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Thornton learning from best

Laguna Beach High School equestrian Nina Thornton was one of the lucky students to train with Olympic medalist and show-jumping legend Anne Kursinski recently. Regarded as one of the leading women riders in equestrian, Kursinski has ridden in 10 World Cup finals, been a member of five U.S. Olympic Teams and has participated in 47 Nations Cup Teams. Her expertise is unparalleled.

The opportunity to train with an Olympic-level rider/instructor came about at the request of John and Katie Berney, owners and trainers of ESI in San Juan Capistrano. The Berneys flew Kursinski in from her East Coast farm to share her successful riding techniques with their students. The training focused on communication between horse and rider through core strength development, body position, balance and rhythm.

“Finding a distance to a jump, rhythm, timing "” my exercises help the horse and rider to become one," said Anne Kursinski.

The three-day clinic had more than 25 local high school equestrians participate.


“Kursinski’s techniques and exercises will make my students more effective riders," Katie Berney said. "[That’s true] especially as they prepare for the AA rated winter circuit held in California and Arizona beginning in January 2010, as well as next year’s OSHSA Shows."

"” From staff reports