Grow Grand Prix: Inspired to grow

Rien explaining his philosophies with a rider at one of the bootcamps

Rien explaining his philosophies with a rider at one of the bootcamps

South Africa is years behind our European counterparts on the international Dressage circuit, in terms of knowledge and accessibility to top level competitions.  The GGP movement was started in Gauteng in November 2010 by Adriaan van Wyk, Heather Partner and Candice Hobday.

Run by this small dedicated group of people, with the goal of: “Uplifting the level and standard of advanced competitive Dressage in South Africa, and assisting in the training of riders for the international arena.” GGP has started to make it’s presence felt.

The membership is open to anybody interested in dressage, whether rider or spectator. It is a countrywide movement and membership in other provinces is being developed and encouraged.

Dutch trainer Rien van der Schaft is the chosen international trainer for GGP. He has trained and competed numerous horses up to Grand Prix level, he also travels to the United States of America, as well as South Africa and continues to train riders in Holland and Europe as well as running his own equestrian business. Passionate about training and a natural teacher, he inspires and pushes riders and horses alike to give of their best. He is able to simplify and explain the aids and exercises until each rider has grasped them. The development of each rider and horse partnership has been astounding and exciting to watch.

The training takes place at regular Bootcamps, and all spectators are welcome. Rien is very open to questions about the training or exercises and is quite happy to explain his ideas. During each Bootcamp there is a seminar on a selected topic with riders demonstrating Rien’s points and explanations. They have become incredibly popular and are well attended, with the general consensus being that they are very informative, fun and insightful.

One of the most exciting factors to observe about GGP is the team spirit that now exists amongst the bootcamp riders. The genuine interest and support for each other, continues into the competitive environment in the form of advice and moral support. Often wearing their GGP Bootcamp shirts, they are easily identifiable by the palpable excitement when they watch their team mates compete.

For more information on Grow Grand Prix SA, please go to their website, or email [email protected]


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Photographic material used with permission from photographers

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