Category Archives: FEI & USEF Dressage News

Omega Alpha Healthy Horse Award Goes to  Lusitano Stallion Hobbit Interagro and Rider Tiago Ernesto During  Week Three of 2019 Adequan® Global Dressage Festival  

Wellington, FL (February 4, 2019) — After recently mastering 3rd Level Test 3 in Region 9, Tiago Ernesto, the head trainer of Haras Dos Cavalieros, now has his sights set on a successful season in Florida competing in Prix St Georges with the gorgeous Lusitano stallion, Hobbit Interagro.  The jaw-dropping 7 year old stallion was the picture of health during Week Three of the 2019 Adequan Global Dressage Festival (AGDF), and his display of equine fitness and athleticism resulted in Ernesto being honored by winning the Omega Alpha Healthy Horse Award.
Omega Alpha feels it is important to honor riders and trainers, like Ernesto, who make great health a top priority for their horses.  Ernesto describes his role at Haras Dos Cavalieros, located in Houston, TX as having a strong focus on keeping all of their horses healthy and happy on the inside and out.  The farm is one of the biggest breeders of Lusitano horses in the nation.  With 30 mares that they breed every year to stallions that they own, and also to stallions in Portugal through AI, Haras Dos Cavalieros must make a priority of maintaining optimal health in all their horses to ensure the best Lusitano foals are brought into the US market.  “Our goal is to introduce more Lusitanos into the marketplace,” Ernesto explains, “and also to take the Lusitanos as far as we can in competition.”  In addition to the focus on dressage, Ernesto also trains and competes his horses in working equitation.  He describes this discipline as being very mentally stimulating for both horse and rider, which helps the horses formulate a good attitude and a great work ethic.  Working equitation involves skills such as going through an obstacle course without being affected by the many distractions that are a part of the test. The Lusitano breed is exceptional in this arena because of their historic roots and genetics producing the horses of today with very courageous hearts and minds.  Ernesto is excited to be able to demonstrate this courage with his horses in the dressage ring throughout the season in Wellington. Haras Dos Cavaleiros has brought 10 horses from their ranch in Texas that they are showing in Florida for the duration of the circuit.  Omega Alpha shares these same feelings about being proud of the horses’ well being and, in turn, horses’ performance. Therefore, it is important to them to honor owners and trainers, like Ernesto, who make great health a top priority for their horses. The Healthy Horse Award includes an assortment of popular Omega Alpha health products, a cooler, and a commemorative ribbon.
Ernesto is excited to use Omega Alpha products. With all natural ingredients like marshmallow root, slippery elm, licorice root, and ginger root, the assortment of Omega Alpha products will help the horses of Haras Dos Cavaleiros maintain a level of optimum health so they can perform their best this season.
In addition to recognizing horses in optimum health, Omega Alpha offers an extensive line of all-natural products for humans and other animals as well. Clients everywhere have experienced the benefits of Omega Alpha to help improve and maintain respiration, digestion, joint health, hormonal balance, immune health, detoxification, muscle rehabilitation, endurance, and performance. To learn more about the company, visit or call 1-800-651-3172.
Photo: Tiago Ernesto and the stunning Lusitano stallion, Hobbit Interagro receiving their Omega Alpha Healthy Horse Award during week three of the Adequan Global Dressage Festival. (Photo courtesy of JRPR, no photo credit necessary)

US Equestrian Launches Para-Equestrian Dressage Coach Certification Program

by US Equestrian Communications Department | Jan 15, 2019, 2:22 PM EST

Lexington, Ky. – US Equestrian is excited to announce the launch of the Para-Equestrian Dressage Coach Certification Program developed by Michel Assouline, USEF Para-Equestrian Dressage Technical Advisor and Head of Coach Development. This is a first of its kind coaching program for the industry in the U.S. The certificate program comprises of four levels: master coach, silver coach, bronze coach, and apprentice coach. In 2018, US Equestrian launched the pilot program, which played a role in the medal count for members of the U.S. Para-Equestrian Dressage Team presented by Deloitte at the FEI World Equestrian Games™ Tryon 2018.

The curriculum covers the principles of para-dressage coaching, including guided improvement process, coaching philosophy, and sport-specific skill acquisition. Moreover, it increases a coach’s ability to prepare athletes from grassroots education to international competitions, through progression of the certificate levels. With its goal of coach development, the program uses classroom lecture time as well as simulated lessons to give coaches information and feedback on their teaching, knowledge, and overall performance. Additionally, the program involves onsite practicums, self-study, online exams, and final assessments.  The certificate program takes three to six months to complete, with a fast-track program available to qualifying coaches. Currently, 31 participants from the pilot program aim to be fast-tracked in 2019.

“The new coaching program is there to develop better coaches but also a better system. I have always believed that a coach is not just a coach but also a networker, someone who brings a group together, that works with other professionals,” said Assouline, who introduced the program alongside US Equestrian Director of Sport Will Connell and US Equestrian Director of Para-Equestrian Laureen Johnson during US Equestrian’s Annual Meeting “Coaching, Youth, and Para-Dressage” panel. “To be a good coach, you have to understand your team, and you have to work with your team. [We also] arranged the program around that concept of working within a team.”

Assouline brings a decade of curriculum development and Paralympic coaching experience to the program. US Equestrian-approved faculty will join Assouline in accepting applications, delivering on-site practicums, and performing final assessments. The following are the 2019 dates of the US Equestrian Para-Equestrian Dressage Coach Certification Program:

Fast-Track Program: 

*Eligible candidates must attend one of the following

  • Option 1: Vinceremos Therapeutic Riding Center, Loxahatchee, Fla., March  3-4
  • Option 2: Tryon International Equestrian Center, Mill Spring, N.C., September 7-8

Formal Program:

*Accepted candidates must attend both of the following

  • Onsite Practicum 1: Tryon International Equestrian Center, Mill Spring, N.C., May 15-16
  • Final Practicum & Assessment; Tryon International Equestrian Center, Mill Spring, N.C., September 9-10

US Equestrian would like to thank the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs for providing the Federal Adaptive Sport Grant, which has helped make the coach certificate program possible. This initiative has been conducted in partnership with the Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship with a goal of increasing awareness and coach education opportunities within Paralympic equestrian sports and to aid in the development of a US Equestrian coach database to support the competition pipeline for para-eligible athletes.

For more information about the application process and certification levels, view the information booklet or contact Laureen Johnson at