Vitor Silva and a student
Vitor Silva and a student
Author: Hannah Hanover
Date: April 4, 2013
Date: April 4, 2013
Categories: Academics

On April 6 and 7, senior Kala Stafford ‘13 will participate in the Junior/Young Rider Sons of the Wind dressage clinic at the Oxley Equestrian Center at Cornell University in Ithaca, NY.

Each potential junior rider submits an application, show record, and a video of his or her riding. Selection is competitive and Stafford’s admission to the clinic is “an indication of a classical, correct foundation in riding having been taught at Houghton College and absorbed and implemented by the selected student,” says Jo-Anne Young, equestrian program director for Houghton College.

Riders will receive a private lesson from Vitor Silva, an internationally acclaimed Portuguese equestrian rider, teacher, and founder of Sons of the Wind School of Equestrian Arts in Merrimac, Mass. Young says of Stafford’s opportunity, “Riding with Vitor in the clinic is a mark of distinction and an honor that indicates a solid foundation, high skill, and a bright future for those selected.”

“Vitor's philosophy on riders is that the best riders are intuitive to the horse. I hope that this experience can help take my riding to the next level, as my long-term goal is to compete professionally in dressage,” said Stafford.

There is a $40 fee to audit the dressage clinic. Participants work in the clinic Saturday afternoon and evening and Sunday morning. Silva and his team of professional trainers will give an exhibition to clinic participants Saturday evening and finish with a discussion after the last lesson on Sunday.

All riders are given the opportunity to mount Lusitano horses at the clinic. Lusitanos are a Portuguese breed, and the horses present at the clinic are trained to a high international standard of obedience and sensitivity. Remarks Young, “The riders will get to feel the power, sensitivity and elegance of horses trained to the highest level, which will improve their overall riding and comprehension of how to communicate with finesse.”

For more information on Houghton College’s equestrian program visit

For more information on Sons of the Wind School of Equestrian Arts visit