October 2016 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

The horses are getting really furry as fall is starting to fade and winter is knocking on the door. The board and staff of WDAA are still working to finalize reports on our World Championship Show, the Annual Meeting and Group Apprentice Judging. The visual on this is my very large dining room table completely covered with piles of paper and my office a disaster. My husband has stopped asking when I will get my office organized or when we will have a dining room table again!

I had a fantastic time at the Lazy E for our meeting, show and the GAJ. The additional benefit is that walking that many miles every day helped me to lose some weight which is no small challenge at my age! Watching great horses and riders, wandering through the barns with USEF CEO Bill Moroney and hearing his excitement about Western Dressage and our show and most of all being able to hear from you all was a wonderful experience for me and for our staff and volunteers.

Dini Swanson went to the Morgan Grand National Horse Show to support Western Dressage there; this show went from one day of Western Dressage tests to two full days. Dini heard lots of excitement about our WDAA show; I went to this show a week later and everyone was still talking about what fun everyone had at our show. Several Western Dressage judges had great things to say about Western Dressage at the Arabian Sport Nationals. We are growing and horses and riders are so excited about this wonderful discipline.

I need to thank so many people whose belief, support, hard work and courage make WDAA and Western Dressage a reality for us and for our horses. The list is almost endless and I am humbled and grateful to each of you. Give yourselves a standing ovation and go out and hug a horse.
2016 WDAA World Show

The party is over and I can’t wait for next year’s party. The board of WDAA wanted our World Championship Show to be a celebration of Western Dressage. Every day at the show was wonderful fun for all of us and I hope for you as well. The weather was perfect: sunny with a breeze and not too warm. Everyone came to have fun, and we did.

When the Executive Board of WDAA took a deep breath and committed to put on our World Championship Show in 2016, it was a little intimidating. Okay, maybe more than a little. Your Executive Board serves as the Show Committee; they have the fiduciary responsibility for our association because we are a 501c3. I would guess that they dealt with more than 500 emails, endured endless hours on conference calls and had a few sleepless nights leading up to the show. We had long lists and high hopes!

We all decide how we spend our recreational dollars, known at our house as the “fun money!” There are lots of choices and WDAA believes that offering an opportunity to enjoy our horses, our horse friends, and learning while competing is an appealing option. The show committee decided that every day should start with pastry, thanks to USEF for making this possible with their sponsorship, and that every day should end with a party. It doesn’t hurt to do some silly stuff like decorating golf carts and tack stalls.

Entries came in at an amazing rate; states stepped up to offer great Silent Auction items; folks bought tickets for the raffle of a custom made saddle generously donated by Mike Corcoran; sponsors sent checks to help with the cost of awards. The show committee/board could stop holding their breath!

I arrived in Edmond by plane with two of my daughters; while Dini drove with Eddie, our house dog. If horse people do not have a horse to hug, they absolutely have to have a dog to hug. We rented a house in Edmond and decided to call it the Hen House. We hit the ground running on Tuesday morning and I do not think that we stopped running until we got on the plane to fly home! To say that we had a wonderful time with new friends and old is an understatement!

It is really helpful to see us through the eyes of someone who meets us for the first time. Bill Moroney, the CEO of USEF, came to our World Championship Show to see firsthand what Western Dressage is all about. After a day at the show, wandering through the barns, watching an evening of amazing free style rides and most importantly meeting many of you, he knew what Western Dressage is all about!

Bill has been a horseman for most of his life so he asked to wander through the barns. Bill spent time visiting with different exhibitors and hearing about their horses and their stories. He even got a signed photo from Thunder the Denver Bronco Horse courtesy of Anne Judge who was at our show with several wonderful horses. We wanted to put him on a Western Dressage horse but the closest that we got was getting Bill to sit in a Western saddle on a saddle rack!

Bill summed it all up when he said that he had not been at a horse show where so many people were having fun with their horses and their friends since he was a kid showing. I would agree with him. Based on Bill’s hair do, I think it has been a few years since he was a little kid riding ponies; based on my wrinkles, it has been at least as long since I was young the equine world! You, our members, friends, generous sponsors and wonderful exhibitors made a miracle. You turned back time to celebrate what a horse show should and can be about. Each of you deserves a tricolor for being the very best and for showing the equine world what Western Dressage is all about! Honoring our horses always puts us in the ribbons!

2016 WDAA Annual Meeting & Honors Luncheon

The 2016 WDAA Annual Meeting and Convention began at 9:00 AM Wed Sept 28Th in the Roper’s Cantina at the Lazy E Arena with a delicious breakfast and about 70 excited attendees. USEF's generous Membership grant to WDAA helped to make this meeting a reality. The main attraction for attendees was the unveiling of the new 2017 tests. The tests were demonstrated by our wonderful WDAA member volunteers Kelly Adams, Nance McManus, Cliff Swanson, Frances Carbonell, Mike Corcoran and Laurie Hedlund. On top of preparing for the World Show these generous, fine equestrians also learned and practiced the new tests. The tests were videoed for future use in the WDAA Video Education Program. Calling for the tests was done by the wonderful ever eager to help, Heidi Adams!

Before adjourning for lunch Cindy Butler spoke about the process of making USEF Western Dressage rules and then discussed current rule change proposals. It was very engaging and I think everyone left feeling they had been heard and understood. Discussion was lively at times, but that is what meeting face to face is all about, sharing ideas in an open forum.

During the Honors Lunch the Top Hand Award was presented to a very deserving Debbie Riehl-Rodriguez who has volunteered hundreds of hours to WDAA and the Judges Education program. Next, Board member Tori Blankenship presented the very first Horse Lifetime Points and Awards Program Honors. Several owners and exhibitors were on hand to receive their awards. 14 horse earned their Register of Merit honors (a beautiful wood plaque) and 2 of those horses also won their Register of Achievement honors (fine leather halters with brass name plates).

Zips Vanilla Belle* Register of Merit and Register of Achievement  |  Sandra Ogden

Larks Home Run* Register of Merit and Register of Achievement  |  Elizabeth Stauber-Johnson with Lynn Palm Trainer is Pictured

Gallant Prince Von G* Register of Merit  |  Patty Couch

Jovial D* Register of Merit  |  Collette Sossaman

Truly Unsurpassed* Register of Merit  |  Nancy Conley

Hotrodder Mike* Register of Merit  |  Heidi Adams with Kelly Adams Pictured

PWR Smart Alex* Register of Merit  |  Angela Stokes

Kit And Caboodle* Register of Merit  |  Janet Cagled

Following the conclusion of the test demonstrations Anne Marie Avancino gave an extremely interesting and informative talk on “How to ask for money and receive it” – fund raising for affiliates. Anne Marie was very warmly received and a great help to many affiliate representatives, I guarantee we will be seeing much more of her in the future!

Thursday began with yet another delicious breakfast and then moved swiftly to the General Meeting featuring a Presidents report, Treasurers report and reports on the Horse Lifetime Points and Awards Program plus Show Recognition. All of which can be found at (http://www.wdaaworldshow.org/2016-wdaa-annual-meeting-and-convention-presentations/) There was also a great open discussion with the Board of Directors before the meeting adjourned.

I feel everyone came away with a feeling of great hope for the growth of WDAA and the fact that we are headed in the right direction. I hope all members know that WDAA is there for them and their horses, we are open to any and all ideas and appreciate that so many feel that they are part of this loving WDAA family.

Very fondly submitted by Dini Swanson

Show Results

For full show results please visit:
Show Sponsors

Thank you to our very generous sponsors, we could not have put on this great show with out you! Please click on the following link to see our wonderful sponsors.

WDAA Nominee for the USEF Youth Sportsman's Award

The WDAA Nominee for the USEF Youth Sportsman's Award is 17 year old Emma Santellan of Modesto, CA, Emma has thoroughly impressed the WDAA selection committee and we all wish her the best in the national competition for the USEF Overall Sportsman's Award who will receive a beautiful trophy and a $1000 grant to be paid toward an education program.
Judges Education

A Group Apprentice Judging opportunity was offered at the 2016 WDAA World Show, 19 apprentices spent 3 1/2 days judging tests and rail classes with judge clinicians Joyce Swanson, Charlotte Trentleman and Debbie Riehl-Rodriguez. Hundreds and hundreds of tests were scored by the apprentices and their scribes, many of whom were volunteers. The volunteer scribes raved about the experience saying that they had no idea what the judges had to go through to get their card, a great amount of respect was gained. Those hundreds of tests were then evaluated by the judge clinicians taking hours upon hours. The good news is, that due to all of this incredible hard work we will have more and more well educated and enthusiastic USEF Licensed Judges out there available to judge your shows.

The 2017 WDAA/USEF Judges Seminar will be held at the Hilton Garden Inn, Denver Tech Center, 7675 E. Union Ave. Denver, CO 80237 (720)528-3010 . The seminar will be 2 full days and evenings starting Feb 8th and 9th More information to follow soon. Please to be sure to sign up for Judges E-News at http://westerndressageassociation.org/western-dressage-judges-education-program/ for the most current updates to programs offered.

Top Hand Award

The Western Dressage Association is proud to announce the 2016 Top Hand award which recognizes an outstanding volunteer each year.  The recipient is Debbie Riehl Rodriquez.  Debbie missed the presentation at the Annual Meeting; she was stuck at an airport on her way to join us for our 2016 World Championship Show.  Many of us recall Debbie's enthusiasm when she judged our first World Championship show.  She stood in front of the line up of award winners to have her photo taken and she posted photos to support our new discipline. 
Debbie has been an integral part of the WDAA educational program working with Judges' School and developing wonderful presentations for aspiring Western Dressage judges.  Debbie has worked diligently with the Taskforce that created new tests which will be implemented for the 2017 competition year.  Debbie was one of the judge clinicians for our 2016 Group Apprentice Judging Program.  She also serves on the USEF Western Dressage Technical Committee.
WDAA depends on our generous volunteers who help guide and fulfill our educational mission.  Thank you, Debbie, for your generous support of Western Dressage!
USEF Youth Sportsmanship Grant

The Executive Board of WDAA voted to award the USEF Youth Sportsmanship Grant to support a Western Dressage invitational clinic offered by Ohio University Southern .  This clinic is scheduled for November 12, 2016 and will reach out to high school and college students as well as 4 H participants. 

The update from Bradie Chapman of the Equine Faculty at Ohio University Southern: "It looks like for our invitational that we have 8 teams from 5 universities and I had a 9th team contact me that will be made of a 4-H club that is interested in attending. We are advertising the event and hoping that more will come to watch and learn about the sport."
The continuing support of the outstanding equine program at Ohio University Southern, the participation of their equestrian team at our World Championship show and the out reach to other youth programs makes this group a special partner in the educational mission of WDAA.  Thank you to the United States Equestrian Federation for its grants supporting our educational mission.  The Western Dressage Association of America is the USEF Recognized Affiliate for the discipline of Western Dressage.
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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!

WDAA Social Corral

If you wish to be more informed about the Western Dressage movement, we do have a private Social Corral network 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.

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.

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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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