About seven people met in San Antonio, TX, in 1972 with the intention of starting a dressage club. Among them were Cindy Joiner; Lorrell Joiner, who was elected the group’s first president; and Lisa Russell, wife of 1952 US Olympic show-jumping team bronze medalist Col. John Russell. The founders named their club the Texas Dressage Society because it was the first dressage club in the state of Texas—the first one, in fact, in the entire area now known as USDF Region 9.
Then-US national dressage team coach Col. Bengt Ljungquist often traveled to Texas to assist the fledgling club by offering dressage clinics, helping with organization, and teaching members how to put on dressage shows. The club also sent some members to an international show in Mexico City, with John Russell acting as coach.
In 1981, the GMO was rechristened the Alamo Dressage Association.
In its early years, the Alamo Dressage Association hosted large (for the era) dressage shows. In 1974, the club was proud to host a dressage show to which future Olympian Hilda Gurney brought her famous Keen for a demonstration ride.
The ADA today offers its members a slate of schooling and recognized dressage shows. Its San Antonio Fall Dressage I & II shows feature the breast-cancer benefit Ride for the Cure Dressage Team Challenge, which benefits the Susan G. Komen Rally for the Cure. There are dressage clinics, seminars for new scribes and ring stewards, and a freestyle symposium, among others. The ADA also offers scholarships to junior riders and plenty of year-end awards.