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About Whit Watkins
I’ve been riding since I was three, and fascinated with Dressage since 1976. I have ridden with a number of international trainers and instructors, including Klaus Balkenhol, Christine Stuckelberger, Heike Kemmer, Conrad Schumacher, and Kyra Kyrklund, among others. My longest associations have been with Hilda Gurney (23 seasons, varying lengths of time), Hubertus Schmidt (2 seasons, first for 5 months & second for 8 months), & Shelly Francis (3 seasons).

I bred, raised, & trained my first Grand Prix horse, Chado; rising into the GP when he was 12 y.o. in 1997. I have subsequently trained several horses from Training level into the FEI ranks before purchasing, in 2010, a GP schoolmaster, Oublette, to help my process for bringing up my current GP horse, Cipriani. Owning and training Cipriani since he was three, I have had consistent success with him through the levels, and in 2012, he was USDF Horse of the Year at the Intermediare 2 level. I am continuing to compete him with much success at the GP, scores to 75.4%.

I have been teaching clinics and individual students since 1999, first from my facility in Fort Davis, TX, and more recently from our new, more centrally located home in Moody, TX. I have had the privilege of teaching students in several states, including Florida, California, Arizona, New Mexico, and Oklahoma, as well as throughout the state of Texas. I teach a variety of students from newcomers to Dressage, through Grand Prix accomplished instructors in Texas. I have students competing from the Intro levels of the sport though FEI CDIs and the Grand Prix. In 2013, I was awarded the Dressage Foundation’s most prestigious Region 9 Teaching Excellence Award.

My competitive experience includes success at Open competitions and CDIs in California, Arizona, Colorado, and Texas, as well as Florida, with almost yearly appearances and success at USDF Regional Championships, in three different regions, Regions 5, 7, and 9. I earned my USDF Bronze medal on a homebred in 1991, my USDF Silver medal in 1993, and my USDF Gold medal on my first GP horse in 1997. I have also earned the three USDF Musical Freestyle bars, Bronze, Silver and Gold for successful Freestyles throughout the levels. My show experience includes over 260 competitions with over 20 horses. In 2007, I competed in the USEF/Markel sponsored FEI Young Horse competitions, finishing 8th in the country at the National Championships with Cipriani; and in 2010, Cipriani and I traveled to Lamplight Equestrian Center, Wayne, Illinois, to contest the USEF Developing Horse Prix St George National Championship, finishing 3rd, and qualifying to be on the USEF Developing Horse List. Attending the first USDF National Finals in 2013, I rode Oublette to win Reserve Champion at the Open Grand Prix division.