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NEDA News: President's Message

President's Message ~ January 2020

Wednesday, January 15, 2020   (0 Comments)
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January 2020 President’s letter

Having just come from the USDF Convention in Savannah, Georgia I would like to start with some updates.  You can find a full list of discussion topics at but here are some highlights from the Board of Governors meeting.

·         While a motion to restructure/rename the USDF Education Membership was voted down, a successful motion directed the USDF Executive Board to investigate offering a non-member subscription to USDF Connection that would include access to on-line materials.

·         In the spirit of building a pipeline of riders and bringing youth up through the sport levels, USDF has added a youth division to the National Finals starting 2021.

·         A motion to split the age levels for the JR/YR group was approved, directing the USDF Executive Committee to submit a rule change proposal to the USEF Executive Board.  The proposal would suggest JR/YR be split into two age groups – 15 and under, and 16-21.

·         In April 2019, USDF launched now viewed by over 50,000 of which 30,000 are repeat viewers.  It is a great resource for all things USDF and dressage.

·         Watch for coming soon – your dashboard for USDF results.

·         Starting Dec 1, 2019 USDF is offering a Regional Schooling Show Awards Program,  You do need to be a GMO member so NEDA members are eligible.

·         The deadline requirements for USDF GMO Education Initiative has changed. Event Applications and the supporting Grant Applications are due to the USDF Office at least 60 days prior to the start of the event.

·         In 2020, USDF will be fully responsible for licensing of officials at a national level (previously USEF had responsibility).

·         The 2020 Convention will be Dec 2-5 at the Hilton Omaha, NE.

·         The 2021 Convention will be at the Houston GW Marriott Galleria in Texas, date TBA.

And, did you know:

·         As a GMO member you can access USDF online programs such as volunteer and scribe training?

·         You are also eligible to apply for a variety of grants offered by The Dressage Foundation,

At the Awards banquet, we celebrated many NEDA winners (with apologies for errors and omissions).  Rider awards went to Helen Van Der Voort (Bronze), Linda Mendenhall (Silver), and Claudia Tarlov (Gold).  Vincent Flores won the 2019 Adequan/USDF Music Freestyle Challenge Award and Third level, as well as the 2019 NA Danish Warmblood Assoc. Champion Award at third level and third freestyle.  Anke Ott-Young won among other awards, the Traveling Trot Sculpture Perpetual Trophy for Dressage Horse Highest Scoring Champion.  Breeder of Distinction awards went to Kathy Hickerson (Bronze), Linda and Jeff Mendenhall (Bronze & Silver), Kerstin Witaszek (Bronze) and Mary Barrett (Bronze).  Awards in the GMO with 500+ members categories went to Diane Dutra Holston, first place for Best Amateur photograph; Kristen Becker, honorable mention for First Person Experience Article; and Sophia Chavonelle, first place for General Interest/Informational Article.  It was fun to see everyone dressed up, and to welcome a number of first-time convention attendees from NEDA and Region 8.

By the time this letter appears in print, 2020 will have arrived launching a stellar year for NEDA.  A major change is the move of the spring show to Fieldstone in Halifax, MA.  Show manager Paul Cormier and the Competitions Committee is working hard to make this a fabulous event but they will need two things – competitors and volunteers.  Put it in your calendar (May 30/31), polish your boots, and free up your (and all your friends) calendar.  We also welcome sponsors – get your prime spot now, they will go fast.

2020 is the year we truly embrace the Aspiring Rider.  During our 2018 NEDA Board Strategic Planning Retreat, Kathy Hickerson coined the term aspiring rider to describe our core members.  We defined aspiring riders as those who want to improve, whether competing or not, including Adult Amateurs, Junior/Young Riders and Professionals at all levels.  We determined that education and competitions were important to our membership, and needed to support their aspirations.  The campaign begins with a look at our organization structure to ensure we have folks dedicated to each component of our supporting mission.  Second, while the term resonated with us, we need to be sure it has value to you.  The Aspiring Rider campaign begins by understanding what it means to you, and what we can do to support your aspirations.  Please help us by complete the survey coming to your mailbox soon.

As I write this letter, I send my sincere wishes to all for a happy, safe and loving holiday.  By the time you read this, the timelier wish is for a wonderful New Year.



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