WDA of Michigan Celebrates Their First Year-End Award Banquet

Photo credit to Greg Lucas

2014 was a very busy year for Western Dressage Association® of Michigan (WDAMI). We worked hard to promote Western Dressage class offerings in existing Schooling Shows. The Schooling Show managers were very gracious and excited to open this door of opportunity for riders. This excitement carried over into our board and we proceeded to develop a Year-End Awards Program.

Violet O’Dell, WDAMI board member led the way in developing the WDAMI Year-End Awards Program. She designed the document. With her leadership and guidance, the board had several discussions and then passed the document in April of 2014.

The document offered so many opportunities for our members to earn an award! Violet had included most traditional awards but then also added a few very unique and wonderful opportunities for horse and rider. To see the entire document, please go to our website: www.wdami.org.

As the summer progressed our membership numbers increased and riders were planning their approach to Year End Awards. For me personally, I was fascinated how riders strategized. But then again why wouldn’t they? This was a sport and as a competitor, you want to win!

The deadline for sending in scores was November 15 of the show year. There were many envelopes that had arrived. Sorting through each entry was a learning experience. One of the things I learned was that not all riders take the time to read the rules. Fortunately, each time I had to call and share that the information was incomplete, riders immediately said, “Well, I will do a better job of reading the rules for 2015!” And they will.

The day of the Year End Awards Banquet Luncheon (February 28, 2015) was picture perfect. The air in Clare, Michigan was clear and crisp and the sun was shining. Winners were coming from across the state both the upper and lower peninsula so I was grateful for the weather and the excellent driving conditions.

Awardees, family, friends and board members all gathered to celebrate our winners. We held a silent auction, handed out door prizes, sold books and tee shirts, shared about the WDAMI journey over the first year. Sue Hughes talked about the nuances of showing, what judges are looking for. Dorothy Mueller told us about the New WDAA National Awards system. This system tracks the points the horse accumulates throughout the life of the horse. If the horse is sold by an owner, the points stay with the horse. All WDAA and local affiliate members are eligible to enter this national program.

It was an honor to present awards. I can’t wait until next year!

And our 2014 winners are:

WDAMI WD Schooling Show Year-End Awards:

  • Level 1, Open – AMANDA TERPSTRA
  • Introductory, Open – KIM NOBEL
  • Introductory, Novice Horse – JESSICA SHIER

WDAMI WD Highest Percentage Individual Ride Awards:

  • Level 3, Open – Rachel Leigh Ory 70.8%
  • Level 1, Open – Amanda Terpstra 70.27%
  • Introductory, Open – Kim Nobel 79.31%
  • Introductory, Adult Amateur –Glenda Warner 73.7%,
  • Basic, Adult Amateur – Glenda Warner 67.9%,
  • Introductory, Novice Horse –Jessica Shier 72.08%,
  • Introductory, Novice Rider-Kelsey MacLean 64.6%
  • WDAMI Rescue Horse Certificate of Honor Award: JESSICA SHIER and TANGO.

Congratulations to our winners and thank you to all for supporting Western Dressage Association® of Michigan’s first year as the WDAA Michigan affiliate!!

Submitted by Carol Baldwin on 03/04/2015

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