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EXPERIENCE THE JOY OF DRESSAGE
It's very "catchy" - very contagious. Joy. 'Exuberant joy' is the best way to describe it. You can't help but become part of it. Horses pick it up and become happy and generous dance partners. Students pick it up too and seem to thoroughly enjoy learning new techniques and gaining insight about how to have a willing partner who is soft and responsive.
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Pam Grace has an uncanny ability to understand and communicate with horses on a deeper level than most people - like a soul level. It doesn't matter if she's just schooling a mount in a training session, or riding into a competition arena in a stadium full of people; you will always see her beaming smile and an air of enthusiasm, excitement and joy about her.
Pam has taken many horses to the highest, or Grand Prix level of dressage, including Pay N Go, her legendary leopard Appaloosa, who was USDF All Breeds Champion at every level through Grand Prix. Pay N Go was the first inductee into the Appaloosa Sport Horse Hall of Fame, was awarded the 5 star Achievement award from American Warmblood Society, and was immortalized as a Breyer horse. Pam and Pay N Go performed for Sir Paul McCartney inside Riverside Cathedral in Manhattan as the highlight of the memorial service to honor his wife, Linda McCartney. Their tribute to Linda was captivating as they entered the church at the Spanish Walk, performed a Pirouette, formally saluted the audience, and then exited at the Spanish Walk.
Pam's list of international superstars also includes "Floriano", who Pam took to Grand Prix and competed very successfully. He went on to be the alternate at the Athens Olympics, and 2nd at the World Equestrian Games. Another worthy of being noted was "Gucci", who she competed internationally on in Germany and Luxemburg, placing in every Grand Prix they showed in, and won 2 ABIG Championships.
Last but not least, is her current Grand Prix superstar, "Star In Stripes" - her stunning Dutch Warmblood gelding, who moves as if he were floating on air. There is clearly an incredible, rare, unspoken chemistry which has created a bond between them. "A match made in heaven", according to Pam. The pair has had a very distinguished international show tour spanning 5 years, competed in the Olympic qualifiers in 2008, won 3 ABIC Championships at Grand Prix, and have thrilled audiences from Florida to California with their musical freestyle performances.
That brings us up to date... four years ago, Pam met the love of her life, Steve Fry, and the two became one in marriage and began a new chapter. Pam came in off the international show circuit, and all the traveling that accompanies that lifestyle, to enjoy a simpler way of life with Steve, which included time to smell the flowers... Bluebonnets that is! The pair have moved to Nova Ranch, LLC in Round Top, Texas, where they run a training operation together. The facility sits on 50 serene, scenic acres in the hills outside of the artsy, fun loving, quaint town of Round Top, just southeast of Austin.
"I do the training and Steve is Chief Horse Spoiler", Pam said teasingly with a wink.
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Pam has a full and varied schedule, teaching regular out-of-state clinics to adult amateurs and trainers, as she has done for years and also continues to judge horse shows. Recently she has added some students from additional disciplines to her repertoire. She has begun coaching competitive international jousters in dressage. She recently taught a clinic to the top jousters in the world during the biggest joust in the U.S. at G.S.E.C. in Katy where she did a magical freestyle on a gorgeous Friesian stallion to medieval music.
About 5 years ago Pam was asked to be on the board of directors for the Western Dressage Association of America, (which has recently been recognized by U.S.E.F.) as their dressage expert, along with helping to promote the new discipline which was in its infancy. She accepted, and promptly designed the first western dressage saddle (so she could sit correctly to do upper level dressage in a western saddle), produced by Circle Y Saddlery. She rode a fun Grand Prix western dressage performance at the big international C.D.I. dressage show in Katy to a live country band. Since then she has also been coaching western dressage, and has had students who have won World Championships in that arena as well.
"I have always wanted to live in the Texas hill country", said Pam, "I'm just so tickled to have finally arrived! Riding up on top of this hill in the mornings with such a breathtaking view is amazing. I feel so very blessed. What a way to start the day!"
Pam and Steve feel that Round Top is a perfect place to have landed, with it's fun, funky vibe, hometown atmosphere, classical and country music festivals, and such a wide assortment of very unassuming world class talent who live here side by side as neighbors.
"We feel like we have found our niche", said Pam. "The people are so down to earth and friendly. Steve and I frequent "Expressions" coffee house just off the square. We have met so many interesting and talented people in there, and heard so many neat stories. Just this week we met and exchanged stories over coffee with a well-known country singer/songwriter, an author, a famous politician, and a world renowned classical pianist... who I'm already talking to about doing a live performance on Star In Stripes with! We already feel like a part of this neat little community."
Pam is excited to continue training horses and teaching people the art of dressage at Nova Ranch, more importantly, she hopes to help people ENJOY their horses, tap into the joy in this journey we call dressage.
Pam is a USDF Bronze, Silver, and Gold medalist and a USDF level "L" judge. You can contact Pam by calling 281-785-6498, visiting PamGrace.com or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also read our 2003 Feature Article, "Pam Fowler Grace - A Texas Jewel" online at horsegazette.com in our Monthly Features for Sept-2003.