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In the spotlight: Kamla Hoekstra


Meet Kamla Hoekstra from Canada! Kamla and her horse Davina Royale are at DVB to train with Coby and Marlies. She's her all ready for a couple of weeks and is planning to stay 3 moths! 

Name: Kamla Hoekstra
Nationality: Canadian

Kamla and Davina Royale 

History with horses:

I started riding when I was nine years old and soon fell in love with the sport of eventing. I eventually rode a 4 year old thoroughbred gelding who had great scope over fences, but was unruly between jumps. In order to improve his ridability, I began to focus on my Dressage work. I had been fortunate at a young age to be taught by the German-born Dietrich vonHopffgarten who stressed the classical training principles of dressage. I was hooked.

As a 16 year old I began a partnership with my Hanoverian gelding, Mr. Majestic. We were successful at the Young Rider level, leading our team to the Gold Medal at the North American Young Rider Championships and capturing the Individual Silver Medal, two years in a row. Over a three year period, Mr. Majestic and I became listed riders for the Canadian Team.

During that time, we were invited to compete at the European Young Riders Championships. As we had already traveled long distances to attend the North American Championships, my parents felt a flight to Europe would be too much for Mr. Majestic to endure within such a tight timeframe.

Two years later, I travelled with Mr. Majestic to Europe with the goal of progressing him to the Grand Prix level. I spent a year as a working student, training (and competing) with Mr. Majestic with the guidance of Bert Rutten (Netherlands) and Holger Munstermann (Germany).

Upon my return to Canada, I continued training, competing and teaching other riders.

My attention then turned to my studies. My plan was to attend university full time; complete my schooling; resume riding; and return to Europe to train with another horse. I completed two degrees, one in Biochemistry and another in Physiotherapy.

I purchased my current horse, Davina Royale, as a 4 year old in Germany. Together we have progressed through the levels under the watchful eye of my long term coach, Canadian Olympic Rider, Leslie Reid. I have competed Davina up to the Intermediare I level. Over the past spring Leslie has been helping me to develop Davina’s piaffe and passage in order to transition to the Intermediare II level, and eventually to Grand Prix.

Davina Royala, Kamla and Coby

What brought you to DVB?
I have had lessons with Johann Hinnemann both in Germany (as a Young Rider); and in Canada and California (with my current horse).

I knew Coby was a student of Mr. Hinnemann’s and have followed her successful career from afar. As I worked with various horses over the years, I have referred to Coby’s book (cowritten with Johann Hinnemann) multiple times. It is one of my favourites. It contains many of the same lessons Dietrich (who passed away in 2006) use to teach. While training in Europe, I simply wanted to further my Dressage education. I wanted to not only expose Davina and myself to top training but to watch top riders and horses train and compete. I wanted to be immersed in a primarily a classical approach to dressage, one that focuses on building a solid foundation in which to progress; to learn from someone who would quickly identify the gaps in basic training and re-build the foundation in order to make daily work stronger and more correct; and to work with someone who focuses on the rider as much as the horse. To me, it has always been about being the best rider that I can possibly be and to develop a harmonious partnership with my horse. Although Dressage is a life long learning process, I felt DVB would be the perfect place to improve and refine my skills be surrounded by a supportive team of good riders that truly love what they do.

On the road
Favorite competition: Home- Dressage at Devonwood, Oregon, USA

Good to know
Favorite Brands: Custom Saddlery, Konig; Pikeur; Eurostar
Best gift: Time spent with my loved ones
Favorite book: Open: An Autobiography by Andre Agassi & The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

Ben Johnson DVB, Marlies and Kamla 

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