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: 1973
Locality: USDF Region 2
How many members does your GMO have annually, on average? 175-200
Tell us about your GMO.
Our organization was created in 1971 and was known as the “Wisconsin Dressage Association”. In 1973, we became a Charter Member of the United States Dressage Federation. In 1986, we changed our name to “Wisconsin Dressage & Combined Training Association, Inc.” WDCTA has chapters throughout the state of Wisconsin and in the upper peninsula of Michigan. We have a very active Facebook Group and distribute our monthly newsletter, the eQuester, to all our members and post it on our website. Despite being a medium-size GMO, we have historically presented successful large symposiums, such as “Though The Levels” in 2011 with Janet Foy and Steffen Peters, and in 2017, a William Fox-Pitt eventing symposium. We have also hosted several USDF educational programs such as the L Program and the instructor certification workshops and pre-certification. Our chapters also bring in clinicians for our membership throughout the year, as well as host fun events such as paint nights, pizza dinners, braiding demos, yoga nights, and more. Some of the clinicians we have brought in on a regular clinic basis include Janet Foy, author of two books and an FEI 5* dressage judge; Debbie A. Rodgriguez, a USEF ‘S’ dressage judge and FEI 3* dressage judge; and former Canadian dressage team member, Cindy Ishoy.
Does your GMO offer unique classes or activities that cater to youth, adult amateurs, or professionals? If so, please provide a brief description.
WDCTA has a youth ambassador or Jr/YR representative and most recently offered two clinics aimed directly for our younger and adult amateur riders. We also offer scholarships for our members in three categories: professional, adult amateur, and Jr/ YR. The scholarship is meant for a WDCTA member to have the opportunity to be in a training situation that is not readily available during the course of his/her daily pattern.
What type of educational events does your GMO offer?
WDCTA works to provide a variety of educational opportunities, from dressage and eventing riding clinics, to more focused non-riding educational opportunities and demos such as braiding demos, yoga or Pilates demos, acupuncture demos, and video test reviews with licensed judges. Our annual meeting and awards banquet always features an educational keynote speaker.
What type of “fun” events does your GMO offer?
Our chapters will do fun things such as a paint night, pizza parties, barn tours, holiday ‘chocolate’ parties with Yankee gift exchanges, etc.
We have a great core of volunteers and do our best to encourage and groom others to volunteer as well. Some of our members are great at organizing and can think through and map the profits and losses of our events. Others enjoy coordinating the food and refreshments. Others develop the marketing materials or coordinate riders and stabling, or the reception table. We believe anyone and everyone can contribute in some way, plus it’s a great way to meet new friends and learn new skills.