Matt Drohan Named Stable Manager for 2016 George H. Morris Horsemastership Training Sessions
Matt Drohan, Centenary Junior, has been selected as one of two stable managers for the prestigious George H. Morris Horsemastership training sessions in Wellington, FL this winter. Matt was selected through his participation in the Emerging Athletes Program (EAP).
The EAP has been working to provide opportunities for young riders since 2009. The program is designed to further young future professional’s knowledge both athletically and academically to create well rounded horsemen. EAP athletes have gone on to accomplish impressive titles in their field, including championships like the USEF Show Jumping Talent Search and the ASPCA Maclay Finals.
Matt had followed the EAP for quite some time, and through his participation in Centenary’s equine program was now of the proper skill set to apply for a Regional Training Session. A session was scheduled at the Centenary Equestrian Center for June 13-17, 2016, and this gave him the perfect opportunity. In order to be considered for acceptance, Matt had to provide letters of recommendation from equine professionals in the industry and pass a written horsemanship test with at least an 80%.
Once accepted, Matt chose to ride a Centenary horse named “Olaf”, and prepared him with Centenary equine faculty, Heather Clark and Michael Dowling, leading up to the session. Karen Healey, well known and well respected Hunter/Jumper industry professional, was the clinician at this session. Matt said that Healy gave him a new unique outlook, and that the clinic was challenging in a way that will forever change the way he looks at his own riding.
A few months after Matt participated in the Regional Training Session, he was asked to be one of five stable managers at the EAP national finals at Lake Erie College November 10-13, 2016. For this position, Matt was in charge of facilitating the activities of a group of four riders who were competing. This included making sure the riders were ready at the correct time, helping oversee their horse’s care, and even preparing the riders in the schooling ring for their final day of competition. Matt was able to work alongside some of the top young talent in the industry, learning from their techniques and observing their methods.
Matt was impressed with the caliber of his peers, and the effectiveness of the program, “We are not only successful in the ring, but back in the barn as well. That’s the great key that allows this program to stand out from the rest- an educational riding experience from top professionals, while concurrently learning to grow as horsemen from some of the top stable managers in the country”.
Following the EAP nationals, two riders and two stable managers are annually invited to attend the George H. Morris Horsemastership Training Session in Wellington, FL. The two EAP riders join ten other top young riders in participating in this three day clinic. This year, world renowned professionals Anne Kursinski, Beezie Madden and Laura Kraut are instructing. Matt was invited as one of the two stable managers for the event, and will serve a similar function as he did at the EAP nationals, but at an even grander level.
Matt looks forward to continuing the journey that the EAP has jumpstarted for him, “What I really enjoyed at both the regional and national training sessions was the mentality, drive, and talent of all the other participants. We all hope to become successful professionals in the equine industry one day, so it was great to be surrounded by individuals of a similar mindset. It was so refreshing, and I can’t wait to see what the Horsemastership Training Session will have in store”.
Matt is a major asset to the Centenary community. He is a Business Administration major, concentration finance, equine minor, tour guide, peer tutor, note taker, treasurer for the intercollegiate riding team, and ambassador for the school in the Intercollegiate Horseshow Association Student Leadership Committee. He is a student who has truly soaked up the opportunities that we provide here at Centenary. The networking he has been able to do through work opportunities encouraged and organized by faculty, the EAP, and Intercollegiate Horseshow Association will greatly boost his career as a young professional.