November Commemorative 2017 Newsletter

<!doctype html> *|MC:SUBJECT|*
Exciting happenings at Western Dressage Association of America... Be sure to check it all out!
View this email in your browser
A Letter From Your WDAA President

The red, orange, and yellow leaves are falling fast. Time to get out the rake. The barn is full of hay, which is critical when you have hungry horses. I am recovered from our World Championship Show, and the board is already working hard on our 2018 show!

USEF show dates revolve based on dates of holidays. For many years, shows have been scheduled around holiday dates to make it more convenient for competitors and for show venues. Almost all large venues suitable for horse shows book contracts with shows for several years; our contract with the Lazy E is for three years. The initial dates of our 2018 show were October 4-7. These dates would have created a conflict with the Morgan Grand National, which is literally “just down the road” in Oklahoma City. The USEF “holiday-based calendar” means the Morgan Grand National show, which revolves around Columbus day, always starts the weekend before Columbus Day, which moves their dates each year.

Everyone, including the Morgan Grand National, the Lazy E, and the Executive Board of WDAA, has worried about conflicts in 2018. The Morgan Grand National announced its willingness to “switch weekends” moving their Western Dressage division to the last weekend of the show rather than the first weekend. WDAA also has to deal with show officials issues because our excellent stewards from our 2017 World Championship Show, Joyce Hamblin and Cindy Reid, would not be available to steward our 2018 show because of date conflicts.

The Lazy E and its wonderful management approached the non-equine event scheduled for the weekend preceding our show, the Oklahoma Wildlife Expo organized by the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation, to see whether they would consider a change in dates to accommodate our Western Dressage World Championship Show in 2018. The Expo was happy to move its dates to help everyone! A thousand thanks to the Lazy E and to the Expo and its organizers for their willingness to be advocates for our show!

The bottom line and the headline is: DATES FOR OUR 2018 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP SHOW WILL BE SEPTEMBER 27-30!!!! Mark the dates on your calendar! See you at the Lazy E in 2018!

Awards Presented for Horses in the WDAA Horse Lifetime Points & Awards Program at the 2017 WDAA Annual Meeting
Many WDAA Horse Lifetime Points & Awards Program (WHLPAP) awards were presented at the Honors Luncheon at the 2017 Annual Meeting. The program had 215 horses enrolled at the time of the meeting, and test scores and rail class results were submitted for 62 horses this year. We were astonished and thrilled to see how many award levels had been earned in this second year of the WHLPAP program. A listing of horses and their awards is shown below. Details of each horse are available on the WDAA website (

This year, 23 horses achieved 35 points, enough to receive a Register of Merit award at the Honors Luncheon. Each horse at this level received an attractive wooden plaque with an engraved plate.

Eighteen horses reached 100 points and received the Register of Achievement award, including 12 that had also earned the Register of Merit this year. Register of Achievement horses received a wooden plaque and halter with an engraved nameplate.

Four horses reached 200 points and received the Register of Excellence award, which included a plaque, halter, and personalized cooler. Two of the 4 horses had reached Register of Merit, Register of Achievement, and Register of Excellence levels this year.
Annual Meeting Highlights
The Western Dressage Association of America held its Annual Meeting on September 27, 2017. Cindy Butler, chair of the USEF Western Dressage Committee, presented the proposed rule changes to everyone. A very positive discussion of these rule changes will go forward to make some adjustments to the proposals that will be voted on at the USEF Annual Meeting in January of 2018.

The members of the Executive Board were introduced and made presentations regarding programs and Sharron Sarchet, the Treasurer of WDAA, gave a comprehensive financial report.

The highlight of this Annual Meeting is the Honors Luncheon at which WDAA honors its Top Hand and any horses admitted to the Hall of Champions. Ann Marie Avansino whose remarkable work on the Marketing Committee, received the Top Hand award for her contributions as a volunteer. Blondasaurus Ruth was admitted to the Hall of Champions.

Winners of awards in the WDAA Horse Lifetime Points and Awards Program received a variety of wonderful awards ranging from plaques to a Bronze Medal created by the noted artist, Maretta Kennedy. On hand to help hand out awards was USEF CEO, Bill Moroney.

Following the Honors Luncheon, Bill spoke to the attendees about his background in the equine industry, his hopes for the future of the industry, several innovative USEF programs including Fan Memberships and Competition Lite. He was happy to answer any and all questions and received a well-deserved standing ovation. Bill’s inspiring presentation was live streamed by IDK Media and will be available on the WDAA website.

The annual Membership Grant from USEF helps to cover the cost of the WDAA Annual Meeting and Honors Luncheon. USEF is a very significant partner in WDAA’s educational mission.
Welcome Party & Meeting
Wednesday evening was the official kick off for the 2017 Western Dressage World Championship Show, a Welcome party and Exhibitors Meeting was held in the Ropers Cantina with free pizza, salad and an ever present/well attended cash bar. Exhibitors were welcomed to the show by new show manager Jon Haugen who filled everyone on the mechanics of the show and well thought of questions were answered.
2017 Western Dressage World Show Wrap-Up by Ellen DiBella

When the WDAA board gets home from our World Championship show, we do many of the same things that you do. The laundry gets done and put away, bills get paid, barn chores get caught up, family business gets done, and we get as much extra sleep as we can. Then the board starts in on the big job: show wrap up!

No show can succeed without generous sponsors and hardworking volunteers. Our sponsors make this wonderful show financially viable and provide essential support for WDAA as we work on our educational mission. Some terrific volunteers worked on not only the show but on creating videos for our educational program. Dr. Jim Warson came with his skeleton to produce several videos, recruiting Bill Moroney, CEO of USEF, to be the demo for a video on how to saddle and unsaddle your horse correctly to avoid injuring your back. I don’t know about your saddle, but mine seems to get heavier each year! Julie Moorcroft of Scion Farms also did several great videos on proper grooming for a show, for the upcoming WDAA Educational video portal.

Meredith Sloan worked with our graphic designer and our printer to produce a lovely program and then pitched in to do Officials’ Hospitality during the show. Thallia Blight spent hours unpacking and organizing ribbons with help from other board members and Heidi Adams. Holly Clanahan spent most of the show working on press releases to ensure that our winning exhibitors’ information went to their hometown news outlets. Check out some examples on our website and on Facebook.

Sharron Sarchet volunteered to scribe and Cindy Butler stepped up to judge filling in for one of our judges who was hospitalized just prior to the show. Both Cindy and Sharron also worked on our Group Apprentice Judging Program. Lynn Shinkle worked with our state affiliate representatives at a meeting to solicit input and offer resources to these hard-working state affiliate folks. I am so proud of all of our volunteers!

The WDAA staff who were at the show, Dini Swanson and Kathy Newcomb, worked unceasingly to provide the staff support that a show of this size and complexity demands. Our Show Manager, Jon Haugen, could turn to them in any situation for the backup that he needed. Ashley Swanson came with Dini to help with a variety of promotional programs. Every show has unexpected issues; the key to keeping things running smoothly is a staff that is ready to literally run, and our staff did run all week! Think of tranquil ducks on top of the pond; under each duck they are paddling like crazy!

Hurricanes in Texas and Florida as well as the normal cancelations left our World Championship Show slightly down in horses entered, but the popularity of rail classes and the popularity of our new tests provided a significant increase in entries in classes.

Things balanced out and we had busy days that did not overwhelm either competitors or their horses as well as our hard-working show officials.

The Executive Board of WDAA is still crunching numbers to look carefully at the critically important “bottom line.” It is not much fun but it has to be done so that we can budget for our organization’s 2018 year and for our 2018 World Championship Show.

As the board and staff look back on this year’s show, we recall so many happy horses and happy riders. Be sure to check out the Love Letter to our Exhibitors and Sponsors on Facebook. This captures the joy of our discipline so well. Thank you to all of our sponsors, members, and competitors for making the 2017 World Championship show very special. Give your horse a hug and a carrot!
We Love Our Sponsors
A heart felt Thanks to Sponsors by WDAA Marketing and Sponsorship Chair Ann Marie Avansino.

There are never enough words to say, thank you, to those who have contributed to making the World Championship Show a success. It takes many hands that give countless hours, share their talents, give us products, financial contributions and much more. WDAA relies on the generosity of our members, horse enthusiasts and our friends in the business community and we are grateful for everyone’s support. As stated by our President Ellen Di Bella, “ We are all paying it forward to celebrate our wonderful horses, our potential as riders and the joy of equine competition.” The rapid growth of this discipline is because of all of you! It is our hope that we have had the opportunity to look each of you in the eye and thank you personally. If we have missed that opportunity please know that your efforts have not gone unnoticed and are greatly appreciated. Your support of WDAA and Western Dressage is so important to the growth of this discipline, thank you for being a part of this exciting journey. 

Stay tuned for fun ways to support the 2018 World Championship Show and if you are interested in volunteering to assist the Sponsorship Committee please contact Dini at 720-662-4584. We need you!


Honors Awards

Ann Marie Avansino is the recipient of the 2017 WDAA Top Hand Award. She has taken on the extremely difficult task of developing a corporate sponsorship program for WDAA and the Western Dressage World Championship Show. Ann Marie has selflessly and generously donated her time and experience for the advancement of WDAA and Western Dressage.

The following is the presentation for Hall of Champions Award winner, Blondasaurus Ruth presented by Ellen DiBella.
Ten years ago, Leah Wilson and her family rescued an untrained two-year-old Belgian mare and brought her to their home near Marysville, Ohio where they named her Ruthie. After being trained as a saddle horse by a young Amish man, she became a favorite school horse and 4-H partner to several junior riders.  An adult student of Leah’s gave her the name Blondasaurus Ruth when she entered her in the local show, and the name stuck.
“Ruthie” excelled at several equestrian sports and was trained to do a little bit of everything except drive. This included hunter paces, trail riding, and barrel racing. She was shown at the All American Youth Horse Show, combined training events, and at local USDF schooling shows. When western dressage classes began to be offered in central Ohio in 2012, Ruthie became one of the primary western dressage competitors from the Central Ohio Riding Club. Her graceful and agile nature made her a crowd favorite wherever she went.
Her first appearance at the WDAA World Show was in 2014 – Leah’s daughter, Cassidy Shepard, and Ruthie won Level One Test Three Junior Champion, and they proved that horses of any breed, age, or background can be successful at western dressage. Ruthie gained some new admirers when she and Cassidy had the honor of presenting their Level One western dressage freestyle at the 2016 Equine Affaire in Columbus. 
In June 2016, while in training to compete in Level One and Two at that year’s WDAA World Show, Ruthie sustained a serious leg injury and unfortunately never recovered.  She is still very sadly missed by all those who loved her.  
WDAA World Championships with Cassidy Shepard 
2014 Level One Test Three Junior - Champion 
2015 Level One Test Four Junior – Reserve Champion

Youth Sportsmanship Grant

The WDAA Executive Board voted at their October meeting to award the $1500 USEF Youth Sportsmanship Grant to WDAFL. The Florida affiliate proposal will focus on creating a video(s) aimed at potential Youth participants in Western Dressage.

This WDAA educational initiative proposal is to develop a video(s) targeted to young western riders that ride or are thinking of riding their western horse in other disciplines, as well as developing an understanding of what Western Dressage is and how it will benefit horse & rider in all the different disciplines they participate in. It is going to be an introductory video aimed at youth for the western dressage discipline.

The Youth Sportsman Grant of $1500 each year to each Recognized Affiliate who has nominated an appropriate Youth Exhibitor the previous year. USEF is committed to encourage Sportsmanship and has focused on developing participation of young competitors at all levels, breeds and discipline. Thank to our generous partners at USEF for their support of Western Dressage and of our young competitors.
2017 Western Dressage World Championship Show Awards Ceremony

Following the last ride of the show exhibitors and enthusiasts gathered in the Roper's Cantina for the final celebration of the show. Awards were presented to all Division winners, breed high score winners, WDAA State Affiliate High Score winners and Over All High Score winners. Dinner was hosted by GGT Footing and was enjoyed along with the beloved Cantina bar!

Congratulations are due to the following Over All High Score Winners;

Junior Rider
  • High Point - Logan DeCourcey / It’s Only Butter (AQHA) 77.800%
  • Reserve High Point – Haley Whittaker / Pepper’s Temptress (AQHA) 75.500
Amateur Rider
  • High Point - Jay Cain / Happyhoursat3 (AQHA) 77.570
  • Reserve High Point – Keri Sigman / Wimp’s Quixote Cody (AQHA) 76.591
Open Rider
  • High Point - Brandi Haining / Luna Nueva (Aztec) 77.037
  • Reserve High Point – Gallod Ffantastic (Welsh) 76.935
 All High score results can be found at the following link.
Connect with us on Facebook!
Follow on Twitter
WDAA Website
WDAA Social Corral

Western Dressage Education!

Find all the WDAA Tests, Guides and lots of great reading materials in our Western Dressage Education Center!
Get More Info
Clinics & Shows
Looking for a Schooling Show or Clinic to brush up on your skills. Stop by the Events Calendar on the WDAA website where you will find lots of events happening all over the USA!
View Calendar

WDAA Social Corral

If you wish to be more informed about the Western Dressage movement, we do have a private Social Corral Facebook Group where members of the Western Dressage Association® of America can interact, discuss various topics, conceive new ideas and generally share all things Western Dressage, including people who are instructors, clinicians and even judges like yourself.
Join the Social Corral

Judges Education Program

The WDAA Western Dressage Judge’s Education Program is open to all licensed Dressage judges, Western, Breed judges and those starting out who want to learn about Western Dressage. This Judges Education Program offers training so that they can accurately evaluate horse rider combinations, score the tests and provide comments.

Learn More
Current Licensed WDAA Judges

Find A TTT Graduate

The Western Dressage Association® of America has a list of professionals that have graduated from the past few years of Train The Trainer Clinics. If you are looking for an instructor or trainer in your area..
Find A Graduate

WDAA General Store

Where You can purchase WDAA Customized Apparel in our Apparel Boutique as well as Books, DVDs and other educational material all about Western Dressage in our Products General Store.
Shop Now

Follow Us on Facebook

Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook for all of the latest Western Dressage updates from all over the US and Canada.

Find new WD groups, follow your favorite riders, find shows and clinics and connect up with Western Dressage friends in your neck of the woods.

Please Join our rapidly-growing online community...
Follow Us on Facebook
Why Be A WDAA Member?
Ever wondered what it means to be a WDAA member? Sure, you get access to the Social Corral, events, dressage tests, and tons of information on our website; you can participate in high points programs and receive our awesome newsletter each month, but what else?
Learn More

Breed Alliances


Corporate Sponsor


About The Western Dressage Association® of America is a 501(c)3 educational non-profit organization focused on providing a model of horsemanship which optimizes the partnership of horse and rider for their mutual benefit.  The mission of the Western Dressage Association® is to honor the horse, to value the partnership between horse and rider and to celebrate the legacy of the American West which it focuses on through its offerings of educational opportunities and events to the equestrian community.

Copyright © *|CURRENT_YEAR|* *|LIST:COMPANY|*, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list

Share this post:

Comments on "November Commemorative 2017 Newsletter"

Comments 0-5 of 0

Please login to comment