Western Dressage Association of America 2017 World Show

The 2017 Fifth Annual WDAA World Show was held in Guthrie, Oklahoma September 28 through October 1, 2017 at the Lazy E Arena. Many of our Colorado equestrians were in attendance and I had the pleasure of chatting with a few of them.

Jane Ann Lake and her 13 year-old Andalusian gelding, Tecolote (see cover photo), brought back the Reserve Championship in the costume freestyle class. For Level 3, she won the Champion for 4th Test, plus Reserve in two other classes along with Overall Level 3 Amateur Reserve Champion.

“Between Frances Carbonnel and me, we had three horses showing, with classes spread throughout the day and evening, so there was literally no down time and often we did not have lunch,” Jane Ann reports. “Since I performed freestyles both Friday and Saturday night, I was showing earlier in the day for regular classes and 7:30 and 8:30 at night for the freestyle classes.

“It was pitch black when I rode from the barn to the indoor arena for my evening freestyle classes, which was about 500 yards away. I had to cross a narrow dirt bridge with water on both sides. The lights from the outdoor arena were shining on the water, looking like 100 light bulbs on the water. I had a hard time getting Teco to cross the bridge as there were no other horses around. Simone (Windeler) had to bribe him with cookies.”

Horse shows always come with surprises. “We arrived Tuesday evening and I was told the next day by a competitor that they arrived around 2:00 am Wednesday and Teco had let himself out of his stall and was hanging next to Frances’ horses.

“This is an exciting new sport, so it is nice to see the sport evolve and grow. Judges are looking for similar aspects and training scale of classical dressage with some movements the same and others that appeal to all horses, regardless of breed. Some examples are:

  • Lengthening of frame in Level 3 versus extended paces
  • Halt, back 20 steps (between 2 letters) and canter
  • Turn on haunches 360 degrees versus 180
  • Canter/halt/180 turn on haunches, canter

There are more movements in a WD test than classical dressage which is good for those horses with a busy mind!

Andrea Osmond is a trainer who, along with two of her clients, also took three horses to the World Show. Andrea rides Tiz A Way, an eight year-old Appaloosa mare. “We competed in Basic Open and finished around 20th out of about 34 rider/horse combinations. Kristin and Rylee Canale were the clients who attended with me.

“It was a wonderful experience and the venue was very nice and accommodating. Most of the judges were from Colorado and my team and I had shown in front of a couple of them throughout the show season.

“I met several people from all over the country. I was able to make some wonderful connections and I can’t wait to see them again next year!

“The staff running the show was very nice and did a great job with all of the events. There were several extra events that took place each evening… welcome party, dinner and silent auction, freestyle, costume freestyle, and awards dinner. There was something every evening.”

Kristin Canale’s horse, Thunder, is a 9 year-old gelding Mustang.

We competed in the Intro class and did not place in the top ten, but had a great experience. The exciting part about our trip was my daughter Rylee, who is 10 years old. She competed in the Intro Junior division on her 14 year-old Welsh pony, Kenful Mr. Tom (aka Tommy), and placed in the top ten, 6th overall. It was her first competition and experience at a big horse show. She was a trooper, never complained about the long days and getting up early before six am to get to the stables to compete in the show ring. She rode one test each day, Friday, Saturday and Sunday and Sunday night she was awarded with a top ten ribbon at the final ceremony. She plans on coming back next year to compete again in the Junior Basic level.”

Sophia Harris of Versatile Equine rode RHM Miss Chic Please, a six year-old AQHA mare owned by Connie Klauzer of Grand Junction.

“We rode in the Level 1 (which is equivalent to First Level in English dressage) Open Division. We rode 3 tests: Level 1, Test 1 we scored a 68.889% and placed 7th out of 31 pairs; Level 1, Test 3 we scored a 71.852% and placed 4th out of 25 pairs; Level 1, Test 4 we scored a 73.846% and placed 2nd out of 27 pairs. We ended up in 3rd in the World standings in the Level 1 Open division.

“I absolutely loved the experience at the World Show. The whole staff running that gorgeous place were nothing but nice and extremely helpful (especially to newbies like me). They really made you feel at home. The arena itself was grand, and the whole experience for me brought out a lot of growth. Growth in myself, in a sense of, ‘I could really belong here’. Attending the World Show raised my own standards for where I wanted to be and show in the future.”

Cindy Rau-Sobotka competed on KB’s Timepiece (Lex), her wonderful tobiano and black stallion, along with her daughter Brandie aboard one of Lex’s daughters, Tru Timepiece. Lex is named with the intitials of Cindy’s best friend who passed away from metatastic breast cancer. This was Cindy’s fourth WDAA World show and Brandie’s third.

“Last year was our best,” Cindy explained. “We had high point Paint, Intro High Point, Basic Level test 4 champion and Level 1, 3rd and 4th place. The intro and basic are the most competitive with 33-37 riders. Our biggest win this year was Champion in Level 1 test 4. Our winnings put us #10 WDAA Top 100 horses and we earned WDAA Register of Excellence (over 200 points) with very limited showing.

“The people are so much fun and it’s a supportive, friendly atmosphere. Even though we are competitors, everyone helps each other out. It’s a great group of people and that’s what makes me keep going. It’s a blast, fun and that’s what it’s all about – having fun with your horse.

“The facility is beautiful, there are lots of nice prizes, dinners, nice groups of people gathering and many, many different horses and people from all walks of life. We all had a commonality in Western Dressage.”
The winners of each class were awarded WDAA jackets, which the rider may elect to have embroidered with their name, horse’s name and class. The overall show champion is decided through tests for each level, spread over three days and that champion is awarded a commemorative belt buckle.

The Colorado Western Dressage group reports there were 20 Colorado attendees at the WDAA World Show and I’m sure their stories could fill many more pages. If you’re interested in finding out more about Western Dressage, visit the national page at http://www.wdaa.org or the Colorado group at http://www.wdaco.org.

Download original article in PDF format here.

Reprinted from The Centaur, January 2018 with permission from Rocky Mountain Dressage Society.
©Pat Van Buskirk 2017. Phil & Pat Van Buskirk are Founding Pioneer Lifetime Members of the Western Dressage Association® of America and are the proud owners of VB Farms, home of Total Equine® Colorado. © 2017 www.vbfarms.com. For reprint permission, contact pat@vbfarms.com

Comments are closed.