BenchmarkDressage

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Lessons - Training - Clinics - Shows - Judging

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  1. Managing Director
  2. Managing Director
  3. Managing Director
  4. Managing Director
  5. Managing Director
  6. Managing Director
  7. Managing Director
  8. Managing Director
  9. Managing Director
  1. Managing Director
  2. Managing Director
  3. Managing Director
  4. Managing Director
  5. Managing Director
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Kimberly Bench-Dunlap
USDF Bronze Medalist
USDF "L" Judge Candidate
USDF University Certificate 

In loving memory of Coach Sue Thome


Kimberly has been active in the West Michigan horse community for over twenty years as a rider and competitor and began her professional career in 2003. Over this time she has steadily developed her skills by working with some of the industries top professionals as well as literally hundreds of horses ranging from off the track thoroughbreds to advanced Dressage and Event horses and everything in between.

Kimberly works with riders and horses of all levels and backgrounds with the goal to provide a solid, classically-based foundation that will allow every rider to succeed whether recreationally or in competition. 

Kimberly’s passion is Dressage and she is involved at both the local and national level. She is currently serving as President of the All Dressage Association, as well as the Chair of Clinics and Education (The ADA is a USDF Region II GMO/Group Membership Organization). She has also served as a past delegate at the USDF National Convention and Symposium.  

Kimberly loves teaching and sharing her love of Dressage. She instructs her students how to use human and equine bio-mechanics and physics in order to work harmoniously with their equine partner. A combination of visual examples, demonstrations and practical exercises are used to teach students how to ride more comfortably and effectively. She also uses her understanding of equine behavior to improve confidence and communication between the horse and rider.  

Both Kimberly and her students have enjoyed many successes, awards and championships at shows throughout Michigan and Region II.  She is dedicated to her own on-going education and participates regularly in shows, clinics, lessons and other educational opportunities.  She was recognized with her Education Certificate from USDF University in 2017. She believes a rider is never truly 'finished' and is committed to continually expanding her own education in order to provide the best possible knowledge and experience to her clients.

Kimberly is also an experienced businesswoman. She began her career in the horse industry while still in high school, working as an office assistant and stable hand for a local riding stable starting in 1997 as part of a school-to-work program through Kenowa Hills High School. Following graduation, she attended Northwood University in Midland, MI, where she majored in Marketing and Business Management with a minor in Advertising. Shortly after college, Kimberly returned to the farm where she grew up and quickly moved from a substitute instructor to a part-time associate trainer. 

In 2005 she moved to the former Rockford Equestrian Center. She was asked to teach a few students but before long she was teaching over 25 students and several training horses. 

In 2007, Kimberly was hired as the Assistant Trainer by FEI level Eventer and Olympic hopeful, Erika Treis-Petersen of Great Lakes Equestrian Center in Holland. This was an excellent opportunity to take both her riding and teaching skills to the next level, and in 2009 she left her office job to focus on teaching and riding full-time. She continued to grow her program at GLEC, and by summer of 2010, had over 40 regular students. 

In 2011, Kimberly followed her life-long dream of owning her own farm and established Benchmark Dressage. The facility now services almost 50 families, 20 horses and employs several part-time assistants and working students. 

Kimberly continually sets new goals for herself and recently completed the first three sessions of the USDF "L" Judges-training program at Albion College, with the goal of earning her "r" Judge status.  She currently has two personal horses and plans to compete both in 2019; a Hanoverian mare named Dior VT at 2nd level and an Oldenburg mare named Remembrance FV who is aiming for an FEI debut. She and ""Poppy"' (Remembrance) won the ADA 3rd Level Freestyle Year End Championship in 2018.