In horse showing, the new year doesn’t begin in January but in October when the awards year changes.
The Great American Insurance Group/USDF Region 3 Dressage Championships & ANFD Dressage Show was the completion of the last show season, the crowning glory to 2016. Magnificent weather – bright days; chilly nights – greeted the competitors at the Georgia International Horse Park in Conyers, Georgia, this October. It was a grand reception with clear skies and, in the air, the smell of pine shavings and horses. Lots of horses!
With 600 entries – competitors rode 1296 tests – this was the largest regional championship show, nationwide. As morning dawned on Thursday, the air was vibrating with anticipation and excitement. Classes ran from Thursday through Sunday with nine rings running on Saturday. Burgundy, purple, and all the different shades of brown and gray, contrasted with the traditional black and white. The colors mingled with the dazzling sparkle from the bling – on clothes, tack, and boots!
GDCTA was pleased and honored to once again host this monumental event. We could not have pulled it off alone. We celebrate our partners in this record-breaking show. We could not have asked for better in any way – sponsors, vendors and artists, staff and volunteers, and competitors – all were outstanding.
SPONSORS, VENDORS & ARTISTS
There are so many ways to say thank you to our sponsors and vendors. You play a crucial role in bring our events to life. Thank you for your continued support and dedication to our organization and our sport! Your support is not something we take lightly and is very much appreciated by everyone connected with the club.
There is a deep well of creativity in this area. We tapped that well for equine-related art and came up with our own Equestrian Art Gallery on the show grounds. Our Show Gallery Manager, Ulla Strickland put together an impressive array of artists – Amanda Moretz, Kimberly Sheldon, Zan Economopoulos, Julie Nestor, Sydney Frost, Karin Martin, Marcy Criner, Helena Savenius, Susan Burns, Sam Sherry, Jayne Ryan, and herself – with a variety of styles and pieces.
Ulla said about the Art Show, “I don’t want to sound corny, but it really was a show of superlatives: The longest art show we’ve ever had; the most artists with the most art work we’ve ever had; and the most sales we’ve ever had. We sold over 40 pieces of art! People bought and bought. Interestingly, the sales were spread out pretty evenly over most of the artists, so it was not just one or two who made the show. It was quite obvious that our concerted marketing and PR efforts helped; we had an almost constant stream of visitors coming in. I am very, very happy with this show (and I think Don is, too!).”
Look for our “Equestrian Art Gallery” at the largest of our future shows. We cannot thank the artists enough for being there. The gallery brings a unique elegance to the events.
The devil’s in the details, they say. And nowhere is that truer than when organizing a horse show. Dressage shows are massive productions with spy-grade secrecy (sort of) – and an enduring detail-oriented format that you are likely familiar with. A look behind the horse show management curtain can be incredibly illuminating the first time around. Armed with radios, the onsite production team often seem to be magicians. It really does not matter how the magic works, just that it appears seamless from the outside looking in – and this team pulled that off with aplomb. The staff put in loooooong hours well before the actual show days and were at the Horse Park sun up until sundown during the event.
It takes committed and selfless individuals to produce an event of this nature (therefore, blooper moments will not be shared). We bow to our show team – for your organizational skills and hard work as well as your time before, during, and after the show. Thank you!
Someone once said, Those who can, do. Those who can do more, volunteer. We are deeply indebted to those who can do more – those charitable individuals who give their time so generously. Volunteers are the backbone of our organization. We are grateful to our volunteers for your support of our club and how kindly you shared so much of your time with us. Thank you!
Competitors, we would not, could not, forget you for you are the reason for the effort in the first place! We know you have the option to declare for other regions but that you chose us. We are humbled and truly grateful that you trusted us with the completion of your show year (unless you are heading to US Finals – yippee for those who are). In the ribbons or not, each and every one of you is a superstar to us!
SAID ABOUT THE SHOW
Judith Anne Mitchell
Please let everyone know…you all did a fantastic job hosting the Regionals these past 2 years! Team Heather’s [Heather Caudill] group had a super time.
Awesome show! Everything about the facility was top notch! They even dragged the lunge areas…and the people were above top notch. All of the staff and volunteers I came in contact with were so nice, friendly and helpful. Lovely ribbons, great vendors, exhibitor events each evening…all in a great job done by everyone. I had not competed at a Regionals in 10 years and I was very impressed. Thanks to all.
Janet Holimon Stone
Totally agree with Lisi. Well run, friendly. And the addition of the food trucks helped tremendously.
Such an amazing show! Pleasure to meet you, Sandy! I had a fabulous time!
Mary McGuire Smith
Fabulous show again!! Thanks to all the volunteers and show management (all the incredible people of GDCTA and beyond), things ran so smoothly that it was AMAZING! Even a hiccup in our arena on Saturday that could have been a disaster was handled so well that the judge was back on time within 2 rides! And we all know how amazing THAT is!
Yes!! Great rides, fantastic weather, and a great time with both old and new friends. Congrats to all and those who are continuing on to Nationals. Safe travels to all.
Thanks everyone I had a great time at your well run show!!!
It was amazing to me and I loved volunteering!
Our moms would probably never consider an email format an appropriate form for a thank you note, but I hope this will cover a number of individuals whose names I will probably never know. Please feel free to let them know how much I appreciate all of their time and efforts. Thank you to all who helped to make the Region III Championships such a wonderful experience for my horse (It’s Teddy) and me. All of the early communications were so helpful. I was amazed at how much pre information came out so early, i.e., ride times. This certainly makes a big difference in planning and reservations. Please extend my appreciation to all of the ring stewards and bit checkers who were thoughtful and patient. The number of times that they must have answered “how many until I go?”- thousands of times throughout the days. The bit checkers were thoughtful with my horse and made their job a “non event” for him. Having a clock and water at each of the arenas certainly contributes to the mental and physical condition of the riders, so appreciated by those of us who may not have people on the ground for assistance. I realize that it took an army of skilled and focused individuals who did an AMAZING job in getting the scores out so quickly. I am glad to say that I also saw the efficiency of the awards crew who gave us our tests and ribbons. My thank you to each judge for the specific comments and the scribes whose writing and abbreviations I could read and understand. In summary, every aspect with which I had contact was SO WELL ORGANIZED. Thank you so much for all that you and your team did before and during the show to make things go so well for me and I am sure for many, many others. Best wishes and a sincere thank you for a “job” so well done.
May today’s success and luck be the beginning of tomorrow’s achievements!
- Valerie Swygert on winning the Vitafloor™ VCM vibrating floor
- Maryanna Haymon of MaryDell Farm for winning the FABBRI Custom boots
- Kathleen Peterson on Aurora 1 (owner Susan Mitchell) with a PSG score of 65.167%
- Laura Sevriens on Genevieve HF (breeder Julie Ballard Harralson) with a training level score of 80.909%
Oldenburg High Score Award:
De Premio (Owner/rider Amy Swerdlin)
Training AA Championship: Score 74.432%
Equinety™ Class Winners:
Alexandra Dominguez , Amanda Lopez, Anna Logan-Merritt, Beate Kuska, Ciera Foley, Elaine Sherer, Elizabeth Jannaman, Emily Copeland, Erin Brinkman, Faye Flynn, Jayme Untiedt, Jean Thornton, Jessica Howington, Joanne Trout, Juliette Cain, Laura Pendleton, Laura Sevriens, Leigh Kent-Scherzer, Lyn Davis, Madeline Tincher, Magdalene Vilada, Marge Savage, Markella Stavrinakia, Micaela Love, Nicole Levy, Pamela Hardin, Shelley Rahiya, Susanne Benne, Victoria Retamoza, Victoria Templeton
BORN IN THE USA High Score, sponsored by Maryanna Hayman:
Susan Graham on Leander 77.5%
Marissa Long on Zoe Ludinga 71.098%
High Scoring German Import, sponsored by Euro Imports:
Kristy Truenback on Living Lucky
Overall High Score (through Saturday), sponsored by MRK Dressage:
AA: Janne Rumbaugh on Armas Zumbel 72.237%
Jr/YR: Melanie Doughty on Fascinata 65.338%
Open: Suzanne Benne on Zonnerhall 73.1%
Training through Fourth
AA: Kristy Truenback on Living Lucky 76.25%
Jr/YR: Avery Lewis on The Manx Man 76.364%
Open: Laura Sevriens on Genevieve HF 80.909%
Musical Freestyle Exhibition:
1st: Linda Strine – Captain Jack Sparrow
2nd: Ryan Bell – Zorro
3rd: Joyce Lewis – East meets West
4th: Tamara Didjurgis – Grease
We had so much fun! Thank you all for your participation. We hope you will join us in 2018.