Bernie Traurig holds the rare distinction of reaching the top of the sport in all three of the International Equestrian Olympic disciplines: show jumping, dressage and eventing. The winner of more than 60 Grand Prixs in show jumping and 15 in dressage shared his equine expertise with 28 UF riders at a weekend clinic, February 17-19 at the James L. Child, Jr. English Equestrian Farm. Students had the option of participating for one, two or all three days.
According to Hunter/Jumper Instructor Alexandra Kemp-Thompson, Traurig spent the first day working on schooling exercises for riders and horses. These included adjustability in the lines, perfecting eyes to the fences and half halts. “He focused on the bits and pieces that make up the big picture,” added Kemp-Thompson. On day two, students rode a horse show format over a course. Then, the tables turned and the students ran a “class,” judging and giving feedback. Participants wore headsets neatly beneath their helmets so as not to miss any of Traurig’s instructions and tips.
Traurig was a member of the United States 3-Day Eventing Team, placing second in the trials for the 1964 Olympic games in Tokyo, and won the High Point Dressage Award in 1988 at the Olympic selection trials. Inducted into the National Show Hunter Hall of Fame in 2009, he
has competed in eight World Cup Finals and won the United States League four times. The United States Hunter Jumper Association (USHJA) presented him with its President’s Distinguished Service Award in 2012. He lists among his mentors, such renowned horsemen as George Morris, Bill Steinkraus and Vladimir Littauer. He has been selected to judge the prestigious ASPCA Maclay Medal Finals in November 2017.
In constant demand for clinics all over the U.S., Traurig now operates Equestrian Coach.com, an online learning venue including more than 300 videos on industry theories, exercises and training techniques. His partners in the venture read like an equine “Who’s Who,” with coaching sessions provided by Peter Wylde, George Morris, Missy Clark and other internationally-known riders and trainers.
Kemp-Thompson was pleased with the clinic and received positive feedback from students and staff.
“We will definitely look to have Bernie back within the next year or two,” she added. “We would also like to welcome more clinicians in, potentially once a semester.”