By Amanda Ciejko
While many are pondering what’s coming in 2023, five GMOs are reflecting on the past in honor of their 50th anniversaries. As the tradition continues, these GMOs will celebrate reaching such a milestone at the 2022 Adequan®/USDF Annual Convention, to be held in Lexington, KY. From their charter memberships in 1972, to now in 2022, let us take a quick look at what these organizations are all about.
Alpha Dressage Association (#302)
Located in Region 3’s sunny Sarasota, FL, the Alpha Dressage Association held an average of 80 members over the last decade. Their mission is to encourage, promote, educate, and participate in the art of classical horsemanship. They host a variety of events, from horse shows to clinics and education sessions. They can be found on social media via Facebook.
CenterLine Dressage (#206)
CenterLine Dressage is headquartered in Springfield, IL, located in Region 2, with a mission dedicated to furthering dressage through education and promotion. CenterLine began with three instructors and their students, and initially started with seven chapters- two of which became their own GMOs. While the chapter system was eventually abandoned, CenterLine continued to grow, with an average of 70 members over the last ten years. They host a variety of educational events and clinics, as well as USDF-recognized and schooling shows. They can be found on social media via Facebook.
Indiana Dressage Society (#202)
Westfield, IN in Region 2 is where the Indiana Dressage Society is located. Their mission is dedicated to promoting the growth and development of amateur athletes in the sport of dressage through competition and education. With an average of 200 members, IDS has grown into a busy GMO that holds numerous shows, clinics, and educational opportunities.
In recognition of their 50th anniversary, IDS has shared a video that recaps their growth over the last 50 years. They can also be found on social media via Facebook.
New England Dressage Association (#805)
NEDA is one of USDF’s largest GMOs. Located in Bolton, MA, in Region 8, NEDA has held an average of 1400 members in the last decade – a large jump from their origins of about 40 members. Their mission is to promote and support the art and sport of dressage to the equestrian community. They host a variety of competitions, publications, educational sessions, exhibitions, and clinics for their membership, and to enhance greater public awareness and appreciation for the sport.
They can be found on social media via Facebook and Instagram.
St. Louis Area Dressage Society (#404)
SLADS is located in Region 4, outside of the city of St. Louis, and averages 100 members strong. Their mission is to foster interest in, and a greater understanding of, dressage in the St. Louis area. The GMO started in 1972, organized by Sonja Kershaw and her students, and events were often fully funded by the members. SLADS offers various opportunities to horse lovers and dressage enthusiasts to encourage volunteerism and participation in the sport of dressage. They can be found on social media via Facebook.