A Week With George Morris
Maplewood Trainer Andrew Jayne traveled to the Winter Equestrian Festival circuit in February to spend a week with the legendary George H. Morris. Thanks to Julie Winkel’s close friendship with Morris, the opportunity arose for Jayne to shadow Morris as he rode, taught lessons and trained students during WEF Week 5 in Wellington, Florida.
Jayne also had riding lessons with Morris, attended multiple FEI Grand Prix events, walked the courses, observed and set fences for competitors, and attended training sessions.
“It was amazing. The people I met were so welcoming, and to spend a week with George was incredible,” said Jayne. “I was a little nervous about going to WEF, because it was the first time and outside my comfort zone, but everyone went above and beyond to make me feel at home.”
Trainers Geoff Teall, Rush Weeden, Carl Weeden and Diane Carney helped to organize horses for Jayne to ride and take lessons on. “All of them were so great to help me find horses. The list of people who helped me is so long, and the people I met is even longer, “ Andrew added. “John Madden took the time to talk to me at length, and I had lunch with George, Laura Kraut and Lauren Hough one day. I also went to the Saturday night class with Martin Fuchs, and Thomas Fuchs was so nice. There weren’t enough hours in the day to have conversations with all of the people I met.”
Winkel, who first met Morris when she began having him out to Reno in the late 1970s to teach clinics at her stable, has worked and judged with him regularly since then.
“I’m so fortunate to have friends in high places, such as George and Geoff Teall to make this possible for our future grand prix stars,” said Winkel.
“The time George took with me and my experiences at WEF completely exceeded my expectations,” Jayne added. “My No. 1 takeaway is how nice the top professionals are and how they’re so down-to-earth. Everyone was friendly and helpful, and I can’t thank George and everyone enough for all that I did and learned.”
Jayne returned to Maplewood on February 12 and resumed teaching and training the clients and horses.
“I’m pretty sure every lesson I’ve taught since I got back we’ve done 45 minutes of flatwork! I’m not sure how happy everyone else is, but I’ve taken what George taught me and am applying it to my horses and riders,” he said. “Working with George was fun and really motivated me. I look forward to implementing what I’ve learned and seeing where it takes us.”