AADA Does Devon
AADA makes a splash at Dressage at Devon. A record number of amateur entries in the AA division. If it’s Dressage at Devon on the East Coast it must mean rain. Well it did rain as usual but not during the AADA morning breakfast meeting on September 29. The meeting was very timely as, the previous day saw a record breaking 18 entries in the CDI Adult Amateur Prix St Georges division. I can remember this division starting 3 years ago with only 3 riders. So kudos to all the riders and to Devon for offering these AA small tour classes.
The Board of Directors was kind enough to ask me to speak to Adult Amateurs in attendance at Devon to explain what Adult Amateur Dressage Access is about, our mission statement and to ask for feedback on what programs or help amateur riders would be interested in.
While the turnout was small, those in attendance were fiercely dedicated to seeing amateurs recognized fairly in horse show placings and awards. Many good questions came up about the differences in amateur definitions between the FEI and USEF. Some riders wanted to know how to propose rule changes to benefit amateur riders. Almost all in attendance were interested in an unlicensed Adult Amateur only show, similar to the D4K format, which is currently in the works.
We discussed the resources on the AADA website and now have a few new members!
Most interestingly, a hot topic was the need for an AA only clinic for showing horses in hand. At the breed show at Dressage at Devon, there was a new pony division. The majority were owned and/or shown by amateurs who had approached the Devon Board and requested this division. This group felt that while they don’t show under saddle much, showing in hand might prove more fun and successful.
Unfortunately, USDF does not offer an AA breeder or handler seminar or clinic. I would love to hear feedback from AADA members about their thoughts on an AA in hand program. If USDF won’t do it, maybe AADA should!
I walked away from the meeting energized with new feedback and ideas. I am proposing another meeting for next year with some intriguing topics and presentations. Again, looking forward to your feedback and ideas as well!