USDF Newsfeed

United States Dressage Federation NewsWire

16 June 2019

The latest headlines and articles from USDF.

Western Dressage Awards Proposal

By Stephanie Severn, WDCTA President

Update: February 14, 2018

Update:  The board met in February and approved a Preliminary awards program on 2.13.18.


Hopefully by now you’ve already read my “Part 1” article about my December USDF convention trip (eQuester Newsletter). If not, why are you skipping such a thrilling article? (Tongue firmly in my cheek). In it I touch very briefly on the subject of Western Dressage and the USDF.

Several years ago the WDCTA State board was approached to include Western Dressage into our awards program. After sending it to the Chapters to discuss amongst the membership, the State officers discussed and vetoed the idea.

At that time, United States Equestrian (USEF) had not yet named an association as their recognized national affiliate, and there were several competing Western organizations, each with different tests. USDF advised staying out of it until the USEF named an official Affiliate. Fast forward to the present, and the Western Dressage Association of America has been named by the USEF as the Recognized National Affiliate Association for all western dressage in the US.

 071815 0307

Having attended the convention in both 2016 and 2017, there were many discussions at the GMO level sessions about including Western Dressage in GMO awards. GMOs around the US are losing members at an alarming rate. Some GMOs have folded or been forced to merge with others just to keep afloat. Now that the USEF has their affiliate, many GMO are including Western Dressage in their awards program and have seen positive results.

In December I asked WDCTA member Joann Williams if she would be willing to help me with the creation of a small introductory WDCTA Western Dressage awards program. We wrote up a proposed program and I submitted it for consideration to our State Board members. The Board will meet (via phone) on January 10 to discuss, and possibly vote.

I ask all WDCTA members to consider the program included here below and please contact your Chapter President or Representative, or one of our three Members At Large (Nicki Butler, Sue Genin, or Carol Hines-Stroede), or any other State Board Member with your thoughts on this program, as we will discuss and may be voting on it. You are also welcomed to phone in to our meeting to listen to discussion.

I do propose alongside this awards program, we add a person to the Awards Committee, who will report to Marie, WDCTA Committee Chair, and whose job will be to run the Western Dressage awards program. This person’s job description will be to handle the grunt work for the Western Dressage awards program. That person will be responsible for approving schooling shows for the awards (alongside Marie of course). That person will be responsible for collecting the scores at the end of the year, and tabulating the numbers, and reporting back to Marie for final awards placement and ordering of the awards. I am proposing we offer one “Open” award per WDAA level, and one combined Freestyle award. The fees for this will equal the fees for the Dressage & Eventing programs, $25 per horse/rider combination per level. This means the addition of 6 7 awards total for Western Dressage. If approved early enough, we can offer these six seven new awards for 2018.

Again, if you have thoughts on this program, please contact any of us on the State Board to voice your opinion. This is your organization!

If you are looking for information, the US Equestrian’s Western Dressage affiliate is the Western Dressage Association of America, at