October 2016 Presidents Message
The 2016 competition year is almost over—only the December HDS Schooling Show Championships remain. From my perspective, there has been a lot of positive momentum in our dressage community this year. I hope it will continue into 2017.
It may surprise you to know the HDS plans for 2017 are far along. Show dates have been secured along with most of the show officials. There are several important 2017 HDS initiatives riders can start thinking about.
- HDS Schooling Show Championships:
- A “Pony” division will be offered. This division will be offered as a championship test-of-choice option starting in December 2016. Ponies must measure 14.2 hands or less. Ponies can compete in either the Pony Division or any other qualified division such as Open, Adult Amateur or Junior.
- “Eventing Dressage” test-of-choice will be offered as an HDS Championship Division starting in December 2016.
- HDS USEF Recognized Shows:
- The “Pony” Division will continue to be offered in 2017. USEF requires ponies to have a USEF measurement card verifying their pony status. Pony measurements are conducted at any HDS recognized show by contacting the Show Secretary.
- Freestyle High Point Awards will be introduced in 2017 for the Open, AA, Junior and Pony divisions. The growth in Freestyle competition has been significant and warrants designated awards.
- Sport horse Materiale classes now qualify the horse/rider for a new Materiale sport horse championship at the 2017 Southern Breeders Championship Series show.
- USEF has added a new national championship division for the FEI Children’s Division to be offered at the USEF’s annual FEI Festival of Champions (a national championship) starting in 2017. Riders must be 12-14 years riding either a horse or pony. HDS will add the Children’s FEI classes to most of the 2017 shows to help interested riders qualify for the national championships.
- The annual USDF Sport Horse Forum will be held at Isabella Farms in Cypress, TX during the spring of 2017. HDS will provide support for this event.
- Both mounted and unmounted dressage education events are in the planning stages. Stay tuned for more details.
- HDS will continue to offer the Joe R. Bushager Memorial Grant to riders applying for financial assistance with dressage education. The minimum grant each year is $500.
- The Dressage Foundation has just announced a new “Evie Tumlin Memorial Fund” for USDF Region 9 (includes Texas) Adult Amateur riders starting in 2017. Funds are for training purposes only. Visit dressagefoundation.org for more details.
Next year is already shaping up to be busy with plenty of new opportunities.
Enjoy the rest of 2016!
Leslie Rohrer – HDS President