Parker, Colorado – The 2016 WDAA Annual Meeting and Convention began at 9:00 AM Wednesday, September 28th in the Roper’s Cantina at the Lazy E Arena in Guthrie, Oklahoma with a delicious breakfast prepared for nearly 70 excited attendees. The generous Membership grant from the United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) to WDAA helped to make this meeting a reality. The main attraction for attendees was the unveiling of the new 2017 tests. Kudos to WDAA member volunteers Kelly Adams, Nance McManus, Cliff Swanson, Frances Carbonnel, Mike Corcoran, and Laurie Hedlund, who generously volunteered their time to demonstrate the tests. Not only did these folks have to prepare for their own competition at the World Show that followed the Annual Meeting, these outstanding equestrians also had to learn and practice the new tests for the demonstrations. The tests were videoed for future use in the WDAA Video Education Program. Calling the tests was done by Heidi Adams, who is so wonderful and ever eager to help!
Before adjourning for lunch, Cindy Butler spoke about the process of making USEF Western Dressage rules and then discussed current rule change proposals. Cindy was assisted by Joyce Hamblin, the USEF staff support for WDAA. It was very engaging, and everyone left feeling they had been heard and understood. Discussion was lively at times, but that is what meeting face-to-face is all about, sharing ideas in an open forum.
During the Honors Luncheon, the Top Hand Award was presented to a very deserving Debbie Riehl-Rodriguez who has volunteered hundreds of hours to WDAA and the Judges Education program. Board member Tori Blankenship presented the very first Horse Lifetime Points and Awards Program Honors. Several owners and exhibitors were on hand to receive their awards. We are delighted to report that fourteen horses earned their Register of Merit honors this year (a beautiful wood plaque), including Mountain Rose Frisco, owned by Emily Johnson; Truly Unsurpassed, owned by Nancy Conley; Peppys Montana Skip, owned by Jerilyn Jacobs; Listos Last Sugar, owned by Lillian Evanview-Phelan; Diamonds Peppy Sandy, owned by Kaili Graf; PWR Smart Alex, owned by Angela Stokes; Hotrodder Mike, owned by Heidi Adams; KBs Timepiece, owned by Cindy Rau-Sobotka; Zips Vanilla Belle, owned by Sandra Ogden; Jovial D, owned by Collette Sossaman; Kit and Caboodle, owned by Janet Cagle; Just All Mine, owned by Terri Polley; Larks Home Run, owned by Elizabeth Stauber-Johnson; and Gallant Prince Von G, owned by Patty Couch. Two of those horses, Zips Vanilla Belle and Larks Home Run, also won their Register of Achievement honors (fine leather halters with brass name plates). These horses and their owners have made a superb effort to achieve these honors in their first year of competition in the WDAA Horse Lifetime Horse Points and Awards Program.