Our Management Team

The A.Y.A.D. Management Team

For these people horses are not just animals – they are their friends and their passion!

We are a team of people dedicated to horses and the sport. Our intention is to establish a forum to give you better equestrian skills through a process of sharing knowledge from a pool of experts!
Our vision is to create a campus which can offer a wide range of equestrian training programs.

Our seconded trainers ( who are all successful and advanced Open Riders) will show how you how to school productively, help you resolve communication or possible misunderstanding issues with your horse, give you the inside track to understanding a course, resolve problem issues with both horse and rider and guide you to be a winning team.


Russell Potgieter on Desert News

Founder of the Achieve Your Equestrian Dream series .

Russell has enjoyed more than 35 years of successful showjumping, training, coaching and course design experience to date.

Born in Johannesburg, he is a passionate Equestrian and has trained under the guidance of many successful riders and trainers including Gonda Beatrix, Philip Smith, Alison Dawes, Nelson Pessoa, Francois Mattee (snr), George Morris, Franka Sloothaak, Rob Hoekstra (Manager of the British team).

He has also enjoyed theĀ  influence of many other great Horsemen and women and International Course Designers .

During his Equestrian career, Russell has trained a number of showjumping riders to advanced levels.

Russell’s equestrian career has run parallel to his academic and artistic career and spans an wide range of diversity.


  • started his career with Bill Johnson at Bryanston Equitation Centre.
  • shortly thereafter he trained with the late Phillip Smith.
  • obtained a Professional License in 1970.
  • moved to the UK as a direct result of British Olympic team rider Alison Dawes offering him a work opportunity to ride for an International Horse dealer.
  • 2 years later he returned to SA to complete his studies and continued to ride on a professional basis.
  • has over the last 30 years trained and ridden for horse owners, and dealers at all levels of show jumping competition both locally and abroad.
  •  has over the same period been a successful competitor in show jumping classes up to 1.50 m and has produced a number of successful “Open” horses.
  •  prides himself in having the ability to successfully resolve problems with difficult horses and put riders on the right track to success.
  • started Show Jumping course design in 1994 and in 2007 graduated to an F.E.I.Course Designer and has since built for many major competitions both in and outside of South Africa.
  • was nominated by the FEI to represent South Africa in a week-long workshop to establish a formal educational forum for Course Designers worldwide. This resulted in him being nominated by the FEI as the South African director of course design which came with the responsibility of setting up an educational system for course designers in South Africa.
  • has also worked as “First assistant” to many of the worlds best International Course Designers including Frank Rothenberger, Werner Deeg, Olaf Petersen, Paul Weir, Heiko Wahlers, Bob Ellis, Rob Jansen and Stef Wirth.
  • currently holds the position of Discipline head for course designers in South Africa.

Sporting Certification and achievements

  • In 1979 He was awarded a certificate of special achievement by the SA SPORTS FEDERATION for athletic performance.
  • Attended a Technical course for coaches hosted by International Olympic Committee.
  • In 2008 was promoted to F.E.I Level II course designer and during the same year, he was invited by F.E.I. attend a workshop for the development of global education for course designers.
  • In 2009 he was approved by the F.E.I. as a Course Design “Director of Training”for South Africa .
  • During his Equestrian career, Russell has competed in a many 1.50 competitions , jumped 7 South African Derby’s and was 3rd in the National Mini Derby in 2006.
  • He has also both won and been highly placed in many other National events including 2006 Easter Festival where out of four open events he won 3 including the 1.35m Championship and the Victor Ludorum and was placed  2nd in the only other event -riding just one of his horses.
  •   2008 and 2009 he was a member of the winning +1.40 Interregional team.
  • Has been Chef de Equipe for the South African Junior Showjumping team on two occasions
  • In 2010, SASJ appointed him to Head the development of Course Designers in South Africa. This function included developing and setting up an educational program for the discipline.
  • He currently coaches part-time and specializes in resolving  “competition riding difficulties for up and coming riders or riders with difficult horses and or partnerships, and who for unknown reasons or reasons of their own ” has slipped into the cracks of the sport.
  • He has sat on Board of the I.E.S.A.as Director of communication and Social media 
  • Russell is also a successful and recognized Artist.