The Potomac Valley Dressage Association was founded in 1964 at the Potomac Horse Center in Gaithersburg, MD, where many dressage notables once trained. The original PVDA board included Col. and Mrs. Clarence Edmonds, Linda Zang, Sally O’Connor, Gen. Jonathan Burton, and Col. Donald Thackeray. (Of that list, Col. Edmonds, Zang, Burton, and Thackeray either were inducted into the Roemer Foundation/USDF Hall of Fame or received the USDF Lifetime Achievement Award.)
Zang’s Idlewilde Farm in Davidsonville, MD, was a hotbed of dressage education, as it was home base to the late US dressage team coach Col. Bengt Ljungquist of Sweden. Numerous dressage notables traveled to Idlewilde to work with Ljungquist, who coached the bronze-medal-winning 1976 US Olympic dressage team.
PVDA hosted the first Col. Bengt Ljungquist Memorial Championships, created in 1982 by Sam Barish, who would go on to become a USDF president. The GMO also hosted the inaugural USDF Region 1 Dressage Championships and numerous USET qualifying competitions over the years.