As part of our Bragging on our Students posts – we have to tell you about Joe Yoder, if you don’t already know him. Joe came to work for us in 2003. He had been driving horses since he was a little kid and came to help us work and train horses. We wanted someone who was comfortable driving horses but willing to learn more. After working with my husband, Alex Fraser, for a few months, we heard Joe tell one of his brothers that he thought he knew everything about driving horses when he came here, but found out he really didn’t know anything compared to what he learned since he has been here. I don’t remember his exact words, but it was similar to that.
Joe is one of our protégés and plenty of photos and videos have been taken of this young man lately.
After he left us, he worked in construction for a few years until Mark and Shirley Schmidt, also from Montana, asked him to drive their team of four horses. They took him to the best CDEs in the country – West to East coasts. They wintered in Florida where Joe was coached by some of the top world champion drivers and trainers, preparing for the World Equestrian Games in KY. We believe he would have made the cut, but circumstances were such that he did not compete. Joe has a new sponsor who has taken him to Europe – and he is doing very well against the best pairs drivers in the world.
He was named the U.S. Pairs Champion in 2011 and just a few weeks ago competed in Conty, France on the U.S. Equestrian Team amongst the best international drivers.
Below are a couple of videos of him. This will give you a good idea about what, in part, a CDE (Combined Driving Event) is about. The first is of Obstacle 3 at the Live Oak International CAI in March of 2011 and the second is him executing his dressage test at 2011 World Pairs Driving Championships in France.
For more on the 2011 FEI World Driving Championships that took place August 24th – 28th, 2011 in Conty, France go here: 2011 World Driving Championships
Yes, we are very proud of all Joe has accomplished!