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: 1976
Locality: USDF Region 8, Connecticut

How many members does your GMO have annually, on average?
150 members.

Tell us a little about your GMO:
The Connecticut Dressage Association has been in existence since the 1970s, and the fact that we are both in existence and financially stable makes us proud. We have an enthusiastic board, including a few people who have been involved for more than 35 years. Our membership has been consistent over the last few years, and is especially strong this year. We run a series of schooling shows that provide us with our working capital, and we donate to other charities each year: High Hopes and Hidden Acres (therapeutic riding) and Dressage4Kids, Inc. Several years ago, we hosted a USDF Instructor Certification series of workshops. It was extremely labor intensive, but we were proud that we were able to do that. We offer scholarships for adult amateurs, youth, or professionals. We also have a unique program called the Vista Vintage Award Program, which honors horses over the age of 18 that are still competing.

Does your GMO offer unique classes or activities that cater to youth,
adult amateurs, or professionals?

We hosted one of the USDF Instructor Certification workshops a number of years ago, and we have always sponsored one or two teams for Dressage4Kids, Inc.’s Youth Dressage Festival, in August. We’ve also sponsored one or two teams of adult amateurs at the Northeast Regional Adult Amateur Dressage Championships, in the fall. We’ll host two Ride/Critique/Ride programs this year, one geared for adult amateurs and the other for youth. The highest scoring horse/rider at schooling shows and recognized shows receive a plaque and cash prize.

What type of educational events does your GMO offer?
As noted above, we offer our Ride/Critique/Ride programs and schooling shows, as well as host an educational speaker at our awards banquet.

What type of “fun” events does your GMO offer?
We have an awards banquet each year (in January or February for the previous year) that is free to all members. We provide the food, and have a guest speaker. We recognize our schooling show and recognized show winners with ribbons and very nice prizes for our first and second place winners. We also have a silent auction and award a few special awards: Volunteer of the Year and the Vista Vintage Award.

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