JJ Tate is widely recognized in the dressage community as a world class rider, one who is dedicated to the study of classical dressage and the harmony existing between horse and rider. She has had a prolific riding career. Entering the FEI competition arena for the first time at 16 years old, she has gone on to win multiple regional and national championships, as well as produce multitudes of horses to the Grand Prix level.
JJ began her dressage career at 9, and by 11 she had already found her mentor in legendary classical dressage master and USDF Hall of Fame inductee Charles De Kunffy (with whom she still trains today). She has trained in Europe with Olympian Gyula Dallos, became the top young rider at the Grand Prix level in 1999, led her North American Young Rider team to a silver medal, and earned her gold medal by age 21.
Her earlier career accolades include: Winning the Grand Prix Special at the Winter Equestrian Festival and the FEI High Point Championship in Wellington aboard Cambay in 2006. They were also World Cup reserve finalists, long listed for the World Equestrian Games and were top finishers in the Grand Prix at Dressage at Devon. After being named as the runner up in Robert Dover’s “Search for the Next American Equestrian Star”, JJ decided to leave her home state of Wisconsin and move to the East Coast to pursue her international goals.
Now based in Landrum, SC and Wellington, FL – Team Tate Dressage is flourishing. JJ continues to show at the highest level of the sport, competing 30 horses to Prix St. George and beyond. In addition, she has produced and qualified many horses for the young horse and developing horse championships.
JJ is also a celebrated clinician who equally enjoys coaching students, and has taken multiple riders to the NAJYRC and USEF National Championships. She works with young riders, adult amateurs and other professionals in the equestrian industry. JJ is appreciated for her patience, talent and dedication to the classical aspects of dressage.
A Focus on the Welfare of the Horse
JJ has a competitive spirit, yet her biggest focus has always been on the health and welfare of her horses. This concern for the well-being of her horses is where her journey began with MediVet Equine.
JJ’s outlook upon horse care is focused on prevention. During our conversations with her she noted, “Dressage requires sustained weight loading, and ACS helps create a much healthier joint space and allows the body to heal itself with its own properties, before pain arises. ACS promotes healing to the joint, preventing the strain, before it becomes an injury.”
JJ has a stable full of talented horses which she has produced up through the levels, including Faberge, a 2003 Westphalen gelding that she has been training for over 10 years. “Fiji” had what was thought to be a career ending injury, but JJ was determined to give this special horse all the support he deserved.
That is when JJ discovered MediVet ACS, through the recommendation of her vet. Through a combination of rehab, rest, laser treatments and MediVet ACS, she was able to achieve full recovery with Fiji. Not only did he return to the Grand Prix level of competition – he returned to win!
In 2018, Fiji won the CDI Grand Prix and Freestyle at Dressage at Devon. He competed internationally all winter season, placing in the 5*, and he was a high money winner during the last Wellington season. At 16, Fiji is still at the top of his game, and JJ plans to compete in the 5* again this season in Florida!
MediVet ACS: Perfect Solution for Metabolically Sensitive Patients
JJ also has several other of her top horses on MediVet ACS, each with their own specific maintenance needs. Summersby, a 2007 Hannoverian mare by Sir Donnerhall, has been with JJ since she was 5 and has been trained up through the national Grand Prix level. Summer has thrived on MediVet ACS, as she has needed specific support due to metabolic issues. MediVet ACS has been the perfect solution, as it draws on the horses’ own healing power to fight inflammation, without the negative reaction that metabolic horses can experience with steroid injections. Summer has thrived with the ACS protocol!
JJ also spoke to us about another rising star in her Connemara powerhouse, Kynynmont Gunsmoke’s Gideon, who was bred in Pennsylvania by Pam Liddell. “Gideon, the super pony, was 4th at Devon this year in the Freestyle with over 70%! He’s a 3/4 Connemara, bred just down the street from Devon by Pam Liddell, who still supports him to this day! He’s 11 and is going to be a super star! He was voted the crowd favorite this year at Dressage at Devon, winning the audience judging by a long shot!
“He also is on the ACS, as with his pony breeding, we have to be careful with him as well with steroid injections. ACS has helped him a ton! He is going to do a few more CDI-W, and his freestyle is the most crowd pleasing! Everyone should come out to watch him perform this winter in Florida!”
As the 2019 season comes to a close, we want to congratulate JJ on her recent CBLM Championship wins at Intermediate I and PSG aboard Felis Apollo, and at Intermediate II aboard Derby! The 2020 season is looking bright with her string of 5 Grand Prix superstars, and we wish her the best of luck competing on the winter circuit at the Adequan Global Dressage Festival in Wellington.
JJ’s long term goal is to one day represent the USA at a team event, and we salute her dedication to her horses, her team and the sport of dressage. MediVet Equine is humbled to be part of the team which is helping JJ and her horses achieve optimal health and performance through scientifically based therapeutics.
Get to know JJ and Team Tate through her website at https://www.team-tatedressage.com/ and on Facebook @TeamTateDressage!