Renowned horseman to visit Coweta
by Sarah Fay Campbell
One of the superstars of the equine world will be in Coweta County this weekend.
George Morris will be teaching a jumping clinic today, Saturday and Sunday at Willow Dell Equestrian Center outside Senoia.
“He’s a huge celebrity. He’s probably the most well-known [rider in the world],” said Maureen Forman of Willow Dell. “He basically wrote the book on the way the modern equestrian rides today.”
That book is “Hunter Seat Equitation.” Morris also has a monthly column in “Practical Horseman.”
Willow Dell trainer Jamie Mann trained with Morris in Birmingham, England, in the early 1980s. In 1981, Mann was 10th in the World Cup Finals.
“I was very blessed as a professional to be able to work” with Morris, she said.
He now travels around the country holding jumping clinics. Mann moved to Coweta in late 2012 to be the trainer at Willow Dell. “We’re trying to build the area in horsemanship and hunter jumper showing,” she said.
So she decided to call Morris and ask if he wanted to take part in a clinic on her farm.
“It’s solely because of her that George is coming,” Foreman said of Mann. “That’s like asking George Clooney to do an acting clinic in your living room.”
Morris served as “chef d’equipe” for the U.S. Show Jumping Team, and his students have medaled in the 1984, 1992, 1996 and 2004 Olympics. He coached the gold-medal winning team in the 2008 Olympics. Morris was a member of the gold-medal winning team at the 1959 Pan American Games, and he won a silver team medal in the 1960 Olympics.
Riding spots for the clinic are sold out, but there are “audit” spots for those who just want to watch and learn. Auditing spots are $100, per day. Auditors will be served lunch.
The first day of the clinic will be a “flat session with some gymnastics and ground poles,” Mann said.
Saturday will also include gymnastics, and Sunday will concentrate on jumping courses. Foreman moved from Los Angeles in 2012 to start Willow Dell Equestrian Center. In the short time she has been here, the community support has been tremendous, she said.