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: 2019
Locality: USDF Region 6, Washington
How many members does your GMO have annually, on average?
Tell us about your GMO.
The Lower Puget Sound Dressage Club was formed in 1990 under the leadership of Gene Duber and four other founding member. Over the years, we were a club chapter of the Oregon Dressage Society (ODS), Equestrians Institute, and ODS again. But in late 2018, our membership voted to spread it’s wings and become our own GMO in Western Washington. In our first year officially as our own GMO, we will host seven schooling shows and a Club Championships at the end of the year. All of our shows are sold out events, and we attract riders from all over Washington for our dressage shows, clinics, and events throughout the year. We also fully support Western Dressage, and a Supervised Intro Class that allows trainers/parents to perform an Intro A Test with supervision in the ring. Both are also included in our Year End Awards Banquet.
Our Club has superior leadership, with innovation and forward thinking as our strong suit. Our area has top quality farms and trainers that bring superior clinicians to the region. In an effort to connect and support those trainers and farms, we created the NEW Clinic Auditing Member Benefit. The Clib supports and sponsors the local clinic, and in return allows LPSDC Members to audit for free. Each member is entitled to five free auditing opportunities a year, and if used fully, can pay for their membership through just this program. This also takes a huge burden off the Club to coordinate individual clinics, and cross promotes activities in our area as well. It’s truly a win-win program for all.
We are excited to be a part of the USDF Schooling Show Awards Program in 2020, and will be looking forward towards other education opportunities such as possibly applying to host an L Program for rising stars, and other innovative and exciting ideas in the year to come.
Does your GMO offer unique classes or activities that cater to youth, adult amateurs, or professionals? If so, please provide a brief description.
LPSDC fundraises and provides training and educational scholarships to Youth, Adult Amateurs, and Professionals annually. In 2016 we established the Vicki Mears AA Scholarship Fund to honor a member of our club who passed after a long battle with stomach cancer. We believe the foundation and heartbeat of dressage is driven by the Adult Amateurs and we always want to promote and support their efforts to pursue dreams and the goal of having fun with their horse in the show ring. In 2018, we added a Professional scholarship as well! This year, we will likely support 7-9 riders with $250 scholarships each, totaling upwards of $2500.
What type of educational events does your GMO offer?
In 2019, we hosted our 6th Musical Freestyle Clinic with Cynthia Collins. This has become a very popular clinic and is supported by riders from all over Washington State. In addition, our Jen Verharen Unmounted and Mounted Clinics are very popular. Jen helps riders seek their full potential in the show ring by identifying goals, and helping riders who struggle with self-doubt, nerves in the show ring, and goal setting. Her “life coaching” is a pivotal piece that has helped countless riders in our region reach new heights in the dressage court. Both of these events are held annually in the spring, and will continue to do so with such intense interest.
What type of “fun” events does your GMO offer?
Every year LPSDC hosts a Summer Member BBQ in connection with either a two-day show or event in July or August. This year, we are partnering with Chalice Farms in August to combine with a Recognized Show. The LPSDC Schooling Show will be held on 8/17/19, and then the Chalice Farms Summer Fling will follow on 8/18/19. This offers our riders the opportunity to ride in both shows if they like, and set themselves up for success! A BBQ celebration around the fire pit, along with a catering truck serving delicious BBQ delights, will also be held to celebrate our membership.
Our club has been working hard for 29 years to create bond and community in our region. We are super proud to form our own GMO, and our goal is to work in partnering with other GMOs in our region to support and create programs that further advance the sport of dressage.