From the President

Dear DSDCTA Members,

My name is Ruthanne Faine-Gardner and I’m your GMO President and Membership Chair.  I am writing to you today because I have been told many of our DSDCTA members don’t know who I am since DSDCTA covers such a large area in Alabama, Florida and Georgia.

First, let me state that I am a horse lover like all of you since I was a child in New York.  My father used to take me riding as a child on these wild untrained horses in suburbia New York.  As a young adult I joined the equestrian team at my university and really began my love of English riding.  Staying on the ground wasn’t riding enough for me, since I was still a risk taker, so I purchased 2 T-Bred Open Jumpers and began to show.  As my children grew older I purchased show ponies for them and they began their equestrian careers in Hunter Jumpers.  There was much talk about this new discipline called Dressage, and I decided to try my skill at it on my newly acquired Trakehner gelding, Santos.  After Hurricane Andrew, in which I lost several wonderful jumping horses and ponies, we moved from Miami to N Florida and I began to show my Trakehner stallion, Kosake in Dressage.  I have stayed on the ground and Dressage has become my love.  I also own and stand the Olympic Trakehner Breeding Stallion, Apache*Pb* at my Joint Venture Farm and have been an active member and board member of the American Trakehner Association since the early 80’s.  I have also been a teacher and administrator for 33+ years.

Many of you do know me because I have served as your DSDCTA VP and Membership Chair under our past president, Barabara Petti since 1999-2000.  Throughout this time I have helped to organize many DSDCTA –USDF events and most of all the past Regional Championships and Adult Clinics.  I realized the need for a DSDCTA Chapter here in Madison, Florida that would support the areas of South Georgia riders as well, so I originated the Suwannee Chapter of DSDCTA.

When our beloved past president and dear friend, Barbara, became gravely ill I jumped in to keep DSDCTA functioning in the hope that Barbara would return.  When it became evident to me that Barbara was fighting for her life and wouldn’t return to DSDCTA I decided to take on the presidency to continue her legacy.



For the past year and a half I have been working for you the DSDCTA members!

We are quickly approaching a new show year!  This past year DSDCTA grew to almost 200 members and I’m hoping this year will be even better with more equestrians and horse lovers joining DSDCTA and our Chapters!   Our DSDCTA and our Chapters were organized to promote the education of correct riding, horsemanship and correct horse management to our membership.   We have continued to do this through many rated shows, schooling shows, clinics, adult clinics, lectures, camps, banquets, awards, etc.  It is my hope that DSDCTA will continue to bring these events to you, the membership, for many years to come.

As part of this letter, I am going to include our latest version of our magazine, TEMPO which will be part of our new website in January.  I asked the Chapters to enlighten me with all their past and future accomplishments and events so that I may pass them on to you!

DSDCTA is made up of several chapters which spread from Ocala, Jacksonville, Madison, Marianna, Chipley, Panama City, Pensacola, FL and into Mobile and surrounding areas in AL and Valdosta and Tifton, GA.  Horse Country in Ocala, First Coast in Jacksonville, Suwannee Valley in Madison/Valdosta, GA, NW in Marianna and Chipley, Emerald Coast in Panama City and Florabama in Pensacola and Mobile, AL.  We are very large and therefore it is very important to realize what is happening in our sister chapters.  Our new website will have a page for each chapter to share their happenings!  For now, I will try and communicate these happenings to you without being redundant.


Florabama written by Tashina Hadley

The Florabama Chapter is happy to say our year has been fun and educational!  We hosted Dr. Joe Fisch DVM, with the Florida Dept. of Agriculture Equine division, for our Annual General Meeting.  Dr. Fisch spoke to the Chapter about interstate travel with our equine partners.  We recently concluded a fantastic clinic with Betsy Gosling.  Betsy provided tutelage through private lessons and ride-a-tests.  The clinic took place at Sidney Walters, Fox Run Farm, in Fairhope, AL.  Our next clinic will be at the end of September with Sinead Halpin at Sandstone Equestrian Center, in Mobile, AL.  Our chapter will soon be announcing the start of a letterman jacket program, for our JR and Young Riders.  We are in the planning stages of a Christmas Party and our Year-End-Awards Banquet.  Officers for the 2016 year will be: myself, Tashina Hadley as President and Membership, Debbie Cavalcante as VP, Leslie Hodges as Treasurer, Megan Judge as Secretary, Jodi Davis as Awards and Stephanie Fischer as Member At Large.  Our Facebook page continues to be popular and updated frequently.


Emerald Coast Chapter written by Holly Hilliard

Emerald Coast and Florabama Chapters host a very competitive and horse friendly rated show twice a year in April and November at the Escambia County Equestrian Center in Pensacola, FL.  Show management and volunteer go above and beyond to help every competitor have the best possible show experience.  The Equestrian Center is easily accessible and just a short distance from interstate 10.  Hotels are nearby and RV sites are available on-site.  A covered arena, good footing and plenty of permanent stalls help to ensure you have a good show experience.

ECC is very proud to announce the following members will be attending the Regional Championships:  Beth Godwin, Susan von Hoene, Annlouise Kildow, Theresa Pappas-Pierce, Amanda Stewart, and Kimmie Taylor!  Good Luck to you all!

ECC participates in the SHOW Program which is sponsored by Southern States or Triple Crown Feeds.  Just clip and save your proof of purchase seals, turn them in to the chapter rep and in turn the feed company will give us 25 cents for each label.

ECC Officers are Holly Hilliard as Acting President, Susan Von Hoene as Secretary, and Susan Simmers as Treasurer.


Horse Country Chapter  written by Bobbi Bulger

The most recent speakers at our meeting have been a Human Massage Therapist and Dressage Rider, Charlie Davis who was Secretariat’s long time exercise rider, Lori Smith demonstration from Iron Horse Healing, and Cindy Allen, DVM specializing in equine nutrition and corrective hoof trimming and balancing.  Some of our members have given brief presentations about how they make their and their horses’ lives easier and better.  Three of our members gave presentations on their first aid kits and what to have while traveling.  In the future we plan on having Debbie Hattan-NazarShah a British Horse society Intermediate Rider speak about her riding schools in the UK and affiliated dressage competitions with the BHS.  We are also planning on having a lecture by Julie O’Neil, of Performance Body Work and Ortho Bionomy.  Julie is also a USDF Silver Medalist and L Judge.  HC is also looking forward to organizing a schooling show.


NWFL Chapter written by Susan Bradley

NWFL Chapter is planning on dressage clinics, driving event clinic, Centered Riding Clinic, possibly an Adult Horse Camp in April, schooling shows, Saddle Up For St Jude Show(March 19, 2016), Summer Dressage Schooling Show (June,5, 2016, Fall Dressage Schooling Show (Sept 4, 2016), a Natural Oils Meeting besides their monthly membership meetings.

The 2016 officers will be:  Amanda Richards-President, Mary Jane Benson-VP, Susan Bradley-Secretary, Treasurer-Patricia Doyle, Awards Chair-Karen Watson and Susan Bradley.


Suwannee Valley Chapter written by Ruthanne Faine-Gardner

Suwannee Valley Chapter has hosted and organized the 2014 Awards Banquet and Clinic with Brian MacMahon.  The Awards Banquet was a sit down dinner held at Divine Events and the clinic was held at Joint Venture Farm.  Both venues are located in Madison, FL.

Suwannee Valley has hosted several Quadrille Clinics with Lena Pastuck and Jean Stick.  We also participated in an Obstacle Clinic with the Madison County Mounted Patrol.  In the past, SV has organized and hosted many schooling shows, clinics, hunter paces, educational lectures and volunteered at Regional Championships in Florida and Georgia, etc.

This past year, we have traveled as a group to several Western Dressage Clinics located in Live Oak, FL, Dressage Clinics in Wellborn, FL  and Red Hills in Tallahassee, FL.


Thank you, Tashina, Holly, Bobbi and Susan for contributing this information about your Chapters!


If any of our DSDCTA Members has a question or concern please don’t hesitate to contact me at 850-929-4991 or



Ruthanne Faine-Gardner

President of DSDCTA and Membership Chair
President of Suwannee Valley Chapter of DSDCTA