with physical distancing and mask wearing rules looked pretty good.

I found it really awkward to not give a hug or handshake to friends I haven’t seen in several months. I haven’t figured out how to project a warm smile with my eyes only. I went off to that show without giving much thought to the “no spectators” rule, I admit. The initial USEF guidelines described media as “essential personnel,” so it seemed OK.


That has changed though and, regardless what each show’s restrictions are, I opted not to attend any other events since that first one in late June. I am fully on board with wearing masks and doing anything else possible to prevent the spread of COVID, including staying home when it kinda kills me not to be out on the scene among people and horses who feel like friends more than story subjects.

We went to press just as California surpassed New York in numbers of coronavirus cases, concurrent with new notices from show organizers detailing the safety precautions, their enforcement and the request for strict compliance from everybody. As several noted, even just a few people not following the rules could put the whole circuit on hold again.

Dressage News & Views editor, Nan Meek, drills deep on the impact of all this on decision making processes for all stakeholders in the sport. Don’t miss her cleverly-titled column, Reality Shows.

The lead story in our Dressage special feature covers Hillary Martin’s wonderful training program in the Bay Area. She has an impressive posse of talented and dedicated riders -- of all ages. We hope several of them get the chance to strut their stuff at the USEF Festival of Champions, this month in the Chicago area. They do a great job of showing the rest of the country that the West Coast is in it to win it. And they do it with best horsemanship and sportsmanship practices, while apparently having a blast!

In the Rehabilitation department, we did venture out for a tour of the Blenheim Equine Rehabilitation program in San Juan Capistrano. Under Jennifer Clarke, DVM’s direction, it has been up and running for a while but our article is sort of a formal introduction in the media. It’s another corner of the equestrian world in which the West Coast is representing excellence.

Thanks to our cover sponsor Premier Equestrian for the great information about arena materials that support equine athletes in all disciplines while handling California’s wild weather extremes. With first-class footing in arenas throughout our readership area, Premier definitely has the right surface for any need.

Very best wishes for a continued recovery to Charlotte Bredahl. She underwent brain surgery for metastatic melanoma and is recovering amazingly. She is working on her physical therapy and even keeping tabs on some of her many charges via video. Charlotte is the US Dressage Development coach and has touched the lives of hundreds of riders and their horses. A GoFundMe page enables friends and fans to donate toward what are considerable medical expenses and we sincerely hope to see Charlotte soon!

We’re very sad to report the passing of Joe Lombardo in mid-July. He was a much-admired course designer, trainer, coach and horseman. In the week following his death, social media was filled with moving tributes to the positive influence he had on the lives of many in the hunter/jumper community.

As always, we welcome story submissions and ideas. And, as I don’t expect to be getting out to any competitions with my camera this month, please consider submitting your accomplishments to me at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Happy, safe, riding and reading!

Kim F Miller, Editor
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