Unsung Hero – Helaine Crawford

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An “unsung hero” is defined as someone whose contributions are unacknowledged or little-known. In this series, we will feature and recognize some of these heroes from throughout the dressage community. To nominate your own Unsung Hero, visit the USDF website.

Unsung Hero: Helaine Crawford  

Nominated by: David Crawford 

Describe in detail what contributions to the sport or the dressage community makes this person an Unsung Hero.

Helaine serves the Classical Attraction Dressage Society GMO as our Show Secretary. Her responsibilities include the set-up and scheduling of all of our shows. She also serves as the show office manager during the show and deals with all of the issues that come up on the day of the show. What most people do not understand is that it takes a tremendous amount of time to get a show set up in the computer system, and an even-greater amount of time to schedule the rides for any given show. Historically, our shows have involved 120+ rides in multiple show arenas and judges. When you factor in the constraints of riders with multiple rides, the need to have the rides occur with different judges, and the frequent need to coordinate rides and riders who trailer-in together, the process becomes a Rubik’s Cube. Helaine spends from 40-60 hours per show to get things set-up and scheduled. She does this flawlessly. Of course, few people are aware of what happens behind the scenes to get a show to come off seamlessly. Helaine is a pro!  

What motivates her to make these contributions?

Helaine’s motivation comes from observing how many people are completely in the dark about how much work is involved to make a show work.  

How long have you known her and how did you become aware of her efforts?

43 years. She’s my wife, and I live through every show and watch her work tirelessly to keep people happy.  

How long has she been involved in your group or the dressage community?

8+ years.

How would your group/events be impacted should she be unable to play her role? 

Oh my, I dread the thought.  

Please provide any additional information you would like for us to know about her.

Very dedicated to the club. Once, she insisted on scheduling a show when she had pneumonia and was told by her doctor not to do it. Over the past year, during the pandemic, she suffered a serious injury after being kicked by her horse. This did not stop her from setting up and scheduling a full season of virtual shows.  

Provide a brief biographical description.

62 years old. CPA, Tax Accountant in early career. 2 adult children. Owns 3 horses. Super-active in dressage through the club. Obsessed with knitting.    

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