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Day 2 of George Morris Clinic at Windurra

Continuing from yesterday’s theme, three groups of riders participated in today’s clinic with George Morris at Boyd and Silva Martin’s Windurra in Cochranville, PA. Most of the riders were eventers, joined by top Irish timber race rider Mark Beecher, who rode a horse his family bred in Ireland that Boyd is now starting in eventing. Beecher was a successful show jumper in Europe and clearly knew his way around the ring, likely teaching the eventers a thing or two.

L-R Phillip Dutton, Boyd Martin and Mark Beecher with George Morris

As usual, the theme of the day was making the basics as perfect as possible. Mr. Morris emphatically reminded riders to carry their hands, explaining that pulling down on the horse’s mouth puts pressure on the bars of the mouth and makes the horse fight against the hand. Some riders seemed to grasp this concept more quickly than others, and those who were slow to respond received the tongue-lashing that Mr. Morris is famous for, followed by ready praise when they finally accomplished the task at hand.

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He also encouraged riders to present themselves well. “Showmanship is subconscious with the judge” he told the second group of the day, which featured four-star riders Phillip Dutton, Matt Brown and Boyd Martin, along with Beecher. “They don’t mark it, but they see it. Your position is elegance. As Jack LeGoff said, ‘Show your dignity’.  ”

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Boyd said, “It was wonderful to welcome George Morris to Windurra for the second time. It was an excellent two-day clinic and a real reminder to me about the importance of the fine details of the art of riding. In the lessons that I rode in, I felt like he pushed us all and was very precise in what he wanted from us as riders. Silva and look forward to welcoming him again next year.”

The clinic ended with a bang: thunder storms had threatened all day, and finally broke as the last group was winding down. With lightning flashing and a torrential rain coming down, riders galloped back to stables and trailers to beat the storm. Not the most dignified way to end the day, but an exciting finale to an educational couple of days.

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