North Carolina becomes next WDAA State Affiliate!

Written by Barbara Long | June 2012 | Treasurer WDANC

The Western Dressage Association® of North Carolina has had a long road to affiliation, but it was finally achieved in May. Along the way we’ve managed to accomplish quite a bit.  By starting with a Facebook group then adding a Fan Page, we have attracted a following that gives us reach to hundreds of potential Western Dressage participants.  We’ve been able to find out about and contact show organizers in three states that are adding Western Dressage classes to their shows and  we’ve helped interested  riders find others near them that are eager to learn about this new outlet.

Our biggest challenge was financing the insurance needed to qualify for affiliation.  Once the work of getting incorporated and completing the by-laws was over we appealed to potential members for help putting on fund raisers.  They responded with great success.  We had a seed fund from a clinic put on by Star’s Peak Valley last fall.  Paula Mierop of Columbus organized another in May.   The clinician was paid but the fees for the Ride A Test went to WDANC.  This helped, but what helped even more was a generous personal donation by one of the participants. The third clinic, organized by President Kelly Emerson will be held June 8 and 9th.  In addition to the clinics put on by supporters, Kelly set up a talk at the Forsyth County Extension Service on the history of dressage and western dressage.  It was well attended and generated a lot of interest.

We are now faced with two big challenges. The first is converting as many of the supporters into members as possible. The second is providing leadership to a movement that left the gate without us.  Many show organizers, clinicians and instructors aren’t even aware of the connection between the USEF tests and rules and the WDAA.  They know that they are only available in the Morgan Division, but they don’t realize that the same people who introduced it there see the WDAA as the national organization.  We’ve contacted the North Carolina Dressage and Combined Training Association to discuss how we can work as partners to promote the discipline. They have been very receptive and published an article on Western Dressage in their last newsletter.  Show organizers are now approaching us asking for a system for recognition and year end awards.

On the agenda now:

  • Plans for the Annual Meeting
  • Adding features and value to the web site
  • Setting up and maintaining a newsletter
  • Membership drive
  • Plans for attending the Southern Horse Expo in Williamston in the fall and locating other opportunities
  • Working with Carolina Hoofbeats Magazine and other media to expand our reach
  • Sponsorships and fund raising
  • Developing recognition and incentives for instructors, trainers and show organizers
  • Developing a library of videos and articles for members’ use

It looks a lot like the punch list for WDAA.  We’re all looking forward to a productive year  and a growing membership.



3 Responses to “North Carolina becomes next WDAA State Affiliate!

  • I have a group started for another clinic in North Carolina! Just attended the clinic at Kelley Emmerson’s Northwoods Farm with Barbara Long, great clinic with a lot of great stuff to go home with. The buz phrase is “hungry for more”. Shelby, Star, NC

  • Congratulations Barbara!!! And to North Carolina!! It seems like it is taking us a long time too!!! And our list looks alot like yours. That gives me hope!!! Just glad for you and glad it is “over” but I guess the real work starts now, doesn’t it? anyway, hang in there, I know we will all be glad we did in the end! Paula Walker, Oklahoma pre affiliate, treasurer

  • Susan Hanson
    9 years ago

    Sent my membership in! Attending the clinic this week-end and hoping to jump in with all four hooves soon!
    Thanks for all the hard work to make this possible!