Welcome to our July 2014 newsletter. We are so happy and proud of Vivi and the article on her training methods in the current issue of Dressage Today, see below for more details and a link to the whole article. Thanks again to Diane Barber for such a great piece.
Also, for those of you travelling to the WEG this year, Caty will be representing Epona there and offering the chance to WIN a holiday at Epona!
If you're considering a (or another?!) holiday to visit us, have a look at this lovely video on YouTube made by Ty Hanson... Adventures in Andalusia
Wishing you health and happiness from us all,
Fernando, Jane, Caty, Vivi, our staff, and all the horses
Epona Equestrian Center
5-page article on Vivi in Dressage Today!
Vivi featured on the front cover
We are extremely excited and proud to be able to share with you all, the latest edition of Dressage Today magazine, which features a five-page article on Vivi training PRE horses!
Diane Barber came to stay with us in November 2013 to train with Vivi and begin writing the article. When sending us the finished product, she wrote:
"It was indeed a high honor for me to do this for your family in appreciation for all that you have done for me in Spain over the years. I never could have imagined when I bought my wonderful horse Bold Brahim (Jesse) (a grandson of Don Diego Mendez famous horse Sidi Brahim) that one day because of my curiosity I would have you and Rafael as teachers and friends in Spain. Thank you Vivi for patiently training me in November to inspire my story and also thank you for your brilliant input."
"Nestled in the beautiful Spanish countryside outside of Seville in Carmona is a 16th-century hacienda that is home to Epona Equestrian Center-a worldclass British Horse Society-approved facility named for Epona, the goddess protector of horses in Celtic mythology. Fernando and Jane Garcia founded the horse farm and training facility in 1985 and still own and operate it today. All of the instructors are accredited by the British Horse Society and the Spanish Equestrian Federation under the direction of their daughter Catalina, "Caty," chief instructor.
Another daughter, Viviana, "Vivi," Garcia, an instructor and master trainer at Epona, specializes in training the Pura Raza Español (P.R.E.)- the noble Andalusian horse breed that was established in the 1500s in southern Spain. A graduate of the four-year training program at the prestigious Royal Andalusian School of Equestrian Art in Jerez, Garcia was taken under the wing of Rafael Soto soon after he and the Spanish dressage team earned a silver medal at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens. This was Soto's third Olympic Games, and his international experience added to Garcia's training.
"I learned Rafael's method to train a horse, which is very clear," Garcia says. "Probably the most important thing he taught me is the feeling of rhythm, balance and straightness the moment it is asked for and the importance of the basics of each gait."
Epona at the WEG and your chance to WIN a holiday!
We are happy and proud to announce that Caty, our daughter, will be representing Epona at the World Equestrian Games in Caen, on the stand of our French Agents, Cheval D'Aventure.
She will be present from 24th August to 31st August.
Please do look out for her and pay her a visit. She will be delighted to renew old acquaintances and have a friendly chat with previous guests, and answer any questions you may have, for those of you who have, as yet, not been able to visit us. Cheval d'Aventure are also raffling a free Classical Dressage and High School Training programme at Epona, on our behalf, so make sure you sign up for a chance to win your dream holiday!
Maggie's dream come true
Maggie and Vivi with beautiful Seneca
When we were approached by "Make-a-Wish" Winsconsin at the end of last year, we were astounded but at the same time honoured to be given the opportunity of colaborating with this worthy international foundation which grants their heart's desire to the brave children and young people, whose life has been threatened by serious illness.
Whereas the majority of children dream of visiting Disneyland or meeting a famous athlete, filmstar or rock star, Maggie Murphy's dream was "a holiday at Epona Equestrian Centre in Spain".
The organisers were also surprised, and the challenge of arranging something so out of the ordinary was very appealing. We were delighted to donate our Classical Dressage and High School Training programme and, after several months of refining details, Maggie came to visit us the first week in May.
She is a lovely young lady and came accompanied and supported by her loving, close-knit family; mother, father, older sister and younger brother.
Maggie is a very capable rider and Vivi really enjoyed giving her lessons throughout the week, as she was keen and receptive and willing to learn as much as possible in her week with us. It was a pleasure to watch the huge grin on her face while she rode, but, in fact, she was always smiling, whether mounted, or on foot.
She had a lesson with Rafael Soto as the highlight to her week which she enjoyed immensely, and he, also, was impressed with her learning capacity and desire to improve.
It was a magical experience for all of us and we feel privileged to have met this admirable family. We hope that we will meet again in the not too distant future.
Thank you Maggie for the gift of your wonderful smile, which we will remember fondly until then!
Rafael Soto clinic dates for 2014-2015
November 9th to 16th - 2 places available December 7th to 14th - places available
February 8th to 15th 2015 - places available March 8th to 15th 2015 - places available
4 small white Courgettes of equal size
300 gms. fresh Mushrooms
1 medium sized Leek
1 Clove of garlic
2 tablespoons Olive Oil
60 gms. Butter
Salt and Pepper
1. Boil the courgettes in slightly salted water until the can just be pricked by a skewer. It is better to undercook rather than overcook, as they break up if they are two soft.
2. Cut in half lengthwise, and scoop out the inside flesh. There is a clear line which leaves a perfect shell to fill. Place the shells in an ovenproof dish and reserve.
3. Place the flesh in a colander, sit a plate or saucer on top and place a heavy weight on the plate to remove most of the moisture. Leave draining for about twenty minutes
4. Meanwhile, wash the leak carefully and chop finely, also the garlic, then wipe the mushrooms and chop roughly
5. Heat the oil and butter in a frying pan and fry very gently the onion and garlic. When the onion starts to get transparent, add the mushroom, cover and continue frying on a low heat.
6. Chop up the courgette flesh and add to the pan. Leave to fry about fifteen minutes until all the ingredients are soft and add salt and a pinch of pepper.
7. Blend the vegetables with a hand blender to make a purée or thick paste.
8. Return to the stove and add two to three tablespoons breadcrumbs, according to the amount of liquid . Cook for five minutes
9. Remove the pan and allow the mixture to cool a little.
10. Fill the courgette shells with the mixture. There is normally not quite enough mixture to fill all of the shells so one or two shells are discarded.
11. Top with breadcrumbs and grated cheese and bake in the pre-heated moderate oven (180ºC/350ºF/ Mark 4) until the cheese is browned ( about fifteen minutes) then cover the dish with tin foil or a lid and continue cooking for a further twenty minutes until the shells are tender