Major Hector Carmona, founder of Los Alamos Dressage Center.

    The late Major Hector Carmona (1925-1987) founded Los Alamos Dressage Center in 1966 and began teaching dressage to Gail Hoff in 1972. Together they created one of the largest and most successful dressage centers in the United States after relocating to Freehold, NJ in 1978.

    Major Carmona was a retired Chilean cavalry officer and after having graduated first in his class as a Riding Master at the Chilean Military Academy, he was retained by the school to serve as instructor and competitor in international dressage, three-day event, and jumping. Thus, prior to coming to the USA in 1964, he had already competed in the South American and Pan American Games, the World Championships, and the Olympic Games as a member of Chile's Modern Pentathlon team.

    Upon arriving in the US, first as a member of the Inter-American Defense Board for Chile and then as a civilian after a medical discharge due to an accident sustained in the military, Major Carmona helped as a private citizen to introduce and cultivate dressage in the United States. He not only trained and coached but also offered his services as an International dressage judge. His first student, Martha Knocke, became an international competitor in Europe and won the Junior Medal Championship. He then agreed to coach the United States Equestrian Team dressage riders for the Pan American Games and proved his capabilities when the team won the Silver Medal in 1967. At the same time, using his knowledge of eventing, he also agreed to coach the USET Three-Day riders in dressage and was well rewarded when the team captured the Gold Medal for the United States. Although Major Carmona helped to bring great success to the US at the Pan American Games in 1967, he did not forget his native country, either, and loaned the Chilean team two of his Grand Prix horses, which aided in winning that country the Gold Medal in dressage.

    During this period, while Major Carmona continued to coach a USET dressage rider, Donald Plumb, for the 1968 Olympic Games, he had already founded the first dressage school in the US--Los Alamos Dressage Center.


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Los Alamos Dressage Center
461 Buckboard Lane, Ojai, CA 93023 * Phone/
Fax: 805-640-7961 * E-Mail: Balticsun@aol.com