Cindy Thaxton and riders at National Dressage Show - Nov 2014

Cindy Thaxton and riders at National Dressage Show – Nov 2014

Every year the CIEF looks to engage the services of visiting clinicians who can enhance and supplement the coaching that is available on island.  In 2015, the CIEF brought in Victoire Mandl (FEI 4* Judge) from Austria to privide Dressage Clinics, as well as regular clinicians, Cindy Thaxton of the USA to hold dressage clinics and Corrine Bracken of the UK to provide jumping clinics.


CINDY THAXTON:  Cindy began formal lessons at age 6, riding Hunters, Equitation and Junior Jumpers. She and husband, Greg, opened their barn, High Point Farm in 1985.

Early in her career, while coaching her competitive students in Equitation and Hunters with many GHJA and USEF Zone Year end awards, Cindy began studying dressage.  This passion led her to becoming a USDF Certified Dressage Instructor and USDF L Graduate judge.  Cindy has successfully instructed students from Training Level through Intermediare 2 in the show arena and enjoys the process from start to finish.  As a competitor riding through Intermediate 2, Cindy has achieved her USDF Bronze Medal, Silver Medal, and Bronze Musical Freestyle Bar.  Her depth of show mileage positions her needing only two points at Prix St Georges to complete her Centerline Scores’ 4-star status.

Cindy likes to develop harmony of horse and rider.  Three of her students are awaiting Grand Prix scores for their Gold Medals.  Additionally, her students have earned these awards: 11 USDF Participating Rider patches, sixteen USDF Bronze Medals, eleven USDF Silver Medals, four USDF Regional Champions, six USDF Regional Reserve Champions, two ATA HOY PSG Champions, two ATA HOY I-1 Champion, eleven GDCTA HOY Champions, sixteen GDCTA HOY Reserve Champions, one NCDCTA HOY PSG Championship, three NCDCTA HOY Reserve Champions, and one Swedish Warmblood HOY 3rd Level Championship.

Helping Juniors and Young Riders pursue North America Junior and Young Rider Championship goals has been a part of her career since 1993.  Cindy has served as USDF Youth Liason nationally as well as for Region 3.  This position has given her the opportunity to educate people about NAJYRC as well as help with fundraising.  She has enjoyed using her organization skills as Region 3 Chef d’Equipe for the team multiple years.  She also has been priveledged to coach Region 3 team riders.  Cindy also like supporting Lendon Gray’s Dressage for Kids and the Emerging Dressage Athletes Program.

On an international level, Cindy Thaxton coached Cayman Island rider, Jessica McTaggart, at the XXI Central American and Caribbean Games in Puerto Rico.  This was McTaggart’s first International FEI representation and she was 14th out of 34 competitors.  Ms. McTaggart went on to compete in the PanAm Games the following fall with a finish in the middle.  Cindy is also proud to coach regularly for the Cayman Islands Equestrian Federation’s National Dressage Team at the FEI World Dressage Challenge.  This team has been a repetitive leader of the competition.  She is also thrilled to help coach a student located in the United Kingdom, on her lovely stallion.

Cindy’s passion is teaching.  This love shows when she teaches at home or at dressage clinics. She invests heavily in working students at the farm and also enjoys working with students who have no competitive desires. This allows her program to remain multi-dimentional, with the goal of fulfilling the aspirations of each student individually.

CORINNE BRACKEN:  Corinne came from a non-equestrian family and learned to ride in a local riding school, where she began working after leaving school.  At the age of 17 she went to the Jersey horse of the year show where she broke the high jump record by jumping 6’4’’ on a novice horse.

In October on 1987, when Christine and Paul Shubrook founded Thundry Stud they partnered with Corinne as their professional rider.  Over the next 20 years they produced young horses from novice to international level, traveling abroad on many occasions.  Corinne also rode for many independent owners whilst based at Thundry Stud and helped develop a breeding program for competition horses by using their own stallion and broodmares.

In 1996, Corinne broke her leg badly and, during the year she could not ride, concentrated on coaching.  The time spent on this aspect of her career, eventually led her to the decision to specialize in coaching, although post injury she went back to riding at the national level, while coaching became the focus of the yard.  Pupils have included European level juniors and young riders, international event riders and Pony Club championship teams.

Corinne became an NVQ assessor in 2002 and an accredited coach for the British Show Jumping Association in 2003.  Corinne currently holds a UKCC L3 qualification and is working towards the UKCC L4, which includes a PG Dip in Professional Practice in Sport Coaching.  Corinne has also helped examine the fellowship exam for the British Horse Society.  Since accepting the job of the British Junior and Young rider Team Coach in 2006 and subsequently also taking on the Children’s squad in 2007 Corinne’s achievements at European Championship level have been outstanding:

  • 2006 – Individual gold and Team bronze (Juniors), Individual Gold, Individual bronze and Team silver (Young Riders)
  • 2007 – Individual silver and Team bronze (Juniors), Team gold and individual bronze (Young Riders), Team gold, individual gold and individual silver (Children).
  • 2008 – Team gold and individual silver (Children), Team gold (Juniors) and Team bronze (Young Riders)
  • 2009 – Individual gold juniors, Individual gold (Young Riders) and Team Gold (Children)
  • 2010 – Team Gold (Children), Individual silver (Children)
  • 2011 – Team Bronze (Young Rider), Team Bronze (Children)
  • 2012 – Team Bronze (Juniors), Individual Bronze (Juniors)
  • 2013 – Team Silver (Juniors), Individual (Young Rider)

Corinne’s willingness to perform in other areas was recognized in October 2007 when she was appointed as the administrative and communications assistant working alongside the Senior Performance Manager.  As part of this role, she attended the Beijing Olympics Equestrian Events acting as Owner liaison.  Corinne sits on the Performance Development Committee, Training Committee and the Working Party for International Development for British Showjumping.  She also developed and piloted the Junior Academy scheme for British Showjumping.  In 2007, Corinne was awarded Show Jumping Coach of the Year.  In 2008, Corinne was runner up in the Woman of the Future Awards in the Mentor category.  Corinne is a qualified coach educator and assessor for the UKCC coaching qualifications.  In 2010, Corinne was selected to be manager for the BEF World Class Equine Pathway.  She was selected in 2010 by the British Olympic Association to attend the Inaugural Youth Olympic Games in Singapore as the European Equestrian Team Manager and led the team to the Gold medal.  She was re-selected to take the 2014 European Youth Olympic Team to China in August 2014.  Corinne was awarded the British Equestrian Federation Medal of Honour for services to Showjumping at all levels.

Corinne currently coaches riders of all levels and disciplines across Europe, including International 4* event riders and Modern Pentathlon competitors whilst also keeping her feet on the ground teaching at pony club and grass roots level.

Please check our show calendar for upcoming clinic dates.