In 2018, as approved by the USDF Executive Board, the USDF Historical Recognition Committee chose four noteworthy members to receive this honor. A Member of Distinction is someone who has made outstanding contributions on a local or regional level toward the fulfillment of USDF’s mission of education, recognition of achievement, and promotion of dressage. Martha McDaniel was the third member of the inaugural class of USDF Members of Distinction..
Martha McDaniel has brought the spirit of aloha to dressage for decades. A legend in Hawaiian dressage circles, she received the Aloha State Dressage Society’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 2016 and is a member emerita of the ASDS’s board of directors.
A longtime dressage rider and competitor, McDaniel is noted for her outreach to youth and her efforts in organizing clinics for both youth and adults in Hawaii, in addition to numerous other educational events for her GMO.
US dressage Olympic bronze medalist Allison Brock, who hails from Hawaii, remembered a kind gesture of McDaniel’s: In 1991, Brock, aged 11, had competed in First Level freestyle and was at the annual ASDS awards banquet. As she had many times before, McDaniel was called to the stage to accept the ASDS’s Hans Moeller Musical Freestyle Award. “When she went to pick it up, she gave it to me instead. She probably doesn’t know how much that meant to me.”