Meet the Committee Chair – Dolly Hannon, Freestyle Committee

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Dolly Hannon

What is your committee’s mission?

To promote musical freestyles and education.

How long have you been on this committee?

17 years

How long have you been the committee chair?

Ten years

How did you get involved in the sport of dressage?

I took some western riding classes at Colorado State University and met my first instructor, Lindy Weatherford, and I was hooked.

How did you get involved with USDF?

I think I joined USDF in 1977 and started attending annual conventions.

How did you get involved in the committee?

I was asked to be on the Freestyle Committee by Ann Guptill, who was the chair at the time.

What is your favorite part of being involved with this committee?

It is great to see the growth in the popularity of the freestyles and the education offered by USDF.

What unique qualifications made you an expert in the committee’s area?

I have a great love for horses and music. I have shown many freestyles over the years, as well as having done the music and choreography, and have judged countless ones at this point.

I have choreographed many freestyles for my students and helped them choose the music.

My mare Electra was 9th in the Adequan®/USDF First Level Musical Freestyle Award standings in 2016, and she was the Rocky Mountain Dressage Society and Great American/USDF Regional Champion that year.

I hope to compete her next year again with a freestyle after a recovery from an injury

What has been your committee’s greatest accomplishment, or what do you hope to accomplish during your tenure?

Our committee’s greatest accomplishments have been the improvements to the 2019 test sheets, the increased judge education now offered, and the USEF *for freestyle judges designation which we helped to be adopted. We also helped write the USDF Continuing Education program on judging the freestyle, which is a terrific program (thank you Terry Ciotti Gallo).

Please share a little bit about yourself and your background.

I have been a full-time dressage professional for many years. I am a USDF Bronze, Silver, and Gold medalist and have many students that have medals as well.

I have shown many horses to local and national awards.

I am a faculty member for the USDF Instructor/Trainer Program and am a USDF Certified Instructor through 4th Level.

I am a USEF ‘S’ Dressage Judge and ‘R’ Western Dressage Judge.

Do you currently compete in dressage, or have you competed in the past?

I average 26 recognized shows per year, including the Great American/USDF Regional Championships, and the US Dressage Finals in 2018. I also teach clinics around the US.

I love our sport and am so lucky to get to have my passion be my career.

Please share a favorite dressage-related memory.

A favorite memory is when I asked Lloyd Llandkammer why he had me always judge the large freestyle classes at Lamplight, in Chicago, and he said “Because I have decided that you will be the freestyle queen! “

I think he had a plan for me as he has helped so many people, and is so missed.

Thank you Lloyd!

What horse impacted your love for the sport the most?

The horse that has inspired me most is my current horse Electra, whom I find great joy out of riding and training.

I have been so lucky to ride many wonderful horses over the years and she is my heart horse.

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