December 2016 WDAA Newsletter

A Letter From Your WDAA President

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

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

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

We are also working hard on the Judges’ Seminar, which will be held in Denver this year on February 8 and 9, 2017.  Check the website for details and hotel information. Even if you are not interested in getting your judge’s card, you can audit this amazing program.  WDAA has an active judges’ education program, which encompasses three steps.  The first step is to attend the Judges’ Seminar; for two days, the clinicians cover a wide variety of topics and offer attendees the opportunity to watch videos of Western Dressage rides and to score them.  The second step is to Apprentice Judge and the final step is to take the on line judging test.  A Western Dressage judge must attend a Judges’ Seminar every three years to maintain their USEF license.

The long and very intense process of finishing the new tests for 2017 is finally winding up.  A huge thank you to Joyce Swanson and her wonderful committee who read and reread tests to ensure that they are just right.  I tried walking the tests but kept heading in the wrong direction.  It is so important to know your left from your right!  Una is finishing formatting the tests for publication; this is a huge job because when you use another platform, the computer moves things around!  We will have the tests up on the website very shortly.  They will officially be in use starting on February 1, 2017.

Dini Swanson and I will attend the USEF Annual Meeting in January to represent WDAA.  USEF will adopt new rules; hold several forums and meetings; discuss the new Strategic Plan; and offer plenty of opportunities for us to talk up Western Dressage.

Sorry that this letter is so long but there is lots to share with you.  I know that we are all looking forward to Christmas with friends and family.  The “girls” from the Hen House are gathering here at the house for two days of cookie baking and candy making.  Recipes are available on request!

This is the time of year to count our blessings and give thanks.  I give thanks for my family and friends, for my horses, for Western Dressage and most of all for each of you.  You have made this year so very special.  What a wonderful Journey and wonderful company on our Journey.

Points and Awards are going strong!

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

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

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

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

Also add, for your Annual Recording Renewal Form visit

2017 WDAA TestsIt is almost Christmas! I can tell because my office and my kitchen look like a bomb went off! Wrapping presents, baking and decorating cookies and making candy make a mess. Hopefully, I will get presents under the tree and treats boxed up and delivered by the time I have to put the turkey in the oven! I suspect that most of you are in the same situation.

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

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

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

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

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

Two options for the 2017 WD Tests
The presentation of the new WD 2017 tests will be a little different than you are used to. There will be two versions of the test from which to choose. The tests will remain free of charge.The first version is “For Training Purposes” which are intended for use at home and at the barn for learning, practicing, and training. These tests are watermarked with the words For Training Purposes.

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

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

Breed Highpoint Winners

WDAA would like to Congratulate the following Breed Highpoint Winners at the recent World Show. 31 different breeds were represented this year:Andalusian/PRE
~ Esteban B / Francis Carbonnel 68.973
Andalusian Cross
~ Meagan / Kelly Adams 72.5
Appaloosa – Sponsored by Hensley’s Show Horses
~ Dressed For Paradise / Michael Marquez 74.595
Arabian and Arabian Cross – Sponsored by Cindy Butler
~ ASF Fadls Willie + / Marilyn Weber 77.419
American Quarter Horse – Sponsored by Lucky C Bar Angus
~ Dun Up Pretty / Jennifer McCleand Kiser 77.258
American Saddlebred
~ Calyxz / Lori Burger 68.971
Draft Horse Cross
~ Loved by All / Valerie Elwell 65.441
~ Valentine / Kristin Delibero 69.583
Friesian Cross
~ I Forgot the Pie / Sherry Beaudry 70.833
~ In It 2 Win It / Carol Pizor 66.364
~ Dante / Nancy Conley 73.788
~ Hank / Jane Brack 73.966
~ Excalibur Elite Equine / Kathy Lewis 64.912
Haflinger – Sponsored by TLC Stables and Southwind Stables
~ Alegro / Michael Marquez 71.071
~ Footloose / Michaela Lane 69.118
National Show Horse
~ Moon’s Black Label / Rachel Freeman 71.207
Paint Horse – Sponsored by Thalia Blight
~ B’s Timepiece / Cindy Rau-Sobotka 75.1723
~ Ironworks Pike /Kristin Delibero 72.419
Morgan – Sponsored by Neil and Sally Plumley
~ Cobblestone Dash for Gold / Aaron Brown 73.243
Thoroughbred – Sponsored by Casey Vannicelli
~ Rightonebaby / Jaclyn Lewis 63.444
Rocky Mountain – Sponsored by Land Home Financial Services
~ HCR’s Blaze of Glory / Dennis Baxter 69.107
Missouri Fox Trotter – Sponsored by MFTHBA
~ Colonel Davis D. / Tammy Stutzman 67.353
Tennessee Walker
~ Classic Royal Pride / Julie Haugen 69.516
Warmblood – Sponsored by RNR Farm and Ranch (Roman and Roxanna Lee)
~ Lyka / Laurie Hedland 68.939

Comments are closed.