Beth Meyer – Testimonial

I met Jan in 2003, when he was a clinician at Larkspur in Littleton, MA. While riding in the clinic and observing him work with the other riders, I was impressed with his professionalism and brilliant teaching methods. He encouraged everyone to see the importance of the basic building blocks of dressage, such as straightness and rhythm, and how they related to a perfect shoulder-in and ultimately to the Levels. Later that year, I saw Jan win a spot on the Pan American team at Gladstone. Watching him ride in the pouring rain with a champion’s confidence in his horses and himself was something I will always remember. (At Gladstone, Jan qualified two horses for the Pan American Games, Liberte and Feleciano.) In 2007, when asked to join Amy and Ann as the third owner of Rafalca, I assented without a moment’s hesitation. Since Gladstone, I have watched Jan compete Rafalca in shows in the US; Stuttgart, Germany; four World Cups; as a member of the US Team in Aachen; and member of the 2012 US Olympic Team in London. With dignity and sensitivity, in 2014, Jan retired Rafalca in Central Park in New York. Jan’s meticulous preparation for each show, including Rafalca’s retirement exhibition, always brings me back to the first time I saw him compete at Gladstone. Nothing is left to chance and that includes building the best possible Support Team: grooms, farriers, veterinarians, shippers and others important to success. Jan’s own work ethic and eagerness to continue training under the world’s best professionals provide a clear role model for all dressage aspirants. I would be remiss not to mention Jan’s generosity in serving on committees and governing bodies for High Performance Dressage.

Living in Cambridge, MA, I haven’t been able to enjoy the rich learning atmosphere of the Acres and seeing Jan, Rafalca and my partners on a daily basis. I have made up for it by making visits to California, going with Jan to horse shows and on horse buying trips to Europe for friends and myself. For me, the buying trips are the equivalent of 100 lessons at home. Jan rides each horse to check suitability and then I get on and Jan instructs me, as in a lesson, to go back to the basics of getting the horse straight and through. If I falter or am nervous, it usually means the horse isn’t the right one for me and we move on to the next horse or barn. With Jan’s help, I have purchased two Hanoverians in Germany, World Fashion and Flamenco Girl. Both mares are talented and striking chestnuts with huge, funny personalities. I have competed World Fashion up to Prix St. George and will be competing Flamenco Girl this year working on my Silver USDF Medal. To sum up the past eight years, my life has been enriched a million fold by knowing Jan, Amy, and Ben, being one of the Amigos, and part of the Acres Family. In terms of the future, I am eagerly looking forward to watching Jan present our stallions Rassolini and Breitan in competition.