On Sunday, August 2, M. Michael Meller of MMM Horseman presented the annual M. Michael Meller Style of Riding Award to Olympian Rich Fellers during the fifth week of the Great Lakes Equestrian Festival (GLEF). Meller also judged the Lead Line class prior to the start of the $137,000 Grand Traverse Grand Prix CSI3*.
M. Michael Meller presenting the 2020 M. Michael Meller Style of Riding Award to Olympian Rich Fellers at GLEF. Photo by Andrew Ryback Photography.
Fellers traveled from Sherwood, Oregon to show at the world-class competition, earning a top 12 finish in the $137,000 Grand Traverse Grand Prix CSI3* with his own Lux Lady. Following the completion of the competition, Fellers was presented with the M. Michael Meller Style of Riding Award. Each Year, the Style Award is presented to the international athlete who exemplifies the best style of riding along with maintaining a sportsmanlike composure.
“Receiving this award really brings back great memories of when I first started taking clinics from George Morris, back when I was in my early/mid-teens,” explained Fellers. “George established my style, that was the style he gave me in the clinics. That was the only training I had as a young rider, the clinics that I rode in each year with George. He explained the forward seat very clearly and why it was the best for the horses and I’ve stuck with it ever since – I’ve never questioned it. I’ve never tried any other style, just tried to perfect the one that I believe in.”
Meller was thrilled to present Fellers with the Style Award on Sunday, saying, “Rich’s style is the perfect example of form and function. It may not be what we traditionally see today, but the forward seat works amazingly well for him and his horses – you just need to look at his record with Flexible to know that.
“Rich is also a consummate horseman,” continued Meller. “He knows how to do every job in the barn and is happy to do it. Rich is an athlete that we should all admire and learn from, and it is wonderful to add him to the roster of Style Award winners.”
Earlier in the day on Sunday, Meller also had the opportunity to judge the Lead Line class at GLEF. “It is so exciting to see the future of our sport,” noted Meller. “All of the riders had a great attitude and had so much fun. I truly enjoyed having the opportunity to meet them and see them enjoy a great day with their ponies at GLEF!”
M. Michael Meller judging the Lead Line competition at GLEF. Photo courtesy MMM Horseman.
The team at MMM Horseman and QBS Equestrian is now gearing up for the 2020 fall show season. The next M. Michael Meller Style of Riding Award will be presented during the American Gold Cup in Traverse City, MI, September 9-13, 2020. For more information about the Style Award, MMM Horseman or QBS Equestrian, click here.