By Christina Westfall
Whether you are a breeder with a large operation or an adult amateur with a youngster you just purchased, the USDF Breeders Championship Series (USDFBCS) is a great way to introduce young horses to the world of dressage competitions. Depending on the division, younger horses can gain experience in the arena through handling on the ground or under saddle.
The championship series is divided into nine different series based on geographic location: Northwest, Western, Rocky Mountain, Mid-West, Southern, North Central, South East, East Coast, and North East. Below will be information regarding each series and the competitions available.
This series includes the Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Alaska, and Western Montana areas, and has recently seen a ten percent increase in participation. For 2023, the Northwest Series will host three qualifying competitions, in addition to the USDFBCS Final, all in Spokane, Washington. This provides a wonderful opportunity for many USDF Region 6 members, as well as others in the area, to introduce their young horses to the wonderful world of dressage while competing for top honors!
The USDF Breeders Championships Western Series covers Nevada, California, Hawaii, and Arizona. While at the time of publication, there are no qualifying competitions on the 2023 schedule, this series is welcoming new participants within the area, as it continues to develop its audience and visibility. With the many successful breeding operations in these USDF Region 5 and 7 states, this series is definitely up and coming, and is sure to be a huge draw in the years to come.
Rocky Mountain Series
As implied by its name, the Rocky Mountain Series of the USDFBCS covers the USDF Region 5 areas of Eastern Montana, Wyoming, Utah, Colorado, and New Mexico. With such a vast area, and breeders both old and new, the Rocky Mountain Series has experienced the most significant increase of late, with a 50 percent increase in participation from 2021 to 2022, alone. In 2023, Colorado will play host to three qualifying competitions, as well as the Series Final, in Parker.
Playing host to USDF Region 9 states of Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Mississippi, and Louisiana, the USDFBC Southern Series will hold four qualifying competitions in 2023, as well as the Series Final, in Magnolia, Texas. After nearly doubling participation from 2019-2021, this Series continues to expand its reach, with an additional 21 percent increase in participants from 2021-2022, making it the third largest Series in the program.
One of the most consistent, as far as participation numbers, the Mid-West Series serves the USDF Region 4 states of North and South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Minnesota, Iowa, and Missouri. Between Elkhorn, Nebraska and Washington, Missouri, the 2023 Mid-West Series will hold a total of five qualifying competitions, culminating in Washington’s Series Final.
North Central Series
The North Central Series, which serves USDF Region 2’s Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio, and Michigan, will host qualifying competitions in each state, with the exception of Indiana and Michigan, in 2023. With accessibility to these qualifiers spanning four states, participation should be at its peak when the Series Finals arrives in Lexington, Kentucky to conclude the season.
South East Series
Serving the southern USDF Region 3 states of Tennessee, Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina, and Florida, the 2023 South East Series will hold three qualifying competitions, and their Series Final, in Camden, South Carolina, its oldest inland city.
East Coast Series
Holding strong as USDF’s largest series, in way of participants as well as qualifying competitions, the East Coast Series serves the USDF Region 1 states of West Virginia, North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania, and will feature twelve 2023 qualifiers, ranging in locations from New Jersey to North Carolina. The 2023 USDFBC East Coast Series Final will be held in Devon, Pennsylvania, in conjunction with the ever popular and renowned, Dressage at Devon.
North East Series
With an 84 percent increase in participants between 2021 and 2022, the North East Series services USDF Region 8 states including New York, Vermont, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Maine, and New Hampshire. With only one qualifying competition currently scheduled in Moosup, Connecticut, which will also serve as host for the Series Final, competitors are encouraged to sign up quickly. As the Series with the largest increase in participants, additional qualifiers may, and will likely, be added before the qualifying period closes. Visit the USDF website for the full list of USDFBCS Qualifiers and Finals, as well as updates to this year’s program or schedule.
Meet the Sponsors
USDF would like to extend a loud and heartfelt ‘thank you’ to our USDF Breeders Championship Series sponsors, without whom these championships wouldn’t be possible.
TwoWhite Feet, Inc was founded in June 2004 by two Colorado horsewomen, Veronica Holt and Heather Petersen. Well known for their work in all aspects of regional and national dressage competition, they were the principals in this equestrian management company. The corporate structure reflects a fluid team approach, tailoring their expertise to the needs of their clients.
Headquartered in the heart of the Southwest in Albuquerque, New Mexico, Horses Unlimited’s mission is to produce modern sport horses with great temperaments, athletic ability, superior movement and jumping ability. In addition to the eight or more international stallions available for breeding, Horses Unlimited regularly has 20 or more horses for sale, from weanlings to horses with show records. Over the past few years, Horses Unlimited-bred horses have won USDF Horse of the Year and USDF All Breeds Horse of the Year awards, as well as classes at Dressage at Devon. In addition, horses sold by Horses Unlimited have won the Young Jumpers Championships.
Nestled in the hills of northern Maryland, Hilltop Farm offers a tranquil setting with beautiful pastures, riding trails, and a world-renowned training center. Hilltop Farm is one of the most prominent stallion stations in North America and stands an Elite collection of stallions available via both cooled and frozen semen. Mare Management and Raising Services for young horses are available on a limited basis. The Training Team is led by USDF Gold Medalist Michael Bragdell.
The KWPN-NA is a non-profit organization, which has brought the passion and focus of the Dutch breeder home to North America. With more than 1,300 members and an average of more than 420 registered foals annually over the last decade, the KWPN-NA has grown to become one of the continent’s largest Warmblood organizations.
Through a multitude of programs, we work to encourage the participation of registered KWPN horses in equestrian sport. With expanded awards programs, we are acknowledging and promoting excellence on the part of KWPN horses, breeders, owners, and riders in North America.
The American Hanoverian Society is a nonprofit breed organization that promotes and encourages participation with the Hanoverian breed. Their mission is to promote enthusiasts of the Hanoverian and Rhineland horse in the United States.
Aspen Leaf Farm is a sporthorse breeding and training operation located in Wellington, Florida. Their mission is to breed and sell quality horses for the discriminating rider.
Iron Spring Farm is a sporthorse breeding and training operation headquartered in Coatesville, Pennsylvania, with a second facility in Wellington, Florida. Their mission is to train and produce horses that are a pleasure to ride, and are of great quality and temperament.
U.S. Sport Horse Breeders Association is an association created to strengthen the presence and recognition of breeders throughout the US sporthorse community. They structure awards to help promote American-bred horses.