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CDS Board Meeting Schedule: March 9, 2015 (San Jose)  June 9, 2015 (Orange County), August 26, 2015 (San Jose) November 16, 2015 (Orange County)

Photo by Jennifer Keeler

Dressage Youth Have Their Time to Shine During CDS Junior Young Rider Championships in Northern Region

By Yellow Horse Marketing for the California Dressage Society

A talented group of 54 enthusiastic youth from across northern California and Nevada gathered at the beautiful Starr Vaughn Equestrian Center for the popular CDS Junior Young Rider Championships for the Northern Region, held July 31 – August 2 in Elk Grove, Calif. But this show isn’t just about competition in the ring: with a myriad of activities including a poster-decorating contest, pizza and ice cream socials, a DJ dance party, and an on-foot quadrille workshop, it was readily apparent that fun and camaraderie were what make these Championships special.

Arianna Barzman-Grennan, 21, of San Jose, Calif. was among the impressive group of 54 youth who ranged in age from as young as nine years old and who traveled as many as eight hours to participate. Barzman-Grennan has been coming to these Championships since 2010, and now in her final year of eligibility she wasn’t going to miss attending the show one last time before starting her fall semester of college. “This show has been a big goal for me every year,” she explained. “I love coming here and I enjoy the atmosphere because it’s different from the regular shows, where sometimes it can be intimidating to be with all the adults and the big horses. Here I feel like the focus is on us - it’s such a supportive environment and everyone’s so kind, plus it’s a great chance to meet other juniors who enjoy dressage as much as I do.”

The CDS Junior Young Rider Championship shows offer a plethora of prizes across both Team and Individual divisions, with stunning perpetual trophies which carry the names of young stars of the past (and the future) and proudly display the California Dressage Society’s strong tradition of supporting the next generation of West Coast dressage riders. Barzman-Grennan claimed her share of honors as an individual competitor: with the Dutch gelding Patriot B she earned the individual Reserve Championship at the Prix St. Georges level and claimed the San Francisco Peninsula Chapter Perpetual Trophy. But for the first time she also had the opportunity to compete as part of a team. Aboard the lovely Haflinger mare Romantique, she won not only another Reserve Championship at First Level (18 & Over) but joined her friends Kendra Mitchell and Haley Fava to form a team named WR Dressage and run away with the Team Training Level title on an average score of 71.760%. “We’re all from the same barn, but it’s the first time I’ve actually been on a team and I was so excited to get to ride with them. We were determined to win the champions’ jackets!” she exclaimed. “This entire show is just such a great experience, and it’s an accomplishment just to be here. I would definitely encourage any junior with an interest in dressage to give it a try. It inspires you to set a goal and work for it, and is a great stepping stone to work on future goals that are even bigger.”

Complete results are now posted on the California Dressage Society website, and see photo galleries and more news from the show on the CDS Juniors & Young Riders Facebook page. The second CDS Junior Young Rider Championship show will be held for the Southern Region on August 14 - 16 in Temecula. For more information, visit www.california-dressage.org. CDS would also like to extend special thanks to sponsors Equine Insurance, Margo Bell Hoagland, Western Saddlery, Schleese Saddlery, and Stat! Spray for their support of the CDS Junior Young Rider Championships – Northern Region show.

Photo by Tamara Torti

Adult Amateurs Enjoy Competition and Camaraderie at Central Region's Equine Insurance/CDS RAAC Show

By Yellow Horse Marketing for the California Dressage Society

Adult amateur dressage riders celebrated the Fourth of July holiday with great competition and camaraderie during the Equine Insurance/CDS Regional Adult Amateur Competition (RAAC) in the Central Region, held July 4 - 5 in conjunction with the Dressage at the Gaits & Gavilan Chapter show in Hollister, Cal.

Georganne Benesch of Livermore, Cal. was part of the enthusiastic group of 26 competitors who competed in Elite and Novice divisions from Intro to Intermediaire I. Aboard her eye-catching Friesian Sport Horse Lion King, Benesch was thrilled to win the Training Level Elite Division with an impressive score of 72.273% while also earning second in the First Level Elite class.

"This is my first show season with Lion King, and the RAAC was the perfect opportunity to bring him to a 'big' show without the pressure of the CDS championships," Benesch explained. "Because it's regional, we're competing, shopping and partying with people we may already know from our area, so it creates a real community atmosphere. It made for a wonderful experience, and I would definitely recommend RAAC to anyone who enjoys showing. In addition, almost everyone has the opportunity to participate in the honor rounds, which for me is really special."

Benesch was impressed with her RAAC experience from the moment she arrived on the show grounds. "The Gavilan chapter and RAAC show management did an awesome job this year with a great group of volunteers. When I arrived on Saturday morning, someone offered to help me unload my trailer. Wow!" she exclaimed. "Gilroy Gaits is a great venue. I really enjoy showing there and we were lucky to have perfect weather."

Now that she's taken home a new blue ribbon and beautiful prizes, Benesch will join many other RAAC class winners at this fall's CDS Annual Championship Show in Rancho Murieta. "I'll definitely be going to the CDS Championships," she said. "RAAC was a great confidence builder, and I hope to be riding Lion King in one or two honor rounds there in September!"

Complete results are now posted on the California Dressage Society website. The third and final RAAC show will be held for the Southern Region on August 22 - 23 in Burbank. For more information about the RAAC series, visit www.california-dressage.org. CDS would also like to extend special thanks to RAAC title sponsor Equine Insurance as well as series sponsor Dara James Designs for their support of the Central RAAC show.

Photo by Tamara Torti

Adult Amateurs Shine at Equine Insurance/CDS RAAC Show in Northern Region

By Yellow Horse Marketing for the California Dressage Society

Adult amateur dressage riders enjoyed the spotlight and some well-deserved accolades last weekend as the popular Equine Insurance/CDS Regional Adult Amateur Competition (RAAC) program kicked off with the first of three regional competitions. Held in the Northern Region on June 20 - 21 in conjunction with the Dressage Derby show series in Vacaville, Cal., this RAAC included 49 competitors from 11 CDS chapters who competed for top honors in Novice and Elite divisions from Training Level to Intermediaire I.

One of those successful competitors is Madora Daniel of Minden, Nev., who rode her Hanoverian gelding Ronaldo to victory in the Training Level Elite Division. The pair's winning score of 71.591% also earned the High Percentage Award (Elite division) as well as the Roses Award (Elite division) for Training/First Levels. "It was a great show," said Daniel. "The host Chapter did a fantastic job, the participant gifts were very nice, the RAAC reception on Saturday night was very nicely done with lots of appetizers and beverages, and Christiane Noelting did a wonderful job with her facility and with hosting as many horses and riders as she had last weekend."

The California Dressage Society established the unique RAAC program in 2008 with the mission to provide an opportunity for all CDS adult amateur riders to qualify and compete against others of similar skills and experience, with the goal that the regional nature of these shows would provide CDS members with a developmental path for gaining competitive experience, promote excellence and increase awareness of and support for the Chapters. In Daniel's opinion, the program is working. "It is really nice for the adult amateur riders to be recognized in their own competition, and CDS has done a really good job over the years of making this a fun and special event along with the sponsoring chapters," she explained. "I competed in the first RAAC eight years ago, and the event has evolved and improved over the years. I feel that adult amateurs are the backbone of our sport, and this event recognizes our accomplishments and give us our own place to shine. I think all adult amateur riders should give it a try."

All class winners at the RAAC become automatically qualified for the CDS Annual Championship Show which will be held this year at the Murieta Equestrian Center from September 17 - 20, and Daniel looks forward to being there. "Yes, I will be taking Ronaldo to the CDS Championships, and for those adult amateur riders that are not sure about competing there, I think the RAAC is a great first step in getting your feet (and hooves) wet at this type of an event and preparing you for the annual championship show."

Complete results are now posted on the California Dressage Society website. Next up on the Equine Insurance/CDS RAAC calendar will be competition in the Central Region (Hollister) on July 4 - 5, followed by the Southern Region edition on August 22 - 23 in Burbank. For more information, visit www.california-dressage.org.

Photo by Tifany Markee

 

The Next Dressage Generation Shines During Southern Region’s CDS Junior Young Rider Championships in Temecula

By Yellow Horse Marketing for the California Dressage Society

Even as the competition (and summer temperatures) heated up, young dressage riders found a way to beat the heat thanks to daily ice cream parties and a festive atmosphere during the California Dressage Society (CDS) Junior Young Rider Championships - South, held August 14 – 16 in Temecula, Calif. As the second of two shows in this popular championship program which celebrates CDS’ continuing dedication and support of the next generation of dressage riders (the Northern Region competition was previously held July 31 – August 2 in Elk Grove), this Southern Region championship drew almost 50 young competitors to Galway Downs for a weekend full of competition and camaraderie.

An impressive group of 10 different teams contested the Training Level and First/Second Level divisions for coveted prizes and team jackets, while individual competitors mounted on warmbloods as well as Quarter Horses, Thoroughbreds, Lusitanos and ponies vied for the opportunity to have their names engraved on perpetual trophies presented from Training Level to FEI. One of those enthusiastic competitors was 11-year-old Kelsey Markee of Ramona, Calif. who competed in the Training Level 14 & Under Championship division. After she and her adorable eight-year-old Welsh pony mare Make a Wish (also known as “Bella”) made the transition to dressage from the hunter/jumper ranks last year, Markee set the CDS Junior Young Rider Championships as a goal – and achieved it.

“My favorite part of the event was that Bella and I made it!” said Markee. “It was a huge accomplishment for us. I enjoyed being a part of the show, experiencing all of the new adventures, and being able to test our skills in a new environment and see how much Bella and I have improved from the beginning of the season.” Like so many of the young riders in attendance, Markee’s enthusiasm extended well beyond the competition ring: she also described how much she enjoyed helping the organizers with trophies and awards presentations, seeing banners created by each team, and sharing ice cream with new friends.

Complete results will be posted on the California Dressage Society website, and see photo galleries and more news from the show on the CDS Juniors & Young Riders Facebook page. For more information, visit www.california-dressage.org. CDS would also like to extend special thanks to sponsors Equine Insurance, Dressage Extensions, and Fairwinds Farm for their support of the CDS Junior Young Rider Championships – Southern Region show.

 

 

Adult Amateurs Relish the Spotlight at Southern Region Equine Insurance/CDS RAAC Show

By Yellow Horse Marketing for the California Dressage Society

Adult amateur dressage riders took center stage last weekend as the popular Equine Insurance/CDS Regional Adult Amateur Competition (RAAC) program concluded its 2015 series with the final leg held for the Southern Region in conjunction with Cornerstone Event Management’s Cool August Nights competition. Thanks to the Los Angeles and San Juan Capistrano chapters who co-hosted the event, a festive atmosphere welcomed 68 RAAC riders to the Los Angeles Equestrian Center in Burbank where they enjoyed friendly competition, great hospitality and fabulous evening entertainment.

Eric Grimm of Orange, Calif. was one of the many exhibitors who competed for top honors across Novice and Elite divisions from Training Level to Intermediaire I, and with his gray Oldenburg gelding Remise, he claimed the Third Level Elite class with 63.846%. “It’s nice to be the ‘main attraction’ and not be relegated to the back arena like it seems sometimes happens at the big shows,” laughed Grimm, who works as director of operations for Hanford Hotels when not in the saddle. “We’re out there slugging away every day with careers and then trying to enjoy our horses too, so we do our best to juggle all of that and it’s nice to come to a show and have a day just for us where adult amateurs are the focus. I feel like this and the CDS Championship show are the culmination of the work we do all year to improve, and that’s why I like coming here to be a part of this program.” Thanks to automatic qualification, Grimm will now join other RAAC winners who have the opportunity to compete at next month’s CDS Annual Championship Show which will be held at the Murieta Equestrian Center from September 17 – 20.

Former CDS President Melissa Creswick was also in attendance at Burbank as she judged one of the two RAAC arenas. “I felt like everyone rode very well with very capable horses,” she said. “I’m thrilled to see the maturity of this program coming to fruition. I couldn’t be prouder of our novice riders who come here to gain experience, and I especially appreciate and respect the Roses riders who are out here doing a fantastic job and having a great time. Adult amateurs are the bulk of our CDS membership, and they deserve to have a competition series like this that highlights them.”

Complete results are now posted on the California Dressage Society website. For more information about the RAAC program, visit www.california-dressage.org. CDS would also like to extend special thanks to RAAC title sponsor Equine Insurance as well as Dressage Today for their support of the Southern RAAC show.

 

USDF CDS Championship September 25-28, 2014
PHOTOS RESULTS

On Saturday evening, September 27, 2014, the California Dressage Society was honored to present a career celebration and special performance of the renowned Grand Prix dressage mare and U.S. Olympic Team member Rafalca as part of the 47th Annual CDS Championship Show at the Los Angeles Equestrian Center in Burbank, Cal. In her final public performance, Rafalca came home to California to perform her wildly-popular Grand Prix freestyle one last time with rider Jan Ebeling for a packed crowd of her adoring fans who honored her with a standing ovation. For those of you who couldn't share this incredible and emotional moment with us in person, CDS is happy to share this video of Rafalca's "last dance." Enjoy!..




The California Dressage Society, formed in 1967, is a non-profit organization devoted to furthering interest in dressage. It is one of the largest dressage organizations in the nation with more than 4,000 individual members in its 36 Chapters and a rich history of equestrian sport on the West Coast.


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