April 2017 Newsletter

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Exciting happenings at Western Dressage Association of America... Be sure to check it all out!
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A Letter From Your WDAA President
After several strange weather months here in Colorado, the meadowlarks are here singing their beautiful song and the crabapple trees are blooming. I can best describe the shedding horses as “moth eaten.” I love to take a shedding blade and just peel that nasty winter hair off! We are getting ready for Easter, which means counting the plastic Easter eggs and stuffing them with candy and money; the older the grandchildren get, the more important the money component is!

Dini Swanson and I made a quick trip to Kentucky to meet with the USEF Marketing Department about partnering to create educational videos about Western Dressage. USEF is following up on their commitment to focus on education, and WDAA is an eager partner in this. Dini and I saw Bill Moroney, the CEO of USEF; he is looking forward to being at our 2017 World Championship show. His experience at our 2016 show was wonderful; he saw horses and people having fun at a horse show. He is working on a golf cart theme; it worries me a little because my daughters are his partners in this. Cross your fingers!

The 2017 show season is launching; folks who live in warmer climates have never stopped showing in Western Dressage, but those of us who have cold weather, snow, and bad roads and horses with lots of hair are getting ready to ride and show. The WDAA Show Recognition Program and the Lifetime Points and Awards Program are both very busy; Kathy Newcomb, who manages these programs as well as our membership and state affiliates, is really busy, but just as excited as we all are.

WDAA has received two grants from our partners at USEF; one is for Membership, which we have used to support our Honor’s Luncheon at the Annual Meeting and the other is for Youth promotion. The WDAA board is open to proposals for using these grant funds. For more information on the guidelines for these grants, please go to the USEF.org site. In 2016, the Youth grant supported a Western Dressage clinic hosted by Ohio Southern University, which hosted five university teams and one 4 H group.

My thanks to our wonderful staff at WDAA. They continue to amaze the board with their devotion to Western Dressage and their commitment to customer service. I keep thinking that there must be downtime, but I have not found it yet.

Go hug a horse! Ellen
Here Comes the Judge
A Western Dressage competitor has a list of “must haves” when they look for a show. Showing takes time, money, and a great deal of effort. WDAA’s commitment to education of judges and USEF’s licensing process are focused on ensuring that the pool of licensed judges are the best that they can be.

WDAA has committed significant resources to support the goal of an educated pool of judges to officiate in Western Dressage. This has been a “work in progress” since WDAA became the USEF Recognized Affiliate for Western Dressage. We began by “grandfathering” all USEF-licensed dressage judges and have worked to broaden that pool of judges by creating the Accelerated Training Program to bring both dressage judges and breed judges into our judging pool. The WDAA Judges’ Seminar held each February and the Group Apprentice Judging Program at our WC show are part of WDAA’s commitment to education for Western Dressage judges. This program recognizes very explicitly that Western Dressage is different than dressage in that we use the principles of classical dressage training to improve our Western horses in all disciplines and endeavors.

As our pool of USEF-licensed judges grows, WDAA tracks the number and geographic distribution of our Western Dressage judges. The Licensed Officials Committee of USEF meets several times a year to review applicants who have complete the rigorous requirements for licensing a USEF Western Dressage Judge. The process is time consuming, expensive, and demanding intellectually. WDAA is committed to rewarding those individuals who complete this challenge; they have demonstrated their determination to understand Western Dressage and to hone their skills as judges.

The April Licensed Officials Committee meeting will have 10 new applicants who have gone through the very demanding process for licensing. The USEF website shows that there are 43 individuals who currently have a Western Dressage license. This includes “r” judges who can officiate through Level 1 and “R” judges who can officiate at all levels. These judges can also officiate in rail classes, including Suitability, Hack, and Equitation.

WDAA has tasked our WDAA Rules Committee with proposing any changes to the requirements for licensing to judge Western Dressage. You will see a rule change proposal that would limit this to judges who are licensed by USEF to judge Western Dressage rather than to allow any judge that holds a USEF dressage license to officiate. This rule would apply to USEF licensed shows only and would NOT impact schooling shows. If approved by the WDAA board after input from members and state affiliates this proposal would go to USEF to be reviewed by USEF committees and for a vote by the USEF Board in January of 2018. If adopted, this rule would take effect 12/1/2018 for the 2019 competition year.

WDAA looks for your input on all of the rule change proposals and for your suggestions for rule changes. Please look to our website for information and guidance for your thoughts.
USEF Western Dressage Judges by Region

Blue = 6
Green = 12, April applicants = 2
Yellow = 2, April applicants = 2
Purple = 12
Orange = 8, April applicants = 4
Red = 3, April applicants = 1

*USEF Licensed Officials Committee will meet mid-April to review 10 Western Dressage judge applicants.

2017 WDAA World Show Prizelist

Are you ready for the 2017 WDAA World Show? We are! And now the 2017 WDAA Western Dressage World Championship Prize List is posted!
View the Prizelist
Words Matter
Words matter and knowing what terms mean and don’t mean is not always as easy as it is important. Here is a quick cheat sheet for all of us:

1. “Western Dressage Judge” USEF licenses Western Dressage Judges; WDAA does NOT license them. WDAA is responsible for training and testing judge candidates; we work closely with the Licensed Officials department at USEF and the Licensed Officials Committee to ensure that our training and testing program is excellent. Western Dressage judges can have either a “r” which allows them to officiate through Level 1 or an “R” which allows them to officiate at all Levels.

2. “WDAA Recognized Show” WDAA does NOT license shows or approve them or sanction them. A show can be “recognized” by WDAA if that show files the appropriate paperwork and meets the requirements set by WDAA. The purpose of Show Recognition is to ensure that competitors who are involved in the Lifetime Points and Awards Program are competing on a fair and level playing field. WDAA Recognized shows may or may not be licensed by USEF or approved by a particular breed. WDAA has breed alliance partners who are not part of USEF and would not be licensed by USEF; the shows put on by these groups can be WDAA Recognized Shows if they meet the requirements. Local groups may put on shows that are not USEF licensed and these shows can also be WDAA Recognized Shows.

3. “USEF Rulebook” Each year, the United Stated Equestrian Federation publishes the rules that govern competitions licensed by USEF. This rulebook can be found on the USEF.org website. It is huge; this year’s rulebook must weigh more than five pounds! There is a chapter for each discipline and breed that is a recognized affiliate of USEF. There is also a General Rules chapter which contains rules which apply to USEF licensed shows. The rules are updated every year in a complex process that attempts to involve all stakeholders and the rulebook is regularly updated on the USEF website. There is a chapter for Western Dressage which contains the rules that apply to Western Dressage.

4. “WDAA Horse Lifetime Points and Awards Program” This program was created by WDAA and is governed and managed by WDAA. It is separate from any USEF awards program such as Horse of the Year (HOTY), breed awards programs, WDAA state affiliate award programs, etc. WDAA does not make rules for any awards program other than our Horse Lifetime Points and Awards Program. If you have questions about other awards program, contact USEF, the breed or the state affiliate for answers and help.

If you have questions about other terms, please email [email protected] for information. We look forward to getting your questions and to help you find answers.
Meet the new World Show Manager Jon C Haugen
Jon grew up with horses in his life. His mother and sisters all competed in the Saddlebred show world and at the age of 16, he was blessed with an amazing Standardbred that he competed in the Roaster division. He and his great horse were undefeated for 10 years at the National Western Stock Show. 

He married into the horse business to his wife of over twenty years, Julie,  and they worked together, training and competing horses in the show horse, dressage and combined driving worlds,  while raising their two children. During that time he managed and was secretary for numerous local Morgan Dressage competitions. 

In the last five years, he has had the opportunity to work in the open Dressage show management and assistant secretary position with a large company in Colorado.  Where he has gained much experience with multiple ring shows and the various challenges that can arise. 

His true passion is his family and love for people in general. He knows no strangers and has a wealth of information about various topics. His friendly, happy demeanor makes everyone feel welcome and relaxed. He has been told by many he is the best test reader in the world!
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WDAA Website

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 network hosted as a Private 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

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 Merchandise 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 WDAA Gear

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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...
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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?
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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.
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