Meet the Committee Chair – Amy Swerdlin, Awards Committee

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What is your committee’s mission?

To encourage participation in dressage by recognizing excellence and rewarding progressive achievement.

How long have you been on this committee?

I joined the committee in 2017.

How long have you been the committee chair?

I became the chair in December 2019.

How did you get involved in the sport of dressage? When I was young, I was very active in Pony Club with my little Thoroughbred mare, Nutmeg.  When we attended Pony Club Rallies, I always enjoyed the dressage portion the best.  My interest in the sport began there and has never stopped!!

How did you get involved with USDF?

I have always been active in my local GMO, but I think I really started to become more involved in USDF when I began attending the Adequan®/USDF Annual Convention in 2016.  My Regional Director had asked if I would be interested in participating in the Region 3 Championship Site Selection Committee.  Of course, I said yes and that also opened some additional opportunities for me.

How did you get involved in the committee?  

I believe a position from my region was available on the Awards Committee and my Regional  Director asked if I would like to serve on this committee as well.  The Awards Committee likes to have member representation from the various regions in the country. Originally, I believe being an adult amateur as well as an avid competitor was a compliment to the other important members of the committee.  We like our committee to consist of members with a variety of USDF attributes whether they are professionals, amateurs, competitors, show managers, technical delegates, or judges.

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

I think it is exciting to be able discuss the future of our awards programs and to potentially create new ones where the need exists.

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

I am very familiar with the awards programs and their criteria. I have been fortunate enough to have received all three Rider Medal Awards and have also been the champion six times in the Adequan®/USDF Adult Amateur Year End Awards on four different horses.  Now it is my goal to have participated in as many award programs as possible, so I can experience firsthand the process of achieving them. I really want to be able to relate to our membership. Next on my list are the Freestyle Bars and Dressage Seat Equitation Awards!

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

Being an adult  amateur myself, I would really like to see how the Awards Committee can increase the recognition to this group of riders.  After all, they are the backbone of the sport!

Please share a little bit about yourself and your background. 

I currently live in Wellington, Florida with my wonderful husband, Scott, who is an equine veterinarian.  I manage a large stabling facility that has dressage, hunter jumpers, and polo ponies!  I also enjoy training my horses each day and love to compete.  I am very active in my GMO, and we host several horse shows over the summer months at our facility.   

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

I compete as much as I can.  It is a very good way to assess your training program.

Please share a favorite dressage-related memory.

Some of my best memories include competing at the US Dressage Finals presented by Adequan® in Kentucky.  I have been fortunate to have won two championship classes there on two different horses, as well as multiple placements in the top three.  Perhaps my most favorite memory happened this year in Wellington when I rode down centerline in the Grand Prix on a horse that I bred, raised, and trained myself. 

What horse impacted your love for the sport the most? 

I have, and have had, many incredible horses.  They all have a special place in my heart because I wouldn’t be where I am today without each and every one of them.

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