From the Region 6 Director
I’ve been actively involved with the USDF since my first convention in 1995 (I’ve missed three since then). I grew up in rural Western Washington and started riding when I was 5 but it wasn’t until I was 42 that I was introduced to Dressage (in 1990). Since then, I’ve competed primarily at the lower levels on a number of horses but finally was able to bring my horse to the upper levels and earn my USDF Bronze and Silver Medals and Bronze Bar.
I’m an attorney by training and practiced law for 10 years before I went into the family direct marketing business which I then ran for almost 25 years. Since 2007 I’ve been retired, riding my horse, scuba diving and enjoying life. I’ve been a member of E.I. and ODS and have been an active volunteer at shows – scribing, scoring, ring stewarding, etc. For almost 10 years I was the co-volunteer coordinator for the E.I. recognized shows. Since 2010, I’ve been the manager/secretary for the Summervale Dressage Shows in addition to being the secretary for several E.I. recognized shows.
This past year, after some prodding from a couple of TD friends, I went through the USEF TD Apprentice process and became an “r” TD this September – and then TD’d my first show in October!
She was a member of both ODS and Equestrians’ Institute and gained experience in website management as well as show award inventory and procurement. Carolynn chaired and co-chaired the EI auction for five years. In 2007, she started her own photography business and has photographed shows in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Iowa and, notably, Illinois at Lamplight Equestrian Center.
Since 2007, Carolynn has attended every USDF Convention as either a GMO or PM Delegate. Through that, she also sat on the USDF Award Council.
Carolynn is knowledgeable and enthusiastic about what makes up the backbone of our sport’s support -- show management, including the nuts and bolts of scoring, test running, scribing, scheduling, labeling, gate keeping and the many efforts that go into a competition.
THE DRESSAGE WORLD HAS BEEN POSTPONED UNTIL MARCH, 2021 -- signed COVID-19!!!!
Well that is what it feels like!
(OK, a minor whine here -- I was supposed to go to Southern California to TD a show, leaving on Tuesday -- got the word today, Thursday, the show has been cancelled. Got the word about two hours after I cancelled a show I was supposed to run in mid-July! No more whining -- honest.)
The reality is that we are all looking at very different circumstances and those of us who are otherwise secure in our lives should be (and I am) very thankful for our circumstances and for what everyone is doing to keep things moving along. Wear your mask when you are, or may be, in the vicinity of others -- keep us safe and sane. And don't forget to go riding!
Back to Dressage and USDF:
NEWS FLASH -- the 2020 Convention and Board of Governors Meeting set for Omaha this coming December will now be EVERYWHERE -- as in it will be a "Virtual Convention" and open to ALL USDF Members. So you all can see what the various Committees do -- attend the meetings of your choice -- watch your Delegates at the Board of Governors -- all from the comfort and safety of your home. WHAT A CHANCE TO PARTICIPATE!
Stay tuned for more information on the Convention.
While many, too many, shows in the Region have been cancelled (Idaho is the exception!), there are virtual shows happening. The Lower Puget Sound Dressage Club is sponsoring one virtual show a month through October. Visit their website for full information.
Voting is now over for the new Participating Member Delegates and the results should be published by the end of this month (July). Don't forget the 6 Delegates are the ONLY directly elected USDF officials so make sure you contact them with your questions and suggestions for the USDF
In addition, GMO members and officers, you too should be contemplating who will be your GM Delegates to the Virtual Board of Governors. Those names are due to be sent to USDF by the end of August.
As I write this, on May 28th, it looks like the “new normal” will be anything BUT “normal.” As I’m sure you know by now, the “dressage season” has been significantly trimmed:
Washington’s Equestrians’ Institute has opted to cancel all “in person” events through the end of 2020;
Spokane Sporthorse shows have been cancelled for the season;
Bozeman Dressage has cancelled its July show (but will have some schooling shows);
Many of Oregon’s show are in question and some, Lake Oswego for example, have been cancelled;
BUT there WILL BE showing – some time, some place – with the first shows in the latter part of June (at least as of today) – one each in Oregon
(as we know, this is a “fluid situation” and last night was informed the Oregon June show is cancelled) Washington and Idaho and then more in July & August. For everyone in Alaska, it looks like your season is a go!
While the USEF/USDF rules don’t apply to Schooling Shows, the various state and local rules regarding physical distancing, mask wearing, “mass gatherings,” sports events, etc. still apply and may interfere with how they’ve been done. That written, I’d suggest everyone involved with any dressage event, clinic, show, etc., read and to the extent possible, comply with the guidelines set forth in the USDF Best Practices document:
IF you are going to show, PLEASE at least peruse the show’s Prize List (note, believe it or not, secretaries & managers take a long time putting these together and they do have good information!) particularly for new things, such as:
Freestyle music – no longer submitted on CD – see the PL for how the show wants the music;
Special Rules – for example, some shows may limit the number of people per entry to only 2 or 3 to limit the number of people on the grounds; or
New liability waivers – you must sign two of them and the OWNER must now sign, not an agent of the owner.
And new items will be coming up regularly.
There have been other changes, NAYC for 2020 has been cancelled and qualifying rules for Regional Championships changed (2 Q rides but need only 1 judge/1 show). I think it is fair to write more changes will be coming so keep checking the Region 6 Group Facebook page for up to date information and/or the USDF & USEF websites.
But back to “normal” stuff – elections for Participating Member Delegates to the USDF Board of Governors starts June 1 and runs the whole month. You can see the bios of our nominees at:
I’ll close on a congratulatory note – Congratulations to Region 6’s tenth and newest USEF “S” Judge – Anne Appleby, Olympia, Washington.
June 27-28 C & M Farm Summer Dressage – Pocatello, ID
June 27-28 Dressage in the Park I & II – Lacey, WA
April 30 – And I thought March was an “interesting” month!
Hmmm, let’s see – we didn’t get to watch great riding at the World Cup; I didn’t get to have long discussions with the other Executive Board Members at the annual Spring Meeting; I haven’t even seen my horse for over a month! USEF has extended its “cancellation” policy (OK, it is not truly a cancellation policy, but that is, of course, the effect) through May 31 (and the USDF has gone along with it).
Although the Annual Spring In-person Meeting was cancelled, the Executive Board spent about 12 hours in Zoom sessions over 4 days the middle of April. I think it is fair to say that most of the discussions had to do with Covid-19 issues in one way or another. While few hard decisions were made, I do want to assure you the USDF management and Executive Board are well aware of the problems and we are all trying to find solutions that work for the vast majority. As with so much surrounding this, we just have to stay tuned and be as flexible as possible as we all muddle through.
BUT, there have been innovations – Virtual Shows where one gets videoed while you ride a test, send the video off to the judge and then get thoughtful comments back; lots and lots of Zoom meetings; USEF and USDF being very flexible; and much, much more.
There have been some program rule changes and I’m anticipating more as the weeks/months go by. For example, in order to qualify for many of the National Competitions, Young Horse, NAYC, etc., now only one (1) score is needed (NAYC one score for Team, one score for Individual, no Freestyle). If shows continue to be cancelled/postponed, I would anticipate some changes to how you can qualify for Regional Championships (no changes yet but who knows! – again, stay tuned!). As is true for so much of this time, everything seems to be in flux.
Nominations for Participating Member Delegate closed on April 15 and Region 6 has seven (7) nominees for the six (6) positions. In alphabetical order:
Stephanie Bonney – Boise, Idaho
Matthew Eagan – Carnation, Washington
Rick Edwards – Olympia, Washington
Nicki Grandia – Snohomish, Washington
Kaye Phaneuf – Canby, Oregon
Jo Renn – Lacey, Washington
Amanda Wilgenburg – Shelton, Washington
You can see their bios at: https://www.usdf.org/about/about-usdf/governance/nominating/pm-delegate-nominees.asp
All Participating Members will be asked to vote for the six (6) Delegates beginning June 1. All members should feel free to ask all of them questions on the Region 6 Group Facebook page -- https://www.facebook.com/groups/618589791577858/?ref=bookmarks
I’m contemplating having a virtual Spring Regional Meeting towards the end of May and would like your thoughts on a few things:
a. Would you LIKE a virtual meeting?
b. If so, would you prefer a Conference Call or Zoom video meeting?
c. If so, any particular topics you’d like to discuss?
PLEASE email me with your answers/comments (firstname.lastname@example.org) – even if you don’t have a comment, email my anyway just to see if anyone reads this! J
Lastly, another bio of one of our wonderful USEF Officials – Joan Darnell:
a. When and how did you get involved with horses and with dressage?
I started riding in 1980 at the same barn where Lilo Fore was teaching. After a year learning to ride, I started taking lessons with her and it blossomed
into what I have today.
b. Where do you live and how long have you lived in the Region?
Previously I lived in Region 6 from 1986-1996 in Rexburg, ID. We moved from there and I lived in Colorado and then in Texas. We moved back to the
Region in 2017 and I now reside in Olympia.
c. What do you enjoy most about your officiating?
I enjoy traveling to different areas of the country and seeing the horses and riders, The friends I have made throughout the nation are very valuable to me.
d. What is your most memorable “dressage moment?”
Being able to spend time with my daughter at shows and helping her with the grooming and show preparations.
e. In addition to horses, in what other activities (hobbies, work, etc.) are you involved?
My husband and I love to travel and spend time with our animals. We also are updating our property and that is filling our time at the moment.
f. What is your “formal” educational background?
My degree is in Nursing. I was an ICU nurse for 10 years before I became a full time trainer/rider/judge.
g. In addition to your officiating, what other USEF or USDF “jobs” have you done/are doing?
I have been the President of 2 GMOs. In Region 9 I was the Judge coordinator keeping track of judge education and updating the officials list. I am a member of the USDF "L" Faculty and a member of the Freestyle committee.
h. Is there anything else you’d like to share about yourself with the Region? Happy to back in the PNW!
As everything is up in the air – just keep checking in
What a month!
I’m sure you have heard/read of the decisions by USDF and USEF to, in effect, cancel shows and events through May 3rd (at least) – with the USDF cancelling scheduled events through the end of May.
Within the Region, Devonwood Equestrian Center cancelled its April show, Equestrians’ Institute has cancelled its two recognized shows at Donida and rescheduled its schooling shows to the Fall. Donida’s Spring Fling show is, as of this writing, still on for the second weekend of May but, of course, it too may be cancelled as conditions change.
The USDF Jr/Young Rider and Youth Outreach clinics, set for the end of April, have both been cancelled with the hope they can be rescheduled for the Fall. If you sent in an application, it will be carried over.
If you are one of the many (?) who are hoping to qualify for one of the national events (NAYC, Festival, etc.), I know the USEF (and USDF) are looking at what needs to change regarding being able to qualify. Just stay tuned and keep looking for updates.
With many of the barns being on lockdown, I know it is difficult for many to be able to ride their horses, let alone just go out to see and pet them. This also means that even when the shows start up, it may take a few weeks for both the horses and the riders to get back in “show shape.”
Yet just because clinics (and perhaps your regular lessons) have been cancelled, doesn’t mean you still can’t improve your riding skills. One way to improve is to take part in the USDF “University” system. Take advantage of the time to go through the various classes offered by USDF and get your credits towards your USDF “Diploma.”
For online courses go to https://www.usdf.org/education/university/kb/courses.asp
and then don’t forget to take advantage of the Education Library at https://www.usdf.org/education/university/kb/
But if you are able to ride, several people have offered to do “virtual instruction” – that is, have your ride videoed and sent off for a critique. If this is something of interest, please make sure you check out the posts on the Region 6 Group Facebook page.
One of our Region’s judges, Joan Darnell (“S”), will be judging a “Virtual Show” put on by her daughter, Claire -- http://www.dressage.us/virtual-competition.html?fbclid=IwAR0Jw6SaxOQcgKKy790_8wMFTsgGQa9BRLav2JhqyKyfY0u0HBHLM0TFFFw
In addition, two professionals from Region 6 have written an article on Covid-19 safety as it relates specifically to riding and barns. Please take a look and pass along the information. https://cb8059b4-2e8a-4c23-b0c7-713e371c2109.filesusr.com/ugd/d23bf1_447a3bca1594451694be93492f026bc3.pdf
One NON-Covid-19 item – the Region WILL have an election for Participating Member Delegates in June (all of June). You can nominate yourself or someone else by sending an email to email@example.com. At my request, the current PM Delegates have voted to have the Region pay for the Convention Fee for all PM Delegates so now’s there is NO reason not to join the fun and put your name in.
Here is yet another “bio” of one of our region’s USEF officials, our newest judge, Amanda Wilgenburg, “r” (I asked the officials to answer questions and I’ll continue to post responses periodically):
[When and how did you get involved with horses and with dressage?]
1. I first got involved with horses when my mother made the decision to take us to a riding lesson (a big decision for her as horses are a little intimidating to her) We went to Horse Haven Stables in Olympia Wa (it was located next to Chambers Prairie Veterinary Hospital and is now unfortunately, a subdivision). My first exposure to dressage was the “Dancing White Stallions” tour when they came to Trails End in Olympia Wa. I think I was all of 9. Then a brief encounter in my early teens, when the gentleman who with his wife imported what many people considered to be a "funny looking quarter horse” actually a Trakehner stallion from Denmark (their home country) and watching him float across the ground. It was a picture of perfection, and I remember thinking someday I want to ride like that. Fast forward 10 years, and my friend Andrea Pennington insisted I come try dressage, to which i replied ‘I’d rather watch paint dry”. She paid for my first lesson with Mike Osinski and I was hooked.
[Where do you live and how long have you lived in the Region?]
2. I live in Shelton Wa. A lot of people think it’s somewhere close to the edge of the world, and I kind of like it that way. I have lived in the region almost 40 years. (Egad! that sounds like a LONG time!)
[What do you enjoy most about your officiating?]
3. I am blessed to have recently earned my ‘r’ license. I enjoy the travel, meeting wonderful people, who volunteer, participate, run and attend our shows. I love watching competitors come down centerline, knowing all the hard work they’ve put in to getting there. I challenge myself to give critical, positive and accurate feedback to help them along on their journey.
[What is your most memorable “dressage moment?”]
4. I, like most of us, have many a memorable dressage moment. The 2 that stand out most, are my first trip to Championships. I was working for Kari McClain, and she was already at the grounds, whilst I stayed behind to over see daily operations, then ready my horse and head up. Unbeknownst to me, my ride time had been changed. Luanne Stark (then manager at the barn) came flying into the barn yelling my name (yes there were cell phones back then, but still in the novelty stage, the only one we had was permanently mounted in our highway truck, and of course powered off, because well, the truck was parked), telling me to get ready I had to ride in2 hours! She and my husband began washing my grey horse (who of course resembled more an Appaloosa then a white horse) he washed, she braided and I hooked up, loaded the trailer, got dressed and made it to Donida in record time. I tacked up, and made it down centerline with literally a minute to spare!
The second, well not quite as dramatic, but in many ways more important, was the first time riding down centerline at PSG. I was on a borrowed horse (now blessedly mine) wearing my dear students stock tie. (she had recently passed away from stomach cancer) I could hardly see the final center line from the tears of joy of having made it and the sadness of knowing she couldn’t be there in person to watch.
[In addition to horses, in what other activities (hobbies, work, etc.) are you involved?]
5. My husband and I own a highway truck, I no longer drive with him (still have my CDL though) but run the paperwork part from home. I also enjoy reading, singing, and drawing when I have the time.
[What is your “formal” educational background?]
6. I am a high school graduate, who attended a year and a half of college with the intent to major in criminal justice before life got in the way.
[In addition to your officiating, what other USEF or USDF “jobs” have you done/are doing?]
7. Aside from actually judging, I have also scribed, bit checked, ring stewarded, and generally done everything short of actually managing a competition. I am currently a region 6 PM delegate for the second year running and hope to be so again this year.
[Is there anything else you’d like to share about yourself with the Region?]
8. Not really
Normally I’d list the upcoming events but, this time --- hmmm.
Keep safe people and hope we’ll be through the worst of it by the time of next month’s eNews.
March 2020 eNews for Region 6
As the show season in the Region is about to start, make sure you have the right memberships for what you want to do.
To qualify for Regional Championships you need (basic rules):
Rider – USEF competing membership; USDF Participating membership
Horse – USEF annual or life number; USDF Life number
Owner – USEF competing membership; USDF Participating membership – AND Names MUST BE THE SAME on both memberships!
Trainer – [Remember – “Trainer” is the person responsible for the horse while on the show grounds not necessarily the person who is training the horse!] – USEF competing membership
If you just want to ride in a Recognized show and avoid non-member fees, you can ride in an Opportunity Class, otherwise:
Rider – USEF competing membership; USDF PM or GMO membership
Horse – USDF Horse ID
Owner – same as Rider
Trainer – USEF competing membership
Except for Opportunity and Intro classes, ALL adults (over 17) must have Safe Sport Training.
Note – the above is a condensed version, for a complete list, please go to the Regional Website or send a message to me or one of the many TDs in the Region.
Freestyle Qualifying Scores – 63% at the test of the highest level or a test of a higher level for Training through 4th -- BUT if you score 60% at an FEI test (PSG – GP), you may enter any Freestyle at that level or below.
USDF Surveys – you may be selected by the USDF for a survey of your opinion on any number of subjects. IF you are one of the lucky ones, PLEASE complete it and return the survey to USDF by the time stated. We need the information as the organization works to improve the various programs.
Congratulations to Kari McClain, Jessica Wisdom and Miari Stables, Olympia, WA for they have been chosen to host the 2020 USDF Youth/Young Adult Dressage Sport Horse Breeding Seminar, June 30-July 1. The USDF Youth/Young Adult Dressage Sport Horse Breeding Seminar is an educational event for ages 14-27. Each seminar is a unique experience, and highlights the various breeding, training, and sales operations of dressage focused farms throughout the United States.
Complete information will be available on the USDF website.
And last, Quick “Fun Fact” – Region 6 was well represented at the Global CDI in Wellington, Florida (Feb. 19-23). Kari McClain and Mike Osinski were judges; Jennifer Williams and Endel Otts were competing; Noah Rattner was announcing.
Jr/YR Clinic with George Williams – deadline for applying is March 13 – full information at https://www.usdf.org/education/clinics/jryr/index.asp
Youth Outreach Clinic with Brook Martz – deadline for applying is March 20 – full information at https://www.usdf.org/education/clinics/youth/index.asp
PM Delegate Nominations – deadline for nomination is April 15 – full information at https://www.usdf.org/about/about-usdf/governance/nominating/PMFAQ.pdf?t=2/21/2020%202:36:56%20PM
Dressage NW’s Stephen Clarke Symposium – demo rider application deadline received by March 20 – full information at https://dressagenorthwest.org/?page_id=158
The first month of my 2nd year as your Regional Director has gone by very quickly and a lot has been done by people within the Region.
Greg Darnell, our marvelous web master, has done a wonderful job revamping the Region’s website – . Not only is there a new, and fresh look and feel, but he has added two new features – linking the Region 6 Instagram and Region Twitter feeds:
Those of you who use these mediums please add Region 6 to your appropriate pictures/posts and help make the Region’s website lively.
Trainers – please contact Greg at to get your name, address, information added to the Region’s Trainer Page/Map. This is now a FREE SERVICE and we’d love to make sure that ALL trainers within the Region are listed.
On January 11, Devonwood Equestrian Center hosted the First Annual Region 6 Summit and I believe all who attended agreed it was very well worthwhile. The attendees came from across the Region and examined the current state of Dressage and contemplated various ways to make it better. The attendees were led through numerous exercises and heard from several speakers on topics such as “What do competitors want?” – “How to promote and keep volunteers” – and “How to increase sponsorships and funding.”
The list of attendees is too long but the following organizations were represented:
Arab Horse Association – Region 5
Bozeman Dressage Association
Devonwood Equestrian Center
Idaho Dressage & Eventing Association
Lower Puget Sound Dressage Club
Oregon Dressage Society
Pacific Northwest High Performance Dressage Foundation
Region 6 Participating Member Delegates
Whidbey Equestrian Center
This Summit could not have been put on but for the hard work of the Organizing Committee including:
And but for the wonderful sponsors including:
Devonwood Equestrian Center which hosted the event
Hilleberg the Tentmakers
Northwest Equine Vet Associates
Lower Puget Sound Dressage Club
Bickford Ford of Snohomish
Helm Saddles & Summervale Premier Dressage
Equestrians’ Institute and
United States Dressage Federation (which provided wonderful “swag”)
Over $5000 was raised from the sponsors and all remaining funds will be used to support Dressage activities within the Region.
Although it looks like I won’t be competing this year, I am excited that our show season is about to start with the first recognized shows being held March 7 & 8 at Donida Equestrian Center and Devonwood. Of course schooling shows are on-going but it seems like a very early start to our season. Thank you Gwen Blake and Donida and Noah Rattner and Devonwood.
Juniors and Young Riders – now is your chance to participate in the USDF Young Rider Clinic with George Williams or the Youth Outreach Clinic with Brook Martz, April 25-26 – full information at
The deadlines for applying are March 13 (YR Clinic) or March 20 (Outreach Clinic). Both clinics will be held in the Wilsonville, OR area.
Lastly, IF you are interested in becoming a Participating Member Delegate to the Board of Governors, your nomination must be received by USDF by April 15. Feel free to contact me at for more information.
Shows, Clinics and Events To Remember
Feb. 7 -- Deadline for applying to host the 2021 Regional Championships
Feb. 15 -- NW Equestrian Expo -- Lynden, WA
March 7 - 8 -- Devonwood and Donida USEF/USDF Shows
March 13 -- Deadline to apply for USDF Jr/YR Clinic
March 20 -- Deadline to apply to be a demo rider at Stephen Clarke Symposium
March 20 -- Deadline to apply for USDF Outreach Clinic
March 21 -- Freestyle Clinic hosted by Lower Puget Sound Dressage Club
April 15 -- Deadline for Participating Member Delegate nominations
April 16-18 -- FEI Dressage World Cup, Las Vegas
Attention Youth Riders – Jr/YR Clinic
The USDF Region 6 Junior/Young Rider Clinic, featuring George Williams, will be held April 25-26, 2020, at Pirouette Enterprises in Wilsonville, OR. The rider deadline is March 13, and auditor preregistration ends April 10. Walk-in auditors are accepted. More information
Attention Youth Riders – Youth Outreach Clinic held in conjunction with the Jr/YR Clinic
The USDF Region 6 Youth Outreach Clinic, featuring Brooke Martz, will be held April 25-26, 2020. Participants will audit the Jr/YR Clinic on Saturday at Pirouette Enterprises in Wilsonville, OR. On Sunday, participants will have their private riding sessions with Brooke Martz at River Run Equestrian Training Center in Newberg, OR. The youth outreach clinic rider deadline is March 20. More information