By Chelsey Burris
Every fall, each of the nine USDF Regions hosts a Great American Insurance Group/USDF Regional Dressage Championship, presented by SmartPak. These championships are a yearly goal for many competitors. From small, privately owned farms to venues so large they once hosted the Olympics, take a look at the venues for the 2019 regional championships.
Region 1 – Senator Bob Martin Eastern Agricultural Center
Located in Williamston, NC, the center is run by the North Carolina Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services. It is a multi-facet facility where a variety of horse shows and events are held throughout the year and cover many different equine disciplines.
Region 2 – Waterloo Hunt Club
Waterloo Hunt Club is a family-oriented, traditional hunt club. Waterloo Hounds hunt twice a week from September through April. The Club has hosted horse shows from its beginning, sponsoring those of the Jackson Riding Club in the 1940s. The club also sponsors two National rated hunter/jumper shows, several dressage shows, and hunter trials. Sitting on 60 acres in Grass Lake, MI, the club was formed in 1941 was moved to its present site in 1946.
Region 3 – Georgia International Horse Park
In the early 1990s, Rockdale County purchased a 1,400 acre tract of land in the city of Conyers, GA. While originally purchased to reduce wastewater runoff, city officials wanted to find additional use for the property. They found that there was a need for a state-of-the-art equestrian facility for local, regional, national and international competitions. Then, as Atlanta won the bid for the 1996 Centennial Olympics, it became urgent to complete the facility so that it could host the 1996 equestrian Olympic events. The facility now hosts a variety of events throughout the year including dog shows, fairs, concerts, and more.
Region 4: Maffitt Lake Equestrian Center, LLC
Located in Cumming, IA, Maffitt Lake Equestrian Center regularly hosts both hunter/jumper and dressage shows throughout the year. Maffitt Lake is 25 minutes from Des Moines, with numerous hotels, restaurants, and shopping located near the facility. Owned by Tim and Libby Maffitt, the facility boasts 197 permanent stalls in four barns, four large competitions arenas, two large warm up arenas, vendors, a permanent concession stand, coffee shop, and sponsorship camper parking.
Region 5 – Colorado Horse Park
The Colorado Horse Park is located in Parker, CO, and is home to a number of equestrian events including dressage competitions. The 148 acre venue was founded by Helen Krieble in 1992 and hosts more than 40 events annually. It has 11 competition arenas, an RV park, two covered arenas, 300 permanent stalls, and enough portable stalls for more than 1,000 competition horses. The facility also includes annual boarding for over 100 horses. It is the largest horse park west of the Mississippi.
Region 6 –Devonwood Equestrian Center
Located in Sherwood, OR, Devonwood Equestrian Center revolves around dressage. This family owned operation was founded in 1998, and offers boarding, training, several yearly clinics, and multiple USEF-licensed/USDF-recognized competitions every year.
Region 7 – Murieta Equestrian Center
Privately purchased in 1982 by George Fuller, it took three decades to fulfill the dream of becoming a premier, upscale show facility in Rancho Murieta, CA. In 2007, the facility was restructured with the West Coast Equine Foundation to create a top-notch team and what guests see today. It is one of the largest privately-owned equestrian event facilities in California (featuring 3,000 seats for spectators) and holds western & english competitions throughout the year.
Region 8 – HITS on the Hudson
HITS on the Hudson is located in the heart of the Hudson Valley in Saugerties, NY, just two hours north of New York City. It boasts 14 permanent barns with 1,100 stalls and 19 rings. This facility is most known for its hunter /jumper shows, and produces three of the richest grand prix show jumping competitions. In addition to horse shows, HITS Entertainment is responsible for other sporting events, concerts, consumer shows, and community events throughout the year on its 375 acre complex.
Region 9 – Great Southwest Equestrian Center
With over 70,000 class entries per year, this is a busy facility located in Katy, TX. In addition to their dressage shows, they have many breed shows, jumper shows, and other equestrian events. The venue, which was founded in 1986, sits on 65 acres and boasts 650 permanent stalls and 500 temporary ones.