Experienced Coaches

Armand and Birgit are multi-award-winning dressage competitors and coaches, and are current AERSO, Equine Canada and FEQ Members.

  • Equine Canada Certified Senior National Dressage Judge, 2014 (Birgit)
  • Quebec Equestrian Federation Trainer of the Year, 1997 (Birgit)
  • Three-time Quebec Equestrian Federation Trainer of the Year (Armand)
  • Five-time Quebec Equestrian Federation Rider of the Year (Armand)
  • Dressage Canada Long List, 1993, 1994, 2008 and 2009 (Armand)
  • Dressage Canada Team Short List, 1995 (Armand)
Armand Valkenborg
Armand coaching a student before a dressage competition in FloridaArmand Valkenborg began his riding career in Belgium at the age of eight. His comprehensive equestrian background in dressage as well as in show jumping and eventing is a result of his work with one of Belgium’s top trainers, Antoon Phillipaerts, an international competitor himself. Before coming to Canada in 1980, Armand competed successfully in dressage up to Z level and in eventing up to M level. He also got his “Instrukteur Level 1” at the age of 22 (equivalent to Level 3 in Canada). Over the years he has ridden and trained with some of the finest equestrian coaches, such as Walter Zettl, Wolfgang Niggli, Erik Lette, Hermann Duckeck, Seigfried Peilicke, Wofgang Michaelis, Cindy & Neil Ishoy, Gina Smith, Ellen Bontje and Norbert van Laak. 1995 was the most successful season to date, winning several champion and reserve championship titles at the Grand Prix Level (Marco) and at the Medium Level (Cartyer). He has developed several horses from Basic to Advanced level and four to the Grand Prix Level (Marco, A’Pan, Webster, and Seigneur). In 2005, after 9 years of absence from the FEI competition ring, he returned with a new prospect, “Seigneur” a six year old, 17.3 hh bay Dutch Warmblood gelding by Jazz. In three short years, Armand developed Seigneur into a Grand Prix competitor and became long-listed for 2008 at the Advanced level and long-listed for 2009 at the Grand Prix level. Today Armand is riding Hermione, a Hanoverian mare.
Birgit E. Valkenborg
Birgit E Valkenborg was born in Germany and started riding at the age of seven as a member of the riding club Dingden RV. She grew up under the tutelage of Johannes Egeling and the then “Landesjugendwart“ (youth coach of Rheinland) Hans Hoffrogge. She had her own ponies until the age of 16 and competed successfully in dressage, jumping and eventing, with her highest accomplishment an 80% in dressage at the German Pony Team Championships. During her time at Windedge she worked with such well-known coaches and judges as Eric Lette, Wolfgang Niggli, Willy Schultheis, Harold Cornelissen, Cindy & Neil Ishoy, Gina Smith and Cara Whitham. Birgit’s interest not only lies with Warmblood horses, but also with Lusitanos, Andalusians and especially Ponies. She won the Quebec Equestrian Federation Trainer of the Year award in 1997 and is a Certified Senior National Dressage Judge. Birgit made her Grand Prix debut in 2008 and acquired “Elite” status in the “Program D’Excellence” of the Quebec Equestrian Federation.

Student Successes

Armand Valkenborg

  • Annabelle Kaiser, Quebec, Young Rider 1992
  • Erin Mac Quarrie, New Brunswick, Young Rider 1999
  • Maike Yaeger, Quebec, Young Rider 1999 / 2000
  • Erin Shaw, New Brunswick, Junior 1997-1998
  • Juliana Thomas, Quebec, Junior 1998 -1999
  • Sara Mahaits, Quebec, Junior 1996
  • Caroline Belhumeur, Quebec, Young Rider 2000
  • Marielle St Laurent, Quebec, FEI Junior 2002
  • Jasmine Latourneau, Quebec, Young Rider 2002
  • Laurence Migner, Quebec, FEI Junior 2008

Birgit Valkenborg

  • Brigitte Rumke, FEI Junior 1998 / 1999
  • Brigitte Rumke, Young Rider 2000
  • Tatiana Turcotte, FEI Pony 2005
  • Kaitlynn Bourgon, FEI Children 2007
  • Julie Chanel, FEI Pony 2008
  • Nikki Babich Morin, FEI Pony 2009
  • Allison Lalonde, FEI Children 2009