USDF Celebrates 45 Years (p. 38)
USDF CONNECTION U S D F. O R G
Official Publication of the United States Dressage Federation
Silver Linings Team USA Rocks the WEG Like a Hurricane
Jeanne McDonald Explains the New Dressage Tests (p. 60)
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Trainers Conference January 21-22, 2019 High Meadow Farm • Loxahatchee, FL Featuring
US Dressage Technical Advisor and the
US Dressage Coaches Debbie McDonald
US Dressage Young Horse Coach
George Williams US Dressage Youth Coach
US Dressage Assistant Youth Coach
For attendance criteria, registration, curriculum, and travel information, visit
IN THIS ISSUE
Historic storm disrupts the 2018 World Equestrian Games but can’t take the shine away from US dressage silver medals By Jennifer O. Bryant
4 INSIDE USDF A Look Back—and Forward
6 RINGSIDE Movin’ on Up
THROUGH THE YEARS
USDF celebrates its 45 anniversary th
By Jennifer O. Bryant
FIRST LOOK: THE 2019 USDF AND US EQUESTRIAN DRESSAGE TESTS
By George Williams
By Jennifer O. Bryant
14 CLINIC Sequential Schooling of the Dressage Horse
By Hilda Gurney
72 THE TAIL END USDF’s Influence on My Life
By Maryal Barnett
By Jeanne McDonald
Our hand-picked list of holiday gifts for dressage enthusiasts of all ages
IN EVERY ISSUE
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SPONSOR SPOTLIGHT HEADS UP SHOP @ X USDF CONNECTION SUBMISSION GUIDELINES USDF OFFICE CONTACT DIRECTORY ADVERTISING INDEX
ON OUR COVER 2018 World Equestrian Games dressage silver medalists Kasey Perry-Glass, Adrienne Lyle, Steffen Peters, and Laura Graves. Story, p. 20. Photo by SusanJStickle.com.
Volume 20, Number 6
USDF OFFICERS & EXECUTIVE BOARD PRESIDENT
A Look Back—and Forward
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By George Williams, USDF President
two summer Olympic Games, two FEI World Equestrian Games, and several FEI World Cup Finals, bringing the best dressage athletes and horses in the world together in our own back yard. As my time as USDF president comes to an end, I sometimes reflect about the transformations over the years. I can’t help but wonder what Lowell Boomer would think of the USDF now. Some might say that it has become too officious and bureaucratic, and perhaps it has—but maybe that is just a sign of a mature organization with a large and multifaceted awards program. The USDF’s original mission statement was: “dedicated to education, recognition of achievement, and the promotion of dressage.” From its beginnings in Lincoln, Nebraska, to its current home in the National Education Center at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, the USDF has been and continues to be committed to education. We now support or host more than 100 educational programs a year, including the FEI-Level Trainers Conference and the Sport Horse Prospect Development Forum. The recently launched USDF National Education Initiative is designed to help make dressage education more affordable and accessible through GMOs within the regions. In 2019, we will continue to build on our experience with the widely respected and emulated L Education
4 November 2018 • USDF CONNECTION
CONTINUED ON PAGE 8
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USDF FILE PHOTO
y memory fails me as to when I joined the USDF. I know I’ve been a member for more than 40 years, but I can’t remember if I joined in 1973, the year USDF was founded, or the following year. I believe that prior to the USDF’s founding, I was a member of the New England Dressage Association. I can’t recall that exact time line, either; I was young and it was a long time ago. However, I do remember NEDA’s Priscilla Endicott. She was a force, a pioneer, a dressage enthusiast extraordinaire, and one of the major founders of NEDA. She was responsible for introducing a number of top riders and trainers from Europe to those of us lucky enough to live in New England at that time. It’s people like Priscilla who were the original builders of dressage in this country. They created the dressage clubs that the late Lowell Boomer brought together as the foundation of a national dressage organization. That federation of clubs, called groupmember organizations (GMOs), became the USDF. This month, USDF celebrates its 45th anniversary. Turn to page 38 of this issue for a look at the people and memorable moments of the USDF through the years. At the 2018 Adequan®/USDF Annual Convention in Salt Lake City, which kicks off later this month, we will be honoring Priscilla Endicott along with Martha McDaniel of Hawaii, Sue Hughes of Michigan, and Mary Anne McPhail of Michigan and Florida. These four women will be recognized as USDF Members of Distinction for their work in sharing their love of dressage with so many generations. Dressage has come a long way since those early days, both nationally and globally. In the years since USDF’s founding, the United States has hosted
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Movin’ on Up
realized that there is strength in numbers, and that American dressage would benefit from having the various dressage clubs around the country unite under the banner of a federation that would work to improve instructional, riding and training, and judging standards nationwide. The “carrot,” as founding member and USDF Lifetime Achievement Award recipient Maryal Barnett calls it in this month’s “The Tail End” (page 72), was the system of awards developed in part to entice riders to better themselves and their horses. Today that carrot rewards all manner of dressage horses, breeders, and riders, from our WEG team members down to those dedicated youth and amateur riders enjoying our sport aboard equines of nearly every persuasion. American dressage horses and riders now benefit from access to educated and tested instructor/trainers, programs that help educate all facets of the dressage community, and the world’s best system for training prospective dressage judges. Those with a competitive bent also can challenge themselves in the now-completed system that leads from regional championships to a national head-to-head championships for amateur and open riders at all levels. Enjoy our USDF anniversary retrospective—with lots of fun “through the years” photos—beginning on page 38. And thank you for being part of the journey.
Jennifer O. Bryant, Editor @JenniferOBryant
6 November 2018 • USDF CONNECTION
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Danielle Titland 720/300-2266 • firstname.lastname@example.org USDF Connection is published ten times a year by the United States Dressage Federation, 4051 Iron Works Parkway, Lexington, KY 40511. Phone: 859/971-2277. Fax: 859/971-7722. E-mail: email@example.com, Web site: www.usdf.org. USDF members 7 receive USDF Connection as a membership benefit, paid by membership dues. Copyright © 2018 USDF. All rights reserved. Reproduction of articles requires permission from USDF. Other text may be reproduced with credit given to USDF Connection. USDF reserves the right to refuse any advertising or copy that is deemed unsuitable for USDF and its policies. Excluding advertisements, all photos with mounted riders must have safety head gear or USEF-approved competition hat. USDF assumes no responsibility for the claims made in advertisements. Statements of fact and opinion are those of the experts consulted and authors, and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the editors or the policy of USDF. The publishers reserve the right to reject any advertising deemed unsuitable for USDF, as well as the right to reject or edit any manuscripts received for publication. USDF assumes no responsibility for unsolicited material. All materials must be accompanied by a self-addressed, stamped envelope. Questions about your subscription or change in address? Contact USDF Membership Department, 859/971-2277, or firstname.lastname@example.org. POSTMASTER: SEND ADDRESS CHANGES TO: USDF, 4051 IRON WORKS PARKWAY, LEXINGTON, KY 40511. Canadian Agreement No. 1741527. Canada return address: Station A, P.O. Box 54, Windsor, Ontario N9A 6J5.
Silver medals and a milestone anniversary S dressage is coming up in the world. In the 1990s and early 2000s, Team USA became a regular occupant of the bronze-medal podium at Olympic Games and FEI World Equestrian Games (WEG). But American dressage took a downturn in the late 2000s, and for years we came away mostly empty-handed. The sign that things were turning around was our dressage team’s 2016 Olympic Games bronze medal. That achievement was followed by FEI World Cup Dressage Finals silver medals for Laura Graves and Verdades in 2017 and 2018, which led to hopeful speculation that if Laura and “Diddy” were second in the world, then she, the team, or both could clinch silver medals at the FEI World Equestrian Games Tryon 2018. As we know, both did indeed fulfill that exciting promise, and you’ll find my coverage and photos of the WEG dressage competition on page 20 of this issue. In some ways, the team silver medal is even more momentous than Laura’s individual Grand Prix Special silver, for it takes a depth of talent to win a team medal. One top horse-and-rider pair is thrilling, of course, but you can’t form a band with just a lead singer. The year 2018 nears its end with much optimism for the future. American dressage enthusiasts have every reason to hope that we’ll earn gold medals at next year’s Pan American Games in Lima, Peru, followed by more medals—do we dare dream of gold?—at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. While we celebrate Team USA dressage’s accomplishments at the 2018 WEG, we also mark another milestone: USDF’s 45th anniversary. This month in 1973, a small but committed group of dressage enthusiasts assembled for the inaugural “annual meeting” of the first US national organization dedicated to dressage. These founding members
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CONTINUED FROM PAGE 4 Program by formally assuming the responsibility for educating nationallevel dressage judges and technical delegates and helping them to prepare for their US Equestrian licenses. These new licensed-officials education initiatives exemplify USDF’s ongoing growth and importance to the sport as an educational organization. With the Discover Dressage USEF/ USDF Emerging Athlete Program, we are working in cooperation with US Equestrian in training our young athletes. USDF’s relationship with US Equestrian, the national governing body for equestrian sport, continues to improve, thereby enabling both organizations to strengthen their ability to maintain a fair, level, and safer playing field for the sport of dressage. This year saw the debut of the USDF Regional Adult Amateur Equitation Program. We are already seeing tremendous interest in this program, which is designed to promote correct seat, position, and use of the aids in dressage. Like any organization, over the years the USDF has had to adapt to changes, including economic ups and downs and the sweeping transformations in the ways we connect, communicate, and consume information. Some events, like the NEDA clinics I attended years ago, continue to be cornerstones of dressage education. But movie-and-lecture nights like the NEDA ones my mother and I enjoyed in the 1970s have all but disappeared. Now practically any type of dressage video you can imagine is available on the web or your mobile device. If you want to learn how to ride a better shoulder-in, you can Google it without leaving your house. The USDF has worked to keep pace with these innovations, such as with our online educational eTRAK database. Our own award-winning magazine remains a popular member benefit and is now available digitally, as well. In my mind, in today’s world, the certification of dressage instructor/
trainers is becoming more crucial than ever. The USDF recently introduced FEI-level certification, and we have plans to boost that program as we continue to move toward making instructor certification the norm in our business. I see this as an important step toward ensuring that newcomers to dressage—both youth and adults—are introduced correctly and safely. In order to grow participation in dressage, we must be able to provide a safe and welcoming environment. Only by doing so can we hope to foster a lasting love for the sport with a respect and love for the horse, which in turn can be shared with future generations. In what is essentially a Regional Championships series final, thanks to the leadership of Janine Malone the US Dressage Finals became a reality in 2013. At the inaugural event, the horse that at this writing holds the number-one spot on the FEI Dressage World Ranking List—the USA’s own Verdades, with owner/rider Laura
Graves—won his first national title, the Intermediate II open championship. It is exciting to think that future international stars may make their national debuts at the US Dressage Finals. Just as important to me is the fact that the Finals have exceeded expectations in becoming a wonderful showcase for adult amateurs. In order to grow participation in dressage, we must be able to provide a safe and welcoming environment for newcomers. This year, adult-amateur rider Megan Zureck will receive her USDF gold freestyle bar at the USDF Salute Gala & Annual Awards Banquet in Salt Lake City. Earning the gold freestyle bar is a tremendous accomplishment, but it’s even more special to Megan because, as she wrote in an e-mail to me, “with a lot of hard work, determination, and many sacrifices”
she reached her goal of earning all six USDF rider awards—bronze, silver, and gold medals; and bronze, silver, and gold freestyle bars—aboard the same horse. “I brought my dream horse as a five-year-old and was determined to bring him up the levels,” Megan wrote. “He was all I had.” She continued: “I do not know of many who can say they did it all on one horse and without the help of professionals riding that horse. I do have a dedicated coach that helped me on my way. I have a limited budget and work seven days a week, but I would not change it for the world.” It is members like Megan who have inspired me over the last nine years as USDF president. I have been honored to serve, and fortunate to have been supported by dedicated and hardworking staff whose camaraderie and teamwork have made my job easier. I have enjoyed the experience, and—like Megan—I can also say I would not change it for the world. s
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Your Dressage World This Month
BEHIND THE SCENES
First-Ever WEG Medals for US Para-Dressage
eek 2 of the FEI World Equestrian Games (WEG) Tryon 2018 saw US athletes on the podium for the first time in WEG para-equestrian dressage competition.
MEDALIST: Rebecca Hart won silver in the Grade III Freestyle and bronze in the Grade III Individual test aboard El Corona Texel
Grade IV athlete Kate Shoemaker rode Solitaer 40, owned by Craig and Deena Shoemaker and the rider, to the Grade IV Freestyle bronze medal. Rebecca Hart won the silver medal in the Grade III Freestyle and bronze in the Grade III Individual test, riding El Corona Texel, owned by Rowan O’Riley. Roxanne Trunnell claimed the Grade I Freestyle bronze medal aboard Dolton, owned by Kate Shoemaker. The US para-dressage team (Shoemaker; Hart; Trunnell; and Angela “Annie” Peavy on Royal Dark Chocolate, owned by Rebecca Reno) finished fifth in the team competition. The WEG para-dressage competition was held September 18-22 at the Tryon International Equestrian Center in Mill Spring, North Carolina. A full report will be published in the next issue of USDF Connection.
Graves, Verdades Are First US Pair to Top FEI Dressage World Rankings
lympic bronze medalists Laura Graves and Verdades now lead the FEI World Dressage Rankings, thanks to their double silver-medal placings at the FEI World
NUMBER ONE: Graves
Equestrian Games Tryon 2018 (story, page 20). They are the first American dressage pair to be ranked world number 1. Their 2018 WEG performances put them one point ahead of Germany’s Isabell Werth and Weihegold OLD, who had held the top spot for almost two years. Werth is also ranked third with Emilio 107; fourth with her 2018 WEG partner, Bella Rose; and eleventh with Don Johnson FRH. Her own team silver-medal performance at the 2018 WEG put Graves’ teammate Kasey Perry-Glass in fourteenth place in the rankings with Goerklintgaards Dublet. See the entire FEI Dressage World Ranking list at https:// data.fei.org/Ranking/Search. aspx?rankingCode=D_WR.
10 November 2018 • USDF CONNECTION
Emily Koenig, USDF
ob title: Senior publications coordinator, USDF, Lexington, KY (usdf. org) What I do: I work with our USDF Connection editor, sending me photos and stories, and with our advertisingsales rep, sending me ads. CREATOR: Koenig Then it’s sort of like putting a puzzle together to lay out the magazine. How I got started: When I graduated, the economy was in a major recession and I couldn’t find a job. I found a course where you got to work on a Thoroughbred breeding farm. After four years there, I decided things needed to take another turn, so I got a job at the Thoroughbred Record magazine. After I lost that job following a merger, I started working for the American Saddlebred Horse Association, where I basically taught myself how to do graphic design on a computer. I love dressage, but at the time the US Dressage Federation was in Nebraska. So what happened? They moved to Lexington. Best thing about my job: Getting to work on putting together a magazine. I enjoy that day-to-day work of doing the layout and design. It’s very creative. Worst thing about my job: Trying to keep people on deadlines. My horses: I don’t ride any more. Tip: Don’t be afraid to learn new things. That’s essentially what I did. I totally had to reinvent myself. —Katherine Walcott
FEI PHOTO; FEI/MARTIN DOKOUPIL; SHELLEY PAULSON
What you need to know this month USDF Continuing Education in Judging Musical Freestyles
US Dressage Finals Competitors: We Want to Hear from You!
• January 18, 2019 • West Palm Beach, FL • Instructors: Gary Rockwell and Terry Ciotti Gallo • Applications available through the USDF website • Qualified attendees will receive the freestyle designation for USEF dressage judges
• January 19-20, 2019 • West Palm Beach, FL • Instructors: Gary Rockwell and Lois Yukins • Applications available through the USDF website • Program counts for licensed dressage judges’ continuing-education requirement; attendance is mandatory on both days.
IMMEDIATELY following the US Dressage Finals competition, you will be e-mailed an electronic evaluation form. Please complete this survey to provide feedback. Help us continue to make the US Dressage Finals great. Best of luck at the Finals, and we look forward to hearing from you!
MEET THE INSTRUCTOR
Alexandra Gainer, North Canton, OH
THE NEAR SIDE
lexandra “Alex” Gainer, 24, is an aspiring international dressage rider, a USDF bronze and silver medalist, and a USDF-certified instructor at Training and First Levels. How I got started in dressage: I started dressage at age 10 on my Quarter Horse, which I trained through First Level. I attended a Courtney King-Dye clinic and met a wonderful friend, Antonella Bath, who gave me her nine-year-old off-the-track Thoroughbred, Princeton, and the rest is history. I wanted to become certified because: I believe that a standard should be achieved for all riding instructors. This was the next UP THE LEVELS: step in my journey to provide the best Gainer knowledge to my students. I learned many techniques and good horsemanship skills that I will be passing down. My horses: Charm is my 20-year-old partially retired Quarter Horse. Princeton is now 18, and I trained him to Grand Prix. I’ve trained Rubin, a nine-year-old Hanoverian, to Prix St. Georges. Training tip: Always seek more educational opportunities. Even from one that may not seem like it will be helpful, you will still learn so much. Contact me: email@example.com or (330) 801-2360. —Jamie Humphries USDF CONNECTION
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Royal blue fleece with a water-resistant backing is perfect for picnics, tailgating, and chilly show mornings. Roll it up and store it in your trailer tack room or vehicle with the handy attached elastic band.
Sequential Schooling of the Dressage Horse
Third in a series. This month: Half-halts, adjusting stride length, and counter-canter. By Hilda Gurney Photographs by Hillair Carthine Bell
arming up consists of suppling the horse and getting him attentive and responsive to the aids. An energetic walk on long reins with a stretching neck is followed by a rising trot with the horse encouraged to stretch his neck downward, raising and stretching his back. The same stretching exercise may be done in both directions at the canter. When the horse feels loose, the
FIGURE 1. To half-halt, the rider pushes the horse with seat and legs into a restraining hand. As soon as the horse responds, the rider rewards by returning to an elastic contact.
reins are picked up and the rider’s legs ask the horse to move into the bit. Warm-up is a review of the schooling the horse has already had. After the basic stretching, easier transitions such as trot to canter, and flowing figures Adapted from a series published in Dressage & CT, September 1978-October 1979. Reprinted by permission of the estate of Ivan I. Bezugloff Jr.
like serpentines and large circles are practiced. The rider must make sure that the horse bends correctly and doesn’t fall in or out with either his shoulders or haunches. If the horse doesn’t respond laterally, some legyields may also be performed. Of course the warm-up must be modified to fit the horse’s mood and temperament. If he feels too frisky to walk, don’t frustrate him by trying to make him walk. Move him forward until he works himself down, then practice walk. With horses that jig and always anticipate the trot, it’s a good idea to practice lateral movements and figures at the walk. Be sure that the calves are on the horse’s sides at the walk. If they aren’t, the anticipating horse will soon learn that calf contact means “Go,” and he will “Go” before he is told how! Practicing figures at the walk will make him listen to the legs rather than only thinking “Go.” The more the horse hates to walk, the more time you must spend on it. However, choose a time in your work when he is most relaxed to do so. As the horse strengthens, the sitting trot should be used most of the time, with the exception of warm-up. The rider should move the horse into rein contact with his or her supple hips and “breathing” legs. Half-halts with the seat and legs should begin to replace the rein corrections used when the horse was very green. The horse must be ahead of the rider’s seat and leg aids, never behind the aids or running in front of the aids. If a horse is behind the rider’s seat and
November 2018 • USDF CONNECTION
leg aids, he will move inactively with lazy, unengaged haunches and little springiness to his strides. He will not move into the bit and will generally tend to drop the contact and go behind the bit. Such horses need to be forced to move forward into a light contact. Driving the horse forward at a running gait won’t achieve much. Horses that hurry don’t increase the engagement and carrying capacity of their haunches. Frequently the horse that doesn’t move forward is changed into a hurrier, which isn’t much improvement.
Half-Halts Explained Seat and leg aids, supported if necessary by whip, spur, and increased grain ration, drive the horse into an elastic contact. If the horse hurries, a half-halt should be given. To half-halt, the rider pushes the horse with seat and legs into a restraining hand (see Figure 1). As soon as the horse slows down and accepts the bit, the rider must return to an elastic contact with softened seat and leg aids moving the horse into the bit. If the horse raises his head in the half-halt, the half-halt should be continued until the horse finally softens and lowers his head. Immediately the rider should reward the horse by returning to an elastic contact. If the horse is behind the bit, a strong halfhalt should drive the horse into accepting a soft contact. As soon as the horse accepts the contact, the rider should move his or her hands forward to allow the horse to poke his nose ahead of the vertical. When he assumes a correct contact with his nose in front of the vertical, the half-halt can be relaxed. The horse should be corrected with a half-halt whenever it hurries or drops behind the aids. Half-halts can be mixed with rein corrections as necessary, although fewer rein corrections will be needed as the horse progresses. On one-sided horses the half-halt may be given with more pressure on the rein and leg of the hard side. Again, the pressure must be relaxed as soon as the horse responds to the half-halt by softening his jaw, evening the contact, and activating his haunches. The rider
must be careful that the horse doesn’t put his shoulders or haunches out of alignment during the half-halt. If this happens, the rider must correct the fault with his or her aids. If the horse is not responsive enough to the aids to respond to the correction, the rider may have to backtrack and work on simple transitions, figures, and leg-yield until the horse is responsive enough to accept a half-halt. It takes a lot of feel to perform an effective half-halt. Restraining and driving must be carefully balanced, and immediate easing of the aids must occur at the moment of the horse’s response. The activity and engagement of the haunches resulting from the half-halt must be maintained by the rider’s moving the horse into the bit with seat and legs. A common fault is for the rider to set his or her upper body against the reins instead of driving the horse into them. A hollowing of the horse’s back and a shortening of the neck are common results of this pulling half-halt. Upward-pulling hands are another common mistake. This results in a high head. Not yielding soon enough also leads to trouble. The horse will be frustrated by the constant strong aids from which there is no relief. His frustration will lead to various resistances. Half-halts are indispensable because they connect the horse’s haunches with his forehand. This connection is the key to engagement, collection, extensions, springiness, balance, suppleness, impulsion, and all else that makes the dressage horse so athletic and supple. There is so much more to competitive dressage than just performing the movements required in the test. When this connection is established. the horse will begin to develop the round neck, muscular back, and powerful haunches of the dressage horse. When a horse is connected, he must work harder. Of course, this goes over with the horse like worming powder! The connected horse will think of numerous methods of disconnecting and going along with inactive and/or unengaged haunches. One must be aware of his intentions and correct him USDF CONNECTION • November 2018
clinic TIME TO RENEW FOR 2019! Your 2018 membership expires November 30! Renew by 12/31 to receive the 2018 Yearbook. SPECIAL OFFER: Renew your USDF Participating Membership online by December 31, 2018 to receive a $25 electronic gift card from SmartPak! Only members who renew by 6/1/19 are guaranteed a printed copy of the 2019 USDF Member Guide.
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at each occurrence. Remember that as soon as one resistance is effectively recognized and corrected, he will think up another. The connected horse will develop balance, strength, and agility. He can now buck harder, spin quicker, and leap farther. In his paddock he will be a joy to watch. Under saddle, one begins to appreciate a deep seat and the horse’s responsiveness to half-halts. Half-halts are schooled at all three gaits. The prospect’s free, rounded canter should be becoming better balanced and slower, without losing its jump. Most horses need to carry their heads slightly higher at canter than at trot, and the rider should encourage the horse to carry his head at the height where his canter is most balanced. Any time the rider encourages the horse to lift his head, he or she must urge the horse to engage his haunches more by using the leg aids. “Pick him up and kick him under” is a colloquialism for encouraging riders to better balance their horses’ canter. Smaller circles are also helpful in balancing the canter. Riders must not let their horses’ haunches fall in or out on the circle. If a horse leans in with his body, he is unbalanced and the circles should be practiced slightly larger (see Figure 2).
(See the website for detailed program information and eligibility requirements.)
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usdf.org/join FIGURE 2. The horse on the left is leaning in on the circle. On the right you see a balanced turn.
Adjusting the Strides YOUR CONNECTION TO DRESSAGE EDUCATION • COMPETITION • ACHIEVEMENT
Lengthening the stride and shortening it again on the large circle is another good exercise. The rider should push the horse forward from the legs and seat, and with the hands allow the
November 2018 • USDF CONNECTION
FIGURE 3. Contact must not be thrown away on a lengthening; instead, the horse must be moved forward into the contact with seat and leg aids.
horse’s nose to stretch slightly forward. If the horse rushes off or quickens his tempo, he should immediately be halfhalted. If he doesn’t move forward off the leg, he should be driven forward with the seat, legs, whip, and/or spur if necessary. It’s a mistake to just give the reins and turn the horse loose in a lengthening. He will lose his balance and hurry on his forehand (Figure 3). In bringing the horse back from the lengthening, the rider must push him together with the seat and legs and get him to bring his haunches under. The activity and jump must be maintained. A frequent mistake is to ride an inactive canter following a lengthening. The haunches must not be allowed to fall in on the circle. If the horse resists the downward transition, the rider should give a strong half-halt, pushing the horse into the restraining hand until he checks his stride and softens. When the lengthenings and transitions are consistent and smooth on the circle, then they can be schooled on the long sides of the arena. First, just a little lengthening for a short distance should be asked for, gradually building up to more lengthening for longer distances. The prospect at this stage should be fairly proficient at trot-canter transitions. Usually the green horse falls into the trot on his forehand. This was acceptable at the early stages. However, now that the canter is becoming
better balanced and you have halfhalts as a tool, the transitions should be improved. Half-halt the horse at the canter until he collects slightly while remaining on the aids. Don’t ask for too much or he may break gait, hollow his back, or lose activity. When the half-halts are consistent, use them to prepare the horse for the trot transition. Do not allow the horse to drop to trot during the half-halt. If this happens. go back to practicing just the half-halts. If the horse accepts the half-halt, drop him into trot. The transition will be smooth and balanced. Practice these balanced transitions, alternating with canter half-halts, first on the large circle and then in various spots and figures in the whole arena.
Introducing Counter-Canter Counter-canter can be introduced in a flat serpentine (see Figure 4). Cantering on the inside lead, the horse is led off the track and then carefully back to the track. Care must be taken that not so much is asked that the horse loses the canter or switches leads. The rider generally urges with the inside leg just behind the girth at the true canter. However, in counter-canter the rider should urge a little more with
the outside leg behind the girth. These aids will help prevent later confusion with flying-change aids. The outside leg mustn’t be so strong that the haunches are pushed in and don’t follow the forelegs. Bending should remain toward the lead. Counter-canter is one of the few movements in which an indirectly used inside rein is effective (see Figure 5). The indirect rein helps turn the horse while keeping the neck bent toward the lead. The rider must keep
FIGURE 4. The two variations of the threeloop serpentine holding the counter lead. The first and third loop are on the true lead, which means more active left leg, direct rein, and weight toward the lead. The second loop, whether shallow or deep, requires more active right leg, indirect left rein, and weight toward the lead.
USDF CONNECTION • November 2018
FIGURE 6. The half-turn in reverse.
FIGURE 5. An indirect rein. The hand moves toward the horse’s withers. A poor substitute for bending aids on circles, but useful for turning without losing the bend toward the lead in counter-canter.
his or her weight toward the lead. The serpentine should be kept flat enough and the turns smooth enough to allow the horse to successfully hold his lead. Only when confidence and understanding are attained should deeper loops gradually be asked for until the horse confidently performs a three-loop serpentine holding the counter lead (see Figure 4). When
this figure is consistently performed, other counter-canter figures may be introduced. Changes of rein holding the counter-lead across the half-diagonal—and the more difficult holding the counter lead across the whole diagonal—are useful figures. Holding the counter-canter around the whole arena and large circles are others. The half-turn in reverse is a useful figure for going from counter-canter to true canter and is helpful in engaging the haunches, as well (see Figure 6). As the horse develops, his trot lengthenings will also improve. Until this stage, trot lengthenings have mostly been practiced at rising trot. If the rider can sit without bouncing or hanging on the reins, the sitting trot
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November 2018 • USDF CONNECTION
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can be introduced. Any bouncing or rein-hanging will quickly destroy most horses’ confidence in performing this movement. Sitting without stirrups may be helpful. A slight rushing at this stage of schooling is of little concern. Most horses don’t develop their maximum extensions until they learn piaffe and passage. As schooling progresses, a slower tempo can be asked for. Whenever the horse hurries, he can be half-halted and the tempo reestablished before the stride is again lengthened. It is very important that the rider drive the horse during the lengthening in the same tempo as the working trot. It’s a common fault to urge the horse forward in a quicker tempo. The rider’s legs must urge each step at the sitting trot or the horse may move irregularly behind. At the rising trot the rider pushes every other step, but at the sitting trot the driving aids push each step (i.e., twice as often as at the rising trot).
sore back can also cause unlevelness. Many thin-skinned horses, especially Thoroughbreds, need a great deal of padding under the saddle. Allergic reactions to synthetic fibers, especially in warm weather, can lead to trouble. Natural fibers (cotton or wool) are best used in contact with the horse’s skin during warm weather. s Next month: Shoulder-in. When Hilda Gurney wrote this series for Dressage & CT magazine, it had
been only two years since she had won a team bronze medal at the 1976 Olympics with her legendary Thoroughbred, Keen. Forty years later, Gurney is still going strong at her Keenridge in Moorpark, CA, where she continues to ride, train, and teach. For her contributions as a dressage professional, competitor, judge, sporthorse breeder, and more, she was inducted into the Roemer Foundation/ USDF Hall of Fame in 2007. Keen was inducted in 1997.
USDF National Education Initiative ...making education more accessible
Physical Concerns A flopping saddle can also cause a horse discomfort. For dressage work, the girth should be fastened tight enough that the saddle stays snugly against the horse’s back, no matter how springy his movements may be. No matter how beautifully the rider sits in the saddle, the horse will still feel discomfort if the saddle bounces on his back. So always keep your girth tight. Several other factors can cause a horse to go unlevel behind. If a rider habitually rides with one stirrup longer than the other, or sits crooked with weight more on one stirrup and/ or seat bone, unlevelness could result. A warped saddle tree caused by defect or stress from mounting is another cause. Many young horses will interfere behind, especially in learning lateral movements, bruising the insides of their ankles. Weak stifles will show themselves as soon as you ask for increased activity, spring, and engagement. Weak stifles mean that you have a hunter prospect, not a dressage prospect. A weak-stifled horse can last for years working with less engagement than is demanded in dressage. A
The USDF National Education Initiative was created to support new and affordable programs, and to engage members. The following programs are being offered as part of the USDF National Education Initiative.
New Dressage Test Seminar with Margaret Freeman Northeastern Ohio Dressage Association January 5, 2019 http://www.nodarider.org
Ride-a-Test with Joan Darnell Arkansas Dressage Society January 27, 2019 http://arkansasdressage.org
Camp with Stacey Hastings
Coastal Empire Dressage Association April 27-28, 2019 www.usdf.org/educalendar For more information about these and other National Education Initiative opportunities, visit
Funding support provided by the USDF National Education Initiative Grant Program.
YOUR CONNECTION TO DRESSAGE EDUCATION • COMPETITION • ACHIEVEMENT
USDF CONNECTION • November 2018
Silver Linings Historic storm disrupts the 2018 World Equestrian Games but can’t take the shine away from US dressage silver medals BY JENNIFER O. BRYANT
CELEBRATION: Silver-medal-winning US WEG dressage-team members Kasey Perry-Glass on Goerklintgaards Dublet, Steffen Peters on Suppenkasper, Adrienne Lyle on Salvino, and Laura Graves on Verdades take their lap of honor
20 November 2018 • USDF CONNECTION
t was the World Equestrian Games that almost didn’t happen—twice. The first time was two years ago, when original 2018 WEG host city Bromont, Canada, backed out, citing financial woes. The second time was pretty much this entire year. The perfect storm started with massive springtime rainfall that wrecked the no-wiggle-room construction schedule at the substitute venue, the Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC) in Mill Spring, North Carolina. Trying to put together the Games in just two years instead of the customary four or more, key TIEC shareholder and WEG visionary Mark Bellissimo needed for everything to go right in order to be ready. Thanks largely to Mother Nature, it didn’t. A promised on-site hotel and other facilities didn’t materialize in time, and round-the-clock construction was taking place even as competition got under way. Then, flouting weather records that assured the Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI) that late summer in the Blue Ridge Mountains foothills would be a pleasant time of year, dangerous heat and humidity forced the cancellation of the very first FEI World Equestrian Games Tryon 2018 event, the September 12 endurance competition. The nail in the meteorological coffin was Hurricane Florence, the United States’ second-wettest storm in nearly 70 years, which blanketed the region on September 16, its arrival coinciding perfectly with the most anticipated event in WEG dressage, the individual Grand Prix Freestyle. Coverage of the impending hurricane was incessant in the days leading up to the September 11 WEG opening ceremony. There were numerous reports of storm-shy ticketholders’ deciding to stay away. Indeed, the stands of the temporary 20,000-seat U.S. Trust Arena—the outdoor stadium erected to host the WEG dressage and jumping competitions—were easily half-empty at the start of the team dressage competition, although they were perhaps at two-thirds capacity for the individual Grand Prix Special on September 14.
Robert Dover’s Silver Swan Song When he took the reins as US Equestrian national dressage technical advisor and chef d’équipe in 2013, six-time US dressage Olympian Robert Dover unveiled his “Roadmap to the Podiums” plan. His recipe for putting US dressage back in the medal standings (Team USA had come away emptyhanded since the 2004 Olympic Games and the 2010 WEG): money, money, and more money, to finance training camps and training/showing treks to Europe. Evidently Dover knew whom and how to schmooze, for the funds began coming in. In 2016, Team USA climbed USDF CONNECTION
TEAM LEADERS: Laura Graves and Verdades (shown in the GP Special) were the top-scoring US pair, winning team and individual silver medals
22 November 2018 • USDF CONNECTION
onto the bronze-medal podium at the Rio Olympics. In 2017 and 2018, the now-famous US dressage pair Laura Graves and Verdades added to their medal collection with back-to-back silvers at the FEI World Cup Dressage Finals. The next logical step was for Team USA to ascend one rung on the podium ladder, and in Tryon Graves, Steffen Peters on Suppenkasper, Adrienne Lyle on Salvino, and Kasey Perry-Glass on Goerklintgaards Dublet found their silver lining. The team silver medal was by no means a shoo-in. Peters/Suppenkasper and Lyle/Salvino are fairly new combinations, and the horses are young and less experienced. What’s more, “Mopsie” was actually Peters’ reserve mount but got the nod for the WEG after first-stringer Rosamunde suffered some dehydration after arrival in Tryon and Mopsie stepped up to the plate during training sessions. Besides, the German dressage juggernaut has been dominating the world order again recently; and after Great Britain got serious about equestrian sport in the run-up to the 2012 London Olympics, that nation has been a player, even following the retirement of the wonder horse Valegro. The other usual suspects, including the Netherlands, Denmark, and Spain, couldn’t be discounted, either. It took two full days to accommodate the 77 entries in the Grand Prix competition. Thirty-eight horses and riders competed on September 12, with the remaining 39 riding on September 13. There were 15 teams of 4 horse/rider combinations, plus 17 pairs that competed as individuals in the hopes of being among the top 30 individual finishers in order to qualify for the Grand Prix Special. At a CDI (FEI-recognized dressage competition), a random draw determines the starting order. In Tryon, the team chefs drew for their nations’ starting positions, with each team receiving two start times on day 1 and two start times
THE ROOM WHERE IT HAPPENED: The WEG dressage venue, the U.S. Trust Arena at the Tryon International Equestrian Center
on day 2. Chefs were allowed to choose which riders would compete on which day; the usual strategy is to have the most experienced and potentially highest-scoring pairs ride on day 2. In the case of Team USA, that meant that Peters and Lyle rode on day 1, and Perry-Glass and Graves rode on day 2. The Grand Prix determined the team medals, with each team’s top three scores counting toward the final team total. First up for Team USA, Peters posted a respectable score of 73.494 percent, which ended up being the drop score but placed him eighteenth individually—high enough to qualify for the Special. Billing his mount and himself as “a young kid and an old rider,” Peters, who turned 54 just days after the WEG dressage competition ended, was thrilled with the 10-year-old Mopsie’s performance. “I’m very happy with how he handled this because it’s a huge step up from Aachen [the Nations Cup CDI in July] as far as relaxation,” Peters said of the KWPN gelding (Spielberg x Krack C). “I could actually push some of the extensions, which was new: Usually I just hold my breath and hope he doesn’t break into the canter because it’s so big…. For this stage and sensitivity, it’s really good.” Akiko Yamazaki of Four Winds Farm, Peters’ longtime sponsor, purchased Mopsie in 2017 from the husband of
FOCUSED: Steffen Peters was thrilled with the young Suppenkasper’s Grand Prix performance
the horse’s previous rider and trainer, German Olympian Helen Langehanenberg—with more of an eye toward the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, according to Peters. “We are hoping that when he turns 12, 13, that will be his prime,” Peters said. Next in the U.S. Trust Arena for Team USA was the 2012 Olympic and 2014 WEG veteran Adrienne Lyle. The 33-year-old protégé of Olympian (and newly appointed successor to Robert Dover) Debbie McDonald is back on the international stage with a new partner, the 11-year-old Hanoverian stallion Salvino (Sandro Hit x Donnerhall), owned by Betsy Juliano LLC. [
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UNDAMPENED ENTHUSIASM: A visibly drenched Robert Dover and Debbie McDonald watch Adrienne Lyle’s Grand Prix test
With her previous mount Wizard, Lyle had to ride her Grand Prix test at the 2014 WEG in Normandy in a downpour. History repeated itself at the TIEC when the skies opened during Lyle’s warm-up. “I said to Debbie, ‘Well, I know it’s WEG if it’s pouring!’” Lyle said afterward. The brief rainstorm “was a bit of a disruption,” said Lyle, who was forced to scramble to “change gloves and dry things off so I could hold the reins. And then it’s blazing hot the next second!” Indeed, the sun returned before Lyle went down center line that afternoon, with the sudden spike in heat and humidity testing competitors’ fitness. “He’s a big, dark horse,” Lyle said of Salvino, “and I’ve done my best to get him as fit as I could. I’m glad I did, because it took every ounce of fitness he had out there to get through the heat.” The stallion rose to the occasion, putting in a solid test for a score of 74.860 percent. “I’ve never ridden in front of our home country [at an international championships] before, and I didn’t know how he was going to handle it, with all the extra cheering,” she said, “but I think he liked it.” On day 2, Kasey Perry-Glass, 31, kicked it up a notch for Team USA with an impressive 76.739 percent aboard the 15-year-old Danish Warmblood gelding Goerklintgaards Dublet (Diamond Hit x Ferro), owned by her mother, Diane Perry. “Dublet” is back in the spotlight this year after getting some R&R after the 2016 Rio Olympics. His scores are better than ever, and Perry-Glass even beat friendly rival Graves on Verdades in Aachen this year. “The break did him really well,” Perry-Glass said after her test at the WEG. Even now, “I only try to work him up until competitions three days a week. [On other days] he
goes on the [hydrotherapy equine treadmill]; he goes on trail rides; he goes wherever I can get him out. I try to keep a very clear mind with him, and it helps.” “The moment we bought him, I knew he was special,” Perry-Glass said of her leggy and refined mount. “He has that elegance about him, and he’s so sensitive. He can be hot, but he’s also sensitive to my aids. Fine-tuning that has been really hard. There are some times when I half-halt him and I think it’s a little bit—a light half-halt—and Debbie’s [McDonald] like, ‘Too much!’ I’m like, Oh my god, I’m barely moving! I had to figure out that balance between asking for more and not asking for too much. I think we’re really on the cusp of being really great with that.” Dublet hasn’t gotten as much press as Verdades, but Perry-Glass believes that her mount is still coming into his own—and in a post-WEG interview, American FEI 5* dressage judge Anne Gribbons, who served as the head of the ground jury in Tryon, called him “one of the most talented horses in the world.” “I think there’s still 25 percent left in that horse,” Gribbons said. “I don’t think we’ve seen it all yet. When she really dares to turn on all the power that that horse has, watch out.” Dublet may be 15, but “the physios and the vets are like, ‘He feels like an eight-year-old,’” Perry-Glass said proudly. “I put in a lot of work to make that happen. I think a happy horse is a supple horse. I think he’s happy in his body.” Riding in the coveted last slot in the entire class, the much-decorated Graves, 31, and Verdades did not disappoint. The 16-year-old KWPN gelding (Florett As x Goya), owned by Curt Maes and the rider, was the only US horse to crack the 80-percent barrier, scoring 81.537 percent—an individual second-place finish—in a powerful Grand Prix test marred only by a slight spook at an FEI TV camera near C.
24 November 2018 • USDF CONNECTION
FITNESS TEST: After getting soaked during warm-up, Adrienne Lyle and Salvino showed what they were made of in the sudden heat and humidity
BETTER AND BETTER: The USA’s Goerklintgaards Dublet, ridden by Kasey Perry-Glass, just keeps improving—and some say he hasn’t peaked yet
WE DID IT! Laura Graves grins at her teammates as they rush to the in-gate to celebrate her clinching the dressage team silver medal
The largely American audience erupted in cheers when Graves’ score went up, and within moments the scoreboard flashed the final standings: silver for Team USA, with Germany winning team gold and Great Britain claiming bronze. It was the first WEG dressage team silver medal for the USA since Jerez 2002. Although a world-championships medal is a tremendous accomplishment unto itself, placing well at a WEG
serves another important purpose: qualifying to participate in the next summer Olympic Games. Team USA needed a top-six finish to qualify for Tokyo 2020, Dover said before WEG competition began. As Graves, Perry-Glass, Lyle, and Peters stepped onto the podium in Tryon, a jubilant Dover cemented his legacy as the chef who made good on his promise to put US dressage back in the medals. Building on the “pipeline” founda-
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CELEBRATION TIME: Team USA’s Debbie McDonald, Kasey Perry-Glass (back to camera), Adrienne Lyle, and Steffen Peters embrace after Laura Graves’ Grand Prix ride while US dressage sponsor Betsy Juliano and chef d’équipe Robert Dover look on
Heat? What Heat?
t the press conference following the Grand Prix Special, medalists Isabell Werth of Germany, Laura Graves of the USA, and Charlotte Dujardin of Great Britain were asked how they and their horses handled the heat and humidity in Tryon. Werth and Dujardin both exQUICK QUIP: Laura Graves at the pressed thankfulness Grand Prix Special medalists press that an unusually conference warm European summer had helped them acclimate, although they hadn’t experienced anything like the North Carolina humidity, they said. It was Graves, however, who had the “mic drop” moment. “I live in Florida,” she said coolly. “We call this winter.”
26 November 2018 • USDF CONNECTION
perhaps contributed to loosened sponsor and donor purse strings, to set Team USA up for a level of success not enjoyed in 16 years. “I could not be more proud of everything the riders, the federation [US Equestrian], and our entire US dressage community has come together to produce in the years I’ve been the chef,” Dover said at a press conference before the start of competition.
Germany Leads the Way As they did in Rio 2016, Germany claimed the team dressage gold medal at the 2018 Tryon WEG. The only team with two members to post scores over 80 percent—top-placed Isabell Werth on Bella Rose, 84.829; and Sönke Rothenberger on Cosmo, third individually with 81.444—the Germans’ total score of 242.950 easily put them in the top spot. Werth needs no introduction to dressage enthusiasts, although her 2016 through 2018 Olympic and World Cup Dressage Final medals all were earned on a different horse, the mare Weihegold OLD. Tryon was particularly special for the five-time Olympian because it marked the triumphant return of Werth’s 2014 WEG mount, the 14-year-old Westfalen mare Bella Rose (Belissimo x Cacir AA), who helped the Germans win team gold in Normandy but who was withdrawn before the start of individual competition there and who had remained sidelined with an injury until earlier this year. The seven judges all placed the very feminine liver-chestnut mare first, with Bella Rose’s piaffe-passage tour, transitions, and great suppleness the highlights of her performance. The very modern-type 11-year-old KWPN gelding Cos-
tion laid by his predecessor, Anne Gribbons, Dover capitalized on a growing pool of international-quality horses and riders, coupled with improving economic conditions that
TEAM GOLD: German dressage chef d’équipe Klaus Roeser (left) stands atop the podium with riders Isabell Werth, Dorothee Schneider, Sönke Rothenberger, and Jessica von Bredow-Werndl
ONE TO WATCH: The young German pair of Sönke Rothenberger and Cosmo won team gold and very nearly made it onto the GP Special medal podium
mo (Van Gogh x Fruhling), who won team gold in Rio 2016, very nearly stole the show with his elasticity, expression, and precision. Dressage fans of a certain age have enjoyed seeing Rothenberger, 24, come into his own as an international star. He is the son of Sven Rothenberger and Gonnelien Rothenberger-Gordijn, who rode together on the silver-medal-winning Dutch team at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics. The German team was rounded out by Sönke Rothenberger’s 2016 Olympics teammate Dorothee Schneider, 49, who in Tryon rode Sammy Davis Jr., a 12-year-old German Sport Horse (San Remo x Wenckstern); and Jessica
von Bredow-Werndl, 32, on TSF Dalera BB, an 11-year-old Trakehner mare (Easy Game x Handryk). With individual fifth- and sixth-place finishes, two of the youngest horses in the WEG dressage competition led Team Great Britain onto the bronze-medal podium. After retiring the legendary Valegro after the 2016 Olympics, rider Charlotte Dujardin is back with her latest international star, the Hanoverian mare Mount St. John Freestyle (Fidermark x Donnerhall), who at nine was the youngest horse in the entire field. Showing maturity beyond her years—combined with that enviable combination of suppleness, power, and
Central States Dressage and Eventing Association CSDEA would like to congratulate our fellow members on their 2017 USDF Awards: Regional GMO Volunteer of the Year – Robert Dunn
FEI/MARTIN DOKOUPIL; JENNIFER BRYANT
Best Overall Website Layout and Design for a GMO with 175-499 members (www.csdea.org) Central States Dressage & Eventing Association (CSDEA) is a volunteer organization dedicated to the sports of dressage and eventing in the Upper Midwest. Wherever you are in your riding journey, you will find an array of programs and resources to help you connect with the community and the sport you love. For more information, go to www.csdea.org.
Best Amateur Photograph for a GMO with 175-499 members – “Ravyn” by Arden Liotta Goudy, Blackshire Equestrian Centre (Spring Issue, May 2017) Best First Person Article for a GMO with 175-499 members – “Yvonne Ross’ Century Ride” by Amy Sletten (Winter Issue, Nov. 2016) Honorable Mention General Interest Article for a GMO with 175-499 members – “The Pre-Purchase Exam: Getting a Baseline on Your New Partner” by Jennifer Selvig (Fall Issue, Sept. 2016)
NEW COMBO: Great Britain’s Carl Hester acknowledges the applause after his team Grand Prix test aboard Hawtins Delicato
ridability that has led to the nickname “Mrs. Valegro,” “Freestyle” amazed even her rider with a scopey test that belied the fact that this was only the mare’s sixth Grand Prix. Right behind his famous protégé was Carl Hester with another new horse for Team GB, the 10-year-old Hanoverian gelding Hawtins Delicato (Diamond Hit x Regazzoni). The British team was rounded out by Spencer Wilton on the 15-year-old Hanoverian gelding Super Nova II (by De Niro 6) and Emile Faurie on the 11-year-old Oldenburg gelding Dono di Maggio (Dimaggio x Santander H).
fortunately Great Britain’s Spencer Wilton withdrew Super Nova II. In a statement, Wilton said that “the horse is not feeling 100 percent after getting excited in yesterday’s medal ceremony.” The remaining 29 starters rode in reverse order of their Grand Prix placings, meaning that the top pairs were last to go. Ill-timed spooks—at nearly the same point in the test, right in front of the judge at C, in the transition from collected walk to piaffe at G—derailed both Peters’ and Lyle’s Grand Prix Special tests. Both unfortunately finished at the bottom of the class, with scores of 69.073 percent and 69.043 percent, respectively. As she had predicted, Perry-Glass moved up in the standings in the Special. Her score of 78.541 percent put her in sixth place, with Dublet showing even greater power and engagement than he had in the team Grand Prix test. But the Special, as anticipated, was a shootout between Werth and Graves for the gold, with a handful of competitors battling for bronze. A clearly ecstatic Patrik Kittel of Sweden raised the bar with his score of 79.726 aboard the
Ladies First The dressage team medalists probably weren’t out late celebrating, as the first individual competition got under way the next morning. The top 30 finishers from the Grand Prix advanced to the Grand Prix Special, which in the WEG format awards its own individual medals in addition to serving as a qualifier for the second and final individual competition, the Grand Prix Freestyle. All 12 team medalists qualified for the Special, but un-
28 November 2018 • USDF CONNECTION
UNLIMITED PROMISE: Only nine years old, Mount St. John Freestyle put Team Great Britain and Charlotte Dujardin back on the medal podiums, winning team and Grand Prix Special bronze medals
BELLA BELLA: Calling Bella Rose her dream horse, Germany’s Isabell Werth dominated the dressage competition, winning both team and GP Special gold medals
DREAM REALIZED: Sweden’s Patrik Kittel is exuberant after his fifthplace GP Special finish aboard Well Done de la Roche CMF
10-year-old Bavarian Warmblood mare Well Done de la Roche CMF (Furstentraum x Walt Disney). Next in the U.S. Trust Arena and last to go for the USA, Graves thrilled spectators with what we’ve come to expect from Verdades: four-on-the-floor power, with great accuracy and arenaeating extensions, for a score of 81.717 percent. Rothenberger and Cosmo put in a fabulous test that couldn’t quite
catch Graves’ effort, scoring 81.277 for fourth place. As they have before in international competition, the medal placings came down to Dujardin and Werth. Behaving like a seasoned pro, nine-year-old Freestyle gave such a harmonious, making-it-look-easy performance that her rider clapped her hands to her head in amazement after her final salute. Dujardin’s score of 81.489 put her right behind
Lipizzan photo by John Borys
The Legend in Your Future
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2018 Recap and Results
photo by John Borys
Pluto VI Andorella
Pluto Virtuosa 47
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SPEECHLESS: Charlotte Dujardin reacts after Mount St. John Freestyle’s bronze-medal-winning GP Special performance
EXULTATION: No words necessary to express Werth’s emotions after finishing the Grand Prix Special
Graves—and had the audience abuzz with excitement at what this mare might be capable of in two years’ time.
Last to go was Werth. In what was obviously a ride of a lifetime, Bella Rose danced with lightness and elegance, eliciting appreciative murmurs from the audience. “When she started to trot, I said, wow, she wants to go,” Werth said afterward. “The half-passes, I think they couldn’t be better. The piaffe-passage, it’s so easy. The charisma and the lightness—it makes the rider really happy to have such a horse.” As Bella Rose turned down center line for her final piaffe-passage tour, Werth couldn’t hold back the smile. After the final halt, she lifted her chin skyward, eyes closed, as if shutting out the clamor and the crowd to savor this longhoped-for moment with the mare she called her dream horse. As they had after the Grand Prix, the tears flowed freely down Werth’s cheeks as she left the arena, and again when she stepped onto the gold-medal podium, having not just bested but trounced her competitors with a Special score of 86.246 percent. The only thing that marred an otherwise perfect day for Werth was the knowledge that her longtime benefactor, 77-year-old Madeleine Winter-Schulze, who owns Bella
30 November 2018 • USDF CONNECTION
SPORTSMANSHIP: A kind gesture from Grand Prix Special silver medalist Laura Graves (left) to the emotional gold medalist, Isabell Werth
JENNIFER BRYANT; SHANNON BRINKMAN
Germany’s Golden Girls
TIGHT CONNECTIONS: Inability to reschedule the dressage horses’ departure contributed to the cancellation of the Grand Prix Freestyle. The 2018 WEG was the world’s biggest equine airlift, with 550 horses flying to the US on specially designed Emirates SkyCargo B-777s.
Rose and numerous other mounts of Werth’s both past and present, had fallen and broken her femur in the stabling area the previous day and was hospitalized following surgery. Impatient to leave the post-competition press conference to visit Winter-Schulze, Werth said she was eager to celebrate the gold medal with her patron, whom she reported was in good spirits and doing well.
FEI/DIRK CAREMANS; JENNIFER BRYANT
Onshore Flo One of the hottest tickets at a WEG is dressage’s finale, the individual Grand Prix Freestyle. The prospect of seeing the top 15 pairs in the world dance to music is catnip to fans, and Graves’ and Dujardin’s announcement after the Special that they would be unveiling new freestyles to brand-new music (so new, in fact, that both riders said they’d just received their music CDs the previous day) upped the anticipation level even more. But the morning of the Special, September 14, Hurricane Florence had made landfall on the North Carolina coast. Even after it was downgraded to a tropical storm, the slow-moving Florence still had plenty of wind and was dumping record-setting rainfall as it made its way inland— with a predicted turn to the north that would have it passing over the TIEC and the Tryon area the morning of Sunday, September 16, right at the time of the freestyle class. Organizers were in a tough spot. There were four more FEI disciplines and an entire second week of WEG competition yet to come, with tightly choreographed horse departures and arrivals. Most of the dressage horses were scheduled to ship out Monday, September 17, the “dark day” of no scheduled competition between weeks 1 and 2. Gribbons estimated that she spent Saturday, September 15 in about 10 hours’ worth of meetings with WEG dressage technical delegate Cara Whitham, FEI Dressage Veterinary Commission president Dr. Mike Tomlinson, head WEG organizer Mark Bellissimo, and FEI officials, trying to find a way for the show to go on. Reached at home after the WEG, Gribbons said in a phone interview that “We tried every option.”
HERE COMES FLO: Newly arrived para-equestrian competitors school as Tropical Storm Florence’s storm clouds begin to roll in
Chefs d’équipe rejected the idea of rescheduling for the same day that horses would ship out—“totally understandable,” she said. They explored the option of relocating the freestyle to the indoor venue that had been used for the reining competition, “but we just could not get the footing right. We tried, or rather Mr. Bellissimo tried, to get a plane on Tuesday,” but he was unable to do so, Gribbons said. (Efforts to contact Bellissimo for comment were unsuccessful.) All the while, of course, “we were watching the weather. When was it supposed to be the worst? Sunday morning. And it was: It poured buckets.” As it turned out, “we could have ridden Sunday night” because the rain had let up, “but that’s not what the weather report said.” Ultimately, said Gribbons, the go/no-go decision came down to herself as head of the ground jury, along with Whitham and Tomlinson. As disappointed dressage fans know, the freestyle was cancelled. Although she called making the announcement an agonizing moment, Gribbons said that she is content with the decision to cancel. “If we had gone on and something happened, either with the footing indoors or in the rain or with the shipping, God help us.”
Unfinished Business Besides being the most weather-affected Games in recent memory if not in the event’s entire 28-year history, the Tryon WEG will be remembered—with varying degrees of admiration or dismay—as a not-quite-ready-for-prime-time event. Horses schooled in manicured arenas with earth movers rumbling behind them, and spectators occasionally had to pick their way around construction debris. But it was evident that horses were tops on organizers’ priority list, with key infrastructure—stabling and footing—installed first and such niceties as tables and chairs in the press center arriving barely under the wire (although Bellissimo took heat for not having promised grooms’ accommodations ready in time, and issued a public letter of apology). As any dressage competitor will attest, a lot can be forgiven if the footing and the stabling are top-notch. “It’s wonUSDF CONNECTION
derful,” Adrienne Lyle said of TIEC at a pre-competition press conference. “The stabling is great: It’s well thought out, there’s plenty of air, and every stall has its own fan. [There are] big matted aisles. We’re right next to the schooling arenas. Everything’s nicely condensed; we’re not running all around the property. The footing is great. It’s amazing what they’ve built for this; it’s really impressive-looking.” Asked whether the horses were bothered by the construction sights and sounds, Lyle said no. ““These horses are used to a lot; they’ve traveled the world to many, many venues,” she said.
WEG Team Dressage Results
Gold Medal: Germany Isabell Werth/Bella Rose..................................... 84.829 Sönke Rothenberger/Cosmo............................... 81.444 Jessica von Bredow-Werndl/TSF Dalera BB.......... 76.677 Dorothee Schneider/Sammy Davis Jr.................. (75.062) G
Team Total 242.950
Silver Medal: USA Laura Graves/Verdades....................................... 81.537 Kasey Perry-Glass/Goerklintgaards Dublet.......... 76.739 Adrienne Lyle/Salvino......................................... 74.860 Steffen Peters/Suppenkasper............................. (73.494) S
Team Total 233.136
Bronze Medal: Great Britain Charlotte Dujardin/Mount St. John Freestyle...... 77.764 Carl Hester/Hawtins Delicato.............................. 77.283 Spencer Wilton/Super Nova II............................. 74.581 Emile Faurie/Dono di Maggio............................ (72.795) B
Team Total 229.628
32 November 2018 • USDF CONNECTION
Jennifer Bryant is the editor of USDF Connection. Note: Coverage of the para-equestrian dressage competition, which took place during week 2 of the WEG, will appear in next month’s issue.
CONSTRUCTION ZONE: Edward Gal of the Netherlands schools Glock’s Zonik N.O.P. as work on the WEG venue goes on in the background
Gribbons praised the facility, the officials, and the organizers. “Weather has been the major culprit for these Games, not lack of organization,” she said. “The footing was fabulous.” She said that, despite the TIEC’s roughness around the edges, “nobody was snarky about this because the horse part was perfect.” In fact, instead of viewing the 2018 WEG as a failure to deliver, some in attendance expressed hopes that the TIEC will host again, this time in all its promised, completed glory. “That place is going to be unbelievable when they finish it,” said Gribbons. “I think they should put it back here, soon! I think they should have a second chance because this [WEG] was really good.” But will there be a next time? The 2014 WEG was a financial loss and so marred by organizational headaches that many afterward said that the only way forward is to abolish the WEG format and to return to individual-discipline world championships. With event cancellations and the numerous construction problems it seems probable that the 2018 WEG will finish in the red, as well, and outcry over the series of missteps involved in the endurance competition included renewed calls for an end to the WEG as we know it. If that were to happen, it might be a decision that equestrian enthusiasts would come to regret, said Gribbons. “I always thought that the World Games were much more fun than the Olympics, which are so enormous, with so much else going on,” she said. “The  London Olympics were wonderful, but I have been to many Olympics that were pretty awful, even just as a spectator.” Gribbons pointed out that equestrian sports’ future in the Olympics is always tenuous, with their high costs and comparatively low spectator appeal. The discipline rules are continually tweaked “to make us fit” the Olympic format, she pointed out, and the International Olympic Committee doesn’t see horse sport as a team sport—“and it isn’t.” “So if we don’t keep the WEG, and someday the Olympics tell us they have changed the sport into something we don’t recognize any more, or they just don’t want us any more, we are going to be in trouble not having WEG.” Tryon 2022? s
WEG Week 1 in Photos Enjoy these scenes from the first week of the FEI World Equestrian Games Tryon 2018.
CAMARADERIE: Sharing a laugh after the dressage horse inspection were dressage and para-dressage WEG discipline manager Thomas Baur, dressage ground-jury member Hans-Christian Matthiesen, dressage ground-jury president Anne Gribbons, and dressage technical delegate Cara Whitham HONOR ROLE: Dressage competitor Laura Graves was chosen by her USA teammates to carry the flag during the WEG opening ceremony
REDBAYSTOCK.COM; FEI PHOTO; JENNIFER BRYANT
MASTER OF CEREMONIES: Tryon Equestrian Partners’ Mark Bellissimo, who spearheaded the 2018 WEG, speaks at the opening ceremony
HOME SWEET BARN: Grooms and officials relax outside the Team USA dressage stables at the Tryon International Equestrian Center
TRYON’S MASCOT: “Morris,” the Tryon horse, is the town symbol and is a replica of the 1928 original built by Tryon Toy Makers for a parade
GUINEA PIG: Olivia LaGoy-Weltz of the USA receives congratulations after completing the Grand Prix test ride aboard her Dutch Warmblood gelding, Lonoir (De Noir 3 x Loran)
IN GOOD HANDS: Dressage ringmaster Pedro Cebulka (who’s known for his fanciful hats and occasionally attention-getting outfits) shares a laugh with FEI dressage chief steward Elisabeth Williams
MAKE WAY: A groom had to lead the fractious KWPN stallion Apache (UB 40 x Krack C), ridden by Dutch team member Emmelie Scholtens, to the stadium entrance, unclipping the lead shank while in full-tilt trot
HORSE TOWN: Downtown Tryon gift shop featured dressage and equine art
34 November 2018 • USDF CONNECTION
GERMAN VIPS: Isabell Werth’s sponsor Madeleine Winter-Schulze (left) watches the competition with German dressage-team trainer Monica Theodorescu
FIGHTING STALLIONS: This sculpture by Thomas Humphries, made entirely of recycled scrap metal, greeted spectators at the WEG entrance
SUPPORT SYSTEM: Steffen Peters warms up Suppenkasper under the watchful eyes of (from left) technical advisor Robert Dover, dressage developing coach Debbie McDonald, equine therapist Doug Hannum, horse owner Akiko Yamazaki, groom Eddie Garcia, and US dressageteam veterinarian Dr. Cricket Russillo
EVERYTHING WEG: Mega merchandise tent in the vendor village
LEAVING THEIR MARK: The FEI’s large trade-fair booth featured a full-length wall labeled Perform As One, with discipline icons and crayons for coloring and signing. Above middle, a mother and daughter sign the wall. Above, wall detail with dressage icon.
GLAD HANDS: Swedish dressage chef d’équipe Bo Jenå prepares to applaud a performance from the “kiss and cry” area
WAITING HIS TURN: The legendary British para-equestrian Sir Lee Pearson, who competed in week 2 of the WEG, watches the Grand Prix Special
ON TO EVENTING: On cross-country day, two fans leave no doubt as to whom they’re rooting for
36 November 2018 • USDF CONNECTION
WORK IN PROGRESS: An eventing competitor clears the penultimate cross-country obstacle, flanked by construction equipment (top). The galloping lane led into the U.S. Trust Arena for the final fence (above). The course and footing received accolades from competitors.
MEET AND GREET: The morning after the GP Special, US dressageteam members Steffen Peters, Adrienne Lyle, Kasey Perry-Glass, and Laura Graves signed autographs and chatted with fans outside the US Equestrian/USDF booth in the vendor village
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www.usdf.org YOUR CONNECTION TO DRESSAGE EDUCATION • COMPETITION • ACHIEVEMENT
Through the Years USDF celebrates its 45th anniversary BY JENNIFER O. BRYANT
t started the way most revolutions do: with discontent. The year was 1972. The Vietnam War was wearing on. In February, President Richard Nixon made history with his groundbreaking visit to Communist China. Early in September, the Munich Olympic Games were forever tarnished when members of an Arab terrorist group invaded the Olympic Village and killed eleven Israeli athletes. Later that month, on September 16, 26 dressage enthusiasts from the Midwest and the East Coast gathered in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, to complain about the American Horse Shows Association’s (AHSA, now known as US Equestrian) tepid regard for dressage. “AHSA has not done enough for dressage to date,” the late Col. Donald W. Thackeray (a four-discipline-licensed FEI judge who at the time was a member of the AHSA Dressage Committee and the director of the United States Equestrian Team) said in his opening remarks, according to the meeting minutes. “It is the American Horse Shows Association, not just the American Horse Association. It covers a widespread number of interests. Dressage needs a different approach.” “Perhaps the Dressage magazine [the late Ivan Bezugloff Jr.’s publication, launched in July 1971] can be the official voice of the committee,” Thackeray mused. Then, the punch line: “Perhaps if there was a separate dressage organization, it could implement the AHSA [Dressage] Committee’s work.”
them to send designated representatives to a meeting for one or two days.” He suggested holding the meeting in a central location, such as Chicago. “Perhaps we could have a meeting in Nebraska,” said Nebraska Dressage Association and Central States Dressage and Combined Training Association representative Lowell Boomer, “as it is the center of the country.” Other attendees agreed with Meredith that a new national dressage organization should have some sort of “umbrella” structure. “If you have an organization with individual membership, it is just another organization,” said AHSA Dressage Committee member and Northern Ohio Dressage Association representative Emmy Temple. “We need a federation of existing organizations.” The Michigan group decided to send its meeting minutes to its fellow dressage supporters in California, with a
“We need a central point for obtaining knowledge and help,” said the late Violet Hopkins, a Midwest Dressage Association (MDA) representative who would go on to found the forerunner to the USDF FEI-Level Trainers Conferences. But “local organizations should retain their autonomy,” she added. “Need a mother club for local organizations?” asked future USDF president Kay Meredith, then of the Ohio Valley Combined Training Association. (How many of those local dressage organizations were there at the time? The Michigan assemblage wasn’t sure. Estimates ranged from 22 to 30.) “A national organization could lay out plans for regions,” suggested the MDA’s Irving “Red” Duffy. “We should approach all organizations and interested individuals and ask
38 November 2018 • USDF CONNECTION
A 1972 sketch of how a “United States Dressage Organization” would fit in to the equestrian scheme
COURTESY OF USDF
A “Mother Club”
Founding members Jack Fritz and Lazelle Knocke. Knocke would go on to become USDF’s fourth president. Her predecessor, Lowell Boomer, is at the podium.
At the 1976 USDF convention: (from left) Kay Meredith, who became president in ’77; Ivan Bezugloff Jr., USDF’s first treasurer; and outgoing president Stephen Schwartz
request that the West Coasters hold an idea-gathering session of their own and report back. The goal: hold an official organizational meeting in February 1973.
had to be constructed prior to that date—and work in earnest began following the February 1973 gathering in Lincoln. On March 8, 1973, Boomer, in his role as acting secretary-treasurer, issued USDF’s first press release, announcing the group’s intention to establish a dressage federation. “In essence, the USDF will seal a framework in which individuals can progress with their horses and be rewarded for it; in the process, the general understanding of dressage will be improved,” he wrote. Boomer continued: “A pro tem Board of Governors consisting of representatives from 19 local and regional groups, and chaired by Mr. Stephen H. Schwartz of California… elected a Committee of Five and charged it with the responsibility of launching the Federation.” The press release instructed clubs with a minimum of 25 dues-paying members to apply for USDF membership by filing their bylaws or procedures. The Board of Governors also intended to create “Individual Member-at-Large” and “Contributing Member” membership categories. Each local club would be assessed an “initiation fee” of $25, to be followed by annual dues of $1 per member. Individual members-at-large (now called participating members) would pay $15 a year. Dressage editor Bezugloff ’s description of the planned USDF governance structure will sound familiar to any modern USDF member. “It shall have a Board of Governors that will comprise one representative from each member organization, as well as one representative of the individual members, elected by them from their own midst (if there will be more than 25 such members), to represent their voice and interest,” Bezugloff wrote in the April 1973 issue. He continued: “Since the Board of Governors will, with time, become a rather large body, it was decided that an Executive Committee, comprising seven members, shall be elected by the Board from among its members.” “In general,” Bezugloff concluded, “…prospects for success of the new organization are bright. It should, however, be remembered that only a very little step has been taken thus far, and only a façade was created. It will take a com-
On to Lincoln
USDF FILE PHOTO
An early 1973 issue of The Chronicle of the Horse magazine contained a display advertisement billed as “A Report to You from the Temporary Committee on National Dressage Activities,” summoning “all who are interested in the advancement of Dressage” to the Radisson Cornhusker Hotel in Lincoln, Nebraska, February 17 and 18. Those planning to attend were asked to RSVP to Lowell Boomer. “It is hoped that every Dressage organization in the country will send representatives who are authorized to act for their groups….It is most important that you have a voice in creating this organization,” the notice read. Seventy dressage enthusiasts, from New England to California, answered the call (see “The Founding Members” on page 41). Nineteen of those were “official delegates” of their home dressage clubs. The organizational meeting made the February 21, 1973 issue of The Lincoln Star. In the story “Lincoln Hosts Organizational Meeting for National Dressage Federation,” the Star reported that the meeting was chaired by the late John H. (“Jack”) Fritz, of South Orange, New Jersey. Attendees created a temporary executive committee—Melanie Lofholm, Margarita (“Migi”) Serrell, Lillian Zimmerman, Sally O’Connor, and Lowell Boomer—who “will be in charge of developing the structure of the new organization, assigning responsibilities, establishing the bylaws, and taking care of incorporation. The Federation’s temporary headquarters is in Lincoln.”
A Federation Takes Shape The USDF dates its official anniversary to November 1973, which was when its first business meeting (now the annual convention) was held. Its organizational framework, of course,
bined effort on the part of the American dressage commuSTAFF nity as a whole to put something solid behind this façade, so that it will not fall down with the first gust of wind….It is important that all of us join this organization, so as to assure a bright future for America’s dressage!”
USDF Gets Official The framework was in place, but, as Ivan Bezugloff had reported, USDF was largely “a façade” following the February 1973 meeting. Now the tasks of electing officers, writing bylaws, incorporating, and making action plans remained. The inaugural business meeting was held November 10 and 11, 1973, again in Lincoln. As he had offered to do, Bezugloff devoted space in Dressage magazine for USDF news. The December 1973 issue carried his report on the meeting. According to the report, 50-plus dressage enthusiasts representing 22 clubs attended what was “the founding and working meeting of the Federation.” During the busy two days, they
What’s in a Name?
id you know that the USDF wasn’t originally called the
USDF? According to a report published in Dressage magazine by editor the late Ivan I. Bezugloff Jr., the delegates at the February 1973 founding meeting briefly USDF founding member and considered naming the organization The Dressage former American Dressage Community. Then they set- Institute president Margarita “Migi” Serrell in 1978 tled on American Dressage Federation. There was just one sticking point: the similarity to the name of an existing organization, the American Dressage Institute, which at the time was a nationally known educational organization headquartered in Saratoga Springs, New York. ADI president Margarita “Migi” Serrell pointed out the similarity and suggested the name United States Dressage Federation instead, according to the report. Serrell asked the delegates to put the motion about the name back on the floor, and the ADF became the USDF. (At the time, of course, the delegates could not have predicted that the American Horse Shows Association would change its own name to the United States Equestrian Federation, thereby beginning an era of USDF/USEF name confusion.)
40 November 2018 • USDF CONNECTION
adopted bylaws, established committees, and elected officers. Dr. Stephen Schwartz, president of the California Dressage Society, became USDF’s first president. The late Lazelle Knocke was elected vice president; Betsy Coester, secretary; and Bezugloff, treasurer and participating-member representative. Three regional representatives—forerunners to today’s nine regional directors—also were chosen: Sally O’Connor, Eastern; Lillian Zimmerman, Central and Mountain; and Lynn Todd, Western. Lowell Boomer became USDF’s first executive secretary (now known as the executive director). USDF’s first Executive Board comprised the four officers and the three regional representatives. It was decided that officers would serve two-year terms. Nine “standing committees” that had been established prior to the November meeting were ratified: Awards and RecordKeeping, Scheduling, Education, Officials, Standards and Rules, Publicity, Membership, Breeders, and Dressage Exhibitors. As of the November meeting, 26 dressage clubs had joined USDF as “group members” (now known as groupmember organizations, or GMOs). These organizations were given the designation of charter GMO (see “The Charter GMOs” on page 44 for a list). Some of the USDF’s best-known awards were already created by the time of the November meeting, thanks to the Awards and Record-Keeping Committee. The committee announced the development of the following awards, with the plan of presenting the inaugural round of honors in 1974: • Bronze, silver, and gold rider medals, each requiring two scores of 60 percent or better at the respective levels • Horse of the Year awards for “Levels I, II, III, IV and International,” each requiring a minimum achievement of a 55-percent average at three shows and under three different judges • Trainer awards, based on Horse of the Year award scores, with the trainer of the horse with the highest average percentage being named Trainer of the Year. The committee also established USDF recognition of American Horse Shows Association-recognized (now licensed) dressage shows, available for a $5 fee. In March 1974, Bezugloff printed and mailed the Federation’s first member publication, the quarterly USDF Bulletin newsletter. (In a nod to history, the USDF-news section of USDF’s current member magazine is called “USDF Bulletins.”) In his president’s message in that issue, Schwartz stated that his first priority for the fledgling organization was “establishing show scheduling procedures at the regional level….The goal is to classify and schedule dressage shows on a local, regional and national basis.” Schwartz also wanted to partner with the American Dressage Institute in “bringing educators to and developing
USDF FILE PHOTO
The Founding Members
isted below, from the “Official Roster of Registrants” at the February 1973 founding meeting of USDF, are the names and club affiliations of the 70 dressage enthusiasts who traveled to Lincoln, Nebraska, to form our country’s national dressage organization. June Adams (Midwest Dressage Assn., Illinois Dressage Assn.*) Karen Anderson (Heart of America Dressage Assn.*) Oscar Babcock (Florida Dressage Society) Gail Batten (Nebraska Dressage Assn.) Barbara Beck (California Dressage Society) Ivan Bezugloff Jr. (Dressage magazine) Gladys Boomer (Nebraska Dressage Assn.) Lowell Boomer (Nebraska Dressage Assn.*, Central States Dressage and Combined Training Assn.) Mrs. Charles Bruckman (Nebraska Dressage Assn.) Rikki Bruckman (Nebraska Dressage Assn.) Betsy Coester (American Dressage Institute) Hardin Crawford III (Delaware Valley Combined Training Assn., Eastern States Dressage Assn., Potomac Valley Dressage Assn., Long Island Combined Training Assn., AHSA*) Mrs. Hardin Crawford III (Eastern States Dressage Assn.) Glenn Cudmore (CADORA, Central States Dressage and Combined Training Assn.) Mary Dodd (Equestrians Inc.*) Col. Clarence Edmonds (Potomac Valley Dressage Assn.) Erna (Mrs. Clarence) Edmonds (Potomac Valley Dressage Assn.) Bruce Fells (Nebraska Dressage Assn.) Pamela Fitzwilliams (New England Dressage Assn.*) Lorna Forbes (Delaware Valley CTA*) John Fritz (Eastern States Dressage Assn.) Margaret Fuller (American Dressage Institute) Elwood E. Geissler (Eastern States Dressage Assn.*, Long Island DCTA*) Jinx Goodwin (Midwest Dressage Assn.) Charles Grant (Midwest Dressage Assn.) Carole (Mrs. Charles) Grant (Midwest Dressage Assn.) Sandra Howard (California Dressage Society) Betty Howett (Potomac Valley Dressage Assn.) Ann Hudson (Nebraska Dressage Assn.) Richard Hudson (Nebraska Dressage Assn.) Eloise Joyce (Nebraska Dressage Assn.) Donovan Ketzler (Nebraska Dressage Assn.) John Kimball (Florida Dressage Society*) Dan Kirtley (Indiana Dressage Society*) Lazelle Knocke (Eastern States Dressage Assn.,
PIONEERS: Delegates Hardin Crawford III, Arlene Rigdon, Chuck Grant, Migi Serrell, and Sally O’Connor at the inaugural USDF “annual meeting” in November 1973
Potomac Valley Dressage Assn., Delaware Valley CTA, American Dressage Institute) Diane Lent (Rocky Mountain Dressage Society*) Melanie Lofholm (California Dressage Society) Mrs. D.R. Martella (unaffiliated) Michael Mathews (Midwest Dressage Assn.) Mary Rose Maxwell (Rocky Mountain Dressage Soc.) Rick McConnell (Nebraska Dressage Assn.) Kay Meredith (Ohio Valley DCTA*) Karl Mikolka (New England Dressage Assn.) Carl E. Nicholson (Central States DCTA) Sally O’Connor (Potomac Valley Dressage Assn.*) Mary Jane Ostrander (Heart of America Dressage Assn.) Mykola Pawlenko (unaffiliated) Camille Penhoet (California Dressage Society) Donnan (Mrs. Michael) Plumb (Delaware Valley CTA, Long Island DCTA) Thomas Poulin (American Dressage Institute) Ronald Rigdon (Kansas City Dressage Society) Arlene Rigdon (Kansas City Dressage Society*) Elyse M. Roberts (Midwest Dressage Assn.) Mary Jean (Mrs. Palmer Jr.) Rogers (Central States DCTA*) Lisa Russell (Texas Dressage Society*) Stephen H. Schwartz (California Dressage Society*) Bonnie Sehlmeyer (Rocky Mountain Dressage Soc.) Margarita Serrell (Westchester-Fairfield Dressage Society, American Dressage Institute) Mrs. Donald Shaneyfelt (Nebraska Dressage Assn.) Joe D. Sysel (Nebraska Dressage Assn.) Hugh A. Towsley (Central States DCTA) Marianne Towsley (Central States DCTA) Max von Bluecher (Central States DCTA) Amy Wagner (Nebraska Dressage Assn.) Wendy Weil (Rocky Mountain Dressage Society) Naida Whittaker (Equestrians Inc.) Mrs. John Wofford (unaffiliated) Burnham Yates (Nebraska Dressage Assn.) Mary (Mrs. Burnham) Yates (Nebraska Dressage Assn.) Lillian Zimmerman (Midwest Dressage Assn.*). * Indicates a designated “official delegate”
45th Anniversary STAFF
USDF Milestones Inaugural USDF convention held
USDF Adult Dressage Camps established
Horse of the Year and bronze, silver and gold rider medals introduced
“L” (Learner) Education Program for Judge Training created
Instructor Certification Program founded
First Violet M. Hopkins National Seminar for Dressage Instructors held
USDF Junior/Young Rider Regional Team Championships established Technical Delegate Apprentice Program established
1992 1993 1981 1982
First United States Dressage Championships held All-Breeds Awards Program established
42 November 2018 • USDF CONNECTION
Inaugural USDF National Dressage Symposium held USDF University Program launched AHSA/USDF Regional Dressage Championships established First USDF FEI-Level Trainers’ Conference held
USDF Advanced Young Rider/Junior Rider Clinic Series begun
The 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games in Lexington, KY, the first equestrian world championships to be held outside of Europe, draw thousands of visitors to the Kentucky Horse Park and the USDF NEC
Inaugural US Dressage Finals, the first national dressage championships for Training Level through Grand Prix since the early 1980s, held at the Kentucky Horse Park
USDF Hall of Fame established
USDF Breeders’ Championship Series introduced
First Sport Horse Prospect Development Forum held
First issue of USDF Connection published
USDF “Year of the Freestyle” celebrated with National Freestyle Symposium
USDF Adult Clinic Series debuts in all nine USDF regions
USDF introduced and implemented FEI Instructor Certification Program; first exam held
USDF drafts new strategic plan
National Education Initiative established; first grants awarded
USDF signs extensive Memorandum of Understanding with US Equestrian
Relocation of USDF headquarters from Lincoln, NE, to Lexington, KY
USDF builds the USDF National Education Center at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington
Inaugural USDF Adult Amateur Equitation Regional Final classes held
USDF assumes responsibility for dressage licensed officials’ training and education
45th Anniversary educators in this country.” Education, Schwartz wrote, also STAFF should include the training of dressage judges. The USDF had formed a committee “to work on this problem,” and Schwartz promised to update members on the work of the judge-training advocate Col. Clarence Edmonds.
L Is for Learner Judge The late “Colonel Ed,” as Edmonds was affectionately known, was a retired US Air Force officer and a founding member
The Charter GMOs
he following 26 dressage clubs had joined USDF as “group members” at the time of the Federation’s inaugural business meeting in November 1973. Some have since disbanded, changed their names, or been absorbed into other GMOs. Andover (Massachusetts) Dressage Club California Dressage Society Central States Dressage and Combined Training Association (DCTA) Deep South Dressage Association (now DCTA) Delaware Valley Combined Training Association Eastern States Dressage Association (now DCTA) Equestrians’ Institute (Washington state) Florida Dressage Society Illinois Dressage Association (now DCTA) Indiana Dressage Association (now Society) International Equestrian Organization (Pennsylvania) Kansas City Dressage Society Long Island Dressage and Combined Training Association Midwest Dressage Association Nebraska Dressage Association New England Dressage Association Ohio Valley Dressage and Combined Training Association Oregon Dressage Society Potomac Valley Dressage Association Rocky Mountain Dressage Society St. Louis (Missouri) Area Dressage Society Texas Dressage Society (now Alamo Dressage Association) Virginia Dressage Association Westchester-Fairfield Dressage Association (New York-Connecticut) Winds Reach Dressage and Combined Training Association (now Eastern Iowa Dressage and Eventing Association) Wisconsin Dressage Association (now DCTA).
44 November 2018 • USDF CONNECTION
of the Potomac Valley Dressage Association and the USDF. In the annals of USDF history, he’s best remembered as the creator of the USDF L program. As Edmonds recalled in a 2003 interview with USDF Connection, “Since [American Dressage Institute president] Migi Serrell had ADI, offering advanced dressage instruction, she was put in charge of the upper-level judges’ training. Since I had just completed working with [the late US dressage-team coach] Bengt Ljungquist, I was put in charge of low-level judges’ training.” The program was christened the USDF “L” Education Program for Judge Training, with the candidates known as learner judges, or “L.” Over the years the program name has been shortened and the “learner” moniker has been dropped, but the L program has become arguably one of the USDF’s greatest successes. It is now the mandatory prerequisite for all prospective licensed dressage judges in the US, and it has served as the model for judge-training programs in other countries. The L program umbrella now includes provisions for auditors as well as continuing-education sessions for L graduates and licensed judges, and today the USDF is also assuming the responsibility for educating those who wish to earn dressage judges’ licenses from US Equestrian.
Training the Trainers
The October 1978 issue of Dressage & CT (the renamed Dressage magazine) contained a notice of a soon-to-be-established national seminar for dressage instructors. “The entire dressage community of the United States owes a debt of gratitude to Violet M. Hopkins, who has contributed to the advancement of the sport in this country in a substantial way through the establishment of a trust fund for the benefit of the USDF,” the news item read. “The Trust, with principal capital to come from the liquidation of Miss Hopkin’s [sic] estate, will provide an endowment for annual national seminars for dressage instructors, featuring distinguished instructors and authorities of international reputation, and organized through the USDF.” The item went on to report that Hopkins, owner of Tristan Oaks Farm in White Lake, Michigan, had agreed to advance USDF some monies with which to seed the program. “Working with Miss Hopkins on the committee to organize the first seminar are Kay Meredith, President of the USDF, and Linda Zang, Region One Representative,” the item continued. (Zang went on to become an FEI “O” [now 5*] dressage judge.) “Ten American instructors will be invited to participate in the seminar….The Violet M. Hopkins National Seminars for Dressage Instructors will become a reality in 1979!”
USDF FILE PHOTO
The 1984 USDF/Hopkins Seminar staff: (from left) Col. Aage Sommer, Maj. Anders Lindgren, Maryal Barnett, Violet Hopkins, and Sally Swift
Danish “O” judge Col. Aage Sommer led that first Hopkins seminar at Tristan Oaks, recalled dressage judge and instructor/trainer Susan Woods, of Ocala, Florida, who with husband Bill were two of the program’s early supporters. Bill Woods, who was instrumental in the seminar’s creation, served as a program instructor, is a former USDF Instructor/Trainer Council (now Committee) chair, and helped to establish the USDF Instructor/Trainer Program with its certification of dressage instructors. The Hopkins seminars eventually grew too large for the Tristan Oaks facility. For two years, the event was held at the University of Nebraska. Col. Sommer had brought the late Maj. Anders Lindgren of Sweden into the fold as a clinician, and in 1983 Lindgren began conducting USDF Regional Instructors Seminars, according to Susan Woods. “By 1986,” Woods recalled in a 2001 letter, “the demand had grown to the point that Col. Sommer and Maj. Lindgren selected four veterans of multiple National and Regional Seminars—Maryal Barnett, Bill Woods, Susan Woods, and Mary Flood—to conduct USDF-sanctioned Regional Instructors Workshops.” From there, the focus of the effort to educate dressage instructors took a detour that would become instructor certification. As Susan Woods recalled, “By 1985, Maj. Lindgren had begun to see the need to start developing some kind of goal for Seminar and Workshop participants, either some kind of testing or certification that would recognize their skills. After two years of discussion, Bill Woods was contacted by Lowell Boomer and asked to present a certification proposal at the 1987 convention in Seattle. At that time, the concept was to certify instructors who had worked through the Regional Workshops and Seminars, with final examinations to take place at the National Seminar.” That proposal was defeated, but a reworked initiative passed in 1988. It was created by a USDF Instructor/Trainer Council subcommittee chaired by Carol Alm, an employee of a Nebraska-based think tank who later became a USDF
Certification examiners Lendon Gray (left) and Michael Poulin (right) flank USDF Instructor/Trainer Council chair Bill Woods at the 1990 “mock testing” in Florida
Certification examiners at the mock testing. Back row, from left: Bill Woods, Lendon Gray, Lilo Fore. Front row, from left: Carole Grant Oldford, Betsy Steiner, Carol Alm, then-USDF president Lazelle Knocke, Gerhard Politz.
executive director. Alm’s subcommittee members were Bill Woods; FEI-level trainers and riders Michael Poulin, Liselotte “Lilo” Fore, and Lendon Gray, all three of whom later became certification examiners; Olympian Hilda Gurney; British Horse Society instructor Joan Harris; FEI-level trainer and competitor Gunnar Ostergaard; and judge and clinician Ulrich Schmitz. After a year of ironing out details, a pilot “mock testing” session was held in Florida in 1990. The initial slate of certification examiners consisted of Poulin, Fore, Gray, Gerhard Politz, Belinda Baudin (now Nairn-Wertman), Robert Dover, the late Edgar Hotz, Carole Grant Oldford, and Betsy Steiner. Proponents of certification argued that the systems of educating and licensing equestrian professionals in Germany and elsewhere help to ensure quality training of dressage horses and riders that hews to classical standards. Other than in horse racing, however, horse-trainer and riding-instructor licensing has never become mandatory in the US, and USDF’s certification program has endured criticism over the years as too expensive and too difficult, among others. But the program has survived and adapted, and it was cited as the model when the US Eventing Association instituted USDF CONNECTION
45th Anniversary its own instructor-certification program. For years offering STAFF certification only through Fourth Level, the USDF program now certifies instructor/trainers through the FEI levels; and the designation of “honorary instructors” who have demonstrated mastery of dressage training, teaching, and riding has broadened the pool and added marquee value. At the same time that certification was gaining momentum, attendance at the USDF/Hopkins Seminars began to dwindle, according to Susan Woods. Yet supporters believed that giving instructors and trainers the opportunity to learn from the world’s best—and then to pass that knowledge on to their own students—was too important to abandon altogether. In the early 1990s, Lowell Boomer, then USDF employee Beth Wood, Maj. Lindgren, Bill and Susan Woods, and then USDF Region 3 director and Instructor/ Trainer Council coordinator Charlotte Trentelman devel-
oped the idea of a national symposium. The inaugural event was held in Orlando in 1991, with Maj. Lindgren and Swedish dressage judge Eric Lette presenting. The USDF National Dressage Symposium, as it became known, over time evolved into more of a mainstream educational event aimed at the general USDF membership, not just dressage pros. In 2002, USDF commemorated its “Year of the Freestyle” with the first-ever (and to date never repeated) National Freestyle Symposium, led by British judge Jennie Loriston-Clarke, US Olympian Debbie McDonald, and several noted freestyle designers. In 2003, the symposium format changed from a stand-alone event to dovetailing with the USDF annual convention. Received enthusiastically at first—and featuring such luminaries over the years as Kyra Kyrklund, Jan Brink, Ingrid Klimke, and Lisa Wilcox with Ernst Hoyos—the convention/symposium format gradually
ince 1996, USDF has recognized extraordinary contributions to American dressage and to the USDF on a national or regional/local scale with induction into the Roemer Foundation/USDF Hall of Fame, the USDF Lifetime Achievement Award, and the USDF Member of Distinction award. Learn more at usdf.org/ halloffame. Roemer Foundation/ USDF Hall of Fame 1996 Lowell Boomer 1997 Chuck Grant Gifted Keen 1998 Violet Hopkins Col. Bengt Ljungquist Col. Donald W. Thackeray 2000 Capt. John Fritz Lt. Col. Hans Moeller Graf George
2001 Maj. Gen. Guy V. Henry Jr. Jessica Newberry Ransehousen 2002 Ivan I. Bezugloff Jr. Kyra Downton Col. Hiram Tuttle 2003 Maj. Anders Lindgren Karl Mikolka Margarita “Migi” Serrell
2009 Linda Zang Brentina 2011 Lendon Gray 2012 Michael Poulin Ravel 2013 Charles de Kunffy Anne Gribbons
2004 Capt. Andrew Bela de Szinay Dr. Max Gahwyler
2016 Lilian Wittmack Roye Rocher
2005 Seldom Seen
2017 Liselotte “Lilo” Fore
2006 Maj. Robert Borg Sarah “Sally” Swift Roemer
USDF Lifetime Achievement Award 2002 Lazelle Knocke Elizabeth “Liz” Searle
2007 Maj. Gen. Jonathan Burton 2003 Hilda Gurney Peter Lert Edgar Hotz Marianne Ludwig 2008 Fiona Baan 2004 Robert Dover Kay Meredith
46 November 2018 • USDF CONNECTION
2005 Col. Clarence Edmonds 2007 Ellin Dixon Miller 2010 John “Jack” Kimball Judith Noone 2013 Marilyn Heath 2014 Maryal Barnett Janine Malone 2015 Lloyd Landkamer 2016 Samuel Barish USDF Member of Distinction 2016 Janne Rumbough 2017 Winnie Heiney-Duncan Lois Heyerdahl 2018 Priscilla Endicott Sue Hughes Martha McDaniel Mary Anne McPhail
waned in popularity, with detractors citing the often-wintry locales and the longer periods of time required away from home and barn as barriers to attendance. The national symposium was discontinued in 2012 and as of this writing has not been revived. What has survived, however, is the “train the trainers” concept behind the old Hopkins seminars. In 1993, then USDF certification examiner Michael Poulin advanced the concept of an intensive educational event for trainers. Poulin’s idea paved the way for the USDF FEI-Level Trainers Conference, which debuted in 1994 with Kyra Kyrklund as the clinician. As its name suggests, the Trainers Conference is geared toward dressage pros, although broadened attendance criteria mean that many adult amateurs and youth are eligible, as well. Conferences are held annually on the East or West Coasts— sometimes both in the same year—although Florida during the winter show season has been the most regular site. Usually with “through the levels” demonstrations by top horses and riders, conferences are conducted by one or more A-list trainers, judges, or both. Besides Kyrklund, Hubertus Schmidt, Christoph Hess, Stephen Clarke, Johann Hinnemann, Klaus Balkenhol, Lilo Fore, Steffen Peters, Scott Hassler, and HansChristian Matthiesen all are past presenters.
Education for All
Along with its high-profile programs for dressage trainers and would-be judges, the USDF over the years developed numerous other educational opportunities targeted at various membership segments. USDF Adult Dressage Camps started in 1989, and in 2003 were replaced by the USDF
Adult Clinic Series (which itself was supplanted in 2017 by the USDF National Education Initiative). The year 1990 saw the launch of the USDF Technical Delegate Apprentice Program. TD education continues today and remains a cornerstone of the USDF conventionweekend lineup. Another program aimed primarily at adult amateurs and youth, USDF University, began in 1993. Participants receive “University credits” for attending accredited educational events and can earn certificates and recognition. The USDF, which fields the US dressage teams for the FEI North American Youth Championships, also has a long-standing tradition of providing educational opportunities to juniors and young riders. The USDF Advanced Young Rider/Junior Rider Clinic Series (now Junior/Young Rider Clinic Series), conducted by well-known instructors, debuted in 1996. USDF Youth Outreach Clinics, for “grass roots” riders, launched in 2017. The magazine you’re reading made its debut in 1999. Feeling that it had outgrown its USDF Bulletin newsletter, beginning in 1994 the USDF partnered with two consumermagazine publishers in succession that for a time produced USDF’s official publications, Dressage Today and Dressage & CT, respectively. After corporate mergers led to the shuttering of D&CT in 1998, the USDF decided to take charge of its own member magazine and launched USDF Connection. As the world increasingly turned to the Internet and digital media for information and entertainment, the USDF followed suit. In 2010 it added a multimedia educational database called eTRAK to the USDF website. Today USDF Renew YouR MeMbeRship (p. 19) ● Convention pReview (p. 26)
USDF CONNECTION U S D F. O R G
Official Publication of the United States Dressage Federation
Life Hacks: Dressage Edition (p. 38) Sneak Peek: New USDF Freestyle Tests
Dawn White-O’Connor and Bailarino
Lebanon Junction, KY Permit # 559
NONPROFIT ORG. U.S. Postage
CONNECTING MEMBERS: USDF-published member publications through the years, from the quarterly USDF Bulletin (pictured: the winter 1978 issue) to the glossy USDF Connection
members can also read USDF Connection as a digital edition. STAFF A new online portal is under construction for a 2019 launch.
The year 2013 saw the debut of the US Dressage Finals, a national head-to-head dressage championships for adult amateurs and open riders. Because competitors qualify for the Finals through their USDF Regional Dressage Championships, one might assume that “Regionals” were USDF’s first championships endeavor. In fact, long before there were regional championships, there were national championships. That competition’s history—and the decades-long effort to reboot a national championships—is a tale unto itself. On the watch of then USDF president Kay Meredith, the inaugural United States Dressage Championships, sponsored by the manufacturing company Insilco Corp. (formerly the International Silver Co.), were held October 23-25, 1981, in Oklahoma City. The March 1981 issue of Dressage & CT contained a two-page announcement of the event. “Invited to compete at the Insilco United States Dressage Championships will be the top ten horses in USDF Horse of the Year final standings at each level, along with AHSA and USET [United States Equestrian Team] Regional Finals winners,” the item read. The July 1981 issue of D&CT added that “competitors will be lured to Oklahoma City by an estimated $40,000 in prize money, awards, and mileage compensation.” The championships drew 51 horses from 14 states, according to the competition report in the January 1982 issue of D&CT. “A total round-trip mileage of 128,358 was reimbursed at a rate of 15¢ per mile for a total of $19,256—a not inconsiderable budget item, reflecting management’s desire to make the trip feasible for the greatest number of competitors possible.” Winners received plaques and a total of $11,700 in cash prizes. Each participating rider and owner took home a
GROUNDBREAKING: The very first US national dressage championships were the Insilco-sponsored event in 1981
48 November 2018 • USDF CONNECTION
special Insilco paperweight containing a medal commemorating the historic event. Competitors at the national levels took part in two days of preliminary classes and a final day of ride-offs for the championship titles. Prix St. Georges, Intermediate I, Intermediate II, and Grand Prix-level competitors had to ride six-minute musical freestyles in addition to their tests. Unfortunately, the national championships lasted for just four years, from 1981 through 1984. In 1983, the event was also designated as the AHSA and the USET championships; but by 1984 the competition had become the target of controversy, and USET withdrew its association. With USET’s departure, sponsor Insilco backed out as well, and the US Dressage Championships were unable to survive. (In 1989, the USET launched its Festival of Champions multi-discipline competition, which offered national dressage championships at the Intermediaire I and Grand Prix levels. Now run under the auspices of US Equestrian, the Festival of Champions has evolved into a dressage-only event that in 2018 awarded 14 national-championship titles. But this elite competition focuses on FEI levels, and so for years there was nothing for the lower-level competitor.) The ground work for the US Dressage Finals actually began being laid in 1994 with the establishment of the AHSA/ USDF Regional Dressage Championships. Intended as a more accessible option for USDF’s open, adult-amateur, and junior/young rider members, championships were held in each of USDF’s nine regions and at levels from Training through Grand Prix. Then USDF president Ellin Dixon Miller was instrumental in getting the series recognized by the AHSA, which elevated the competitions’ profile. As the regional championships grew in size and prestige, so too did the war chest for the planned-for national championships, with a portion of each competitor’s qualifying fee going into an earmarked account. But for years the idea of a national championships still seemed dormant. Meanwhile, a different type of competition program got under way. In 1998, the USDF launched the USDF Breeders Championship Series (USDFBC) of regional competitions and finals for sport-horse breeders. The brainchild of Hanoverian breeder and then USDF secretary Janine Malone, the USDFBC series grew out of a two-competition regional breeders championships in the Northeast. There are 11 USDFBC series regions—more than the nine regular USDF regions, to lessen the distances that young horses have to travel. Champions and reserve champions in various in-hand and under-saddle divisions qualify to compete in their respective series finals for overall regional titles. During the tenure of USDF president George Williams
1976 USDF Horse of the Year award winners (from left) Hilda Gurney (who had just won Olympic team bronze aboard her Keen), Bodo Hangen, and Arlene Rigdon
“THE OLYMPICS FOR AMATEURS”: The US Dressage Finals is the most prestigious US dressage championships offering adult-amateur titles. Taking the inaugural Grand Prix Adult Amateur title in 2013 was Jennifer Huber on her Dutch Warmblood, Vito.
(and thanks in part to Williams’ dogged persistence), the longawaited national championships finally became a reality. The premiere US Dressage Finals were held in 2013—in November, so as to follow all nine Regional Championships—at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington. An immediate success, the Finals have grown each year, attracting increasing numbers of well-known professionals in addition to remaining a showcase for dressage freestyles and becoming a “bucket list” competitive goal for many adult amateurs. The Horse Park has been home to the Finals since their inception, a fact that has been the main point of criticism of the event. Many competitors from western regions want badly for the Finals location to rotate in their direction. So far, Finals organizers say, a suitable alternate venue hasn’t been found. The other bone of contention is the fact that although junior/young riders can compete in the open division, to date there is not a dedicated Jr/YR division.
SUSANJSTICKLE.COM; USDF FILE PHOTO
USDF initially gave three types of awards: rider medals, Horse of the Year awards, and Trainer of the Year awards. Trainer of the Year is no more, but the awards program itself has exploded in size in USDF’s 45 years. Here are a few of the best-known awards categories. Since 1982, breed associations and registries have offered awards for achievement at various dressage levels and divisions through the USDF All-Breeds awards program. A look at the annual USDF yearbook photos of equines ranging from Hanoverians to Haflingers, PREs to Percherons, shows that indeed riders can enjoy dressage with almost any breed. The bronze, silver, and gold rider medals—for achieve-
ment through Third Level, Prix St. Georges, and Grand Prix, respectively—remain some of USDF’s most coveted awards. Arguably the most prestigious are the USDF Horse of the Year titles, which are bestowed annually on the top-ranked horses from Training Level through Grand Prix and on the top-scoring horses in the Dressage Sport Horse Breeding and Materiale divisions.
Our New Kentucky Home
In the 1980s and 1990s, the sport of dressage in America enjoyed unprecedented growth—spurred, some say, by the achievements of the bronze-medal-winning 1976 US Olympic dressage team. By the ’90s, it was apparent that the USDF had outgrown its office space in downtown Lincoln, Nebraska, where since its founding it had been headquartered, thanks to USDF founder Lowell Boomer and his Boomer’s Printing Company. Prompted in part by the AHSA’s (now US Equestrian) decision to relocate from New York City to Lexington, Kentucky, USDF began looking east, toward the home of the Kentucky Horse Park and several other equestrian organizations. In May 2002, USDF packed its collective bags and headed to Lexington with newly hired executive director Stephan Hienzsch in tow. Only a few Lincoln-based staffers chose to make the move, so one of Hienzsch’s first duties was to recruit and hire nearly an entire office staff. While the staff settled into rented office space in a Lexington shopping mall, the USDF began to dream of a home of its own. The Kentucky Horse Park was offering a lease on a prime plot of land, next door to US Equestrian’s handsome headquarters building. A capital campaign soon kicked off to raise the construction funds, and in 2006 then USDF president Sam Barish cut the ribbon and officially opened the USDF National Education Center. The NEC is a combination office and showplace, with Horse Park visitors welcome to tour the Roemer Foundation/USDF Hall of Fame, shop in the Lendon F. Gray Bookstore, learn in the Mary Hotchkiss Williams Seminar Room, and admire the perpetual trophies and works of equine art on display. [ USDF CONNECTION
45th Anniversary ASTAFF Volunteer-Driven Organization None of those dressage enthusiasts in 1972 and 1973 was paid to attend meetings and to put in the work of founding the USDF. All were volunteers, and volunteers continue to be the backbone of the organization. Executive Board members—all volunteers. Board of Governors delegates—volunteers. Committee members, convention attendees who come to make proposals or voice opin-
ions—all volunteers. The organization is proud of its democratic tradition in which any USDF member may approach the microphone at the Board of Governors assembly at convention and be heard. Today the USDF remains as volunteer-driven as ever. With the help of a committed office staff, dressage supporters have dreamed, planned, worked, and yes, argued for 45 years, all in the name of bettering our sport in the US. s Jennifer Bryant is the editor of USDF Connection.
45 Years of Service
he USDF is grateful to the officers, regional representatives, regional directors, and at-large directors whose efforts and dedication have helped make the organization what it is today. President Stephen Schwartz Kay Meredith Lowell Boomer Lazelle Knocke Ellin Dixon Miller Sam Barish George Williams
1974-1976 1977-1982 1983-1988 1989-1993 1994-1999 2000-2009 2010-2018
Vice President Lazelle Knocke Kay Meredith Stephen Schwartz Peter Lert Lazelle Knocke Elizabeth Searle Sam Barish George Williams Melissa Creswick Beth Jenkins Lisa Gorretta
1974 1975-1976 1977-1978 1981-1982 1983-1988 1989-1996 1997-1999 2000-2009 2010 (interim) 2011-2013 2013-2018
Secretary Betsy Coester Mary Jean Rogers Jayne Ayers Elaine Kendig Ellin Dixon (Miller) Carolyn VandenBerg Joan Humphrey Janine Malone Margaret Freeman Treasurer Ivan I. Bezugloff Jr. Jayne Ayers Ruth Arvanette (assistant treasurer in 1977) Fred Earnshaw Tom Townsend Barbara Tuohino Funk Steven Schubert
1974 1975-1977 1978-1982 1983-1986 1987-1990 1991-1996 1997-2002 2003-2013 20131974-1976 1977 1978-1992 1993-1995 1996-1999 2000-2009 2010-2018
Western Representative (Western Region director as of 1976) Mary Dodd 1974-1977 Midwest Representative (Central Region director as of 1976) Lillian Zimmerman 1974-1975 Natalie Lamping 1976-1977
Eastern Representative (Eastern Region director as of 1976) Sally O’Connor 1974-1975 Lazelle Knocke 1976-1977 Region 1 Representative (Region 1 director as of 1988) Linda Zang 1978-1979 Jerry Weikert 1980-1981 Sandy Rokosz 1982-1987 Sam Barish 1988-1995 Janine Malone 1996-2001 Alison Head 2002-2010 Lisa Schmidt 2011-2016 Bettina Longaker 2017Region 2 Representative (Region 2 director as of 1988) Natalie Lamping 1978-1981 Joanna Thomas 1982 Charles Barnett 1983-1987 Verta Cole 1988-1994 Lisa Gorretta 1995-2000 Sue Hughes 2001-2009 Ken Levy 2010-2018 Region 3 Representative (Region 3 director as of 1988) Dennis Farnham 1978 John Kimball 1978-1987 Sherry Frank 1988-1989 Charlotte Trentelman 1990-1995 Pam Schwartz 1996-1998 Susan Bender 1999-2001 Sandi Bishop 2002-2010 Kimberly Taylor 2011-2013 Susan Bender 2013Region 4 Representative (Region 4 director as of 1988) Marianne Ludwig 1978-1979 Gail Wood 1980-1981 Marlene Schneider 1982-1983 Lois Arnold 1984-1987 Mary Vlazny 1988-1989 Miki Christophersen 1990-1994 Jeanne Ahrenholz 1995-2000 Linda Landers 2001-2006 Sarah Patrick 2007-2009 Lloyd Landkamer 2010-2015 Linda Landers 2015
(interim appointment following Landkamer’s death)
Region 5 Representative (Region 5 director as of 1988) Frank Hebard 1978-1983 Marcie Stimmel 1984-1985
50 November 2018 • USDF CONNECTION
Sue Malone-Casey (Regional Assistant) Lela Street Veronica Holt Jane Hendricks Janet Brown (now Foy) Theresa Hunt Heather Petersen
1984-1985 1986-1987 1988-1992 1993-1995 1996-2001 2002-2010 2011-
Region 6 Representative (Region 6 director as of 1988) Lee Ann Gibbs 1978-1979 Naida Whittaker 1980-1981 Debbie Moore 1982 Naida Whittaker 1983 Suzy Moery 1984-1989 Joyce Steinbock 1990-1994 Gail van Demoere 1995-2000 Gaye McCabe 2001-2006 Donna Longacre 2007-2015 Carolynn Bunch 2016Region 7 Representative (Region 7 director as of 1988) Sue Jones 1978-1979 J. Victor Beckett 1980-1983 Peter Lert 1984-1995 Jan Enneking Welch 1996-1997 Pat Hart 1998-2001 Melissa Creswick 2002-2004 Terry Wilson 2005-2016 Carol Tice 2017Region 8 Director (Region 8 formed in 1988) Vivien Bobo Lendon Gray Fern Feldman Debra Reinhardt
1988-1994 1995-1997 1998-2012 2013-
Region 9 Director (Region 9 formed in 1990) Rebecca Snell Sarah Jane Martin Leigh Olejer Kathryn Kyle Bess Reineman Bruton Sherry Guess
1990-1995 1996-2000 2001 2002-2007 2008-2013 2014-
Activities Council At-Large Director Lisa Gorretta 2012-2014 Susan Mandas 2014Administrative Council At-Large Director Kevin Bradbury 2012Technical Council At-Large Director Carolyn VandenBerg 2012-2017 Sue McKeown 2018-
45 Years in Pictures
Memorable moments in USDF history
FOUNDING FATHER: Lowell Boomer in an undated photo
HOPKINS SEMINAR: Lecturer Sally Swift (front) listens as Charles de Kunffy addresses seminar participants in an undated photo
EARLY BANQUET: Then Region 3 representative John “Jack” Kimball at the 1987 USDF awards banquet
MODEST BEGINNINGS: Future Olympian and US dressage technical advisor Robert Dover on Blue Monday in 1979
LOOK HOW WE’VE GROWN! Blackboard chart shows USDF’s growth in its first five years
LEADERS: Then USDF president Ellin Dixon Miller and dressage historian and judge Dr. Max Gahwyler in the 1990s
45th Anniversary STAFF
GONE TOO SOON: The late dressage-show organizer and USDF Region 4 director Lloyd Landkamer in an undated photo
SADLY MISSED: The late dressage technical delegate and former Region 5 director Veronica Holt at the 2002 convention
FAMOUS PAIR: Olympian Lendon Gray competing the stallion Idocus in 1998
52 November 2018 • USDF CONNECTION
PIONEER, AGAIN: One of USDF’s founders, the late Lazelle Knocke made history again when she was among the first two recipients of the USDF Lifetime Achievement Award. She receives her award at the 2002 convention from then USDF president Sam Barish.
LOIS STANFIELD; USDF ARCHIVE; PHELPSPHOTOS.COM; SUSAN SEXTON/USDF ARCHIVE
1998 TRAINERS CONFERENCE: Headliner Klaus Balkenhol of Germany (center) with then USDF staff members Regine ScheckSeberger and Beth Wood
45 Years in Pictures
MOVING MOMENTS: USDF Hall of Fame induction ceremonies are often emotional. In 2003, then USDF Historical Recognition Committee chair Laura Gorretta and then USDF president Sam Barish honored Maj. Anders Lindgren (center).
PARTY TIME: Former USDF president Kay Meredith, then USDF secretary Janine Malone, then US Equestrian representative Jennifer Keeler, and future USDF Administrative Council at-large director Kevin Bradbury at the 2004 USDF Salute Gala
LAUNCHING THE CAPITAL CAMPAIGN: Campaign chair Charles “Chuck” Smith gets things started at the 2004 Lexington, Kentucky, convention
45th Anniversary STAFF
WATERSHED MOMENT: USDF Executive Board members, USDF supporters, and media members attend the National Education Center opening ceremony
54 November 2018 • USDF CONNECTION
HALL OF FAME: A visitor admires the Roemer Foundation/USDF Hall of Fame displays during the National Education Center opening
USDF ARCHIVES; JENNIFER MUNSON
STRIPPING FOR DOLLARS: Then USDF president Sam Barish, USDF executive director Stephan Hienzsch, and then USDF vice president George Williams proved they’d do almost anything to raise money for the USDF capital campaign. As then USDF secretary Janine Malone looks on at the 2005 convention, the guys display their “real men” t-shirts—and then Sam takes the challenge one step further.
45 Years in Pictures
PAS DE DEUX: Costumed ride by two Southern Eventing and Dressage Association members in an undated photo
COURTESY OF SEDA; PHELPSPHOTOS.COM; JENNIFERMUNSON.COM
RIBBON-CUTTING: USDF president Sam Barish officially opens the USDF National Education Center at the Kentucky Horse Park in 2006
YOUNG RIDER STANDOUT: Decorated dressage young-rider medalist Kassandra “Kassie” Barteau (right) with mother Yvonne Barteau after a 2006 NAYRC win
ON THE JOB: Dressage trainer, judge, and philanthropist Maryal Barnett and friend in an undated photo
L PROGRAM BACKBONE: For her efforts in advancing the USDF L program, dressage judge Marilyn Heath (conducting a session in 2007) received the USDF Lifetime Achievement Award
EQUESTRIAN ATHLETE: Equilates developer and dressage pro Betsy Steiner demonstrates dressage-oriented Pilates at the 2007 convention
THE BUCKS STOP HERE: USDF senior director of operations Connie Huy and then USDF treasurer Barbara Tuohino Funk at the 2007 Orlando convention
LET’S MOVE: USDF conventions often feature early-bird exercise sessions, like this workout in Denver 2008
USDF/USEF YOUNG RIDER GRADUATE PROGRAM: 2007 participants at USET Foundation headquarters in Gladstone, New Jersey
2008 YOUTH EXECUTIVE BOARD: Members pose at the 2008 Denver convention
56 November 2018 • USDF CONNECTION
TERESA TAL; BRUCE LAWRIE; USDF ARCHIVE; JENNIFER BRYANT
45 Years in Pictures
FINISHING TOUCH: The bronze statue The Half-Pass, which graces the entrance to the USDF National Education Center, was unveiled in 2010 before that year’s World Equestrian Games. Posing for a commemorative photo were USDF FEI Junior/Young Rider Committee chair Roberta Williams, then USDF Region 1 director Alison Head, statue dressage technical advisor Kathy Connelly, sculptor Gwen Reardon, then USDF Region 9 director Bess Reineman Bruton, then USDF Region 7 director Melissa Creswick, USDF president George Williams, and USDF executive director Stephan Hienzsch.
PROMOTING EXCELLENCE: USDF National Dressage Symposia for years were held in conjunction with conventions. Swedish Olympian Jan Brink headlined the 2009 symposium in Austin, Texas.
USDF ARCHIVE; JENNIFER BRYANT; BRUCE LAWRIE
TRADE FAIR: Vendor booths were once a convention staple, with convenient timing for holiday shoppers
L PROGRAM: FEI 5* judge Gary Rockwell conducts a session
SERVICE WITH A SMILE: Many dressage VIPs serve on USDF committees, like freestyle experts Dolly Hannon and Terry Ciotti Gallo, pictured at the 2010 convention in Jacksonville, Florida
45th Anniversary STAFF
THEY BUILT IT AND WE CAME: The 2013 inaugural US Dressage Finals organizing committee: George Williams, Debra Reinhardt, Monica Fitzgerald, Lloyd Landkamer, Janine Malone, and Kevin Bradbury AUDIENCE FAVORITE: Equine-biomechanics expert Dr. Hilary Clayton’s convention education sessions are always popular
GRAND PRIX HORSE OF THE YEAR: In 2011, the Col. Thackeray trophy went to Ravel, owned by Akiko Yamazaki (left) and ridden by Steffen Peters (third from left). Presenting were USDF president George Williams (holding trophy) and year-end awards and convention sponsor Adequan® representative Allyn Mann.
58 November 2018 • USDF CONNECTION
BEFORE THEY WERE FAMOUS: Laura Graves and Verdades won the Intermediate II open championship at the inaugural US Dressage Finals in 2013
JENNIFER BRYANT; BRUCE LAWRIE; SUSANJSTICKLE.COM
LAST SYMPOSIUM: The 2011 national symposium accompanying the San Diego convention was the last one held to date. USDF executive director Stephan Hienzsch (left) and USDF Education Department manager Kathie Robertson (right) present thank-you gifts to the clinicians, the then USEF national dressage coaches: Scott Hassler, Debbie McDonald, Anne Gribbons, and Jeremy Steinberg.
45 Years in Pictures
SPORT HORSE PROSPECT DEVELOPMENT FORUM: Inaugural “bridge” education for young horses debuted in 2013 with presenter Scott Hassler (standing)
KARL LAWRENCE/USDF; CAROLE MACDONALD; JENNIFER BRYANT; JENNIFERMUNSON.COM
REUNITED: USDF founding member Sally O’Connor sits in the “lap” of founder Lowell Boomer at the 2013 Lexington convention
HOLIDAY SPARKLE: Banquet-night finery with USDF vice president Lisa Gorretta (right), sister and former USDF Historical Recognition Committee chair Laura Gorretta (left), their mother, Joyce Gorretta (center), and 2007 USDF Volunteer of the Year Robert Higgins
CHARTING USDF’S COURSE: The 2017-2018 USDF Executive Board. From left: Kevin Bradbury, Bettina Longaker, Susan Mandas, Sherry Guess, Carolyn VandenBerg, Susan Bender, Anne Sushko, Sue McKeown, Steve Schubert, Debra Reinhardt, Carol Tice, Margaret Freeman, Ken Levy, Carolynn Bunch, Heather Petersen, George Williams, Lisa Gorretta.
WHY WE DO THIS: In the end, it’s all about the beauty and harmony of dressage and our love for the horse, as The Half-Pass captures so beautifully
First Look: The 2019 USDF and US Equestrian Dressage Tests What’s new and different for national-level competitors? Here’s a preview—and why we hope the changes will help horses, competitors, and judges.
TESTING, TESTING: Before they are finalized, proposed test revisions are evaluated extensively. A camera crew films the educational On the Levels series that helps riders master the requirements of the new dressage tests.
60 November 2018 • USDF CONNECTION
BY JEANNE MCDONALD
Why Change the Dressage Tests? The committee’s goal in modifying the tests every four years is to ensure that the training of the horse is progressive both within the level and from level to level, and that it is based on the pyramid of training (see illustration at right). For instance, to try to help maintain the quality of the horse’s walk from the very beginning of training, we have added from Training through Third Levels a double coefficient (x 2) for both the medium walk and the free or extended walks. In the past, double coefficients were not applied the first time a movement appeared in the tests. While the test writers tried to make the tests both shorter and less demanding in general, we decided to put more emphasis on certain key movements by adding double coefficients (score x 2). This may occur the first time a movement is seen in a test. In sev-
“Ph ysi Pro cal D gre eve lo ssi ve pme Co nd nt th itio r nin ough g”
Impulsion (Engagement and the Desire to Go Forward)
(Connection and Acceptance of the Bit through Acceptance of the Aids)
The national-level US dressage tests are written by the US Equestrian and USDF Test Writing Working Groups, whose members are experienced dressage judges and competitors. FEI 5* judge Gary Rockwell, who also chairs the USDF Judges Committee, served as the chair of the US Equestrian Test Writing Working Group for the 2019 revisions. Besides myself, he was assisted by fellow working-group members Jennifer Baumert, Dr. Hilary Clayton, Lilo Fore, Janet Foy, Christopher Hickey, Mike Osinski, Kristi Wysocki, and Lois Yukins. I headed the USDF Test Writing Working Group, and I extend a huge thank-you to members Gary Rockwell, Marilyn Heath, Christopher Hickey, Natalie Lamping, Gwyneth McPherson, and Kristi Wysocki. During the four years between test revisions, the test writers evaluate the current tests and gather feedback from competitors, trainers, and judges as to how the tests could be improved. In this recently completed test-writing cycle, we received some excellent suggestions—although only 76 members of the American dressage community weighed in: 29 riders, 24 judges, 20 trainers, and three high-performance athletes.
(Improved Alignment and Equal, Lateral Suppleness on Both Reins)
n gh rou ce” Th ng dien e asi cre nd Ob a
How the Test-Writing Process Works
(Balance and Lightness of the Forehand from Increased Engagement)
mportant events happen every four years: Olympic Games, World Equestrian Games, presidential elections…and the release of new dressage tests! The US national-level dressage tests (Introductory through Fourth Levels, plus the Four-Year-Old test, the Developing Horse Prix St. Georges test, and the Developing Horse Grand Prix test) are revised on a four-year cycle. The 2019 US Equestrian and USDF dressage tests take effect December 1, 2018, replacing the previous 2015 versions. Here’s a look at what’s changing, and why.
(Elasticity and Freedom from Anxiety)
(Regularity and Tempo)
The newly revised pyramid of training
eral cases, we now have double coefficients not just the first time a movement appears, but as in Third Level, on every flying change in each test. Some modifications to the US Equestrian tests have been influenced by the Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI). For example, the FEI has changed the way the transitions are scored after extensions. Accordingly, we modified the transition scores in the Second through Fourth Level tests, and in the Developing Horse Prix St. Georges and the Developing Horse Grand Prix tests, to include within the transitionscore box the collected trot or canter from the last transition until the next movement starts, as the FEI does now.
Highlights by the Level Here are some of the specific changes that have been implemented at each national level for the 2019 edition of the USEF dressage tests. Introductory Level. When both riders and judges have found the previous tests to be successful, little is changed when
Attention, Freestyle Riders!
ffective December 1, 2018, the prerequisite score to ride a freestyle will be 63% at the highest test of the selected level. The change to rule 129.9 was approved by USEF on August 27, 2018. Contact USDF at MusicalFreestyle@usdf.org with questions.
USDF: Your Source for Dressage-Test Information
eed to master the new 2019 USDF and US Equestrian dressage tests? The USDF offers plenty of resources, from the instructional On the Levels video series to a handy app. For a look at what’s available, see page 63.
JUDGE’S-EYE VIEW: On the Levels films demonstration horses and riders from multiple angles so viewers can see exactly what the judge is looking for
62 November 2018 • USDF CONNECTION
canter circle is no longer immediately after the canter depart. The movements are still in the test, but they occur in a different order to make it easier to develop the balance for the counter-canter loops. Second Level. There is a major change in the canter work in Second Level Test 1. Judges suggested (and trainers approved) introducing the simple change of lead in separate parts. Rather than requiring a true simple change (canterwalk-canter), the new 2019 version of Second Level Test 1 asks for a canter-trot transition from counter-canter at one letter, followed by a transition to walk at the next letter, followed by a canter depart to the new lead at the next letter, in both directions. The reason for this change is that too many horses were falling into many trot steps before walking, with a loss of balance. We hope that this change will help the training progression. Second Level Test 2 now contains the canter work from the 2015 version of Second Level Test 1—the serpentine with simple changes over the center line—but to help shorten the test, the 10-meter canter circles have been removed entirely. The trot and walk work were revised, as the walk previously occurred so early in the test that the remainder of the test was too long and tiring for the horses. Now the walk is balanced between most of the trot work and the start of the canter work. Finally, we took one of the medium trots on the diagonal out of the early trot work and have shortened it to the ending on center line D to I, with the halt at G. Second Level Test 3 has not changed. Third Level. Third Level is the beginning of true dressage training. The committee agreed that the 2015 tests flow well and are easy to judge, so Tests 1 and 3 remain unchanged except for the addition of double coefficients to each flying change. However, statistics show that Third Level Test 2 has far fewer rides than any other test; so to help shorten that test, the trot half-passes have been removed, as the renvers movement demands the same ability to move the horse’s shoulders in balance. Fourth Level. We made a small change to Fourth Level Test 1, mostly at the request of judges, who previously had to give four scores at the end of the walk work within about five seconds! I believe that riders, too, will be happier with more distance to walk to the canter depart and then on to the medium canter. There are no changes to Test 2. We listened carefully to competitors, who felt that the 2015 version of Fourth Level Test 3 was too long and tiring for their horses. Test 3 has been shortened from 32 movements to 22, which should also make the judges happier.
the tests are revised. But to save show organizers time and to help ensure the welfare of the horses, we have shortened the Intro C test. The final movement had the horse trotting for too long, so now the final halt is at X, not all the way to G. Training Level. Almost all agreed that the 2015 Training Level Test 1 was flowing and clear to ride and judge, so there are no changes to this test. Test 2 remains the same, with one exception: The transition to medium walk now happens at F rather than between A and F. This change should improve both the stretching trot and the transition scores, as so many competitors made abrupt transitions at A instead of using the corner to prepare for the transition. To clarify the important aspect of an exercise in Training Level Test 3, the previous shallow loop is now a full three-loop serpentine. This change was made so that the rider has to show truly supple changes of bend. We also decreased the difficulty of Test 3 by removing the canterdiagonal-to-trot transition at X; now, both canter-trot transitions happen at the middle letter of the short side. In addition, the trot-walk transition is now “before” K, not exactly at the letter. First Level. The test writers received a lot of negative feedback that the short diagonals for the trot lengthenings were difficult to memorize. In response, we have kept the same patterns for Tests 1 and 2, but all trot lengthenings now begin at the corner letter and end at R, S, V, or P. First Level Test 3 maintains the full diagonal lengthening, as it is progressively more difficult. Test 3 has changed significantly: The leg-yield counterchange (K-X, X-H) has been removed, and the 15-meter
In Test 3, the medium canter on the diagonal has been replaced by the extended canter, and the extended canter on the long side has been removed. In a further effort to simplify Test 3, the halt/rein back/ forward four steps/rein back has been simplified to a simple rein back of four steps. The test now ends with a medium trot on the center line from D to I with the halt at Gâ€”thereby removing a medium trot on the long side that was not clear or easy to see from S to V. Developing Horse Prix St. Georges. In the walk work, the length of the extended walk has been shortened by one letter and the length of the collected walk has been lengthened by one letter, so that judges see a bit more collected walk. More significantly, based on feedback from US Equestrian national young-horse coach Christine Traurig, there is a major change to the Developing PSG canter work. The five-loop serpentine has been replaced by 10-meter truecanter/counter-canter half-circles, as in Fourth Level Test 3. Developing Horse Grand Prix. This test is unchanged from the 2015 version.
Test Directives and Purpose It is paramount that riders and trainers read and understand the directive ideas and purpose of each test. All of these have been carefully rewritten with the goal of making it clear to riders and trainers what is expected in each movement.
A Team Effort The USDF and US Equestrian test writers, assisted by USEF staffer Hannah Niebielski and USDF staffer Sharon Vander Ziel, worked countless hours to develop tests that lay out a logical, clear, fair progression for the training of the dressage horse. Foreign national federations including those in Canada, Mexico, and South and Central America have recognized the quality of our tests and have been using them for years. I hope that you enjoy riding and judging the new tests. Please help us to improve them further by sending your feedback to email@example.com. s
Jeanne McDonald is an FEI 4* dressage judge, the Region 1 representative to the USDF Judges and USDF Freestyle Committees, and the head of the USDF Test Writing Working Group. A longtime FEI-level competitor, trainer, and coach, she owns and operates Turning Point Farm in Downingtown, Pennsylvania.
Our hand-picked list of holiday gifts for dressage enthusiasts of all ages
s horse people, we love practical gifts as much as the next person. But sometimes it’s fun to give something, well, gift-y—items the recipients might not buy for themselves. In that spirit, we curated this list of pretty, sparkly items for the dressage enthusiast on your list—plus one practical item to help make your saddle time, er, longer-lasting.
He’s Number One The KWPN gelding Verdades, owned and ridden by our own Laura Graves, has been the darling of the dressage world since the pair burst on the international scene in 2014. Fresh off two silver medals at this year’s World Equestrian Games and currently number one in the FEI Dressage World Rankings, “Diddy” is immortalized in a new Traditional scale model by Breyer Animal Creations. Learn more at BreyerHorses.com.
64 November 2018 • USDF CONNECTION
BAROQUE BEAUTY Who doesn’t love an Iberian horse, with its classic profile and noble character? Treat the baroque-horse enthusiast in your life to one or more of these collector’s-edition pewter coasters showcasing a Lusitano horse with traditional running braid. The four-inch-diameter coaster is hand-sculpted by the artist and hand-cast in lead-free, virgin certified food-safe pewter. The center is covered with crystal-clear resin to protect the sculpture. Each coaster comes packaged in a velvet pouch. Learn more at HorseLadyGifts.com.
Practical Equestrian Style Tucker Tweed, the well-known purveyor of equestrianthemed handbags and accessories, offers this versatile little carryall that it calls the Wellington Wristlet, in a nod to Florida’s wintertime “Welly World.” The bag is made of fine pebble-grain leather with contrast color accents and snaffle-bit detail, in eight color combinations (shown: navy/chestnut). It’s lined in Tucker Tweed’s signature red with leather accents. Inside are six card pockets, a bill pocket, a zipper pocket, and room for the largest of cell phones. It comes with both a removable wristlet strap and an adjustable shoulder strap for conversion to a crossbody bag. Learn more at TuckerTweed.com.
Dressage Elegance Jane Heart Jewelry offers so many options for wearing its classic dressage horse heads, it’s hard to pick one. But for timeless style going down center line, you can’t go wrong with the Dressage Sterling Stock Pin. The pin measures 1⅞ inches in length and is crafted from sterling silver. The “browband” bar design sets off the dressage horse head with double bridle. Learn more at HorseJewelry.com.
For the Horse-Crazy Kid in Your Life The British have loved ponies for generations. Now the UK-based company Crafty Ponies has taken “kids and ponies” to a new level of fun and learning. Crafty Ponies are soft plush, correctly proportioned models that come in a variety of colors. All have cotton-string manes and tails—perfect for learning to braid (or plait, as the Brits say). A Crafty Pony can be outfitted with realistic-looking tack and horse clothing featuring all the straps and hardware you’d find on the real thing. You can go crazy accessorizing your pony (and you’ll probably want to), such as with this two-sided vinyl-mat dressage arena that can be marked up with chalk, then erased. Ponies and accessories come with illustrated instructional booklets. Learn more at CraftyPonies.co.uk.
66 November 2018 • USDF CONNECTION
Stay Tight in the Tack We’d like one practical stocking stuffer, right? It’s frisky-horse weather, so give those full-seat breeches a little boost with Grip Special Leather Treatment. The manufacturer calls the product “confidence in a jar.” Applied to your saddle just before you mount up, Grip removes any slipperiness and makes the leather, well, grippy, yet not sticky. The product absorbs into your tack, acting as a conditioner, and will not harm leather or clothing, according to the manufacturer. Learn more at GripSpecialLeatherTreatment.com.
To All a Good Night Author and equine artist Jean Abernethy brings her popular cartoon horse, Fergus, to a reimagining of the beloved poem “A Visit from St. Nicholas” with her new book, Fergus and the Night Before Christmas. This time it’s Fergus leading Santa’s team, and the ending is sure to warm the heart of anyone whose Christmas list ever involved horses. Learn more at HorseAndRiderBooks.com. USDF CONNECTION
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70 November 2018 • USDF CONNECTION
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YOUR CONNECTION TO DRESSAGE EDUCATION • COMPETITION • ACHIEVEMENT
the tail end
Perspectives from one of the USDF's best-known members By Maryal Barnett
owell Boomer, the late USDF founder, once told me that his vision for the organization was to serve and educate riders, instructor/ trainers, and judges. Little did I realize at the time that I would end up fitting into each of those broad categories. In the mid-1970s, as an adult-amateur rider, I traveled to Cleveland with my husband, Charlie, to attend what would be the first of many USDF conventions. It was a raucous event, with
Early on, my main interest in the USDF was as a rider. The USDF provided me with educational events that fulfilled my desire and need to improve my skills. After all, if I was ever going to win any USDF awards, I certainly needed to improve. The awards system was the carrot for me at that time. I was struggling as a dressage professional when Charlie came home in 1979 with the news that there was
A LIFETIME OF GIVING: Receiving the USDF Lifetime Achievement Award in 2014 from then USDF Historical Recognition Committee chair Anne Moss (left) and USDF president George Williams (right)
many passionate Board of Governors delegates making important decisions for the future of dressage. Charlie and I were hooked. From then on, one or both of us attended all but one USDF convention. Charlie enjoyed the political aspect, while I was more interested in the educational offerings. If only one of us could attend, the one who had the opportunity to go would come home and tell the other all that went on.
going to be an opportunity for me to educate myself as an instructor: the USDF-sponsored Violet Hopkins Seminar for Dressage Instructors. I immediately sent in my application and was accepted. It was at the Hopkins seminars—first with Col. Aage Sommer, and later with Maj. Anders Lindgren—that I realized what I didn’t know about dressage. There was so much to learn.
72 November 2018 • USDF CONNECTION
In 2014, Maryal Barnett, of Holt, Michigan, received the USDF Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of her many extraordinary volunteer contributions. Besides her extensive USDF involvement, she also chairs The Dressage Foundation’s Board of Directors.
USDF’s Influence on My Life
I attended those annual instructor seminars from their inception until they morphed into the USDF National Dressage Symposiums. They taught me not only what to teach, but also how to teach. The program gave me the background I needed to go on to conduct USDF Regional Workshops and later to be accepted as a faculty member and examiner for the USDF Instructor Certification Program. During this time, I was also learning to be a dressage judge through the American Horse Shows Association (now US Equestrian). The AHSA program, which was in its infancy, required some classroom education, as well as apprenticing with and being evaluated by senior judges—helpful steps, but not really enough. Much of a dressage judge’s education at the time came from trial and error, and prospective judges were largely on their own. Some farsighted USDF members saw the need for a more comprehensive program to better prepare our judges, and the USDF L Education Program was born. This program for training dressage judges is now the most respected in the world. Shortly after the L program’s establishment, I was accepted as a member of the faculty. What an honor and responsibility! Serving on the faculty of the USDF Instructor/Trainer and L Programs has been so very special to me. Both programs have enabled me not only to teach, but also to continue to learn. Much thanks to the USDF for making it possible for me and so many others. Our founder, Lowell Boomer, would be very proud of the progress that has been made in the fulfillment of his vision. s
OSPHOS® (clodronate injection) Bisphosphonate For use in horses only. Brief Summary (For Full Prescribing Information, see package insert) CAUTION: Federal (USA) law restricts this drug to use by or on the order of a licensed veterinarian. DESCRIPTION: Clodronate disodium is a non-amino, chlorocontaining bisphosphonate. Chemically, clodronate disodium is (dichloromethylene) diphosphonic acid disodium salt and is manufactured from the tetrahydrate form. INDICATION: For the control of clinical signs associated with navicular syndrome in horses. CONTRAINDICATIONS: Horses with hypersensitivity to clodronate disodium should not receive OSPHOS.
controls the clinical signs associated with
NAVICULAR SYNDROME Easily Administered via intramuscular injection
Well Tolerated* in clinical trials
Proven Efficacy* at 6 months post treatment
No Reconstitution Required
Learn more online
WARNINGS: Do not use in horses intended for human consumption. HUMAN WARNINGS: Not for human use. Keep this and all drugs out of the reach of children. Consult a physician in case of accidental human exposure. PRECAUTIONS: As a class, bisphosphonates may be associated with gastrointestinal and renal toxicity. Sensitivity to drug associated adverse reactions varies with the individual patient. Renal and gastrointestinal adverse reactions may be associated with plasma concentrations of the drug. Bisphosphonates are excreted by the kidney; therefore, conditions causing renal impairment may increase plasma bisphosphonate concentrations resulting in an increased risk for adverse reactions. Concurrent administration of other potentially nephrotoxic drugs should be approached with caution and renal function should be monitored. Use of bisphosphonates in patients with conditions or diseases affecting renal function is not recommended. Administration of bisphosphonates has been associated with abdominal pain (colic), discomfort, and agitation in horses. Clinical signs usually occur shortly after drug administration and may be associated with alterations in intestinal motility. In horses treated with OSPHOS these clinical signs usually began within 2 hours of treatment. Horses should be monitored for at least 2 hours following administration of OSPHOS. Bisphosphonates affect plasma concentrations of some minerals and electrolytes such as calcium, magnesium and potassium, immediately post-treatment, with effects lasting up to several hours. Caution should be used when administering bisphosphonates to horses with conditions affecting mineral or electrolyte homeostasis (e.g. hyperkalemic periodic paralysis, hypocalcemia, etc.). The safe use of OSPHOS has not been evaluated in horses less than 4 years of age. The effect of bisphosphonates on the skeleton of growing horses has not been studied; however, bisphosphonates inhibit osteoclast activity which impacts bone turnover and may affect bone growth. Bisphosphonates should not be used in pregnant or lactating mares, or mares intended for breeding. The safe use of OSPHOS has not been evaluated in breeding horses or pregnant or lactating mares. Bisphosphonates are incorporated into the bone matrix, from where they are gradually released over periods of months to years. The extent of bisphosphonate incorporation into adult bone, and hence, the amount available for release back into the systemic circulation, is directly related to the total dose and duration of bisphosphonate use. Bisphosphonates have been shown to cause fetal developmental abnormalities in laboratory animals. The uptake of bisphosphonates into fetal bone may be greater than into maternal bone creating a possible risk for skeletal or other abnormalities in the fetus. Many drugs, including bisphosphonates, may be excreted in milk and may be absorbed by nursing animals. Increased bone fragility has been observed in animals treated with bisphosphonates at high doses or for long periods of time. Bisphosphonates inhibit bone resorption and decrease bone turnover which may lead to an inability to repair micro damage within the bone. In humans, atypical femur fractures have been reported in patients on long term bisphosphonate therapy; however, a causal relationship has not been established. ADVERSE REACTIONS: The most common adverse reactions reported in the field study were clinical signs of discomfort or nervousness, colic and/or pawing. Other signs reported were lip licking, yawning, head shaking, injection site swelling, and hives/pruritus.
As with all drugs, side effects may occur. In field studies, the most common side effects reported were signs of discomfort or nervousness, colic, and/or pawing. OSPHOS should not be used in pregnant or lactating mares, or mares intended for breeding. Use of OSPHOS in patients with conditions affecting renal function or mineral or electrolyte homeostasis is not recommended. Refer to the prescribing information for complete details or visit www.dechra-us.com or call 866.933.2472.
CAUTION: Federal law restricts this drug to use by or on the order of licensed veterinarian. * Freedom of Information Summary, Original New Animal Drug Application, NADA 141-427, for OSPHOS. April 28, 2014. Dechra Veterinary Products US and the Dechra D logo are registered trademarks of Dechra Pharmaceuticals PLC. © 2016 Dechra Ltd.
Distributed by: Dechra Veterinary Products 7015 College Boulevard, Suite 525 Overland Park, KS 66211 866-933-2472 © 2016 Dechra Ltd. OSPHOS is a registered trademark of Dechra Ltd. All rights reserved. NADA 141-427, Approved by FDA
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United States Dressage Federation Official Publication