Two-time Olympian Debbie McDonald was recently presented with the Global Dressage Visionary Award.
Although McDonald is no longer going down centerline at international competition, she still was seen at the in-gate at the 2016 Adequan Global Dressage Festival in Wellington almost every day of competition.
McDonald, who was the first American to win a World Cup Final in dressage on her famous mare, Brentina, is currently the developing coach for the U.S. Dressage Team and mentors successful riders including Adrienne Lyle, Laura Graves and Kasey Perry-Glass.
During the final week of competition at the 2016 Adequan Global Dressage Festival, McDonald was recognized by Adequan Global Dressage Festival founding member Carol Cohen for her contributions to the sport and her hand in developing the sport’s future stars. McDonald assisted in coaching Team USA to first place in the Stillpoint Farm FEI Nations’ Cup CDIO 3*.
McDonald began riding dressage after first competing as a show jumper. After switching her focus to dressage, McDonald found her “horse of a lifetime” in Brentina. Brentina competed with McDonald from the age of 3 to 18, and the partnership helped launch McDonald into international stardom.
Highlights of their time together included individual and team gold medals at the 1999 Pan American Games, team silver at the World Equestrian Games in 2002, team bronze at the World Equestrian Games in 2006, team bronze at the 2004 Athens Olympics and World Cup champion in 2003.
ABOVE: Carol Cohen presents the Global Dressage Visionary Award to Debbie McDonald.