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.
Here it is, the end of January, 2021 and I believe we all hope the light we are now seeing truly IS the "light at the end of the tunnel." I, like most of you I suppose, am waiting to get an appointment for my vaccine shots so that we can all "go back?" to the "new normal." And just what might that new normal look like?
One way to see just what the new normal looks like is to find shows, clinics and events at the new FREE events calendar on the Region 6 website:
PLEASE, if you have an event, a show, a clinic, any event of interest to Dressage in Region 6, put it on the Calendar. It will be great to have this as our "go to place" to know about all of the events within the Region but it will only become that with your help.
It does look like there will be REAL, not just virtual, shows in 2021 and not just in Washington or Idaho. I understand Devonwood has already held a show (not a USEF/USDF one) and I know management is looking forward to a real show season. The first recognized show is set for mid-March and another one in mid-April.
Whidbey Equestrian Center has also published its schedule with its first show May 8-9.
Alaska Dressage Society will have its first show in mid-June while Equestrians' Institute gets back into shows also in mid-June.
In other words, it looks like a full schedule of shows for 2021.
WELCOME BACK Devonwood, Whidbey, E.I. and Alaska Dressage!
Of course Donida continues to have a full schedule, starting in March, and so do the other facilities that braved the Covid Rules in 2020.
The Junior/Young Rider Clinic with George Williams is scheduled for May 1-2 at Pirouette Enterprises in Sherwood, OR. Riders, get your information at:
and join in a wonderful educational experience.
Unfortunately, I'm sure due to Covid, PM membership in the Region has dropped so we will have only 5 Participating Member Delegates to the 2021 USDF Convention in Houston. BUT, now is the time for you to be nominated (and yes, you can self-nominate, just about everybody does!) for one of those 5 spots. Help the Region's governance and have a good time while you are at it!
So, as we enter February, get ready to show and be sure to add your event to the new Region 6 Events Calendar.
Year End 2020 eNews
What a year – and as it comes to a close, time to reflect a bit and in particular, try to find the lemonade amongst all those lemons.
Within the Region, I believe one huge pitcher of lemonade was made by the Lower Puget Sound Dressage Club with its very successful Virtual Schooling Show Series. It has already published its Winter Series, lpsdc_omnibus.pdf and I’m sure is hoping for another smashing success.
As Regional Director I applaud the initiative and hard work of LPSDC for putting this together and making it work. But also as Regional Director, I do wonder how this new show reality may affect other GMOs and show providers. With a physical show, geography (not to mention the facility itself) creates natural limitations but when geography is not an issue what is the best way for all GMOs and show providers to “work and play well together?” This may well be an issue for discussion at the upcoming Regional Summit. But again, congratulations to LPSDC for making a great lemonade.
Note – one item about these Virtual Schooling Shows that was raised at the Region 6 meeting by FEI Judge, Kristi Wysocki, was that FEI riders (that is, those riding in FEI sanctioned events) should NOT participate in these (or any!) schooling show. FEI Article 113 states Riders and Horses that are registered with the FEI “are not eligible to participate in an international or national [FEI] event if they have participated in an unsanctioned [by the USEF] event within six months.” So those who are planning to go to a CDI or try out for NAYC need to make sure they do not participate in any schooling show, virtual or real! Thank you Kristi for bringing this up.
Another big pitcher of Lemonade was made by the USDF with its first (and last?) “virtual convention” earlier this month. Without getting into specific numbers, I can just assure you more people registered for this “Convention” than have registered for a long time. I guess being free and not having to travel really does make a difference! 93 people from within Region 6 registered for the Virtual Convention and approximately 45 people tuned in for the Region 6 Virtual meeting.
Many of the events at the Virtual meeting will be available for viewing online and some are already available.
All of the Awards videos, including the introduction of Verdades into the USDF Hall of Fame, are available at:
The absolutely riveting Board of Governors Meetings are available for your viewing pleasure at:
You can see, and listen, to the results of our Region 6 Delegates asking very pointed questions of USDF Leadership about the loss of the USDF website this past August.
If you are interested in USEF Rules and Rule Changes, the Rule Change Open Forum is available at:
Over the next several weeks, it is planned for the various education sessions to be published – stay tuned and keep a watch out for notices on the USDF website, the YourDressage.org website and the USDF Facebook page.
The USEF’s “Covid Modifications” to the normal rules have been renewed for 2021 – at least for the foreseeable future. But I understand the various facilities are looking forward to holding shows in 2021 beginning with shows in March. Let’s just all hope the vaccine rollouts work and we begin to get back to something we can call “normal.”
The Regional Summit is set to begin, Sunday, January 31, 2021. This will be a Zoom Summit set for a 2 hour session and, like the first one this past January, 2020, will be by invitation only. In addition to the PM Delegates, GMO Presidents and V-Ps, representatives from various show facilities and the Morgan and Arab Breed organizations should be attending. I’m hoping this will help us all “work and play well together” as well as examine, and propose solutions, to the issue of “bringing back our customers.”
Membership in the GMOs and Participating Members, not to mention, of course, show participation, took a hit in 2020. PM Membership was down 17% from 2019 and 20% from 2018. Regional GM Membership was down 25% from 2019 and 27% from 2018 – and one GMO has opted to disband as of 12/31/2020. There is no reason to even discuss show participation since more than 65% of our “show days” were cancelled – but the question, “Will they come back?” is one that has to weigh on all show managers.
So you see, this really is a HUGE issue for all of us who will be attending the Summit.
A couple of announcements:
a. P.M. Delegate Nominations – as always, they are due by April 15 – just notify me if you want to be nominated or send your name to the USDF.
b. Regional Director – 2021 will be my third year as Regional Director which means the Regional Delegates (PM and GM) will have the opportunity to vote on the Regional Director for the next three year term. Quite frankly, I’ve had a great time being your Regional Director and I plan on running again. However, competition is always good so if you want to run, nominations are due by June 1 (and you can be nominated from the Convention floor). If you have any questions about the job, please, do not hesitate to ask me or any of our past RDs.
I just re-read the eNews I wrote on 12/31/2019 – I may have made a couple of bad forecasts about how things looked great for 2020 – but I’ll repeat my closing comment:
Happy New Year!
The USDF Region 6 Junior/Young Rider Clinic, featuring George Williams, is tentatively scheduled for May 1-2, 2021. Location TBA. Registrations for this clinic will not open until February. More information
This month’s eNews is just a bit early due to the First USDF Virtual Convention, Dec. 3 – 6 – AT YOUR PLACE!
Remember, all USDF members, PM, GM, Education or Business, are invited to come to the Convention and learn more about your USDF and oh so many other things. BUT, in order to enjoy the Convention, you must first register – go to
And register. Once you have registered, you can then peruse the agenda
and sign up for the events in which you want to watch/listen/participate
There are three events I hope many (all?) of you will attend:
a. The Regional Meeting – set for Thursday, Dec. 3 from 1-2:15 PST
b. The First Board of Governors Session – Friday, Dec. 4 from 2-5 PST
c. The Second Board of Governors Session – Saturday, Dec. 5 -- 11 – 1 PST
While there aren’t the “hot” issues coming to the Board of Governors (BOG), on Friday you’ll learn about the candidates for At Large Director (3 spots) and you’ll get the Treasurer’s Report which should be interesting given the disruptions of 2020.
On Saturday, the BOG will vote on the At Large Director candidates and the budget.
On Sunday, Nov. 8, I held the first Zoom Regional Meeting. I was pleased with the number of participants and that we had them from all three of Region 6 time zones. Greg Darnell, the Regional Webmaster, discussed adding an events calendar to the Regional Website. With FB no longer having the calendar option for the Group FB page, I’m hoping everyone will list their event on the new Regional Events Calendar. Greg opted to use the Google Calendar which will allow you to search on a few categories.
I know that many will use their phone and if you do, you’ll need to find the “mobile link” which is at the bottom of the page (and may be also linked elsewhere on the page – LOOK for it).
There is only one Event for this eNews – The USDF Virtual Convention – Come and see YOUR USDF in action
I am inviting all of you (or at least the first 100 people) to the Virtual [Zoom] Regional Meeting, Sunday, Nov. 8 at 7 p.m. PST. The plan is to review 2020, discuss the USDF Virtual Convention (remember, it is open to every member as part of your membership in USDF) and preview 2021. The log in information will be at the end of this eNews.
Back to eNews: October 30, 2020 – The show season, what there was of it, is over, the [virtual] Regional meeting is right around the corner as is the USDF Virtual Convention. I’m thinking 2021 can’t come soon enough!
But now is time to recap how things have gone and take stock of where we are. I know that people are getting ready for 2021 (Devonwood and Donida have both published schedules) so here goes.
I’ll start with a comparison of the 2019 show season with 2020, by state:
Alaska – 2019 – 3 show weekends (4 individual shows) – 2020 – zero
Idaho – 2019 – 5 show weekends (8 shows) – 2020 – 6 show weekends (8 shows)
Montana – 2019 – 2 show weekends (3 shows) – 2020 – zero
Oregon – 2019 – 9 show weekends (14 shows) – 2020 – one
Washington – 2019 – 20 show weekends (33 shows) (several weekends had multiple shows) – 2020 – 7 show weekends (12 shows)
All in all, 66% of our individual shows failed to happen in 2020 as ODS, EI, Whidbey Equestrian Center, Devonwood and Spokane all canceled their shows. I think it is fair to say we are all looking forward to them coming back strong in 2021.
With the show season being drastically reduced, it is not surprising that memberships in the various GMOs and the Region were down – in some cases, way down.
Both Oregon Dressage Society and Equestrians’ Institute saw significant declines in membership numbers as did Inland Northwest Dressage Society. Interestingly, Lower Puget Sound Dressage Club saw its membership stay stable – perhaps LPSDC can let the rest of us know its secret!
The biggest reduction in memberships, at least by number, was in USDF Participating Memberships – a drop of 426 or almost a 30% drop off. I hope this is a reflection of people deciding NOT to show and go for Regional Championships/Year End awards (both programs needing PM memberships) and not an indication of something more permanent.
If any of you have some thoughts on this, please write them down and email them to me – email@example.com
Pretty clearly we all have a lot of work ahead to bring us back to where we were, let alone start growing again.
For those of you who DID compete at the Regional Championships at Donida, and became eligible for competing at the National Finals, remember this from USDF:
“Declarations for US Dressage Finals…will remain open through November 15, 2020. Declarations are not required for classes in which a Wild Card score was earned.
In addition to a Declaration, a Nomination will need to be completed by all.”
For full information on this, please go to usdressagefinals.com .
October 2020 eNews
As I write this, the 2020 GAIG/USDF Regional Championship Show at Donida Equestrian Center, Auburn, WA, has finished. The Management Team at Donida has masterfully pulled everything together to host the Championships. If there ever was a case of “The Show Must Go On” this is it.
Of course the first hurdle was “The Covid-19 Hurdle” which, because of Oregon’s regulations, caused the show to be moved to Washington. The next hurdle was Fire and Smoke – something I believe everyone in the Region has experienced first hand.
But each hurdle was cleared and the Show Di Go On. One hundred, seventeen horses are the final tally for the show which at one point (prior to the Fire and Smoke) had 170 entered! Another huge Thank You to the Management Team for allowing “Smoke Vet-Outs” beyond the original Vet-Out date – honoring the rule that horse welfare comes first.
Of course this IS October in Western Washington which means the weather is “interesting” – Friday was sunny and warm, Saturday had heavy fog in the morning (check out some pictures on the Region 6 Group Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/photo?fbid=10223164279876212&set=pcb.2826535474116601) and Sunday, well just overcast.
The GAIG/USDF Regional Championships are not the only Championships held in Region 6 the past couple of weeks. The Arabian Sport Horse Nationals came back to the Idaho Horse Park, Nampa, Idaho, the latter part of September and there was plenty of USDF Region 6 Representation. I’m sure I’ve missed some, but our representation included:
Kari McClain, Miari Farms
Lindsey and Reese O’Keefe
While normally I’d be holding a Regional meeting tonight (Saturday, Oct. 3 during the Regional Championships), this year I’ll try holding a virtual meeting the end of October. Information about the virtual/Zoom meeting will be published on the Region 6 FB page, the Region 6 website and any other way I can think of. Although there are elections to the USDF Executive Board for At-Large Directors, there aren’t any contested ones (and no nominations from the floor of the Board of Governors are allowed for these positions). The information about the three candidates, representing the three different “councils” (the USDF organizes the various committees into “councils” depending on the committee subject matter) has been published in the latest edition of Connections, the USDF Magazine.
It is time for you to think about if you’d like to become more involved with the USDF as part of the governance – that is, would you like to be on one of the several different Committees? If you aren’t aware of the system, please go to the USDF website and take a look at the various committees and what they do. Does anything look interesting to you? If so, let me know.
To end this month’s eNews, I want to congratulate my friend, Paula Helm who, in two weeks will depart the Pacific Northwest for the East Coast. She is departing in style for on her last ride before she moves East, got her final score for her Gold Medal! Congratulations Paula.
September 2020 eNews – the hardest part is to decide where to start.
Today, Sept. 11, the biggest news is the evacuation of so many in Oregon due to all the fires and the smoke. A huge Thank You to all the people and facilities who have worked so hard to offer homes to those who were forced to leave. Devonwood Equestrian Center and the Rattners have done a wonderful job of offering space (as I write this, DWEC is full up) and helping coordinate placement.
As much as we might criticize social media for the many things, this also proves how valuable it can be as it helped many find their temporary home. The Region 6 Facebook page appeared to be quite useful to many within the Region – pleas for help with many answers of “Come Here.” I can only hope that all who needed help have been able to find appropriate solutions.
It is likely the fires and smoke will be around for at least a few more days (not to mention recurring year after year). While there doesn’t seem to have been a lot of research on the effects of smoke and our four legged partners, there is a paper from the Davis Vet School that has some information. The paper is here: https://www.vetmed.ucdavis.edu/news/guidelines-horses-exposed-wildfire-smoke?fbclid=IwAR2HdjMNUngm126DfYFRYffLlrBO4RIKnQ-Jlk9Yeohtt2xi11ldTvSDKsE
along with a “Quick Reference Guide” https://www.vetmed.ucdavis.edu/sites/g/files/dgvnsk491/files/inline-files/smoke-inhalation-quick-reference-guide.pdf
Some of the highlights from the main article:
a. Limit exercise when smoke is visible. Don’t have your horse do activities that increase the airflow in and out of the lungs.
b. Provide plenty of fresh water close to where your horse eats. Horses drink most of their water within 2 hours of eating hay, so having water close to the feeder increases water consumption. Water keeps the airways moist and facilitates clearance of inhaled particulate matter.
c. Give your horse ample time to recover from smoke-induced airway insult. Airway damage resulting from wildfire smoke takes 4-6 weeks to heal.
On what I hope is a happier note, kudos to Noah Rattner & Devonwood and Gwen Blake & Donida for working together to transfer the 2020 GAIG/USDF Regional Championships from Devonwood to Donida. I hope the Championships are well attended despite all of the show cancellations and issues of these past months.
Of course if you are able to help out by being a volunteer, please contact Donida and let them know. Volunteers are what allow horse shows to happen!
Last issue for this eNews – while I had hoped to be able to have a Regional Meeting at the Regional Championships, that is not going to happen. Instead, I will be setting up a virtual meeting one evening prior to October 10. In looking at the calendar, there doesn’t seem to a “good time” to have one so I’ll just set it up and hope for the best. Please check in on the Region 6 Facebook page for more information, date, time and agenda. Of course if you have something you’d like to address, please let me know
Congratulations to our newly (re)elected Participating Member Delegates:
Matt Eagan - Washington -- a trainer in Carnation
Stephanie Bonney -- Idaho - an attorney in Boise
Nicki Grandia -- Washington -- a trainer in Snohomish
Kaye Phaneuf -- Washington -- a Technical Delegate (R) from Canby
Jo Renn -- Washington -- a psychiatrist from Olympia
Amanda Wilgenburg -- Washington -- a USEF Judge (r) from Shelton
We had our first (virtual) meeting this week and discussed a number of topics, including:
Regional Championships and a second Region 6 Summit
As you may know, due to the number of shows having been cancelled in the Region, the rule for Qualifying have been changed to allow everyone to "look back" at rides from last year in addition to rides this season. We are still planning on Devonwood providing a wonderful Regional Championships in October but, Sars-Cov-2, and Oregon, will have a BIG SAY on that!
We believe the First Regional Summit this past January was a useful event which brought together many "stakeholders" to meet, get to know each other, and discuss how the Region can do better. We're hoping we can have the Second Annual Regional Summit in February the weekend of February 20-21. Of course we did discuss the real possibility that it will have to be a virtual meeting just as the 2020 USDF Convention will be virtual.
And writing of the 2020 USDF Virtual Convention, I hope you all will consider taking part as EVERY USDF member is invited to participate and your membership is your ticket. You'll be invited to participate in the virtual Committee Meetings -- yes, the USDF has Committees on just about every aspect of Dressage and the USDF. There will also be lectures on subjects which are important to the world of Dressage -- from medical/horse health related subjects to our best guesses on what the USEF will do regarding rule changes.
In addition to inviting all members to the USDF Virtual Convention, the PM Delegates and I discussed the upcoming Region 6 Meeting. While I hope to host the Meeting at the Regional Championships in October, we discussed having a virtual (Zoom) meeting in September. I am very interested to hear from you on the idea of having a virtual (Zoom) Regional Meeting in addition to, or in lieu of, an in-person meeting at the Regional Championships. Please email your thoughts to me at firstname.lastname@example.org or post them on the Region 6 Group Facebook page (you ARE a member of the page, right?).
GMO Presidents and Members -- August is a special month for you:
You need to submit your nominations for GMO awards by the end of the month ( https://www.usdf.org/awards/service/gmo.asp ).
You also need to identify your GM Delegate(s) to the USDF (Virtual) Convention and this year there is no reason to specify a proxy for your Delegate as everyone can go at NO COST (except your time). Everyone should watch the Board of Governors to learn about how your organization works.
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 (email@example.com) – 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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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