Ohio University Southern Equestrian Team Shows Their Pride and Passion at WDAA World Show

Loading Trailer to World Show

Getting Loaded up at 5:30 a.m.

The Ohio University Southern Equestrian Team had the opportunity to take a journey to Tulsa, Oklahoma to compete at the WDAA World Championship Show. Two of our school horses were taken and ridden between the team members; Marco a black halflinger cross and Birdie a bay quarter horse. We were able to go on this amazing journey because we were awarded a $1500 grant through the United States Equestrian Federation and the Western Dressage Association of America Grant Program for Youth and Collegiate Equestrians. Kaylee Tilley, a team member, explains that, “The grant we received gave us so much more motivation for success. We felt more support and added a whole new group of people to our Ohio University Southern Team.” Coming together as a team and putting forth so much hard work and dedication to get to such a large scale show made our experience so much more rewarding.

Ohio University Southern Equestrian team, coaches, and Lynn Palm

We can all say that our eyes were opened to a whole new world where we are partners with our horses and we realize that is not something to be taken lightly. Team member Stephanie Bias said, “I worked hard to create the partnership with Marco and showing him in Western Dressage has made us stronger in our own ways. I could see every horse and rider with a partnership of their own at the World show.” Everyone at the show was welcoming, willing to talk with us, and help us see what the next chapters in our lives will become. Each one of us had a unique experience from which we learned more about riding and ourselves. Grace Hill who rode Birdie said, “I can say that through Western Dressage I have become a better rider and I now have a better understanding of the trust that you create with your horse.” It was an honor and a privilege to be able to not only show with the best equestrians in the discipline, but to be able to stable with them as well. The team had the opportunity to stable with Lynn Palm this year, which was a huge honor because we got to watch and get tips from someone with so much experience in the Western Dressage discipline.

Grace-Hill_Coach-Bradie-ChapmanThe five of us would like to express our appreciation to our coaches, Kelly Hall, Bradie Chapman and Mark Abell for believing in us every step of the way. Savannah Carr who also rode Birdie says, “I’ll be honest and admit that I was skeptical at first thinking I wasn’t good enough to show at shows like this but my coaches kept telling me that I would do well. It gave me confidence that my coaches had that much faith in me.” We hope to continue having many more opportunities with the WDAA.

Katie Reed reminds us of the quote by Larry Mahan. “It’s about the journey..” and the WDAA will always be a part of my journey. Being able to attend and participate in the WDAA World Championship Show made a huge impact in my life. Not only have I made new connections, but I have also made some lifetime friendships.”

Without the WDAA this once in a lifetime experience would have never been possible for us. Thank you to everyone who helped make this possible. We couldn’t have done it without you!

Ohio University Southern Equestrian Team


*The words in bold describe what Western Dressage means to us.*

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