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Western Dressage World Championships Report

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  • Western Dressage World Championships Report

    Just so's you know... we went to the WDAA World Championship show last month in Oklahoma and had a GREAT time! My little mare got nice prizes including a world and reserve world title, and even though she's a not-lots-of breed, we were treated very fairly by the judges.

    The best part, for me, was just how nice everyone was. The show ran really well (they used www.showsecretary.com and they were terrific!) and the facility was nice: Lazy E in Guthrie, OK. Two very big arenas, one a coliseum type, and good footing. They even had little round pens on their pasture grass for grazing!

    Weather was really nice. Judging was fine: the scores ranged from quite high to quite low range depending on the judge, but each judge's scores and comments seemed quite consistent per each judge. (In other words, you might get a good prize under one judge in a level with a 65% on one day, and a similar prize in the same level under another judge with a 75% the next day... but the better rides each day were judged in a consistent scale for each judge.)

    People had FUN! There was lots of cheering for each other, appreciation for nice rides regardless of the horse or rider, and lots of good extra activities. LOVED having our scores posted online generally by the time we were untacked after a test... that was amazing.

    Not sure where else on the planet you could have a class (and lower levels were BIG- 20-30 horses or more in almost all of them)) with a few Paints, Quarter horses, Arabs and Arab crosses, Morgans, maybe a Gypsy and a Fjord, a mule and a POA, all competing with each other on a level playing field and each getting marks appropriate for the quality of gaits and performance tendered in a test.

    My trainer friend and I had a conversation on the way home: how long, we wondered, will this relatively new sport stay 'pure' without extreme gaits and styles starting to be rewarded, and some breeds or types of horses no longer being competitive? Hopefully the charm and fun of WDAA will last a long time still.

    We also wondered if a qualifying system will be in place soon, because the 4 day show (3 days of tests and first day of suitability type classes) seemed maxed out with tests being ridden in all 4 arenas from 7:30 until about 5 every day. It was a very full, but very delightful, show.

    Many thanks to the WDAA, judges, and show committee for putting on a very nice event. We plan to return (almost 2,000 miles!) and our enthusiasm for western dressage around home has been heightened as well.

  • #2
    That's great to hear! And congrats on a good show for you and your mare.

    Comment


    • #3
      I was also there with a friend and agree with you on all aspects regarding the judging, the facilities, the fun, and, of course, the horses!
      And I, too, wonder: How long? I really enjoyed seeing the different breeds and hope it continues to draw riders and horses from all disciplines and breeds. It's given a new avenue to those whose horse doesn't conform to a certain standard in another discipline.

      Also, congrats on your wins!!!
      Last edited by KayGee; Oct. 28, 2018, 05:13 PM.

      Comment


      • #4
        CONGRATULATIONS, on your titles, what level were you riding at?

        I wish the event wasn't so far away, this Canadian would LOVE to come and ride there.

        I have mixed feelings on qualifying, of course it's going to come in, the bigger the sport gets, but you would like to think, that for a while anyway, people would self regulate. I would love to compete, and my trainer has always said that we can make the long journey from Canada, when and if, I am good enough....still not there.
        "He's not even a good pathological liar." Mara

        "You're just a very desperate troll, and not even a good one. You're like middle-school troll at best. Like a goblin, not even a troll." et_fig

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        • #5
          It will help the credibility of it it eventually there is a qualifying system. It seems there are classes with 1 or 2 people in them and if they can keep from being eliminated and stay upright, they are then Champion or Reserve "of the World". Or maybe have a minimum score in these cases?
          "The sea was angry that day, my friends - like an old man trying to send back soup in a deli"

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          • #6
            Originally posted by NJRider View Post
            It will help the credibility of it it eventually there is a qualifying system. It seems there are classes with 1 or 2 people in them and if they can keep from being eliminated and stay upright, they are then Champion or Reserve "of the World". Or maybe have a minimum score in these cases?
            A lot of those were the gaited classes from what I saw. I *believe* this was the first year they were offered, and they were no schleps either. I thought they were fun to watch.

            Comment


            • #7
              It was at least the 2nd year they've offered the gaited classes. Fortunately, the gaited horses that did compete were, for the most part, nice quality horses with good trainers/riders. Looking at the scores, you can see they were on par with the stock horses, in terms of scores that earned top placings (even if you only beat yourself, a score in the upper 60s to low 70s or better is what it is....on par with the others).

              NJRider in LEVEL 3 TEST 3 OPEN the winning stock horse earned a 68.333%, while the winning (and only) gaited horse in the same level and test earned a 68.667% ...so I would say that horse did more than just not fall down.

              Comment


              • #8
                What judges did they use?

                Comment


                • #9

                  Ronald Bartholomew, (R)
                  Donna Longacre, (R)
                  Fatima Pawlenko-Kranz, (R)
                  Charlotte Trentelman, FL (S )

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Miss Motivation View Post

                    Not sure where else on the planet you could have a class (and lower levels were BIG- 20-30 horses or more in almost all of them)) with a few Paints, Quarter horses, Arabs and Arab crosses, Morgans, maybe a Gypsy and a Fjord, a mule and a POA, all competing with each other on a level playing field and each getting marks appropriate for the quality of gaits and performance tendered in a test.

                    .
                    Wow! Sounds like a great venue and a well run show. And you placed really well to boot!! Huge congrats to you

                    As for other equine sports with a variety of breeds, you see them all (plus more!) at driving shows (Pleasure and CDE's).

                    Combined Driving is an FEI sport and has many, many different breeds showing and placing. The nice thing is most of the placing you can get is on the driver - depending on how clean/fast you can go on marathon day and how clean/fast you can go in cones. Its not up to the judge. But there may be some "breedism" in the dressage ring, but luckily there are 5-7 judges there.

                    But again, huge congrats on your success. Its really nice hearing positive things about any horse show. We tend to only hear the negative comments so this was a breath of fresh air!

                    Comment

                    • Original Poster

                      #11
                      Oops I went off and left my thread unattended... sorry... I'm glad it didn't get towed away!

                      My Haflinger mare showed in the intro and basic with me and the basic and level 1 with a catch-riding trainer friend. Our classes had between 24 and 30 entries in them- many different breeds showing together... a neat idea.

                      Our highest score was a 78%; some in the 60's just depending on who was judging. They were all consistent within their tests but seemed to start at different points on the scale, more or less. Like some teachers are 'easier graders' than others!

                      I wrote a blog post about our recent adventures at the western Dressage world show for COTH with lots of photos; however I was told by an editor that there is just not enough interest for them to run it because "We're not getting a lot of traffic on the blog posts, and I think it's because the Haflinger show circuit is just a bit too far outside of what we normally cover."

                      Maybe the editor didn't understand that the western Dressage World Show is not a joke- western Dressage is growing (as it should: fun for horses and riders!) and someday will hopefully not be dismissed by the Chronicle.

                      We really had a great time at a terrific event that was fun, fair, and left most of us really enthused about the sport.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Miss Motivation View Post
                        Oops I went off and left my thread unattended... sorry... I'm glad it didn't get towed away!

                        My Haflinger mare showed in the intro and basic with me and the basic and level 1 with a catch-riding trainer friend. Our classes had between 24 and 30 entries in them- many different breeds showing together... a neat idea.

                        Our highest score was a 78%; some in the 60's just depending on who was judging. They were all consistent within their tests but seemed to start at different points on the scale, more or less. Like some teachers are 'easier graders' than others!

                        I wrote a blog post about our recent adventures at the western Dressage world show for COTH with lots of photos; however I was told by an editor that there is just not enough interest for them to run it because "We're not getting a lot of traffic on the blog posts, and I think it's because the Haflinger show circuit is just a bit too far outside of what we normally cover."

                        Maybe the editor didn't understand that the western Dressage World Show is not a joke- western Dressage is growing (as it should: fun for horses and riders!) and someday will hopefully not be dismissed by the Chronicle.

                        We really had a great time at a terrific event that was fun, fair, and left most of us really enthused about the sport.
                        Well that sucks. I loved reading about your last show and looking at the pictures. I was hopping there would be one for this!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Well there could be some pics here hint hint.

                          78% WOW, great score
                          "He's not even a good pathological liar." Mara

                          "You're just a very desperate troll, and not even a good one. You're like middle-school troll at best. Like a goblin, not even a troll." et_fig

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Cool to hear about! I know a girl that brought her horse from CT a few years ago and ended up with awesome scores and I think a world championship!

                            Thanks for the report maybe my mustang will decide to be a western dressage horse one day
                            Kick On

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                            • #15
                              How many horses showed total?

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                              • #16
                                193 horses competed. 1283 tests and rail classes total, so an average of 6+ tests each. I didn't subtract scratches.

                                Comment

                                • Original Poster

                                  #17
                                  Click image for larger version

Name:	39FA05DD-139F-4DA2-905F-5CAF04957F89.jpeg
Views:	2
Size:	13.4 KB
ID:	10260999 Thanks for the numbers, TMares... interesting.

                                  i was just looking at 2018 USDF statistics (from their media guide) showing 30,000 members with 95%+ being women over 35, 19% of whom own Quarter horses. (If I mined the data correctly.)

                                  Those numbers look to me like western dressage has some real upside potential to grow with what we know are America's aging riders who don't all ride warmbloods or have $500,000+ elite hunters, per a current thread in the H/J postings here.

                                  Western dressage currently offers all the positives of traditional Dressage- objective scoring, a clear ladder of progression, defined goals, excellent feedback, quality shows with expert judges- at a cost far, far lower than mainstream dressage.

                                  Ride what you've got, go to shows to take a quiz on your progress, then go home and practice some more... without having to spend a fortune on a fancy horse, custom tack, or imported apparel. It's all dressage... I don't think horses care what saddle is on their back.

                                  Western dressage certainly does not have the cachet of European royalty hobnobbing at the shows but... if you have access to a horse, a place to ride, and transport to a show, you can play. There's a lot to be said for inclusiveness in the increasingly exclusive world of riding sports.

                                  I was really pleased to see all the breeds at WDAA showing together successfully, including a number of warmbloods going nicely under western tack.

                                  For almost 200 horses to travel to Oklahoma for a National Show to compete in an average of 6 classes each is a big financial and time outlay. These were ordinary people who wanted to experience an extraordinary show.

                                  As one of those individuals, I thought the return on my investment of time and money was very high in terms of fun, learning, and accomplishment. And I'm disappointed that COTH thinks their readers have no interest in that experience.

                                  Attached Files

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    COTH does not cover anything western, though. A blogger is covering the Mongol Derby, they cover an eventer training mustangs here and there, they cover the RRP. I cannot say I'm at all surprised that a western competition is not considered for the magazine. There are ample other places it could be published, like Horse and Rider, Performance Horse Digest (maybe?), Eclectic Horseman, Western Horseman. The AQHA and APHA magazines might to breed-centric features on it. But COTH? No.

                                    Comment

                                    • Original Poster

                                      #19
                                      All true, TMares. I have to admit my feefee's were dinged to have my most recent blog post rejected, after they published the first three.

                                      Not in the printed mag, just amateur blogs that were on the home page for less than a day. The first one garnered more comments than anything I've ever seen here but... no matter. Reposted on Facebook also seemed to interest folks but again... COTH is clearly an English/mainstream portal.

                                      Not sure how COTH measures things, but I've had quite a number of people reach out privately to say they've enjoyed our adventures, and two people even came to meet my horse in Kentucky after reading about her on my COTH blog posts. That was really neat!

                                      Even if COTH doesn't think Haflingers and older-and-wider riders having a blast doing western dressage is newsworthy... I do! It's been a great adventure.., I hope a lot of others will try WD and enjoy it too.

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                                      • #20
                                        I do gaited dressage; I feel your pain

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