Betsy Van Dyke specializes in training and instructing in dressage for all levels, with a particular aptitude for seeing each horse as an individual, rather than trying to “shoe-horn” a horse into a program. In 2014, she moved her business from Traverse City, Michigan, to Indianapolis, Indiana. Betsy now resides there when she is not traveling for shows or to teach clinics, as well as spending the winter season each year in Wellington, Florida.
Betsy began riding at the age of four and became involved with 4-H and showing at the age of seven. After moving to the Traverse City, Michigan area, she was exposed to upper level dressage at a dressage demonstration and was instantly transfixed. She decided to pursue dressage on whatever horse she had the opportunity to ride. Betsy rode many different breeds and several with very little, if any, training before she was fortunate enough to lease a few well-trained dressage horses. Those horses gave her as much of an education as most instructors would!
After participating in many clinics with Catherine Haddad, on several different horses, Betsy and her parents purchased the Dutch Warmblood, Al Manjano, from Germany. With the purchase of Al Manjano, the real plan for Betsy’s career started to emerge. Betsy and Al Manjano competed very successfully from Third Level to Prix St. George, and also in the Young Rider Qualifying Competitions. The pair were Regional Reserve Champions at Fourth Level and Prix St. George, and competed in Wellington, Florida against some of the best competition in the United States.
In the winter of 2004, Betsy officially began teaching and training. She then sold Al Manjano, and went over to Europe with her trainer at the time, Karen Lipp, and purchased Cantana. The Danish Warmblood, Cantana, by Comeback II, was seven years old, but had just been started under saddle. Betsy has trained the horse she calls “Tanner” herself, up through the levels, competing in both Wellington and the Midwest, to where the pair is now showing very successfully at the Grand Prix Level. Betsy is also continually training and showing many other horses from Training Level through FEI.
Betsy competes regularly, as well as coaching her students at shows during the season. Betsy has won many Championships and awards through the levels on many different horses. Most recently, She and Cantana were 2014 Grand Prix Freestyle Region 2 Champions!
Betsy has earned her USDF Bronze, Silver, and Gold Medals. She, in fact, earned her Gold Medal on Cantana, a horse she has trained up through the levels herself!
To continue her education, Betsy has ridden with many top riders and Olympians including, among others: Maryal Barnett, Lars Peterson, George Williams, Susan Dutta, Christine Traurig, Michelle Gibson, Herbert Seinberl, Marius Schreiner, Patrick Burssens, Christoph Koschel, as well as Catherine Haddad and Karen Lipp.