January 2019 President’s Message
Happy New Year and hoping that all enjoyed a wonderful holiday season. We are very excited about the upcoming year and have some new events to add to our schedule. The dates for our recognized shows have been posted on our website and on FB. The first, the Winter Show I and II was held January 19-20 at the Great Southwest Equestrian Center and included the 2018 HDS Awards Banquet. Congratulations to all the HDS Annual Award winners.
Ride a Test Series: We are very excited to announce a Ride a Test Series open to any HDS Adult Amateur member. This is the first time we have undertaken this type of event so we may be tweaking the program and adding additional features as we learn. The format that we have selected is a three-part series with a different judge for each part, to be hosted at three locations over the course of the year. Two horse and rider combinations will be selected for each National Level (Training through Fourth). There will be two FEI slots, which if unfilled, will then be filled with National Level horse/rider combinations. The rider qualifications are as follows: HDS Member Adult Amateurs who have ridden at the level of application. HDS members may audit for free. Those wishing to audit that are not HDS members can join at the door. We are hoping that the judges will do a question and answer session at the end of the day. We have scheduled the first part of the series to take place February 23 at WV Dressage. Sandy Osborn, “S” Judge, will provide a description of riding through the levels with a critique of ridden tests followed by a working session focusing on strategies for test riding and perfecting specific movements. A reception will follow on Saturday evening where Sandy will talk about test scoring theory and provide insight on what judges are looking for! HDS will underwrite some of the expenses so we will be able to keep the per ride cost down. For this event the rides will be $75, which is a tremendous opportunity for AA’s that may want to test their skills but don’t necessarily want to show. We encourage you to apply, but if you don’t want to throw your hat in the ring just yet, we hope you will come out and take advantage of this educational opportunity. Additional information can be found on the WV Website.
Unmounted Series: Speaking of educational opportunities… We will also be hosting an unmounted series. We will use the results of the recent HDS questionnaire to formulate the topics. We anticipate addressing a session on veterinary issues of importance, a session on fitness for the equestrian, and equipment issues. Keep your eyes and ears open for the announcements. Jessica Fan, Junior Chair and one of our newest board members will be helping to organize some of these events.
Conrad Schumacher: Our FEI Training Series with Conrad Schumacher continues through 2019 with the first part to take place the week of February 11. Woodlands Equestrian Club will host the morning session and the afternoon session will be hosted at Tex-Over Farms. Flyers are out and there may still be one or two spaces available. Again, we encourage new applicants as it is really a fantastic series. HDS Members audit for free. Fingers crossed the weather isn’t too cold.
Website : We are in the process of creating a new website that will be mobile friendly and (we sincerely hope) easier to navigate for some of us with limited skills. This doesn’t happen overnight so please bear with us – it will be worth the wait. We are under contract with a company and have submitted designs and will be working on content. This website will be modern and will not involve a large stone and chisel.
Huge Thank you to Volunteers: Thank you, again, to our fantastic volunteers who made our shows possible and we look forward to another great year.
Membership: With the upcoming year we hope that you will be renewing your membership and encouraging others to join HDS. We are trying to increase our educational opportunities and will keep these, for the most part, open only to HDS Members. There is still more work to be done, but we hope to have a new website within the next 90-120 days. Bear with us during this time.
Safe Sport Requirements and Education: Effective January 1, 2019, all US Equestrian adult members must complete USEF’s Safe Sport Training on sexual harassment in order to be eligible to participate in USEF activities, such as USEF recognized shows. USEF Members can immediately access the free Safe Sport training directly through their member dashboard. We encourage members to complete the training as soon as possible. SafeSport training is required in all US Olympic affiliated sports and is not just for equestrian sports.
We hope to see you at the Ride a Test, Unmounted, Schumacher Series or at the shows.
Happy New Year, again.