Group Member Organizations (GMOs) are the foundation of USDF and integral in bringing dressage and dressage education to the masses.
Stay connected with your local dressage community and support dressage at the local level by joining a GMO in your area today!
USDF GMO Established: 1972
Locality: Region 3, Florida
How many members does your GMO have annually, on average?
Tell us about your GMO.
The Alpha Dressage Association (ADA), in Sarasota, FL, is the first club and the oldest club in the state. It was started as the Florida Dressage Society and formed, in 1969, by John P. Kimball, who served as the first president. It was incorporated on February 11, 1972 and was one of the first charter members of USDF!
Under Jack Kimball’s leadership, the Florida Dressage Society put on the first recognized dressage show, the Southern States Dressage Championships, in Florida and continued to provide that service for several years.
Originally, it was the only GMO in Florida, and the organization was essentially managed by a board of directors located in Sarasota, with regional representatives from other parts of the state. The Florida Dressage Society sponsored many clinics, with nationally and internationally recognized instructors. Other dressage clubs were organized after a few years and Florida Dressage Society eventually served those living in southwest Florida. When Jack Kimball moved from the area, he took the name Florida Dressage Society with him, but left the charter in Sarasota under the name Alpha Dressage Society. He did not develop another group with the name Florida Dressage Society and our club remains ADA today.
Does your GMO offer unique classes or activities that cater to
youth, adult amateurs, or professionals? If so, please provide a brief
Most of our classes or activities cater to adult amateurs. We focus on monthly schooling shows and really encourage wonderful clinicians to come to our warm climate in “season” i.e. Mary Wanless, Bill Woods, and Janet Foy to name a few.
What type of educational events does your GMO offer?
We offer monthly meetings that are held at various locations in Sarasota and Manatee counties, to try to fairly accommodate our members. Each meeting features a guest speaker that addresses current equine topics of interest.
What type of “fun” events does your GMO offer?
Our club really winds down the calendar year with our Awards Banquet and the Christmas party. In January, ADA kicks off the new year with the Unwanted Gift Exchange, which is great fun and brings lots of laughs going into the show season!