New England Dressage Association (NEDA)

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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 8, New England
Website: http://www.neda.org

How many members does your GMO have annually, on average?
1600 members

Tell us about your GMO.
Over forty years ago, NEDA was founded to help build awareness and interest in the sport of dressage. Today, NEDA is the largest single chapter USDF GMO in the country. We are proud to offer our members top quality educational, competitive, and scholarship opportunities. We have many membership options and welcome all equine enthusiasts to join, participate, and volunteer.

NEDA’s origins began at the 1968 Olympics held in Mexico City. Several equestrian enthusiasts attended the dressage competition and returned to New England determined to learn more about the sport. They connected with a handful of riders with training in dressage, including Tom Poulin and Jack Burton, an Olympic eventer. When NEDA was formed in 1972, there were about 40 members. By 1973, there were 159 members. Interest in the sport quickly grew at the national level, leading to the formation of the United States Dressage Federation (USDF). NEDA was a charter founding member of the USDF, and many of NEDA’s early leaders also populated the committees and leadership roles of USDF. NEDA lent its organizational expertise to many other fledgling dressage organizations across the country.

The current mission of NEDA is “to promote and support the Art and
Sport of Dressage to the equestrian community for the purpose of fostering
individual and collective growth by providing leadership, education,
exhibitions, publications, competitions and to enhance greater public
awareness, understanding, and appreciation for the discipline of Dressage.”

In support of this mission, NEDA offers members benefits and discounts to educational events through the entire Northeast Region. In addition, all NEDA members receive a complimentary subscription to NEDA’s award winning, “A Tip of the Hat” Newsletter, and NEDA’s ”The Salute” yearbook. Both of these publications have won many USDF honors for content and design over the years.

NEDA maintains an award-winning website, and has established a lively and engaged social media presence, including Facebook pages, lnstagram, and Twitter accounts. NEDA’s communications network is one of our most valuable assets, reaching members and non-members alike with all the latest information and event schedules in the region.

NEDA also supports sport horse breeders and owners. The NEDA Sporthorse Committee consists of dedicated volunteers committed to improving sport horse breeding and showing in the New England area. NEDA promotes breeders and owners through the USDF Breeders Championship Series/ NEDA Series, and NEDA hosts breed show qualifiers and the championship final at the NEDA Fall Festival of Dressage. Additionally, the NEDA Stallion Season Auction is an extremely popular annual fundraiser.

Does your GMO off er unique classes or activities that cater to youth, adult amateurs, or professionals? If so, please provide a brief description.
For competitors, NEDA hosts three recognized dressage shows and two schooling shows each year. The Fall Festival of Dressage, now a CDI*** World Cup Qualifier, is run in conjunction with the GAIG/USDF Regional Championships and Breeders Championship Series Final. Covering five days of competition in up to eight rings, it is believed that the NEDA Fall Festival has grown to be the largest dressage show in the United States and attracts international competitors at the world-class HITS facility in Saugerties, New York.

As part of NEDA’s mission to “Promote and Support the Art and Sport of Dressage,” educational scholarships are made available to NEDA members who wish to pursue training and personal goals in dressage. Scholarships are used to participate in educational programs that include seminars, workshops, clinics, and training programs offered by recognized or certified instructors. This program has two specific objectives: to provide the widest possible range of dressage education to the greatest number of members, and to support the development of dressage in the field of international competition. Scholarships, ranging from $1000-$4000, are awarded twice a year. Adult Amateurs, Professionals, and Juniors are all encouraged to apply.

NEDA is fueled by passionate volunteers. To recognize our extraordinary volunteer support base, NEDA awards the Ann Villani Memorial Award for outstanding commitment to NEDA, education, and volunteerism. The recipient receives a $1000 prize.

What type of educational events does your GMO offer?
NEDA has continued to feature top dressage trainers and riders from all over the world for symposia, including Ulla Salzgeber, Anky van Grunsven, Steffen and Shannon Peters, Klaus Balkenhol, Hubertus Schmidt, Debbie McDonald, Stephen Clark, Ashley Holzer, and Ingrid Klimke. In October of 2017, NEDA is proudly hosting Olympic Gold Medalist Carl Hester for our Fall Symposium. Th is highly anticipated event is expected to attract a large audience at Pineland Farms in New Gloucester, Maine.

The NEDA Educational Outreach program offers NEDA members discounts on partnered riding clinics, adult amateur camps, and educational events in the New England region. The Education Outreach program helps Region 8 GMOs, non-profits, and NEDA members in gaining access to a wider audience for their educational events through NEDA’ s vast reach through the “Tip” newsletter, periodic membership emails, social media, and our website calendar.

Additionally, training judges was one of NEDA’s core goals when it was first founded, and it continues to be a priority for the organization. NEDA has hosted the popular USDF “L” Program many times. Part I, which includes three lectures and practice judging weekends, is popular not only for program participants, but also for auditors and demo riders.

What type of “fun” events does your GMO offer?
NEDA has a robust and competitive Year-End Awards program, and traditionally we hold a banquet celebrating our award winners. The event serves as a fun social opportunity to connect outside of the barn, to celebrate NEDA, and accomplishments from the show year.

Additionally, the NEDA Fall Festival of Dressage features several fun social events: a welcome party held at the breed show pavilion, a wine and cheese reception at the CDI jog, and the competitors’ party. All events are free and open to all on the grounds: competitors, their guests, volunteers, judges, etc. Traditionally, these events have featured entertaining activities such as a hula hoop contest, a golf cart decorating competition, and silent auctions.

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