entire dressage community in mourning the loss of Chuck
called the "Father of American Dressage", he died June 30, at his home
in Brighton, Michigan, after a long illness. He was 76 years old.
In his 50- year career with horses, Grant introduced and nurtured a
classical system of riding and training that was ultimately employed by
riders in many disciplines. He began his association with
American dressage in the 1940's, while stationed with the 122nd Field
Artillery in Chicago. At the time, dressage was practiced only in
the military. However, Grant believed strongly that all could
benefit from "the training of the horse" and in 1948, he introduced the
first civilian dressage classes to the United States.
Later, in civilian life, Grant went on to train 17 horses to the Grand
Prix level. Grant taught many of his horses to kneel, lie down,
bow, and sit up, and he greatly enjoyed demonstrating the fun and
beauty of dressage in exhibitions around the United States.
A staunch supporter of American riders and American horses, he passed
his knowledge on to hundreds of students, including hunter/jumper and
combined training riders. A large number of them went on to
become professionals. His proteges include Violet Hopkins, Deeann
Cramer, Carol Grant Oldford, David Lackey, Dominique Barbier, Nancy
Harris, Carole Trevianus and Marie Zdunic.
As a charter member of the USDF, Grant attended the very first meeting
of the Federation, held in 1973 in Lincoln, Nebraska. He was
among several dressage enthusiasts who helped frame the format of the
Federation in order to further the sport of dressage in the United
States. During the early years of USDF, Grant chaired the
Professional's Advisory Committee, which was then working on issues
like the evaluation of judges. More recently, he was the 1989
Region 2 coordinator for the Instructors/Trainers Council.
He is the author of three books -
American Dressage, American Dressage
and Haute Ecole. In addition, he contributed
articles to many horse-related publications and was working on his
autobiography at the time of his death.
The above is from a USDF Bulletin
Charles D. "Chuck" Grant, highly regarded dressage trainer of horses
and riders including Deeann Cramer, Mari Zdunic and Olympian Frank
Duffy, died June 30 at his home in Brighton Township, Michigan.
He was 76.
Grant received his formal riding training when in the Army, where he
rode with the 122nd Field Artillery Lancers and served in Italy and
North Africa. There he was introduced to dressage through Col.
Len Kitts and Col. Hiram Tuttle. He judged the first dressage
show in the U.S. in 1947, and trained Frank Duffy for the 1968 U.S.
Olympic jumping and dressage teams that competed in Mexico City.
He wrote two books: American
Dressage and Training the Haute Ecole (available from Marie
Zdunic) . Throughout his
career, Grant did not draw a hard line between basic dressage and haute
ecole riding. In fact, he considered haute ecole an extension of
basic dressage. He opened Shine-A-Bit Farm in Brighton Township
in 1967. He was a member of the AHSA, a founding board member of
the Midwest Dressage Association and a member of the Horse Artillery
from USDF News.
Another tribute to Chuck by some
of his students at: http://www.shineabit.com/sa00004.htm
Thank You Chuck
May you be
happy and healthy where ever you are now.
From one of your students, Dorothy Clark
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