In 1967, several dressage enthusiasts, including Arlene Rigdon, Lois Arnold, and Linda Landers, began an equestrian study group. The gatherings grew and in 1973 evolved into the Kansas City Dressage Society.
In February of that year, at Lowell Boomer’s request, Rigdon and her then husband, Ron, traveled to Lincoln, NE, for the USDF founding meeting. KCDS was one of the largest dressage organizations in the country. Many of KCDS’s founding members were instrumental in establishing USDF and its original set of bylaws.
Younger dressage enthusiasts may not know that there was a short-lived national championships competition predating this year’s inaugural US National Finals. Three consecutive national championships, called the INSILCO Championships, were held in Kansas City, MO, in the mid-1980s, attracting such riders as Carol Lavell, Robert Dover, and Kay Meredith.
Today the KCDS offers a wide spectrum of activities to its members, who reside primarily in western Missouri and eastern Kansas. Events include USEF-licensed/USDF-recognized dressage competitions, an adult camp, a junior symposium, schooling shows, clinics, and numerous year-end awards and perpetual trophies.