Dear HDS Members,
The US Dressage Finals was established in 2013 as a national championship for Adult Amateurs and Open (mostly professional) riders. Qualifying for the Finals occurs at the regional championships each year. The initial three years of the US Dressage Finals were mandated to be at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, KY. This allowed USDF staff to carefully manage and nurture the inaugural years of 2013, 2014 and 2015.
After 2015, the original intent was to move the US Dressage Finals around the country every three years. Bids were requested to host the event for 2016-2018. Houston Dressage Society partnered with Great Southwest Equestrian Center to submit a bid. I am proud to say that Houston’s bid was well received and the Houston bid was a finalist for USDF Executive Board consideration.
Unfortunately, 2016 is a “calendar adjustment” year. Every few years, the show license calendar must be moved back one week to avoid date creep (normally show dates move one day per year, every year). This created a calendar issue for a few Finals bids, including Houston’s. The 2016 regional championship applications have already been submitted for show dates that are too close to the Houston bid date, given the calendar adjustment.
In light of these circumstances, and a few others, USDF decided to keep the 2016 US Dressage Finals at the Kentucky Horse Park for a fourth year. It’s unclear where the event will be held in 2017 and beyond.
Houston can be very proud our bid was one of the best in spite of the USDF decision. At the very least, Houston and USDF Region 9 are recognized as a growing force for US dressage.
Enjoy the spring weather,
Leslie Rohrer - HDS President