Marcel and the young stallion Heavy Metal are doing great in the FEI young horse classes during the Wellington Winter Equestrian Festival 2017. Their success is helping to build the confidence of the young horse who shows all the potential for moving up the levels toward Grand Prix. Be sure to check out Heavy’s scores online to track his progress this winter and into the future.
Hi Marcel….I just read that another lady from Wellington will be doing a Century ride on Feb. 5. It reminded me of how much you helped me to get ready for my 10 Century rides in 2014. Without your coaching I never would have been able to accomplish it and I want you to know that I really appreciate all your help.
You are a wonderful trainer……very kind and patient with me. However I haven’t been able to get on a horse since then because of all my back problems. I had to stop ballroom dance competitions, however I still do shows for the Broadway Ziegfeld Entertainers. I will be 80 in April and the good news is that if I can ride again I will only need a 20 year old horse to do another Century ride.
I hope you are well and happy and I send you my very best wishes..
Congrats to Ronnie Trotter and Leandro on their USDF silver medal. We miss Leo around the farm but are thrilled to see him doing so well. Great work guys keep it up!
This past weekend Marcel was was thrilled to take his new FEI partner Vinho Dos Pinhais to the Gold Coast May Dressage Show in Wellington, Florida. This new partnership has been in place less than a month and while the two are still getting to know one another the results this last weekend were great. Marcel and Vinho placed second in the FEI test of choice with a 66.7% on Saturday and improved to a 67.6% on Sunday in the same class at Intermediaire I. Marcel and Vinho brought home second place honors on Saturday and third place on Sunday. Job well done for the new partnership, we can not wait to see how they do next time.
Marcel van der Burgh runs dressage farm amid alligators and hurricanes
From De Paardenkrant, by Dinette Neuteboom.
Every year the Winter Equestrian Festival in Wellington attracts many Dutch horse people. Whether grooms who escape the Dutch winter for three months and want to earn good money or merchants who come and do networking; Dutch people are there every week. The seventh week of the WEF ‘De Paardenkrant’ spoke with Marcel van der Burgh, who has been running his own dressage farm for ten years just a stone’s throw from Wellington, in the slightly more northern town Loxahatchee. Van der Burg has not only seen the WEF develop to the biggest horseshow in the world but now sees the Adequan Global Dressage Festival going the same way. Both events take place in the winter, when the temperature during the day reach a pleasant 20 to 30 degrees and the weather shows little whims. Van der Burgh lives and works however also in the tropical summer when extreme heat, heavy rain and even hurricanes do not make life easier in South Florida. To top it off alligators are ten meters from the stables and paddocks in the canals.
LOXAHATCHEE – “Oh, the alligators aren’t that bad. There are very big, but I’ve never seen one lying in the paddocks. And you get used to the weather in the summer”, says Marcel van der Burgh laughing. “But the hurricanes, that is the worst thing there is. You cannot imagine how scary that is, you do not know what’s happening to you. I have experienced two heavy hurricanes now. One of them was not so bad, but the other was terrible. I thought I was going to die.”
But despite the alligators, the heat and hurricanes Van der Burgh is enjoying his life in Florida. “The weather is always good and you can earn decently with horses.”
Twenty years ago the Dutchman (41) went to America for the first time. “I had finished my education at the National Equestrian School in Deurne and I wanted to start a riding school in the Netherlands, but I quickly found out that this wouldn’t work. It was too expensive. Then I started traveling and through a friend and I came to work at a farm in New York.” Like many of the American horse people they spent their winters in Florida, in the south of the United States. After a few detours Van der Burgh eventually started building up his own stable. “It’s easier here than in the Netherlands to start your own horse farm. In the Netherlands it is only profitable if you have a large farm. You should have something like a hundred horses. Here the numbers are much smaller.” Van der Burgh usually has around twenty horses in his barn. “On the one hand, the costs are higher here, but people also pay more for the horses and the training and you have a lot less problems with regulations regarding manure for example.”
Van der Burgh is multifunctional in Florida. “I have an all-round farm. Purchasing and sales, I import many horses from the Netherlands, I train and show horses and I train riders. I also do the tricky beasts and real young horses. That piece is often missing here. Often people try to break in their young horses themselves and if it doesn’t work, they come to me to solve things. But I also have young horses I break in and train them for the first years and after a few years the owners can ride them easily themselves. People often forget how important that first part of the education of a horse is. If it’s done right, you can enjoy it for the rest of the horses’ career.”
As in the Netherlands the most stables in America cost a lot of money, so it’s admirable that Van der Burgh can earn a living just from his horse business. “It’s trial and error, but I survived it all. From hurricanes and flooding to the economic crisis. ”
Van der Burgh also shows his own horses and horses of students. Now that is up to the Small Tour. “I have not shown Grand Prix yet. It is my goal, but I am very realistic. You never know how it goes in equestrian world. One day you think you have a champion, the next day he is crippled in his stable. Usually the horses are therefore sold before I reach Grand Prix-level. It is difficult to keep such horses, especially if they are my own.”
Asked whether it would be financially interesting for Van der Burgh if Dutch horse owners would provide a good horse, he responds with a resounding yes. “Good and nice to ride horses you can sell expensive here. And it’s worth it to invest time and money here. ”
Translation by Rick Helmink
At the fourth annual Robert Dover Horsemastership Clinic, sponsored in part by Lendon Gray’s Dressage4Kids program this weekend in Wellington, FL young riders got the chance to ride with legendary dressage trainers Robert Dover, George Williams, Charlotte Brendahl-Baker and Laura Graves. Many of the participants traveled from a afar and were unable to bring their own horses to the clinic, that is where generous local owners and trainers stepped up by supplying them with mounts for the clinic held in the Van Kampen Arena at the Stadium at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center from Saturday, Jan. 3 through Wednesday, Jan. 7.
Mattie Zepernick, 17, from Lafayette, Louisiana. Rode Leandro, an 11-year-old Westphalian gelding owned by Rebecca Reno and trained by Marcel Van der Burgh. Leo is a barn favorite at Empire Marcel known for his goofy faces and sweet disposition. “He’s a really good horse but it’s been very hard for me to get used to him,” Zepernick said. “All my other horses are so forward thinking. It’s been very different but it’s been an amazing experience.” On Sunday Mattie rode with Dover and Saturday with Charlotte Brendahl-Baker in the clinic. “Marcel was so generous to lend him to me,” she said. “It was a little scary but I’m glad I had the opportunity.”
Van der Burgh said he wanted the horse to gain some experience and that it’s important for young riders in this country to get experience as well. “I think it’s important for me to be supportive of this group,” he said. “She did very well on a borrowed horse she didn’t know. She just flew in and didn’t even have a chance to ride him before!”
For a complete story on all the horses lent to riders at this event visit DressageDaily.com.
Empire Marcel is in search of a working student for the 2015 Winter Season in South Florida. Ideal position for an individual seeking to advance their dressage, horsemanship, and stable management skills. The barn is an busy facility with sale and training horses as well as clients, the working student will be riding and working in an active but relaxed environment. Housing available on the farm in Loxahatchee, close to Wellington and White Fences. You will work closely with Marcel and horses that range from young prospects to the FEI level. Empire Marcel competes at most of the dressage shows during the winter season at the Global Dressage Show grounds, Jim Brandon and White Fences.
If you are interested contact Marcel directly, Cell 561-452-4244.
Marcel Van der Burgh and all the clients at Empire Marcel are thrilled that the amazing achievement of Lillian Floyd, one of Marcel’s clients, was celebrated in the December 2014 issue of Sidelines. Lillian just celebrated her summer of the vintage horse by completing 10 Century Rides!! See the full story below. Way to go Lillian, can’t wait to see you back here in Sunny Florida this winter.
It may have been a rainy weekend at the Global Dressage Stadium but that did not slow down Kempinski and Marcel van der Burgh in the I1 class at the Gold Coast Dressage Fall Fling Show . They topped the competition with a 69.4% on Sunday. Marcel was so thrilled that client Chloe Hatch’s allows him the opportunity to ride a horse that keeps exceeding everyone expectations in the show ring. He can’t wait to see how things go in 2015.
Chloe Hatch and Kempinski are thrilled that in their first year showing together and training with Marcel van der Burgh to have won Reserve Champion in the Junior/Young Rider Fourth Level Region Three Championship. Championships was only Chloe’s third show at Prix St George with mount Kempinski and the team ended up placed third in the Junior/Young Rider Prix St George Region Three Championships class.
Chloe said “This was our first larger show, and he (Kempinski) handled the atmosphere at Global so well and I felt like mentally he was 100% with me. I owe my trainer Marcel van der Burgh so much for believing in me and finding me my superstar horse. I am so excited for the winter season. Kempinski and I are going to do some pretty cool things next year.”
Shela Lark, Chloe’s longtime mount, exceeded even her expectations at the region three Championships. Shela and Chloe placed 5th with a 72% in a very competitive First Level Freestyle Championship class and qualified for the US Dressage Finals in Kentucky next month. Chloe has had the Quarter Horse mare since she was 5 years-old and is proud that the little mare she has trained did her best in the crowded class. ” I knew she could do it!” exclaimed a happy Chloe after getting her ribbon.