Joanna Gray-Randle has earned her USDF Bronze, Silver, and Gold Medals, her USDF Silver Freestyle Bar, and is a USDF L Education Program Graduate with Distinction. Joanna has earned many national, zone, regional, and local championships, and has coached her students to many awards, including USDF Medals and Freestyle Bars. An avid trainer, coach, judge, and competitor, Joanna has trained and competed in dressage, combined training, hunter/jumpers, sport horse breed shows, driven dressage, and combined driving events. Joanna also choreographs musical freestyle rides and assists clients in horse purchases. Joanna stands the licensed Hanoverian stallion, Royal Tourmalet SPF (“Artie”) and is looking forward to competing Artie’s daughter, Royal Madeleine CG, in 2021.
How long have you been involved in the sport?
I took my first dressage lesson about 45 years ago and have been passionate about the sport ever since.
How long have you been a USDF member?
I have been a USDF member for more than 20 years.
What made you decide to participate in the USDF L Education Program?
I had often been asked to judge local schooling shows and horse trials, and wanted to be prepared to provide that service with the best information possible. As a dressage rider, you really never stop your learning journey and the USDF L Education Program provides critical information, insight, and education to dressage riders and trainers alike.
How long did it take to complete the program, start to finish?
Before enrolling, I audited a few sessions first and highly recommend this technique. There is such a wealth of information, it helps to get a feel for the program by auditing first. Once enrolled, the program took about eight months.
Do you serve as a judge for schooling shows in your capacity as an L Graduate? If so, on average, how many per year?
Yes. On average, I judge three shows per year. I have just moved to a USDF Region (Region 1) with many more schooling shows, so I am hoping I get to judge a bit more.
What impact did the program have on your dressage knowledge?
Without a doubt, the program made me a better judge, as well as a better instructor. It is almost impossible to quantify how much detail and nuance goes into judging a dressage test; and the L Education Program provides a clear understanding of how the USDF Pyramid of Training relates to judging dressage tests.
Name three things you took away from the program that you think every rider should know.
The importance of the basics; that riders should pay very close attention to the purpose of each level and directives for each movement; and the judges really do want the riders to have good tests.
Have you participated in or completed other USDF programs? Describe.
As an L Graduate I have been able to attend many of the judge seminars. I have also attended several continuing education events, ridden as a demo rider for the L Program, and audited USDF Instructor/Trainer Program Workshops.
Have you served in any other official capacity with USDF (council/committee member, council/committee chair, PM/GM delegate, board member/Regional Director, etc.)? Please describe.
Not yet for the Federation but have assisted several local GMOs over the years.
Tell us about your horse(s).
I am so fortunate to have two lovely horses.
The first is Royal Tourmalet SPF (“Artie”), a 2011 Hanoverian stallion licensed with GOV and ISR/Oldenburg N.A. I acquired Artie as a foal and have had an amazing journey with him, including earning a Perpetual Trophy at Dressage at Devon when he was four years old. An unfortunate freak stable accident nearly took his life four years ago, but I am excited that I may be able to return to the competition arena with him soon. I call him Amazing Artie and he is truly my miracle horse. Sweetest stallion ever.
My second horse is Royal Madeleine CG (“Maddie”), a 2018 Oldenburg filly by my boy, Royal Tourmalet SPF, and out of Selona ISF, a wonderful mare by Olympic Ferro. Maddie will be turning three years old in 2021 and I am excited to have her out competing both in in-hand classes and under saddle in materiale classes. She is a beautiful filly, shares her sire’s wonderful temperament, and has wonderful gait mechanics. I loved the “Young Horse” process with Artie, so I am excited I get to do it again, this time with an Artie offspring.