"The horse. Here is nobility without conceit, friendship without envy, beauty without vanity. A willing servant, yet never a slave."
— Ronald Duncan
Scroll below to view our most recent news at Matt Cunningham Dressage
— Ronald Duncan
Scroll below to view our most recent news at Matt Cunningham Dressage
Matt debuted 6 year old Rafina 16 owned by Michellie Jones at Third Level, winning with a 73.6%. Michellie then took the reins and made her own debut at Third Level with Rafina 16 and rode beautifully! Raja Lahti McMahon and her talented Carette rode for a 71.6% in the Open PSG (Happy Birthday Raja). The 5 year old stallion Valentino owned by Debby Howard made his show debut with a 65.5% at First Level under Matt's riding. Finally, Debby Howard and her stallion Catalan won their First Level class! A great show was had for all!
Matt also welcomed 8 year old Westphalian gelding Ribery 27 (Rock Forever x Florestan) to the MCD family! Ribery is his international ring hopeful and they have already formed quite the match! We know exciting things will come from this pair!
Taylor competed Demetrios and Fabilant. Demetrios earned a 70.9% at Third Level. There is still much room for improvement but it was a great show for the pair! This was Fabilant's first time out at Fourth Level and he was fantastic winning with a 68.8% and coming in a close 2nd with a 67%. Fabilant is now for sale to an approved home only. Client Jeri Walz put on her tails for the first time earning up to 66% at PSG with her stallion Galo! Everyone was all smiles for a great show!
Taylor competed Demetrios at Third Level earning 67%+. It was a great first show for the pair to get to know each other in the show ring! Client Jeri Walz and her stallion Galo competed at Third Level as well earning her Bronze Medal! Way to go Jeri!
Demetrios was invited to be in the USDF Trainers Conference under Steffen's riding in February. Johann Hinnemann was the instructor and it was not only great to see the team go in such an environment but incredibly educational as well.
It could not have gone better! The 6 year old stallion won both tests with a 75% and 77% at Third Level earning Open High Point and Open High Point Reserve! Beyond grateful for Steffen's help with this young horse. The future looks bright!
Later that month, Matt competed his own Guiesspoint at the Adequan West Coast Dressage Festival III. This was Gus' first time out at Second Level and he won each class scoring up to 68%+!
The amazing Poulidon turned 20 on March 19th and of course he celebrated by getting his very own carrot cake. Don't let his age fool you Pouli won his CDI at small tour in Texas the year before. Taylor and Poulidon competed in their first West Coast CDI in the The Dressage Affaire at San Juan Capistrano earning respectable scores at the small tour level.
Matt and Taylor got engaged! We know this is not horse news but it's exciting news not only personally but for our business as well!
Matt debuted Michellie Jones' young 5 year old mare Rafina 16 at her first show on US soil at the CDS San Juan Capistrano Spring Show earning a 72.9% at Training 3.
Matt rode Rafina 16 in the Markel USEF Young Horse Benefit Clinic with Christine Traurig. This was an exceptional fundraiser where all proceeds were donated to the Young Horse program. While Taylor was able to attend the FEI Nation's Cup at the CHIO in Rotterdam, Netherlands supporting fellow ADM trainer Dawn White-O'Connor.
Taylor officially welcomed Demetrios to the MCD family. Demetrios is a 2012 Rheinlander stallion (Diamond Hit x Florestan). He is her international ring hopeful and they have been in training with Steffen since his arrival in the U.S. We are very excited about this pair!
MCD team competed at the CDS Summer Dressage Show at the Del Mar Horse Park. Matt competed Rafina 16 at First Level earning scores 68%+. Rafina's owner MJ Jones' took over the reins at the Capistrano Dressage Summer Series Show that same month, earning an incredible 73.4% at Training 3 and AA High Point! MJ and Rafina also competed at the Regional Adult Amateur Championships (RAAC) and were Training Level Dressage Elite Champions! We absolutely love seeing our clients succeed with their partners!
Demetrios finally made it to California and arrived at Arroyo Del Mar after a long quarantine in Florida!
The MCD had a great outing at the CDS Spooktacular show at the Del Mar Horse Park. Taylor debuted Fabilant at Third Level Test 3 he won both days with a 71%+. Matt rode Rafina 16 at First Level Test 3 for a win. MJ and Rafina 16 took the blue in her First Level class with a 69%+. Lisa Boheim took 2nd in a very close Fourth Level Class. Raja Lahti McMahon showed two impressive PSG tests in a large and competitive open class. It was a blast to have our long time supporter, friend, and test calling extraordinaire for ensuring we all got to the ring on time! It was great seeing you Charles Saltzer!
Arroyo Del Mar hosted a Schooling Show to benefit the victims of the fires that hit Southern California. Kristi Wysocki judged the tests, at the conclusion of each ride she gave riders helpful tips on how to improve their scores. Taylor scribed while several of Matt's clients competed. This was an incredibly educational event that also felt good being a part of helping those in need. Just another reason why ADM is so great. To finish off 2017 the Peter's hosted another great ADM Christmas party. We simply cannot thank Steffen and Shannon enough for allowing us to be part of this great place. We are so blessed!
Matt and Gueisspoint debuted at Training and First Level winning 6 of his classes with a high score of 76%!! We are beyond excited for the future of this young horse. As always thank you Charles Saltzer for your continued support.
Taylor took Poulidon, Fabilant & Monterrey. Poulidon won all three of his I-1 classes earning up to a 68.5%! Fabilant debuted at 3rd level and having only shown at Training Level we weren't sure what to expect. He tried his heart out scoring up to a 67.5% - we couldn't be happier. Monterrey bumped up to First Level (after having only shown in one dressage show at Training Level) earning up to 67%! Having two judges was great practice for him where he earned a 69% from one judge. A big thank you to Monica and the Bowen family for entrusting him with Taylor.
Thanks to everyone at Arroyo Del Mar for their support. We are so lucky to be part of this team. We can't wait for the next show!
Matt showed his own Guiesspoint in Materiale earning a 75% and 1st place. This was "Gus'" first show and it couldn't have gone better! Taylor debuted the Bowen family's Monterrey at his first dressage show at Training Level. Monterrey earned a 64.3% with a 2nd place on Saturday and a 69.5% with a 1st place on Sunday. We are excited about this former hunter turned dressage horse exciting future! It was great getting to meet members of the California Dressage Society and experience our first show here. We know the future is bright and this was a great start!
It was a breath of fresh air to finally arrive at this fantastic facility. The environment of this barn is not only inspiring and motivational but extremely efficient and well run. We look forward to expanding our business at Arroyo and welcome your call!
We are moving! To Arroyo Del Mar in sunny San Diego, California! This is an obvious dream come true & we must thank Steffen & Shannon Peters for this incredible opportunity. We must also give huge thanks to all our amazing clients who have over the years become more like family. Our careers were born here and we have you to thank. You all have been so wonderful to be around day in & day out, we will miss you deeply! Thank you so much for making our time here absolutely amazing! Without your support we surely could not have taken this next step. This is not goodbye but see you later! (Seriously everyone come visit)
We weren't completely sure we were going to make the Shoofly CDI/HDS Spring Classic but in the end we decided to just go have fun! The comradery amongst the competitors was felt by all and greatly appreciated during this time! To kick off the highlights of the show:
Taylor competed in her first CDI with Poulidon. On Friday they came in 3rd place with a 64.5%. Saturday they took home 1st place with a 65.9%! Matt debuted Senorita at Training Level winning with an impressive 75% & earning Open High Point Champion. Tracy Zaidenweber won every single one of her Training Level classes on her young horse Goliath with scores in the 70s! Stephanie Wiman competed her own Argo at PSG making great improvements in the show ring! Anne and Dave McChesney competed at 2nd and 1st Level with scores in the 60s. Last but not least Jody DeStefanis and Teddy did a job well done at Third Level.
We all only had about 3 rides under our belt with the evacuations before the show. We considered ourselves lucky to go and are so thankful for the supportive atmosphere from everyone! Great job to all who competed!
UPDATE: Taylor & Poulidon were featured in Eurodressage. Click to read the article.
Matt debuted Eviola at 2nd level winning both days with 69.5% & 71%! Matt also rode Bojangles in his first show ever! He was a total rock star & well behaved 3 year old scoring in the mid 70s winning two of his classes! Taylor debuted Poulidon at I1 winning both days with a 67% & 68%. They were Open FEI High Point Reserve Champion on Saturday with a 67.1% (winner was a 67.2%). The HDS Year End Awards Banquet was on Saturday where Taylor took home Reserve Champion for Open Training Level on Fabilant.
We had a lot of students who competed & did great! Stephanie Wiman competed her horse Argo at PSG making great improvement over the weekend and winning AA FEI High Point Reserve Champion on Sunday! Jody DeStefanis took back her mount Teddy for a great weekend back in the saddle at 3.3! Anne McChesney rode her horse Riley for two first place ribbons at 2nd level scoring in the mid to high 60s. Sydney Elliot showed two horses - winning three of her 3rd level classes on Cisco scoring in the high 60s! She also won one of her 1st level tests with a 71.8% on her new mount Q! Every ride Q consistently scored in the high 60s-70+ great riding! Yevette Harrell competed her horse Peadar at 1st level also scoring consistently in the mid to high 60s & winning two classes! Michelle Burgoyne made great strides with her horse Winterstern winning her Training Level test with a 68% on Saturday and coming in a close second on Sunday with a 65%!
It was a great testament to everyone's hard work! We are so looking forward to the rest of the year!