Liz Steacie’s Soft Contact Wins Neue Schule Best Hands Award at Adequan Global Dressage Festival CDI-W

For Immediate Release
Contact: Doreen Kula
Metlar – Neue Schule Bits


Liz Steacie’s Soft Contact Wins Neue Schule Best Hands Award at Adequan Global Dressage Festival CDI-W


Wellington, FL (January 30, 2015)— Sympathetic, soft hands are the mark of an accomplished rider. Liz Steacie is not only accomplished, but is also the most recent winner of the Neue Schule Best Hands Award.

Steacie was chosen from an impressive number of competitors at the largest show ever in the Adequan Global Dressage Festival series, a CDI-W held January 22-25 in Wellington, Florida. Steacie and her own Callahan, a ten-year-old Hanoverian gelding, rode in the largest CDI Prix St. Georges class the festival has hosted in its four-year history— a class so large it was judged over the space of two days.

Steacie is based in South Florida during the winter show season, but calls Ontario, Canada, home. She trains with fellow Canadian Karen Pavicic— a Neue Schule ambassador— and credits Pavivic with discovering the secret to riding so effectively.

“I think having a really good coach is paramount,” Steacie said. “Karen is always quick to correct me if I do get a little bit stuck in my contact. She is really insistent on an elastic feel with the horse’s mouth and riding the horse from behind into your hand, and then just gently shaping what’s happening.”

Steacie has owned Callahan since importing him from Europe as a five-year-old and has campaigned him up through the levels to compete in the small tour. She rode him on a blustery day at the Adequan Global Dressage Festival, where the wind popped the international flags displayed on one side of the arena.

“I was really proud of him today,” she said. “It’s kind of a scary ring. It’s only his second time in there, so he was really brave and stayed with me. He’s a great horse and I’ve really enjoyed having him and training him. It’s an honor, actually, to ride him.”

Steacie and Callahan were noticed by representatives of Metlar Premium Performance Saddlery, the North American distributors of Neue Schule bits. Mette Larsen, founder and president of Metlar Premium Performance Saddlery, was pleased with the selection for this week’s Best Hands Award.

“What is really important to us when we choose riders is how good they are to their horses, and having good hands is a big part of that,” Larsen said.

The Neue Schule Best Hands Award is given to a rider who demonstrates effective and soft hands when communicating with their horse. The 2015 Adequan Global Dressage Festival will award several riders for having Best Hands throughout its twelve weeks of world-class dressage competition in Wellington, Florida. The festival will continue to March 29, 2015, and will include eight CDIs (including five CDI-Ws, one 4*, and one 5*), the only non-championship CDIO Nations Cup in the Western Hemisphere, and weekly U.S. National events.

Honoring excellent equestrians with the Neue Schule Best Hands Award is important to Metlar, as success in the arena stems from talented riders and horses working with quality tack.

“We make the bits and leave the rest to the rider’s hands,” Larsen said. “The better designed the bit is, the easier it is for the rider and the horse.”

With the bits’ innovative designs that promote comfort, softness, and relaxation in the horse’s mouth, it’s easy to see why professional dressage riders love Neue Schule. Top dressage riders including Steffen and Shannon Peters, Laura Graves, David Marcus, Karen Pavicic, and Mikala Munter Gundersen endorse Neue Schule bits.

To learn more about Neue Schule bits and distributer Metlar Premium Performance Saddlery, visit or call 631-252-5574.


Photo: Liz Steacie and Callahan (left) receive the Neue Schule Best Hands Award with trainer Karen Pavicic (middle) at the 2015 Adequan Global Dressage Festival (Photo courtesy of JRPR— no photo credit necessary)

Liz Steacie’s Soft Contact Wins Neue Schule Best Hands Award at Adequan Global Dressage Festival