What is your committee’s mission?
To promote the development of quality dressage stock in the United States.
How long have you been on this committee?
I first joined this committee in 2015.
How long have you been the committee chair?
I have been co-chair of this committee since 2018.
How did you get involved in the sport of dressage?
In my early teens, I was mostly focused on hunters/equitation. My hunter started to have some soundness issues and while he was rehabbing, the fantastic owner of the barn where I was boarded let me start riding her Third Level schoolmaster. I became hooked, sold the hunter, and stayed with dressage.
How did you get involved with USDF?
My first introduction was through showing, but eventually I started running dressage shows, became very active in my local GMO, and even got my Dressage TD license. My real-life job doesn’t leave extra time for those pieces any longer, but I’ve been really happy with being able to bring that background to my love for breeding and young horse development.
How did you get involved in the committee?
Kristi Wysocki, the longtime committee chair for the USDF Sport Horse Committee, reached out to me late in 2014 asking if I’d be willing to serve on the committee. I remember her saying it wouldn’t keep me too busy during breeding season. Hmmm, I may have to remind her of that!
What is your favorite part of being involved with this committee?
We have a great committee – full of energy, lots of ideas, and very forward thinking. The educational events are especially rewarding, and you can easily see the positive impact they have for the attendees.
What unique qualifications made you an expert in the committee’s area?
I’ve been the Managing Director of Hilltop Farm, a large breeding center in Maryland, for 14 years now. Within that role, I’m very active with a number of the sport horse breed registries and with breeders across this country. I think that gives me a unique, broad perspective of the breeding industry and what the current trends and challenges are for breeders, owners, and trainers of young horses.
What has been your committee’s greatest accomplishment, or what do you hope to accomplish during your tenure?
I am really proud of the USDF Breeder of Distinction Awards that were given for the first-time last year at the Adequan®/USDF Annual Convention in Savannah. Breeders sometimes feel a bit marginalized once the horses are developed in sport and off with new owners. But without the breeders, we wouldn’t have those horses! These awards were a well-deserved recognition and help raise the profile for breeders in this country.
Do you currently compete in dressage, or have you competed in the past?
I have competed a bit in the past, but currently am just enjoying owning my mare and watching her development with our trainer Jessica Fay. I wasn’t really sure how I’d feel when I first started down the ‘owner instead of rider’ route, but it’s actually been a lot of fun.
Please share a favorite dressage-related memory.
I’d have to say all years of Dressage at Devon! I love that show. The atmosphere and history of the venue is so unique and where else can you see everything from fantastic foals up through some of the top CDI Grand Prix horses in the country. This is the show that should be on everyone’s bucket list to go as a spectator at least! Sadly, there won’t be a Devon this year because of Covid-19, but I have no doubt that 2021 will be one of the best Devon shows ever.
What horse impacted your love for the sport the most?
I really can’t pick just one – every horse is special in their own way. What I love the most is watching their development over the years. From foals, through the early training years, and then hopefully into the FEI ring – each horse is different but this sport is about developing them over time into the best dressage horse they can be.