By Chelsey Burris
Happy New Year! As we kick off 2022, here are a few things that every dressage lover should mark on their calendar to look forward to this year!
Starting the Year Off with a Bang – Virtual Awards Ceremonies!
Kicking the year off right, USDF will be recognizing our 2021 award recipients in special virtual presentations this January!
On January 22 at 6:30PM ET, we will hold the Adequan®/USDF Annual Awards Ceremony, celebrating USDF Year-End Award champions and reserve champions, as well as perpetual trophy recipients! Awards to be honored include Dressage, Materiale, and Dressage Sport Horse Breeding Horse of the Year; Adult Amateur and Adult Amateur Musical Freestyle; Junior/Young Rider; Vintage Cup; Para-Dressage Rider of the Year; USEF Four- and FEI Five- & Six-Year-Old; Musical Freestyle and Musical Freestyle Challenge (champions only); and Dressage and Dressage Sport Horse Breeding Breeder of the Year.
The next day (January 23, at 6:30PM ET) we will continue the celebration with the Adequan®/USDF All-Breeds Awards Presentation. These awards celebrate the accomplishments of specific breeds in dressage. Champions and reserve champions (when recognized) of the 2021 USDF All-Breeds Awards Participating Organizations will be highlighted.
You can register for the awards ceremonies here
Education Is Key
The pandemic may have slowed down in-person events, but USDF has beefed up its online offerings, which have proven popular with members from coast to coast. There are already some virtual education sessions on the calendar for this year, starting in February. These include sessions for competition management teams, sport horse handlers classes, judging para-dressage, and a session for young rider graduates. More information on these virtual education sessions will be available in the coming weeks!
In addition, more sessions will be scheduled throughout the year, so make sure to keep an eye on USDF’s social media and the USDF Virtual Education Series page of the USDF website for updates. With the events being held virtually, you don’t have to worry about waiting until an opportunity is near you – you can register and attend from anywhere with an internet connection!
Have you missed any of our virtual sessions so far? Members can watch them on-demand here
Hone Your Competition Management Skills
Do you work or volunteer in competition management, and want to learn more about drafting and negotiating contracts for dressage competitions? If so, the Competition Management virtual education session on February 16 at 2PM ET is for you! This virtual webinar will begin with Carlie Evans (owner of Southeast Horse Shows) and Tom Struzzieri (President, Chief Executive Officer, Owner, and Founder of HITS LLC) discussing the differences between private and publicly owned show facilities and how this may impact key areas of the facility contract.
The second part of the session will be led by equine attorney Elizabeth Clarke. Elizabeth will be discussing contracts between show management and the officials and staff hired for competitions. Elizabeth will also cover the topics of independent contractors and workers compensation.
You can learn more about this session and register for it here.
Mark Your Calendar for the Upcoming Regionals!
The Great American Insurance Group/USDF Regional Dressage Championships take place annually, in the late summer and early fall. These shows give competitors a great opportunity to compete against the top riders from their home region, with many hoping to punch their ticket to the US Dressage Finals presented by Adequan® in November. Here is the schedule for 2022:
Region 1 – October 6-9 at the Virginia Horse Center in Lexington, VA.
Region 2 – September 14-18 at the Waterloo Hunt Club in Grass Lake, MI.
Region 3 – October 7-9 at the Georgia International Horse Park in Conyers, GA.
Region 4 – September 8-11at the National Equestrian Center, in Lake St. Louis, MO.
Region 5 – Dates and host site pending. Keep an eye on the Regional Championship page for updates.
Region 6 – Dates and host site pending. Keep an eye on the Regional Championship page for updates.
Region 7 – September 22-25 at the Los Angeles Equestrian Center in Burbank, CA.
Region 8 – September 22-25 at HITS on the Hudson in Saugerties, NY.
Region 9 – October 6-9 at the Great Southwest Equestrian Center in Katy, TX.
Olympic Qualifying Begins
Normally, after an exciting edition of the summer Olympic games, there is a “break” year, where competitors go back to their home countries and prepare for the next round. However, with the Tokyo games postponed by a year due to the pandemic, horses and riders will be ready to head down centerline hoping to punch their ticket for the 2024 Olympics in Paris, France, starting in 2022! Qualification for the 2024 Olympics begins with the 2022 FEI Dressage World Championships in Herning, Denmark on August 6-14, where the six best ranked teams will earn their berth to ride down centerline at Château de Versailles in 2024. Qualifications will continue through 2023 at the FEI Dressage European Championships and Pan-American Games.
Our Marquee Event – 2022 Finals!
The 2021 US Dressage Finals presented by Adequan® shattered records as the largest Finals ever! We are looking so forward to the ’22 edition, to see what’s in store on the heels of that event. The junior/young rider divisions were very popular in their inaugural year last fall, and we expect to see that increase even more this year. Are you and your horse making the 2022 edition of Finals one of your goals?
The Finals is also the home of a popular trade fair, perfect for stocking up on your must-haves for the holiday season, and the USDF booth stocks exclusive Finals merchandise.
The 2022 US Dressage Finals presented by Adequan® will be held November 10-14 at the Kentucky Horse Park. Stay in the loop about all things Finals-related on the US Dressage Finals website.
Out with the Old, In with the New Dressage Tests!
The US Dressage tests run in four-year cycles, and a new cycle begins on December 1, 2022! Updated tests will be available on the USDF website in the fall. Make sure to watch for our US Dressage Test products to be released, so that you and your barn mates can start learning the new tests as you prepare for the 2023 show season!
Convention Returns to Lexington
Our old Kentucky home! In 2022, the Adequan®/USDF Annual Convention returns to Lexington, Kentucky, which is where the USDF offices are headquartered. The convention is always the perfect way to cap off the year, and features education sessions, important USDF governance functions and voting, meetings, and the Salute Gala which recognizes dignitaries of our sport and organization as well as our Rider and Breeder of Distinction Award recipients. This year, at the Board of Governors General Assembly, we will hold elections for USDF Vice President, Secretary, and Regional Directors for Regions 1, 3, 5, 7, and 9. After going virtual for the 2020 and 2021 Adequan®/USDF Annual Conventions, due to the ongoing pandemic, we are excited to be back in person and welcome dressage riders, trainers, breeders, and enthusiasts to the Horse Capital of the World. The host hotel this year is the Hyatt Regency Lexington.
While you’re in town, make sure you stop by the USDF National Education Center, located in the Kentucky Horse Park. Visit the USDF/Roemer Foundation Hall of Fame, do some shopping at the USDF store, and snap a selfie with our beautiful, life-sized dressage sculpture “Half Pass” created by Lexington-based sculptor Gwen Reardon, in the front of our building.
Save the date: The 2022 Adequan®/USDF Annual Convention will be held November 30 – December 3, 2022. As more information becomes available, it will be posted on the Convention page here.
*As a note, we are very hopeful to hold all these events in 2022. However, due to the pandemic, all USDF events are subject to change. Any changes that may occur will be communicated to vested parties as early as possible. USDF will continue to follow and adhere to all federal, state, and local guidelines and restrictions, as related to the COVID-19 pandemic. We appreciate your continued patience and support as we progress back to a sense of normalcy. For the most up to date information and to access COVID-related resources, please visit the USDF website.