Marie Banks got involved with D4K when she brought students to the Youth Dressage Festival when it was still held at Ox Ridge! She thought it was the greatest show she’d ever been to. When she and her sister started bringing their students to the Youth Dressage Festival and youth clinics that Lendon was having at her farm, they knew they wanted to be a part of this fantastic organization. When they were asked if they wanted to help and join the committee, of course, they said yes. They were so motivated by the refreshing sense of community, education and team work being promoted to young riders. At the Youth Dressage Festival Marie and her sister, Alice Petersen, work the schooling show, oversee ring stewards, run the in-hand classes, organize the parade of teams and help hand out the team awards. Because of her experience at horse shows and as a trainer, Marie knows how important it is to have everything run on time and on schedule. Marie says, “I am still a part of this organization because I am so proud to be a small part of such an amazing team that does so much of what I think is very important. I also feel an obligation to give back to the horse community that has given to me and feel that it is imperative to set an example to young riders to participate within the horse community, help others, create a learning environment and to encourage each other because we all need that.”
Marie is a lifelong rider and has ridden hunter/jumpers, eventing, fox hunting, polo, dressage, and Western dressage, but dressage is her main focus and passion. She owns and runs a farm on Long Island with her sister, Alice Petersen, where they both ride, teach, train and compete.
Her advice is: “If you always ride or ask the same way, you will keep getting the same result. If you are not happy with what you are getting, you have to change what you are doing.”