Third Annual Meeting for WDAA is Complete Success!

In early November, Tulsa, Oklahoma, a city rich with equestrian tradition, was the site of another milestone in Western Dressage history.  The Western Dressage Association® of America (WDAA) held its third annual meeting November 9-10, 2012.  The meeting was open to all and fantastic discussions were shared regarding the history of the discipline, corporate partnerships, new program offerings, and the 2013 Western Dressage Rules and Tests.

Cliff Swanson Rules discussion at WDAA Annual MeetingEllen DiBella, treated participants to the history of the organization, its’ founders, and how the vision and mission of the organization were developed.  We were each reminded of the mission of the organization, and how fundamental that mission is in the each decision, direction and program offered via the WDAA.

The WDAA is very grateful for all the thought and contribution made regarding the proposed Rules for 2013.  At the Annual Meeting the2013 Western Dressage Rules were discussed, all feedback shared, rule change proposals investigated and a finalized version submitted to the WDAA Board of Directors.  The Board voted unanimously to approve the WDAA 2013 Western Dressage Rules for all breeds to go into effect for all WDAA affiliate and alliance partnerships at the beginning of the 2013 show season.  Follow this link to view those Rules:

The term of service also concluded for WDAA Board of Directors officers.  Founding Board Member, Bonnie Glasgow, former secretary and treasurer, retired from serving the Board.  Bonnie is a great friend of the discipline and her thoughtful presence will be missed in our day to day operations.  Changes also happened with founding President, Ellen DiBella, as she begin a new chapter concluding her term at the helm and beginning her tenure as Corresponding Secretary.  Additional office changes include Darrell Bilke to Vice President and Georgie Green to treasurer.  The WDAA is grateful for the service of these fantastic individuals!

The Board of Directors also elected two new members, Guy Brown and Lisa Blackstone.  Guy Brown joined the WDAA as its new President.  Lisa will be serving as a Board Member and Committee Chairperson.  The WDAA is very excited to have the time and talents of two individuals who are well respected with fantastic backgrounds and experience in the horse industry.  You can read more about these two people, via the WDAA website, under Executive Board.  The WDAA welcomes them and is very grateful for their commitment and dedication to the discipline of Western Dressage.

WDAA Annual Meeting WDAOK Official State AffiliateAt this meeting the WDAA Affiliate Chair, Bob Harb, also welcomed the Western Dressage Association® of Oklahoma as its newest official recognized affiliate.  The Oklahoma affiliate is delighted to be bringing Western Dressage activities and happenings to their home state.  Be sure to check the WDAA calendar for events they have planned.

Accepting the certificate was Paula Walker, President of WDA of OK writes, “We feel so honored and lucky to have had you all here and to meet everyone and put faces with names and get to cut up with everyone!! Not to mention being able to actually have input with WDAA. What an awesome opportunity.”

Gil Merrick presentation at WDAA Annual MeetingParticipants were also treated to a presentation from Gil Merrick or, a corporate partner of the WDAA. has the goal to provide an affordable, on-line alternative to traditional showing and training. also offers members additional services and continuing education opportunities through: online coaching (with your trainer of choice), educational libraries, and a nationwide directory of trainers. Gil shared the many features has to offer to WDAA members and the organization as a whole.  To see more of visit their website at

The weekend concluded with the opportunity to experience Western Dressage in its debut at the Color Breed Congress hosted by WDAA affiliate, the Pinto Horse Association of America.  There were over 40 rides in the class offerings for Western Dressage.  The enthusiasm for the discipline was infectious.  Many of the curious who watched were enthralled and spent time at the WDAA booth asking questions about Western Dressage and WDAA membership.  There were many wonderful rides and great signs of support for the discipline, like the group photograph of the Kansas affiliate participants.

The weekend was a wonderful wrap up for the exciting year the WDAA had in 2012 as well as a fantastic inauguration and kick off for the 2013!  We look forward to continued growth and discovery on the fantastic ride that is the journey of Western Dressage!

One Response to “Third Annual Meeting for WDAA is Complete Success!

  • What a great write up WDAA. We here in Oklahoma so much enjoyed everyone, the well planned meetings, and being a huge part in determining the future of the WDAA. We did not take that responsibility lightly.
    We also enjoyed meeting the Oregon representative Julie Mallick as well as folks from Texas and Kansas who contributed so much to our discussions. What great comerarderie we had as well. It was so fun to be surrounded with Iike minded people who are so passionate about this sport and its success and future.
    The Color Breed Congress, as you mentioned, was a fitting finale to the days of lively discussions and to get to see Western Dressage in action. There were awesome rides and I feel Western Dressage as it should be was well represented. For the first year to have Western Dressage classes at the CBC we feel the numbers in the classes were a success and show of support for this new and exciting discipline. All the best to the new board. You certainly have some big shoes to fill and I have no doubt you will fill them well always keeping the best interests of our honorable horses at heart. Sincerely, Paula Walker, president, Western Dressage Association of Oklahoma