News





2016 - Mary Kehoe Dressage is now located in the Phoenix Valley of Arizona

Clinics, lessons, and training available at your location.
 
Monthly clinics held in Orange County, CA.
 
Please call or email for details: 714.272.6182  marykehoedressage@earthlink.net

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2015 RAAC Show - Karen & Cadence Shine!

Karen O'Neill and Cadence

Karen O'Neill and Cadence
High Percentage Elite

High Percentage Elite

(Los Angeles Equestrian Center, Burbank, CA - August 322, 2015) Karen & Cadence, at it again!

They garnered quite a collection of beautiful ribbons as well as a lovely embroidered cooler for their achievements:

  • RAAC Training Level Elite Champion with 72.273%

  • Roses Award, High Percentage Elite Training Level Rider over 50

  • High Score of the Day, Elite Division

After relocating to LAEC several months ago, Karen has diligently been training Cadence on her own around her busy work schedule and enjoying every moment of it.  After showing at the local LAEC shows earlier this season, they were qualified for the RAAC finals.  Mary went to the show on Saturday to give Karen a little last minute coaching, and then watched them put in a smooth and steady performance in their class resulting in a terrific score and the win!!

Congratulations Karen!!!

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August California Riding Magazine - Augment Your Education Between Lessons

Karen O'Neill and Cadence

Mary is featured in the August Question Corral.



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USDF Bronze Medal for Heather Neely and Enchanté

Rancho Mission Viejo Riding Park at San Juan Capistrano

(Rancho Mission Viejo Riding Park at San Juan Capistrano, CA - June 28, 2015) Congratulations go out to Heather Neely & Enchanté for earning their USDF Bronze Medal!!

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CDS San Diego "Spooktacular" Fall Show

(Del Mar Horse Park, Del Mar, CA - October 25-26, 2014) Congratulations to Karen O'Neill and Nicki Lucas for starting off the new show season with a bang!

The CDS San Diego Chapter hosted their "Spooktacular" show as two individual one-day shows, each day counting as it's own separate show.  As always, this show was very well run with a host of fun Halloween type activities all weekend long, including some fantastic costume freestyle rides!!

Karen, already back in the show ring after a very successful 2014 at Training Level, wanted to go for it again at Training Level to confirm some of the things she & Cadence have learned this year before moving on into First Level.  She and her Cadence came away with consistent scores in the upper-60s, winning three of her four classes, and also earning the Adult Amateur Training-4th Level Hi-Point Champion of the Sunday show.

Nicki, after spending the last three weeks at a training intensive with Judy Westlake, returned to the show ring after a long hiatus and successfully negotiated her Training Level tests to scores in the mid-60s and three 2nd-place finishes.  She showed off her new found skills and confidence through-out.

Great job ladies!!

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2014 USDF National Awards for Karen O'Niell and Cadence - Top 10 Placings

Karen O'Neill and Cadence


3rd place - KWPN All Breed Vintage Cup Award, Training Level

7th place - KWPN All Breed Adult Amateur Training Level


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CDS & USDF Finals

Karen O'Neill and Cadence

Karen O'Neill and Cadence

(Los Angeles Equestrian Center, Burbank, CA - September 25-28, 2014) Karen O'Neill and her Cadence hadn't even remotely planned to be at Finals when they started showing this past spring, competing in their first show together at Training Level.  However, one very successful show led to several others, the qualifications had been easily met, the show was being held in Southern California this year, so why not?

After winning the "warmup" test ride on Thursday, we arrived to the barn Friday morning ready to prepare for the USDF Championship class being held later that day.  Cadence, on the other hand, had other ideas!  His right hind leg was blown up huge, and he was sore at the trot. 

The show veterinarian confirmed our suspicions of cellulitis and aggressively tackled it with antibiotics.  We also enlisted the generous help of the Game-Ready sales representatives who had a vendor booth at the show.  They were happy to show off the effectiveness of their equipment in a live-demonstration format, and the provided numerous treatments throughout Friday and early Saturday.  The equipment provides icing and compression to the horses legs.  Karen hand-walked Cadence endlessly to continue to move the fluid out of his leg.

We unfortunately had to scratch the USDF Championship ride on Friday, but with everyone's help and diligence, we were back in business for the remaining CDS Championship classes, taking place Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning.  The class was quite large, about twenty riders.  Karen and Cadence put in a beautiful, fluid ride at Training Level Test 2, and ended the first half of the class in the top 10.  Cadence continued to improve, and on Sunday morning, was ready to go at it again.  Their Training Level Test 3 ride consistent, and their final placing for the combined two tests was 7th place and a score of 66.741%.

Congratulations, Karen, on a super 2014 season!!


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September California Riding Magazine - Develop a Better Seat

Karen O'Neill and Cadence

Mary is featured in the September Question Corral.

Read Mary's Article

California Riding Magazine - Complete September Issue



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Del Mar International

Karen O'Neill, Amber Smigel with Mocha, Mary with Dash, Nicki Lucas

Mary on Westin (Wild West)
Photos courtesy of Darrell Maffei

(Del Mar, CA - September 7, 2014) Mary teamed up with Westin (show name, Wild West - owned by Gail Maffei) to score 66.154 at Third Level Open, Test 3 and followed that with a 64.730 at Fourth Level Open, Test 2. Both rides were first place finishes, with Mary and Westin leaving the Sunday show as both High Point and Reserve High Point Champions! Not a bad way to wrap-up a weekend...


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August California Riding Magazine

Karen O'Neill and Cadence

Mary is featured in the August California Riding Magazine.

Read Mary's Article

California Riding Magazine - Complete September Issue



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CDS San Diego Summer Show

Karen O'Neill, Amber Smigel with Mocha, Mary with Dash, Nicki Lucas

Karen O'Neill, Amber Smigel with Mocha, Mary with Dash, Nicki Lucas
Photo courtesy of Jason Smigel

(Del Mar Horsepark, Del Mar, CA - August 10-11, 2013) From Introductory to Grand Prix, Mary Kehoe Dressage riders covered the whole spectrum of dressage this past weekend to a high degree of success. 

Karen O'Neill rode her own Cadence in their first show-outing together in the Introductory A & B tests quite successfully to scores of 71% & 75% respectively.  As the weekend progressed, Cadence become more comfortable and settled in the chaotic show environment and will soon be an old-pro at this.

Nicki Lucas returned to the ring with her Tango to ride in Training Level 2 & 3.  Though the environment surrounding the indoor arena at the time of her tests proved to be a bit challenging, Nicki very quickly regrouped and went on to achieve 65% and 62% respectively, and she cannot wait to get back into the show ring to do even better!

Amber Smigel, Mary's assistant trainer, competed her own Dijon at Third Level 2 each day and showed a large improvement in the short time since his last outing.  His carriage and steadiness continues to improve as was reflected in her scores of 65% and 66%.

Amber also competed her own Dow Jones at the Grand Prix level each day.  Though already having achieved her Gold Medal last December, the goal now is to really learn to ride this most complicated test and at the same time, bring out the very best that Dow can achieve.  Amber rode with much more focus on Sunday, working very hard to ride each and every step of the way, and the resulting ride had many fantastic moments.

Congratulations to all riders this weekend!!! 


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Dressage Holiday Special

Amber Smigel and Dow Jones

(Los Angeles Equestrian Center, Burbank, CA - December 8-9, 2012) Amber Smigel, resident trainer of Tar Farms in San Juan Capistrano, and coached by Mary Kehoe for the last two years, achieved the top USDF Rider Award, the Gold Medal, after achieving two scores over 60% at her first two rides ever at the Grand Prix level this weekend!  Amber rode her own Dow Jones, a Hannoverian gelding who she raised and trained from a foal in the field.  Amber and Dow made huge leaps in their FEI career after enlisting Mary to coach them two years ago.  Through regular coaching with Mary, Amber was also able to gain access to clinic instruction with the world-renowned Conrad Schumacher.

Amber put in very solid, mistake free rides in her tests.  The upcoming season will be focused on increasing the quality in the show ring, bringing the high quality that they achieve at home in such difficult movements as the piaffe & passage tour.  More mileage at the Grand Prix level, learning how to truly ride this most difficult test, are the goals ahead.

Congratulations Amber!  And best wishes for a successful season ahead!!


Mary Kehoe debuted Heather Neely's, Enchante, at 3rd Level this weekend.  Though the first ride had a few struggles, by the final ride, Enchante delivered in the show ring what she's been delivering in the daily training and warmup ring, achieving a 67% at 3rd Level, Test 3!  Enchante has developed a new carriage, a trot that is increasing in volume and lift every week, and exhibiting beautiful, clean changes!  The future is looking bright as Heather takes back over the reins in the upcoming months and works toward achieving her USDF Bronze Medal.  Good luck!!



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USDF Year End Awards

Congratulations goes out to Heather Neely and her successful show season with Enchante at 2nd Level.  Heather and Enchante achieved the following national level awards:

USDF All Breed - Oldenburg - 2nd Level Freestyle - Champion!!  71.367%
USDF All Breed - Oldenburg - 2nd Level Adult Amateur - 4th Place  63.553%

USDF Freestyle (overall) - 2nd Level Freestyle - 7th Place  71.367%

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Dressage at Flintridge

(La Cañada Flintridge, CA - May 25-27, 2012) Later in the year than normal, the first show outing of the season for our riders proved to be a success. 

The weather cooperated this weekend where historically it can be scorching hot.  Actually the first day we had quite the opposite - clouds, mist, then drizzle, and then a sizeable downpour as Heather Neely entered the ring for her first Second Level test ever!  However, Heather and Enchante stayed focused on their work and achieved a super score of over 64%.  Heather competed a total of five rides over the weekend and every test was over 60%, including the one on the last day where she “lost her way” a little bit, but more than made up for it in the quality of her work, had a good laugh with the judge, and finished with a 63%.

Amber Smigel and her Dow Jones, after a year of serious hard work and training, came out at the Intermediare II level.  While the first day’s test was had some bobbles due to nerves and over-riding, the second day demonstrated the potential this pair is showing.  Good concentration and thoughtfulness about her aids presented a steady test of good quality earning the pair a 64.6%. 

Congratulations to everyone!!


Mary schooling Ace and Amber schooling Dow Jones - Flintridge Riding Club
Photo courtesy of Jason Smigel

Clinic with Conrad Schumacher

(Corona, CA - April, 2012) We continue to have the good fortune of having Mr. Schumacher out to California a couple of times of year for training clinics.  He is a master at teaching and it is mesmerizing to watch the rides, but even more so to ride before him and receive his instruction directly.

At this clinic, hosted by Susan Peacock at her farm in Corona, CA, Mary Kehoe rode Nicki Lucas’ Friesian gelding, Tango, and Amber Smigel rode her own Dow Jones.

Mary is currently working to advance Tango to Third Level and the trick, as with most Friesians, is the flying change.  While one direction has come along well in its development, the other direction is proving much more challenging.  After the clinic last fall, the key with Tango at that was to improve his canter quality which needed more jump and airtime in order to increase the odds that he could get the changes.  This was done working over series of poles and improving canter/walk/canter transitions.

Conrad remarked quickly into the first day that he saw a big difference already in Tango’s canter, so the changes were going to be much more feasible.  After a few attempts on his trickier side, new exercises were introduced such as asking him to jump over a configuration of ground poles from counter-canter, requesting the change during the jump. This did prove, and continues to prove, quite successful for him. 

Other exercises improved his quickness and response time, as well as achieving a super high quality half halt with his neck superbly stretched out to the contact.  These included, again, many transitions, but incorporating rein-backs, turns on the forehand, and convincing the rider to ride with longer reins.  In the end, his trot and lateral work were lofty and supple and truly ridden from back to front.


Amber & Dow were primarily focused on the requirements for Intermediare II and Grand Prix.  Exercises for them including getting Dow more reactive to the leg, more engagement and more self-carriage.  Work was done with Amber to improve her position in some of the lateral work, as well as her ability to “let go” of the horse in the more difficult movements of piaffe & passage, allowing the horse to come into more honest self carriage.  By the end, Conrad remarked on the great improvement in this pair since he first saw them last fall and declared that they would be ready for Grand Prix by the fall.

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San Diego Summer Show / Regional Adult Amateur Competition

Nicole Bhathal and Ascension

Nicole Bhathal and Ascension

Photo courtesy of Emma Haas

(Del Mar Horsepark, Del Mar, CA - August 13-14, 2011) A contingent of four riders from Mary Kehoe Dressage headed down south for the second summer series show held by the San Diego Chapter of CDS.  This show also hosted the Southern Regional Adult Amateur Competition (RAAC), a recently developed series of three competitions held across the state designed to give our Adult Amateur riders a championship feel and format as many are unable to attend the CDS / USDF finals held in the fall.

First, a huge thanks to Casey & Paul Buller for assisting with trailering and set up at the show.  Carla Jordan also made the long trek down to lend a hand.  We also appreciate the supporters who came to watch and cheer us on throughout the weekend.

Nicki Lucas and her flamboyant Friesian gelding, Tango, competed at Training Level.  While Saturday's rides offered some challenges, she did score 64% and 2nd place in one class, then bounced back very well on Sunday, exhibiting more consistency in her work through the entire test, finishing out the weekend with a 67% and a win over a very large class.

Tara Davis and her bay gelding, Troy, both still relatively new to dressage, had moved up to 2nd Level earlier this year.  With some bobbles in her Saturday ride, she still scored 65% and 3rd place.  Sunday was her RAAC final, and while she struggle in one movement, the final score of 68% tied her for 1st Place!  The tie-braker resulted in the Reserve Champion award, a beautiful red neck sash and leather halter.

Nicole Bhathal and her steadfast partner, Ascension, laid down a flawless ride at the Intermediare-I level against a tough group of competitors.  She too, achieved a score which tied for 1st Place - 69%  She was also rewarded the Reserve Champion placing after the tie-braker, receiving the red neck sash and leather halter.

Heather Neely and princess Enchante competed in First Level test 3 on Saturday, riding a very fluid, clean test for a 66% and 3rd Place out of a huge class of 20.  She also presented her freestyle that day, winning the class with a 67%.  Sunday was her First Level RAAC final.  Another very solid, mistake-free test scored her 68% and a placement of 5th in her class.

Riders in the RAAC finals who place participated in honor rounds and award presentations for each class.

A super successful weekend for the Kehoe Dressage Team!!!  Congratulation to our riders, and thank you to everyone who supported and helped us in every way!!

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"Music To Our Ears - A Spectacular Evening of Wine Tasting and Dressage Musical Freestyles" - dressagedaily.com

Mary and Ascension, Heather and Enchanté at beautiful Giracci Vineyards and Farms

Mary and Ascension, Heather and Enchanté at beautiful Giracci Vineyards and Farms

Photo courtesy of Steve Neely


(Giracci Vineyards & Farms, Silverado, CA - July 22, 2011) Be sure to check out the story and photos from this spectacular event at dressagedaily.com!

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Festival of the Horse

(Los Angeles Equestrian Center, Burbank, CA - April 1-3, 2011) A large contingent of the Mary Kehoe training barn made their way into competition at the Festival of the Horse.  Arriving in extreme heat, well into the upper 90s for the first two days, added to the challenge of competition during this large show.

Nicki Lucas continued her work at Training Level.  Riding Test 1, the pair improved over the weekend in their performances.  In several areas of the test that Nicki has focused on accomplishing at home in her daily work, progress was made in putting the package together in the show ring.  Many more show miles and experience for Nicki will prove the pair very successful in the future.

Beth Shafer and Venturoso competed at the Second Level.  Beth has been working very diligently on her own riding and technical skills required of the rider in the difficult movements and collection introduced at this level, which is very much a foundation level for the demanding work ahead. With this in mind, Beth is quite focused on honing these skills until they become second nature.  The pair put in solid performances all weekend, scoring in the low 60s consistently. 

After a year away from the show ring due to demands of school and work, Kendall Valenstein and her Repertoire competed at the Prix St. Georges level once again.  Kendall's focus this weekend was to ride every stride of the tests in a very focused manner, looking at how to bring the quality out of every step.  While "Rep" was not very cooperative the first day, Kendall maintained her composure and mentally rode well all weekend. 

An unfortunate unsoundness put an early end to Heather Neely's show weekend with Enchante.  However, the very good news is that it was temporary and the pair is already back to training.  Heather rode extremely well in her one and only test, staying calm and focused on her work in spite of the challenges presented that day.

Congratulations to everyone for all of your hard work and dedication to your riding!!!

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Dressage Affair

(Del Mar Horsepark, Del Mar, CA - March 10-13, 2011) After struggling through weeks of training interruptions from rain to extreme tree-trimming at the Nellie Gail facility, Beth Shafer and her horse Venturoso, put in a successful show at the Dressage Affair.   Competing at Second Level in the recently revised tests, Beth and "Roso" improved as the weekend progressed, finishing her final ride on Sunday with a 66.8% and 1st place.  The rides became steadier as Beth began riding each one more thoughtfully, more concentrated, preparing and working with her horse every stride.  The results were clearly apparent as the performances improved and her confidence grew.  Congratulations Beth!!!

Amber Gabriel and her two horses, Dijon working at 3rd/4th level, and Dow Jones, competing at the Intermediare II level, achieved many good moments in their rides this weekend.  In only her second competition at the I-II level with Dow, she significantly improved her scores in many movements including the difficult piaffe/passage series introduced at this level, and well as finding better cadence and self-carriage throughout the work overall.  Amber is learning a ton about putting together the difficult FEI level rides in actual competition, the preparation and mental focus that has to take place in order to achieve a successful test.  Dijon, new to the 4th level at this show, put in solid performances.  Through Amber's hard work, he is beginning to show greater potential, and loftier gaits as his confidence and strength grow.  Congratulations Amber!!

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Clinic with Volker Brommann

(Nellie Gail Ranch Equestrian Center, Laguna Hills, CA - February 12-13, 2011) Nellie Gail Ranch recently hosted a training clinic with Volker Brommann.  It has been several years since Volker returned to our area and it was quite a treat to be able to work with him again.  Many students from the group took advantage of Volker's easy going style and challenging work to take their training to a new level.  The theme heard throughout the rides was about the hind end of the horses and the added activity and engagement of the hind legs.  Also, a relaxed neck and frame to achieve a soft and supple back was key.  Movements specific to each horse / rider pair and their respective levels were worked on, helping each rider come away with a better understanding of their jobs and how to correctly guide their horses in the work.  The weather was beautiful, and with free auditing, we had a good group of auditors throughout both days.  A great way to enhance your own training even if you're not riding in the clinic itself.  Participants included:  Mary & Rochambeau;  Deirdre Spalding and Barry; Mary & Sabina DiSano's Andiamo; Amber Gabriel and Dow Jones; Carly Davis and Delmonico; Lynn and Franklin; Nicole Bhathal and Ascension; Beth Shafer and Venturoso; Nicki Lucas and Tango; Emma Haas and Detour.  We look forward to having Volker return this summer.

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November Dressage Getaway

Nicki and Beth share a quiet moment in Thermal
Photo courtesy of Tom Lucas

(HITS Desert Horse Park, Thermal, CA - November 19-20, 2010) In November, a few riders escaped the rains that hit hard in Orange County and showed successfully at the showgrounds in Thermal.  The gigantic facility boasts full size permanent stalls, wonderful footing, and super weather conditions up until Sunday when the winds blew through!

Nicki Lucas debuted with her Tango at Training Level.  Her overall show experience ran the gammit from one test "where everything that can go wrong, did" to an absolute brilliant recovery in the very next ride of a very accurate, precise and well-ridden test to a top score of almost 69%!  Nicki's experience proved to her that when mistakes happen, it's definitely not the end of the world and to just let it go, and keep focused and working on what's ahead.  Her confidence high, she's eagerly looking forward to her next competitive outing. 

Beth continued her work with Venturoso at Second Level, this time moving up to the more difficult Test 4.  Though her first ride was a bit tentative, her second ride proved much more successful as she focused on riding from her seat and better preparation of all of the movements within the test.  Her position and effectiveness in the saddle has greatly improved with some very dedicated out-of-the-saddle physical training over the last several months, and her confidence will continue to increase in her new-found seat.

Congratulations to all!!!


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2010 USDF Award Winners

(Burbank, CA - October 10, 2010) The 2010 USDF Award Winners have been announced - congratulations to all on a fine season!

Rochambeau
USDF 2010 Dressage Horse of the Year
Rochambeau
13th Place, 3rd Level

Rochambeau
USDF 2010 All Breeds Award
Rochambeau
Champion, 3rd Level
Oldenburg Horse Breeders Society NA Division of GOV

Tango
USDF 2010 All Breeds Award
Wout fan Bommelsteyn (aka: Tango), owned by Nicki Lucas
3rd Place, 2nd Level
Friesian Horse Association of North America

Enchanté
USDF 2010 All Breeds Award
Enchanté, owned by Heather Neely
3rd Place, 2nd Level
Oldenburg Horse Breeders Society NA Division of GOV



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2010 CDS and USDF Championships

(Burbank, CA - October 7-10, 2010) Three horse & rider combinations from Mary Kehoe Dressage attended the CDS & USDF Region 7 Championships held at the LA Equestrian Center in Burbank, CA Oct 7-10, 2010.  These are both State and Regional level championships which are only attended by those who have achieved a required number of qualifying scores throughout the competition season.

Mary and Nicki Lucas’ Tango competed in the Open Second Level Division in both the CDS and USDF classes.  The CDS final is made up of two rides, one at Test 3 and one at Test 4.  Test 3 was ridden on Friday morning, and Tango landed in first place, positioning himself well for the final round on Saturday.  In spite of the heat on Saturday afternoon, Tango put in a powerful test to win the Championship!  On Friday afternoon, the USDF Final, consisting of just one ride at Test 4 was contested where Tango put in yet another super test, narrowly missing first place to finish with the Reserve Championship!

Nicole Bhathal and Ascension competed in the Adult Amateur Prix St. Georges Division in both the CDS and USDF classes.  The competition was very extensive with some twenty-five riders in each class!  Nicole landed in 5th place overall in the CDS Final, and 7th place overall in the USDF Final.  This pair has only been together since late January, and these results are a super addition to their RAAC Championship in August after only eight months together.

Tara Davis and Troy only recently moved to Nellie Gail and began working with Mary.  Tara comes from an eventing background and only showed Troy twice in dressage this season, just enough to get his qualifying scores for the USDF Final.  A quick study, their fluid, pleasant performance landed them in 3rd place for the USDF Adult Amateur First Level Championship!

Congratulations to all!!

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RAAC Champion!

(Del Mar Horse Park, Del Mar, CA -August 15, 2010) Congratulations to Nicole Bhathal and Ascension!  After only purchasing Ascension in January of this year, Nicole and her new partner qualified and competed at the recent Regional Adult Amateur Competition at the Prix St. Georges level.  The competition was held in conjunction with the San Diego Chapter show series at the Del Mar Horse Park on August 15, 2010.  Nicole rode a concentrated and well executed test to the winning score of 69.4% to top the class in the Novice division.  In addition, her high score earned NIcole the High Point Award for the Novice Division of the entire RAAC competition!!!

Next stop - the CDS & USDF Finals in October!

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Nicole Bhathal and Ascension

Nicole Bhathal and Ascension

Photo courtesy of Emma Haas



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Developing Rider Clinic

(Epona Farms, Thousand Oaks, CA -June 3-4, 2010) USEF recently implemented a "Talent Search" program to bring new horse & rider combinations into their Developing Rider Program.  This program was previously limited to the top 15 combinations at the Intermediare level who had competed at the national championships.  The "Talent Search", however, has opened the door to up and coming pairs who may not have yet competed at this level nor qualified for the national finals.  After an initial application to USEF, Mary and Rochambeau were accepted into a Developing Rider clinic with Debbie McDonald held on June 3-4, 2010 at Epona Farms in Thousand Oaks.

Epona Farms, where Debbie and her team winter during the show season, is a stunning facility.  Lawns, trees and flower beds surround the barns and arenas.  The stalls are all oversized and situated to catch the cool breezes.  Breezeways are furnished with overstuffed sofas and chairs providing a comfortable place to relax and chat throughout the day.  Both indoor and outdoor rings had ample viewing platforms, and the most incredible footing.

Debbie is a very gifted teacher with a quick eye for small detail.  She immediately had Mary create a greater degree of straightness in Beau and a much higher level of honest acceptance of the half-halts throughout, but particularly when working toward the greater degree of collection required for the pirouettes and half-steps.  This began immediately in the warmup phase, asking questions of the horse from the very beginning so that the work phase could proceed at a higher level.  Constantly asking for small variations within the gaits challenges the acceptance of the aids and must be done on a daily basis.

Progression and improvement was made in each session resulting in a greater degree of collection and honesty within the connection which will be required for the move up to the Prix St. Georges level. 

Thank you to USEF, Debbie McDonald, and Epona Farms for this wonderful opportunity.

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Dressage at Flintridge

(La Cañada Flintridge, CA - May 28-30, 2010) Several combinations from Mary's program recently competed at the lovely Flintridge Riding Club.

Mary rode her own Rochambeau successfully at Third Level to high scores and a reserve high point, open upper level, award.

Mary rode Venturoso, a Lusitano gelding owned by Elizabeth Shafer, at Second Level, producing some very solid, steady tests.  Beth then took over the reins, competing at Second Level for the first time, and coming away with the Dover Medal for her efforts.

Mary rode Tango (Wout fan Bommelstyn), a Friesian gelding owned by Nicki Lucas, continuing his progression at Second Level in Test 4.  His bold movement and steady performance achieved great scores in some large open classes.

Mary rode Enchante, an Oldenburg mare owned by Heather Neely, at Second Level.  The mare put in steady, elegant tests for solid scores while fairly new to this level of competition.  The ride was then taken over by Heather who competed at First Level Test 4 with her mare.

Rounding out the group was Nicole Bhathal on Mary's former Grand Prix horse, Ascension, competing at the Prix St. Georges level.  In only her second show with her new partner, Nicole showed improvement in each test over the course of the weekend.

All in all, a very successful show for Team Kehoe!  Congratulations!!

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Clinic with Conrad Schumacher

(Clovis, CA - April 27-29, 2010) Conrad recently returned to Fresno, CA, and Mary with Rochambeau, and Kendall Valenstein with Repertoire, attended his clinic.

Lessons for Mary and Beau worked toward developing a greater degree of collection and strength, as well as honesty in the aids needed for the tempi changes.  Very subtle changes in the rider's aids were also made resulting in dramatic improvements in the medium and extended trot work.

Kendall's lessons focused on solidifying her position and connection with the horse.  Consistent contact and stretch over the topline resulted in some lovely and powerful work between the two of them.

As always, we are very fortunate to have access to such a gifted instructor such as Conrad.

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Upcoming Events

(Laguna Hills, CA - February 20, 2010) The dressage show season is now in full swing.  The west coast show circuit this winter and spring are almost all internationally (CDI) ranked shows as our top riders look to qualify for the opportunity to compete for the US Team at the World Equestrian Games to be held for the first time on US soil in September at the Kentucky Horse Park. 

Open shows will be held in conjunction with these top level events, and many of the riders in the Mary Kehoe Dressage barn will be participating.  These will be super events to come watch, support our own riders, and admire some of the best horse and rider combinations in the United States including current World Champion, Steffen Peters and Ravel, former Olympic team members Guenter Siedel and Susan Blinks, up & coming protegees of Debbie MacDonald, Adrienne Lyle and Felix & Wizard. 

March 12-14 will be the Dressage Affair held at the Del Mar Horsepark.

April 1-4 will be the Festival of the Horse held at the Los Angeles Equestrian Center in Burbank.

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Conrad Schumacher Clinic a Huge Success

(Hidden Valley Ranch, Corona, CA - February 2-4, 2010) Our dressage riders were very lucky to have the opportunity to ride in and / or audit a recent training clinic with German trainer, Conrad Schumacher. Conrad is known internationally for his excellence as an instructor and has trained many world and Olympic level riders.  He was also instrumental in getting the US Young Rider program to the high level that it is today as he was the US coach for at least ten years.

The pairs who were able to ride with Conrad were Mary Kehoe and her new young horse, Rochambeau; Nicole Bhathal and her new partner, Ascension (Mary's former Grand Prix horse); and Kendall Valenstein and her Repetoire.

All riders were put through challenging exercises, furthering their skills and understanding of the complete focus to detail that is required to develop the horse to his potential.  Mary & Beau were given series of exercises that will help them develop the canter pirouettes and made the flying changes smoother and easier each day.  The renvers, both in trot and canter, were pivotal in demonstrating the honesty of Beau's suppleness and throughness on the aids.  Lots of transitions -  simple changes, trot-halt-trot - were key in creating more engagement for Beau.  The pair finished with some help from the ground from Conrad in the half-steps, showing good potential for his piaffe.

Nicole & Ascension are a very new partnership,  Conrad is quite familiar with Ascension and helped Nicole bring out the most in him, getting him very honest and in front of her leg.  He reminded Nicole that for Ascension, the key is the  honesty in the basics of the work - transitions, a supple, deep neck position, a hot reaction from her leg; the movements then are very easy for him as they are quite confirmed.

Kendall & Repetoire had some great "ah-hah" moments during the clinic.  By day two, Conrad had the pair moving "in another way", fluid and forward, big and powerful.  Simply maintaining an ultra-consistent, elastic connection between horse and rider made the difference in her ability to influence Rep positively, as well as give him a greater sense of confidence in a new environment.  Again, the focus on basics made the movements effortless as she was able to easily take him through changes, half-passes and super canter-pirouettes.

Several members from the barn came out to audit the clinic and came away with some great insight and inspiration to work hard at home.  Conrad's incredible ability to articulate the exercises and goals to both the riders as well as to all of the auditors, his willingness to answer questions in depth, is a great gift to the dressage community.

Conrad Schumacher Clinic - Hidden Valley Ranch, Corona, CA
© 2010 Mary Kehoe

Conrad comes to Southern California

(Hidden Valley Ranch, Corona, CA - February 2-4, 2010) Conrad Schumacher is returning to our area for a clinic in the upcoming weeks.  Please contact Susan Peacock for further information and auditing details:

Hidden River Ranch, 8312 Grapewin, Corona, California 92880
Phone: 909-227-6404  EMail:
dressagepeacock@gmail.com

Participants from our program include:

  • Mary Kehoe and Rochambeau

  • Kendall Valenstein and Repetoire

  • Nicole Bhathal and Ascension

Please plan to audit this wondeful clinic!  Conrad is a super instructor and you will come away inspired and with a new level of knowledge!

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Nicole Bhathal and Ascension - Super Pair!

(Laguna Hills, CA - January, 2010) Mary's long-time partner and Grand Prix horse, Ascension, has a new owner.  Congratulations to Nicole Bhathal on her new partnership!  Nicole is the new manager of the Nellie Gail Equestrian Center.  She had been searching for a new horse for quite some time, and just prior to the end of the year, rode and fell in love with Ascension.  They make a super pair, and Nicole is very excited about all that Ascension will patiently teach her.  While it is very difficult to ever part with one's partner of so many years, Mary is happy to see Ascension move on into such good hands.  Ascension and Nicole will remain at Nellie Gail, and remain in training and care with Mary.  Nicole is looking forward to debuting at the Prix St. George level later this spring.  Good luck Nicole!!

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Horse Holiday Extravaganza

(Nellie Gail Ranch Equestrian Center, Laguna Hills, CA - December 20, 2009) A huge crowd gathered at Nellie Gail Equestrian Center for a great holiday event organized by new barn manager, Nicole Bhathal.  Our first annual Horse Holiday Extravaganza was a huge success, receiving super write ups in the Orange County Register in print and on their website.  There were many demonstrations about various breeds, jumping, and fun games for the kids.  Friends of Orange County Homeless Pets received wonderful contributions from visitors to the event, as well as adopting out a few dogs that day.  Dressage demonstrations included an Intermediare level freestyle by Mary Kehoe and Ascension; a freestyle to Christmas music was performed by Jan Curtis on her Whizzkid; Kendal Valenstein and Repetoire performed their "spy' freestyle at the Young Rider level; and Beth Shafer and Nicki Lucas performed a black and white pas-de-deux with Beth's Luistano gelding, Venturoso, and Nicki's Friesian gelding, Tango.  In addition to the entertainment, a 2nd Level Test 2 was ridden by Mary on Tango, with Jan, an "S" level judge, giving her commentary to the audience through-out the ride, explaining what we are looking for in our compulsory dressage tests.  Thank you to all of the participants, and to all who came to watch. 

To see photos from the Holiday Extravaganza, please visit: Nancy Albright Photography

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2009 Clinic with Conrad Schumacher

(Clovis, CA - October 9, 2009) Two pairs from the barn attended the annual fall clinic in Clovis, CA with Conrad Schumacher.  Hosted once again by Renee Johnson, the clinic was well run and wonderful food was provided.

Mary took Rochambeau for his first clinic outing and introduction to Conrad.  He traveled extremely well and worked hard throughout the clinic.  Conrad expressed appreciation for the horse's physical talent and good mind.  The work focused on mostly basics and confirmation of neck position.  A much better reach through the neck and swing over the back was achieved through a great deal of work through transitions and ensuring that the rider did not cause the horse to curl.  The more solid this positioning became, the steadier Beau worked and more solid his movements and changes became.

Deirdre Spalding rode her horse Wolkenprinz LHF (aka Barry) with Conrad for the first time.  A long time fan of Conrad's schooling techniques, this was an exciting opportunity for the pair.  Schooling 2nd / 3rd level, there was much to work on.  The main focus became on lightening the rider's aids, collecting and working the horse more from her seat and sublte rein aids, and refining the half-halts and transitions.  The collection in the canter work must be absolutely solid before proceeding with work in the changes so that they can develop in a more quiet and obedient nature.

Conrad is an extremely gifted teacher, and has the amazing ability to see immediately what the horse & rider needs to achieve success.  His exercises bring about extreme focus from the rider, a very high standard of quality, and ultimately, and happy and correctly trained horse.

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Tango Shines in Del Mar!

(Del Mark, CA - September 26-27, 2009) A big congratulations is due to Nick Lucas and her beloved Tango (Wout Fan Bommelsteyn).  Under Mary's direction, Tango debuted at Second Level this fall, and with much success!  His performances were forward and through, demonstrating clearly the qualities required at Second Level, and resulting in high scores in three of the Second Level tests - Test 1, 2, and 3.  Comments from the judges, Louise Koch and Melissa Cresswick, were very positive and enthusiastic to the quality of his work and training.  Super job Tango!

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Welcome Rochambeau!

Mary and Rochambeau

Mary and Rochambeau

(Laguna Hills, CA - August 18, 2009) On Tuesday, August 18, Mary's new horse and partner arrived at the Nellie Gail barn.  Rochambeau is an 8 year old, chestnut, Oldenburg gelding, 17h tall, and currently schooling about 3rd level.  He is athletic and elastic, demonstrating a wonderful uphill canter, and his trot work showing very good potential for piaffe and passage.

Beau has settled into the barn and the environment without batting an eye and is already working well toward his future competition career.  Mary plans to continue regular training sessions with Steffen Peters ensuring that she and Beau continue on the right path toward their goals.  Competition plans will wait until next season to determine the best place to start Beau.  He has strength and muscle that need to develop over the next several months.  Ultimately however, whether next season or thereafter, the goals include competition in the High Performance Division at the Intermediare level and qualifying for the national championships.  And when he is ready, they will move on to Grand Prix.

Rochambeau was imported by Royal Oaks Farm in Thousand Oaks (http://www.royaloaksfarm.com) two years ago as a sales horse.  Recently, the owner, Anke, contacted her old friend Rebecca Rigdon (http://rebeccarigdondressage.net) to place Beau with her for the resale.  Rebecca, who recently relocated her training business from Kansas to the barn of Steffen Peters in San Diego, began working with Beau.  Steffen saw Beau being worked and a few days later, rode him himself.  Mary was at Steffen's facility the following day to ride another sales horse and Steffen asked her to try Beau as well.  For the next two weeks, Mary's long days at Nellie Gail ended with a drive to San Diego for further opportunities to ride Beau.  Each ride was better and better, Beau demonstrating more and more talent with Mary under Steffen's watchful eye.  And so the deal was made and Beau came home.

With lots of hard work, good health, and good luck, Mary hopes that she and Beau will soon be on track to reach her next set of goals.  Thank you to all of the students, clients and friends who've expressed their support and encouragement to the new team!

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Success in San Marcos

(San Marcos, CA -May 30, 2009) Congratulations are in order for several Mary Kehoe Dressage students:

Deirdre McNamara-Spalding and Wolkenprinz LHF (aka Barry) made their show debut this weekend.  Together they earned matching scores at 1st Level Test 4 66.316 and Second Level Test 1 66.316.  Barry's first show outing proved to be a wonderful and obedient partnership with his owner/rider Deirdre.  We look forward to seeing them in the show ring more often!

Kendall Valenstein earned her final score needed for the USDF Bronze Medal rider award. Riding Tango, graciously loaned to her by owner Nicki Lucas, she garnered scores at First Level Test 2 61.944% and First Level Test 4 63.684%.  After only five previous schooling sessions with Tango, Kendall quickly adapted to the very different feel of riding this Friesian from her own horse and did a super job working through the tests.

Beth Shafer and Venturoso showed off continued success in their partnership. They earned scores at First Level Test 2 (58.33%) and at First Level Test 3 (63.43%).  Beth is gaining more and more confidence in working with Venturoso and becoming more secure in the skills to ride him in the proper connection, frame, and impulsion.

And finally, Mary Kehoe rode Floreal, owned by Peggy Cherry, in tests which showed off his ever increasing confidence and relaxation.  Earning high scores at First Level Test 3 69.429% and First Level Test 4 71.053%, Floreal, who is an extremely sensitive horse, demonstrated that he is capable of maintaining his focus on Mary and his quality of work away from home in a more stressful show environment.

Super job everyone!!

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Dressage Affair Report

Mary and Ascension

Ascension
© 2009 Don Kehoe

(Del Mar, CA - March 13-15, 2009) Continued success at the Grand Prix level for Mary & Ascension when they achieved a score of 62.979 in their test performance on March 15th.  This score was earned under another tough CDI / international panel, this time a full panel of five judges, one of whom gave the pair over 65%.

Kendall Valenstein and her Repertoire did a good job managing their way through a tricky show environment to achieve a 60% on the final day at the Prix St. Georges level.  Though still new to this level, the pair is well on their way, developing more strength and capability each week.  Congratulations!

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Grand Prix & Gold Medal

(Burbank, CA - February 19-22, 2009) After their successful debut at the Grand Prix level during the Mid-Winter Dressage show at the Los Angeles Equestrian Center, Mary has earned the final scores required for her USDF Gold Medal.  The Gold Medal is earned for achieving scores of 60% or higher at both the Intermediare and Grand Prix levels.  Both days, Mary and Ascension rode under three judges from the CDI panel who were there to qualify our top competitors for the World Cup competition in April.  The scores earned under this tough panel were 61.702% and 60.000%.  A huge thanks out to all of Mary's clients and supporters who came out to cheer them on.  And a special thanks to Steffen Peters who assisted Mary in the warmup and test performance.  He has been instrumental in developing this pair to the highest levels.


Steffen Peters with Mary Kehoe In the warm-up Grand Prix at LAEC
Steffen Peters with Mary ---Warm-up
Grand Prix
© 2009 Don Kehoe


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Moving up to Grand Prix!

Mary and Ascension

Mary and Ascension
Photo courtesy of Don Kehoe
(San Juan Capistrano, CA - February 15, 2009) Mary and Ascension will debut the Grand Prix level in competition at the upcoming Mid-Winter Dressage show at the LA Equestrian Center in Burbank, February 19-22.  This will be the first time at this level for both horse and rider, a culmination of their partnership together of six years.  The experience of bringing the entire training process to result in the competition ring has been an incredible journey for both horse and rider.  The partnership has had many firsts together - all of the FEI levels of dressage, competition in Internationally rated shows, as well as access to incredible trainers such as Steffen Peters.  Thank you to everyone who has supported and cheered on this team!

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Congratulations Kendall Valenstein!!

(Burbank, CA - January 24-25, 2009) Through awful muddy conditions due to the rains, Kendall and her Dutch Warmblood, Repertoire, achieved scores at the January LA Winter Dressage show in Burbank which have secured her the USDF Silver rider medal.  Kendall achieved a 60.789% in the Prix St. Georges test, earning high scores for the canter pirouettes and rider score.  The following day was a brand new test, the Young Rider Individual Test, of equal difficulty to the PSG test, where she achieved a 62.368% and 4th place in the class.  While eligible this year to compete for the Young Rider team, Kendall and Rep will instead continue to train and strengthen their performances, and make a bid for the team during the 2010 show season.

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CDS San Diego 2008 Circuit Grand Champions!

(San Diego, CA - February 8, 2009) Mary and Ascension won the San Diego show circuit championship at the FEI level, open division, for 2008 for the highest points achieved during the San Diego recognized shows.  Another championship was also achieved by Mary with Enchante, owned by Heather Neely, at First Level in the open division.  Beautiful championship ribbons and embroidered jackets were recently awarded to the pairs.  Congratulations!!

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Exploring Mary's Training Philosophy

(San Juan Capistrano, CA - January 2009) Mary was pleased to be approached by the San Juan Capistrano Chapter of the California Dressage Society to provide her training philosophy and equestrian background as part of a spotlight on dressage trainers in the area.  Look for the full interview in the upcoming issue of the CDS-SJC Chapter newsletter which will soon be posted online at: www.sjc-cds.org/newsletter.html

To learn more about Mary's philosophy, please visit her Background page.

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Conrad Schumacher Clinic

(Fresno, CA - Oct 26-29, 2008) As Mary and Ascension planned their annual fall trip to Fresno to ride with Conrad, an opening came up for another horse to go along.  Beth and her new horse, Venturoso, were able to take advantage of this incredible opportunity.

Venturoso, a 7 year old Lusitano and recent import from Brazil, has been hard at work with Mary and Beth since his arrival to confirm his basics.  This work was taken to another level with Conrad's help.  The exercises and work for Venturoso were all geared to encourage the stretch over the topline and through the neck that he missed in his early education, as well as becoming comfortable with the proper use of the legs and allowing himself to be ridden from the seat.  The first two days including a lot of work over trot poles to also get his back swinging.  Each day was amazing - Roso started where he left off
the day before, so the work progressed rapidly, a big testament to his good character and intelligence. 

With Ascension, who Conrad already knows quite well, better connection was found through better impulsion and throughness in his whole body.  The sessions focused on getting that impulsion more immediately and going to work more quickly rather than a lengthy warmup phase and then a lengthy working phase.  There was also work on the mental aspect or motivation, and horse & rider were pushed to continue on and work through lines of changes, interspersed with medium canters, and then back to changes until the quality came up and the aids came through.  Piaffe & passage work capped the final day of training with some help from the ground from Conrad.

Mary & Beth watched as many of the other riders as possible who included some experienced riders on younger horses (who didn't always want to play "clinic"), and some top level riders on their upper level horses.  As always with Conrad, he handed out amazing exercises & techniques that brought the horses & riders together, often completely changing their way of going as we watched.  If you have not seen a clinic or symposium with Conrad, it is something not to be missed.

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2008 USDF Awards Announced

11th Place USDF Horse of the Year - Mary & Ascension, Intermediare II

2nd place USDF All Breeds, Swedish - Mary & Ascension, Intermediare II

2nd Place USDF All Breeds, Oldenburg GOV - Heather & Enchante, Training

3rd Place, USDF All Breeds, Friesian - Mary & Tango, First

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2008 Finals

(Burbank, CA -Oct 9-12, 2008) Beginning with incredible heat and later blowing through with Santa Ana winds, the Championships at LAEC seemed to lack a bit of the air of excitement that it normally has.  No one could put their finger on it, but many people commented on it throughout the week.

For Mary, the decision to scratch Ascension from the competition likely had a great deal to do with the feel of the show.  Though completely sound and otherwise healthy, Mary decided that the work at the time was not up to championship material and it did not make sense for horse or rider to put in a low quality performance.

Heather and Enchanté

Heather and Enchanté, 2008 Finals

Photo courtesy of Steve Neely


Heather and Enchante got off to a bit of a rough start in the USDF class with some off-course errors, but then came back to improving each subsequent test ride in the CDS tests.  Though the results were not what Heather & Mary had hoped for, a lot was learned from the experiences that will be useful in upcoming shows and events.  Congratulations Heather on a terrific show season and making it to the Finals!

Mary and Tango

Mary and Tango, 2008 Finals

Photo courtesy of Steve Neely

Mary competed Tango, owned by Nicki Lucas, in the Finals at First Level.  The CDS tests were a bit of a mixed bag and resulted in a mid-class finish.  However, Tango made his way into the honor rounds after earning a 6th place finish in the USDF class.  Congratulations Nicki & Tango!


Award Winners

Award Winners, 2008 Finals

Photo courtesy of Steve Neely




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Well Done Carla!

(Laguna Hills, CA - Sep 7, 2008) CONGRATULATIONS Carla for your perseverance, determination, and achievement of your goals today!

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Heading for Finals!

(Laguna Hills, CA - Sep 7, 2008) After a very busy show season, three horses from the barn will be competing in the CDS & USDF Regional finals in October at the LA Equestrian Center.  Enchante and Heather Neely will be vying for honors in the Training Level Amateur division.  Mary Kehoe will be riding Tango in the First Level Open competition.  And Ascension will make another appearance at this championship show, this time at the Intermediare II Level.  September will be a month of concentrated training and fitness conditioning for all participants.  Congratulations and Good Luck!!


Ascension

Ascension

Enchanté

Enchanté

Tango

Tango




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Gunilla and Nejlika Debut - Tango Qualifies!

Heather and Gunilla

Heather and Gunilla

(San Marcos, CA - Aug 2, 2008) Gunilla Svendsen & Nejlika made their show-ring debut at Second Level at the San Marcos Dressage show on August 2nd.  It took much persuasion, but after a good ride and judge comments as a demo-rider at the recent L-Program put on by the Pomona Chapter, Gunilla agreed to go for it in the show ring. She and her lovely Swedish mare put in a nice Test 3 for their first time back in the show ring in several years.  This talented pair has much to look forward to, and only now needs the mileage in the show ring to bring all of their good work at home into the final performance.  Congratulations Gunilla!!!

Once again, Enchante topped the score sheets at San Marcos.  Mary rode Enchante to 1st place and the Open High Point of the Day, performing the 1st Level Test #4 to a 70.789%  Then it was Heather's turn, and she turned out a beautifully fluid Training Level Test #3 achieving 68.80% for 1st place and the reserve high point position in the Amateur division.  Super Job!!

Tango, Nicki Lucas' beloved Friesian gelding, completed his final qualifying scores at the San Marcos Dressage.  With Mary at the reins, Tango will now be competing at the CDS/USDF Finals in October at 1st Level.  Tango has put in a good season, averaging in the upper 60s overall, and is expected to put in a solid performance at LAEC in October.  Congratulations Nicki!


Mary and Tango

Mary and Tango

Photo courtesy of Steve Neely




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Welcome Beth and 'Roso!

(Laguna Hills, CA - Jul 31, 2008) The newest addition to the Mary Kehoe Dressage team is Beth Shafer and her new partner, Venturoso, who arrived at the barn July 31, 2008. Beth is a USDF Silver medalist and very active competitor. Venturoso is a 6 year old Lusitano gelding who is currently schooling 3rd/4th level work. He was recently imported from Brazil, and was purchased through Donna Richardson of San Marcos. Donna is confident in his upper level potential, and after some further conformation of his basics and some months of further strength building, Beth will have herself a nice FEI horse for the show ring. We are very excited to have you with us! Welcome Beth and 'Roso!!!

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Heat, Humidity and Honor Rounds

(Burbank, CA - Jul 12-13, 2008) Congratulations!! go out to Heather Neely and Enchante!!!  After a busy show season, they qualified and competed in the new Regional Adult Amateur Competition held at LAEC over a very hot and humid weekend in July.  The Training Level classes were huge (some 20+ competitors) and a first time "championship" style competition for both of them.  Heather rode a fluid test on the elegant Enchante to a score of 66.80% and a 3rd Place finish!!!!  A short time later, the class got the full championship feel by participating in awards presentations and honor rounds.  Enchante took it all in stride as if she'd been out there doing this every day, standing quietly during the presentations and trotting around the arena in great form.  Congratulations again and good luck as they proceed to the CDS & USDF Finals in October!

Honor Rounds Victory Lap

Honor Rounds Victory Lap

Heather and the "Princess"

Heather and the "Princess"

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Slow and Steady Work Pays Off

Mary and Ascension

Mary and Ascension

Photo courtesy of Steve Neely

(Burbank, CA - Jul 12-13, 2008) After many months away from the show rings, Mary and Ascension completed their second show since coming back to work at the LA Chapter Dressage show in July at LAEC.  Competing in the Intermediare II, the months of slow and steady work began to pay off acheiving a 66.341% on the first day and a 67.317% on the second day.  Continued training and strength building should develop the piaffe & passage further to achieve even better scores and the move on up to the Grand Prix level in the next season.


Mary and Ascension

Mary and Ascension at the Los Angeles Equestrian Center

Photo courtesy of Steve Neely

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Ace Returns!

(Clovis, CA - Spring 2008)
Mary and Ascencion

Mary and Ascencion

Photo courtesy of Don Kehoe
April 9-11 marked Ascension’s return to truly full work. Mary and Ascension were able to participate in a 3-day clinic with Conrad Schumacher, graciously hosted by Renee Johnson at her farm in Clovis, CA.

For those of you who may not know, Ascension suffered a very mild tendon strain last fall, just prior to the CDI in San Diego. After completing a couple of outings at the Intermediare II level prior to that, they had been looking forward to ride the Grand Prix this spring.

Mary has taken everything very conservatively and slowly in bringing Ascension back to work, to ensure many healthy seasons ahead, and she is planning to debut the Grand Prix in the fall. The time between now and then will consist of continued training, conditioning, and strengthening work at home and in clinics, and working with Steffen Peters as time allows between his bid with several horses at the U.S. Selection Trials and likely subsequent trip to the Olympic Games during the summer.

The clinic with Conrad brought back the reminders of focused attention to details and basics-basics-basics. The work was mentally intense and physically challenging; however, both horse and rider came through ready for more.

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Congratulations!

(San Marcos, CA - April 19-20) Enchante, owned by Heather Neely, continued her success in the show ring this weekend.  First, with Heather at the reins, she was beautifully manuevered through Training Level Test 4 for a 68.00%, 1st place, and Amateur Reserve High Point of the day.  Later in the day, ridden by Mary, Enchante demonstrated her capabilities even further by producing a 69.474% at First Level Test 4.  She then received the Open Reserve High Point of the day.  The second day of the show brought Heather back for a repeat performance at TL-4 and a 64.80%; comments from the judge included positive remarks about the  elasticity of her gaits, desire to move forward, and elegance of the tests.  Super job Heather!!!


Heather and Enchanté

Heather and Enchanté

Photo courtesy of Steve Neely

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Nicki and Tango Shine!

(San Marcos, CA - February 2008) At a recent show, Nicki Lucas and her beloved Friesian gelding, Tango, competed in her first dressage show ever! She achieved a 67% and 66% in her Intro A and B tests!!! Nicki is back to training, and is studying hard to confirm her canter work and hopes to debut in Training Level very soon. Congratulations Nicki!!!

Nicki and Tango

Nicki and Tango

Nicki and Tango

Photos courtesy of Steve Neely

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The Return of Heather!

(San Marcos, CA - February 2008) Congratulations go out to Heather Neely and her first ride back in the competition ring after many years, this time atop her new mare, Enchanté. Heather and Mary will continue to share the rides on Enchanté as Heather works to qualify her at Training Level for the Regional Adult Amateur finals in July, and Mary aims to qualify her at First Level in the CDS/USDF finals in October. Enchanté is a very elegant 7 year old Oldenburg mare purchased last spring through Shannon Peters. She has an incredible disposition, and is a proven broodmare as well.

Heather and Enchanté

Heather and Enchanté

Enchanté

Photos courtesy of Steve Neely

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Welcome!

(Laguna Hills, CA - Spring 2008) Mary Kehoe Dressage would like to extend a big welcome into the training program:

Karen Salem and Mary searched for several months, and earlier this year, Karen made her recent purchase, Vledder, from DG Bar Ranch. Vledder is a 2002 Dutch gelding, schooling 3rd level. Though currently coming back from a little layup, look to see Karen and Vledder during the 2009 show season. He is a super guy with a great motor and lots of talent!

Peggy Cherry & Marvel Jenson and their lovely Floreal, a 1999 Danish gelding by Ferro came into training earlier this year. Floreal, a very sensitive horse, seems to be finding peace and comfort in the consistent, confident, quiet work from Mary, and Peggy is thoroughly enjoying her lessons and progression in her own riding.

Lisa Haisfield and Patriot, a 1998 17.3 hand Dutch gelding, also entered the program earlier this year. After many interruptions in his work over the years, Patriot is gaining in strength and suppleness, and showing glimmers of some nice potential in his work. Though Lisa lives most of the time in Colorado, she is able to spend a week or so each month riding Patriot and having lessons.

Last fall, Ideall, a 1991 Oldenburg gelding, and Carla Jordan came into the training program. Carla and Ideall recently relocated from the Moorpark area so Carla could be close to home, her work and the barn. The move has paid off as Carla, who only started riding only a few years ago, has been able to spend much more time in the saddle and is quietly gaining the confidence she needs within herself and her horse.

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Mary Kehoe and Ascension

For more information,

please contact Mary: MaryKehoeDressage@earthlink.net

714.272.6182

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