December 2016 Newsletter

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

It has been a wonderfully warm fall here even if it is very dry.  The past week or so has seen some very cold temps and snow.  The horses have known all along that winter was coming sometime and are very, very furry.  We bundled up to watch high school football; it was 20 degrees with wind!  Our grandson played his last high school football game.  Thanksgiving was wonderful with too much great food to eat and not enough willpower to resist.  I predict a serious diet after the holidays!

The Executive Board of WDAA met in late November; this is our annual reorganizational meeting.  The board had a chance to review our very successful World Championship Show which made money!  Hurray!  We also looked at things that we need to do better for our 2017 show.  Your responses to the survey were read and reviewed by the entire board.  Thank you so much for taking time to share your thoughts with us.  Your feedback guides us in making the next WC show even better and more fun.

The new officers are:  Ellen DiBella, President; Lisa Blackstone, Vice President; Thallia Blight, Secretary; and Cindy Butler, Treasurer.  We are very excited looking forward to getting several new programs going and focusing on exhibitor education.  Memberships for 2017 are coming in at a great rate; this year WDAA is going to a calendar membership year.  No matter when you join, the membership is $25.  Join early!

Points and Awards are going strong!

Our first year…what a year it’s been for the WDAA Horse Lifetime Points and Awards Program! We’ve had 89 horses entered into the program, and already 14 of these horses have earned a Register of Merit award, two of which also earned Register of Achievement. The database software with its built-in intelligence was launched to record horses enrolled into the program, post their scores show-by-show, keep a tally of their points to display when they have reached a new award level, and have all of this information available for everyone to view on the WDAA website with just a couple of keystrokes. We also have made adjustments to the program following the launch to ease the requirements for enrolling horses in the program and to make it easier to access the program rules and other information, including the listing of horses and their points on the website. We will continue to monitor the forms, the site, and the program rules themselves to determine if and when additional modifications would be beneficial or are needed. We are dedicated to making this program enjoyable and rewarding for owners, riders, trainers, and of course…the horses.

We want to remind everyone who has enrolled horses in the program that annual recording renewal forms and fees should be submitted before you go to your first show in 2017. Speaking of forms: we currently receive many forms filled out by hand and mailed through USPS. It appears this method of reporting is being done when payment for the scores posting is being completed by bank check. We encourage everyone to use the online forms for more efficient and faster posting of their test scores, and we now provide a field for participants to select that they are paying by check and to enter that check number so that it can be properly assigned when it comes in the mail.

The Western Dressage Association® of America’s educational mission focuses on honoring the horse and the value of the partnership of horse and rider. Our Horse Lifetime Points and Awards Program recognizes and celebrates the devotion of this relationship through our awards offerings. We look forward to honoring all of the participants in the program though its second year.

For more information on the Lifetime Points and Awards Program go to

Also add, for your Annual Recording Renewal Form visit

Ellen answers the question, "Where are the New 2017 Tests???"

It is almost Christmas! I can tell because my office and my kitchen look like a bomb went off! Wrapping presents, baking and decorating cookies and making candy make a mess. Hopefully, I will get presents under the tree and treats boxed up and delivered by the time I have to put the turkey in the oven! I suspect that most of you are in the same situation.

I have been telling myself that we are “almost done” with the new tests for a month now! We wanted Santa to deliver them for Christmas. As of this minute, Santa is stuck in the chimney. He and I both need to go on a diet!

The board is reviewing the “final edits” for about the sixth time. Fortunately, the rest of the board knows their right from their left as I do not! I am urging the board to move as quickly as they can while ensuring that everything is just right. It is a delicate balance!

I have not given up hope that the new tests will be in your Christmas stockings! Thank you for your patience as we work to get everything as correct as possible. We will use these tests for four competition seasons so it is critical that we do our best at editing and reviewing.

This is the time of year that I count my blessings. The growth of WDAA and this wonderful discipline is so gratifying. The amazing World Championship Show at the Lazy E is a fantastic memory. The generosity of the board and the dedication of our great staff amazes me. You support of WDAA and Western Dressage is so gratifying. I am headed out to the barn to hug a horse and to share molasses cookies and homemade nut brittle with them.

The board and staff of WDAA send you our sincere wishes for a Merry Christmas, a Happy Hanukah, and a wonderful New Year!

Two options for the 2017 WD Tests
The presentation of the new WD 2017 tests will be a little different than you are used to. There will be two versions of the test from which to choose. The tests will remain free of charge.

The first version is "For Training Purposes" which are intended for use at home and at the barn for learning, practicing, and training. These tests are watermarked with the words For Training Purposes.

The second version is for horse show and event use, they are not watermarked. In order to download and print these tests, a few questions about the event must be answered. WDAA is actively working to better educate horse show organizers of all levels on WD rules, including use of legal equipment, judging standards, and horse and rider safety, etc. Requiring this information will help us with our outreach to shows and events across the country and world. WDAA also wants to help shows promote themselves by encouraging them to be listed on our Events Calendar and possibly become WDAA recognized shows. We are very proud of our new tests; they took a lot of blood, sweat, and tears to create, but we want the best for you and your equine partners. Enjoy, challenge yourself and, above all, have fun!

Western Dressage Professionals , WDAA wants you!  Western Dressage is growing exponentially and people all over the world are looking for trainers and clinicians. WDAA offers a Professionals Directory listing for only $50.00 per year. We get inquiries constantly for trainers and clinicians and direct people to the Directory . Please don't miss out on this great opportunity to be listed with the best of the best when it comes to Western Dressage!
Please Go to to sign up.


Breed Highpoint Winners

WDAA would like to Congratulate the following Breed Highpoint Winners at the recent World Show. 31 different breeds were represented this year:

~ Esteban B / Francis Carbonnel 68.973
Andalusian Cross
~ Meagan / Kelly Adams 72.5
Appaloosa – Sponsored by Hensley’s Show Horses
~ Dressed For Paradise / Michael Marquez 74.595
Arabian and Arabian Cross – Sponsored by Cindy Butler
~ ASF Fadls Willie + / Marilyn Weber 77.419
American Quarter Horse – Sponsored by Lucky C Bar Angus
~ Dun Up Pretty / Jennifer McCleand Kiser 77.258
American Saddlebred
~ Calyxz / Lori Burger 68.971
Draft Horse Cross
~ Loved by All / Valerie Elwell 65.441
~ Valentine / Kristin Delibero 69.583
Friesian Cross
~ I Forgot the Pie / Sherry Beaudry 70.833
~ In It 2 Win It / Carol Pizor 66.364
~ Dante / Nancy Conley 73.788
~ Hank / Jane Brack 73.966
~ Excalibur Elite Equine / Kathy Lewis 64.912
Haflinger – Sponsored by TLC Stables and Southwind Stables
~ Alegro / Michael Marquez 71.071
~ Footloose / Michaela Lane 69.118
National Show Horse
~ Moon’s Black Label / Rachel Freeman 71.207
Paint Horse – Sponsored by Thalia Blight
~ B’s Timepiece / Cindy Rau-Sobotka 75.1723
~ Ironworks Pike /Kristin Delibero 72.419
Morgan – Sponsored by Neil and Sally Plumley
~ Cobblestone Dash for Gold / Aaron Brown 73.243
Thoroughbred – Sponsored by Casey Vannicelli
~ Rightonebaby / Jaclyn Lewis 63.444
Rocky Mountain – Sponsored by Land Home Financial Services
~ HCR’s Blaze of Glory / Dennis Baxter 69.107
Missouri Fox Trotter – Sponsored by MFTHBA
~ Colonel Davis D. / Tammy Stutzman 67.353
Tennessee Walker
~ Classic Royal Pride / Julie Haugen 69.516
Warmblood – Sponsored by RNR Farm and Ranch (Roman and Roxanna Lee)
~ Lyka / Laurie Hedland 68.939
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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!
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!


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.


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..

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.

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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...

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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