WWU Honored as Location for United Professional Horsemen’s Association Clinic

It’s been more than 20 years since the United Professional Horsemen’s Association (UPHA) last held an Update on Equitation Clinic. On March 13-15 the UPHA plans to resurrect this exciting event, and they plan to do it at William Woods University.


Approximately 125 participants—including 30 renowned instructors—will converge on WWU for this clinic, and according to the event coordinator, Sandy Sessink, they will hopefully all leave with some inspiration.


“I’m on the UPHA Equitation committee and I started thinking about holding this clinic two years ago. I’ve been thinking for a while that the whole industry needs some inspiration and some direction,” said Sessink.


“I wasn’t at the clinic the last time it was held, but I did see a video of it. I watched that video over and over and it was just inspiring; it gave me a lot to think about. I thought a lot of people could use that same sort of boost to get them interested again, whether as a rider, parent, instructor or trainer.”


Sessink brought the idea up to her colleagues at the next convention and everyone seemed to like the idea. They began working on the project right away.


“We originally started to plan it for last year. We had problems finding workable dates, so we decided to give ourselves a little more time and we’ve been planning it for about two years now,” said Sessink.


Sessink says that WWU was chosen as the location for numerous reasons.


“William Woods is the perfect facility for this sort of thing. Just the sheer size of it is


impressive, and then we have people coming in from all corners of the country and it’s centrally located. And of course having the WWU students to help us get this done is going to be a big help,” said Sessink.


WWU professor of equestrian science and saddle seat instructor, Gayle Lampe, feels that the benefits of the clinic with go both ways.


“It’s about 30 of the top riding instructors in the United States. They will be talking about many different topics. Our students will be getting the opportunity to meet these teachers. We’ve got several seniors who are job hunting and this is an opportunity to make contacts…Also by watching the clinic they can learn to be better teachers. They need to get all the preparation they can get before they go out into the world. This can help them tremendously,” said Lampe.


The clinic will begin on Friday evening with a dessert reception at 7 p.m., allowing participants to greet each other and socialize. At 9 on Saturday morning in Dulaney Auditorium the panel discussions begin with titles such as, “It’s In the Details: presenting your rider in the showring,” and “Communication between clients, riders and trainers.”


There will be a break for a pizza lunch, and dinner will take place at a local restaurant, followed by a “Hop Topics” roundtable discussion and raffle.


Sunday at 9 a.m. the participants will make their way to the WWU Stables, where students will help panelists with various live demonstrations. These will include demonstrations of lunge lessons, pattern work and judging.


“I’m really looking forward to it,” said Lampe. “It’s been a long time since UPHA has done this, and it’s only the third time they’ve done it, ever. It’s a real honor that we were chosen as the location.”