Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Where the Movers and Shakers Gather

If you want to meet our sport's VIPs, head to the 2012 Adequan/USDF Annual Convention in New Orleans.

International coach and clinician Kathy Connelly was on my flight to NOLA. Major dressage supporters and sponsors Chuck and Joann Smith, plus USDF FEI Junior/Young Rider Committee member Roz Kinstler, were on the hotel shuttle bus. And now I'm sitting in a meeting room with the members of the USDF Executive Board, where I was just introduced to incoming United States Equestrian Federation president Chrystine Tauber.

In the fifteen-plus years that I've been attending USDF conventions, the thing that's continued to impress me is the degree to which top dressage riders, trainers, judges, officials, and others give back to the sport. Serving on the USDF Executive Board is an unpaid position. So is serving as a member of USDF's volunteer-driven governance structure -- its councils, its committees, and its Board of Governors. These dedicated individuals give a lot of their time, not to mention footing some travel expenses, to try to make American dressage better for everybody, and most especially our horses.

OK, enough pontificating. Where else can you meet a cross-section of our sport's greats? It's pretty cool.

Hope to see you in NOLA this week!

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