Tempo Newsletter – Feb 2016


February 6, 2016 Edition

Note from the President and Editor

The holidays have come and gone!  The Awards Banquet and Annual Meeting has come and gone!  Challenges members have met for 2015 have come and gone!  New challenges for a new year have begun for DSDCTA, its Chapters, and its members.  It’s time for all of us, as members of DSDCTA, to unite to make 2016 the best year for DSDCTA!


History of DSDCTA

In 1973, Dressage enthusiasts answered Lowell Boomer’s call and met in Lincoln, NE to organize the first dressage focused national association in the country:  the United States Dressage Federation.

Conceived in part as a network of regional dressage and eventing clubs, the USDF dubbed the 25 clubs that came on board from the start Charter GMO’s, or Group Member Organizations.  Of those original 25, 21 still exist today and we are proud to say that DSDCTA is one of these existing GMO’s.

At this time, Region 3, Deep South Dressage and Combined Training Association consisted of Ann Ticehurst, a Florida based dressage instructor and judge who had been studying dressage with Col. Hans Handler, then the director of the Spanish Riding School in Vienna.  Ann Ticehurst arranged for Col. Handler’s son, Michael, to travel to Florida to conduct a week long clinic in September of 19712.  The clinic attracted twelve or so riders from across the South, all of whom were so impressed with Michael’s teaching and their own educational experience they decided to form a dressage organization.  They chose the name Deep South to reflect their varied locations.

Besides Ann Ticehurst, the founding members of the association were Margo Huelke, from GA, Steve Martin from AL, Doris Nicholas from AL, Joyce and Don Duncan from SC, Debbie Lane from FL, Suzanne Perry from FL, Jan White from FL and Michael Handler.

What is a GMO?

A group Member Organization (GMO) consists of a local or regional dressage/eventing organization of dues paying members.  DSDCTA’s GMO membership year is from December 1st through November 30th.  All individual dues paying members of the GMO are considered Group Members of USDF.  A GMO will annually select or appoint from its membership delegate to the USDF Board of Governors.  The delegate will be entitled to one vote for every 25 members of the GMO.  GMO’s with more than 200 members may elect one additional delegate per every additional 200 members.  The number of members of the GMO as of November 1st will determine its voting strength at the USDF Annual Convention/Meeting.  (DSDCTA is a small GMO when compared to some of the others like CA, VA, GA, etc.)  Each GMO must have a copy of its By-Laws, Policies and Procedures and current insurance coverage on file with USDF.  Each GMO should submit a copy of their newsletter to USDF and to their Regional Director.

Being a DSDCTA (GMO) member entitles you to a USDF Group Membership which entitles you to compete for DSDCTA awards, DSDCTA TEMPO NEWSLETTER,, discounts for GMO and USDF events, eligibility to earn USDF University credit, and a vote in GMO and also makes you eligible for USDF Rider Awards.  You can compete at recognized competitions with a Group membership EXCEPT in Regional Qualifying classes.  The USDF awards you are eligible for with a Group membership are Rider Awards:  Masters Challenge (age 60 and over), Freestyle Rider Award (Bronze, Silver and Gold), Rider Performance Awards (Bronze, Silber, Gold).  A group Member also receives a membership card from USDF and the monthly USDF Connection magazine.  Group Members also have the inside track on local dressage and distanced dressage happenings.  USDF strongly encourages dressage riders to become members of a GMO, however, a Participating Membership with USDF is REQUIRED to be eligible for all USDF Year End Awards, which includes Horse of the Year, Adult Amateur, All-Breeds, etc.   The horse MUST be LIFETIME Registered with USDF and owned by a USDF Participating Member or Business Member and ridden by a USDF Participating Member at the time scores are earned.  With a Participating Membership you also receive the USDF Directory free.



Whose Job Is It?  By Linda McFarland

As we enter a new year, here is a good reminder for all of us…….

“This is a story about four people named Everybody, Somebody, Anybody and Nobody.  There was an important job to be done and Everybody was asked to do it.  Anybody could have done it, but Nobody did it.

Somebody got angry about that because it was Everybody’s job.  Everybody thought Anybody would do it, but Nobody realized that Everybody wouldn’t do it.  It ended up that Everybody blamed Somebody when Nobody did what Anybody could have done.”

This little tale isn’t quite so funny when it applies to the members of an organization to which you belong.  Whether you are a member of a local club, a statewide organization or a national association, the following facts are generally true:

  1. The majority of the work is done by a minority of the members.
  2. Most of the complaints and criticisms heard are from the non-helping members.
  3. The doers are overworked and become burned out, eventually dropping out of the club’s leadership after several years of unrelieved service.
  4. Enthusiastic new members quickly rise to the higher “worker” level to fill in those vacated positions,, bypassing the great non-helping majority.

I have long believed one should try to correct things they complain about or they should be quiet.  If you don’t like the way your club is being run you can volunteer.  Help fix the things that don’t work.  If you don’t, you have no right to complain.

Quite a few years ago a friend was complaining about the newly installed office fee at the horse show.  The show charged $2.00 per horse entered.  This money went to the show secretary as inadequate repayment for the work of setting up, running and closing out the show.

“I think it’s terrible,” she groused.  “Every time you turn around they charge you more.”

This lady had frequently been a show secretary in her youth.  She could have run a show single-handed, but she did not volunteer her skills to help out,, even for one half hour.  Non one else volunteered, either.  So the show secretary worked on, unassisted.

One day, she lifted her head from the piles of paper before her and decided to quit.  At this point, the show management figured out they’d have to pay so everyone could play.  So the office fee was born.

How often at a horse show have you heard a plea over the PA system for someone to help at the in-gate or to present ribbons?  Have you ever offered your services before or during a show?  Do you sponsor a class to help your club show a profit or at least break even?

Do you regularly attend meetings?  Too boring?  How about being on the program committee?  Help arrange quest speakers, dinner meetings, set up a telephone committee to remind members of your club’s activities?

Club members too snobby?  Don’t know Members?  Volunteer to be on the membership committee.  Pass out name tags at meetings-a great way to learn the members’ names and for them to learn yours.  Work in the horse show office helps you to meet people too.

Your club doesn’t do the things you enjoy?  Offer to put on a demonstration or hold an open house.  Organize an overnight ride and campout if that’s your thing.  Set up a club activity combined with a day at Red Hills, Live Oak, etc.

Help enlarge your club’s checking account with a fund raiser.  Solicit advertising for club publications.  Be the contact person for the local newspapers.  Set up a mall membership booth, with or without a horse.

Volunteer to organize youth essay or art contests.  Help set up rules and prizes for the annual membership drive.  Sell club t-shirts.

Even if you don’t do one single thing listed here, there’s one thing you can all do-attend your club functions.

You’re working too hard to find time to attend?  Many careers benefit from participation in organizational activities.  Club members tend to do business with other members, and many useful contacts are made at club functions.  Many good friendships have been formed, too.  None of these things will happen if the club goes under from lack of help.

So try to follow these simple rules:

Rule 1:  Each month do ONE thing to help your club/GMO.

Rule 2:  If you don’t follow rule 1, follow Rule 3.

Rule 3:  Don’t complain about how things are being done.

Remember, if you don’t help, it’s not “their” fault, it’s YOURS!


Chapter Highlights:

Emerald Coast Chapter of DSDCTA

Emerald Coast and Florabama have decided to apply as a USDF Breeders Championship Series Qualifier for the DSDCTA Blue Angel Dressage Show to be held April 9-10,, 2016 in Pensacola, FL.  From the USDF site:  The Great American/USDF Breeeders Championship Series program is designed to promote breeeders and showcase quality sport horses.  Each series will consist of three qualifying events in designated geographical areas of the United States, which lead to a final event in each series.  Exhibitors compete at qualifying events for the champion and reserve champion filly, colt/gelding, mare and stallion. These horses are then invited to compete in each of their respective classes in the final event of that series.

The 2016 DSDCTA Adult Dressage Horse Camp , May 13-15, hosted by ECC, is FULL!  We have started a waiting list and urge anyone interested to sign up.  There is virtually unlimited room for auditors,, so if you missed out getting a riding slot, but want to enjoy the Camp experience, please consider coming as a Camping Auditor.  Day Auditors are also welcome for a small fee which includes lunch.  Prices and more information are on the Camp Application.

ECC will be hosing the 2016 DSDCTA Annual Awards Banquet and Membership Meeting in the San Destin area which is tentatively scheduled for January 14th, 2017.

ECC Calendar of Events:

DSDCTA Blue Angel Dressage Show  April 9-10, 2016

DSDCTA Adult Dressage Horse Camp  May 13-15,, 2016

DSDCTA Blue Angel Dressage Show  Nov. 5-6, 2016


Florabama Chapter of DSDCTA

Florabama is planning a lot of fun activities this year.  Our first chapter event took place Saturday, January 30, 2016.  A few of the members met at Ruby Tuesday’s for dinner and then went to the Escambia County Equestrian Center to watch the Winter Classic’s $25,000 Grand Prix jump Off.  Florabama will be hosting their first potluck dinner and movie in March.  We are looking forward to DSDCTA Blue Angel Show in April.  A few of the Florabama members will be participating as campers and auditors in the DSDCTA Adult Dressage Horse Camp hosted by ECC in May.  Florabama is still brainstorming about activities for the months of June July.  Our general meeting in August will take place at the beautiful 5 Rivers Delta Resource Center in Spanish Fort, AL.  We are in the beginning stages of putting together a dressage clinic with Matt McLaughlin in September or October.  Florabama will host our Chapter Year End Awards Banquet on December 11, 2016, in conjunction with a Christmas party.  We have now activated a paypal account to allow members to make online payments for membership, clinics, banquets, etc.


Northwest Florida Chapter of DSDCTA

Northwest Florida Chapter meets the first Saturday of every month from 11 AM to Noon at Willowbend South in Cottondale, FL.  Following the meeting lunch is provided.  At our next meeting, Feb. 6, 2016, we will be discussing the new changes for the chapter and the GMO.

Volunteers are needed for the DSDCTA Saddle Up St. Jude Benefit Show Horse Show on March 19, 2016.  Gift Bags will be provided for volunteers who sign up ahead of time!

Amanda Richards is writing a book that should be completed in 2018.  The book is titled “Whoa Dang It”.  The story is about the true, life adventures of an abused girl growing up and finally realizing the remarkable relationship a young girl can have with a horse and how it influenced her life.


Northwest Florida Chapter Calendar

DSDCTA Saddle Up St Jude Benefit Horse Show   March19, 2016

DSDCTA NWFL Summer Schooling Horse Show  June 4, 2016

DSDCTA Championship Schooling Show at Willow Bend South   September 24, 2016

DSDCTA NWFL Schooling Fall Horse Show   October 22, 2016


Suwannee Valley Chapter of DSDCTA

Suwannee Valley has been busy growing and acquiring new and past members for the new 2016 membership year.  We have started a quadrille team which has been practicing USDF Quadrilles on a monthly basis.  Our next quadrille practice is scheduled for February 15, 2016 at 1 PM with a short membership meeting afterwards.   All DSDCTA members are invited to participate or audit for free!!!

We have a tentative schedule for a DSDCTA Ride – A –Test in April with Natalie Lamping and a DSDCTA Adult Two Day Dressage Horse Camp in June with Megan and Dean Graham.  As a group we will be attending the Live Oak Driving Event in Ocala on Saturday, Feb. 27th, Red Hills on Sat. or Sun. depending on the weather,  USEF Western Dressage Show on Feb 13th at Cantebury Equestrian Showplace, as well as March 19th Southern Baroque Spring Classic and possibly the Cinco de Mayo Dressage Show April 30th also at Cantebury.



Congratulations to all our DSDCTA 2015 Awards recipients.  You are all listed in the “Chronicle of the Horse” latest issue.

Thank you Florabama for hosting the DSDCTA 2015 Annual Awards Banquet at the Sandestin Hotel in Destin, FL.  With a special thank you to Tashina Heiser, the chief organizer!  A great time was had by all who attended.  The hotel was beautiful. The luncheon food was delicious and plentiful!  The shopping and dining on the adjacent wharf was fantastic!  The comradery of fellow DSDCTA was exceptional!

Emerald Coast Chapter will be hosting the next DSDCTA Awards Banquet in Destin, possibly at the San Destin Hotel on January 14th, 2017!  Keep your calendars marked for another terrific DSDCTA Awards Banquet and Annual Meeting!  Book a suite with your chapter and come earlier to socialize with other DSDCTA members.  The price was incredibly reasonable for 6 people in a 3 bedroom suite!

The NEW DSDCTA Web Site is up and running thanks to Glen and Jan making the transition.  Each chapter will have their own page shortly.  Please check out our new site!

Sponsorship Packages will be arriving soon!  Bobbi Bulger and Tashina Heiser are working diligently on getting these completed packages to you!

A DSDCTA Omnibus is also in the works with Mary Jane as the Chair for this project.  Some of the committee members are myself, Faye Altman(SV), Bobbi Bulger(HC) and Tashina Heiser(FLBA).  We are looking for more volunteers for this committee.  Please contact Mary Jane Benson, Chair at   billmaryjane@bellsouth.net

I hope you enjoyed this issue of the DSDCTA TEMPO NEWSLETTER!  Please don’t hesitate to email me items you would like to be included in the next issue of TEMPO for May 6, 2016!  Feel free to contact me if you have any questions about our organization.


Ruthanne Faine-Gardner

President of DSDCTA