Wellington, FL - Dressage. It's all about building up a good foundation and like the structural integrity of its high performance tack, Custom Saddlery is pleased to announce it is the official saddle of one of the most important grassroots riding organizations in North America: the Intercollegiate Dressage Association. “The Intercollegiate Dressage Association is proud to be sponsored by Custom Saddlery as the official saddle of the IDA.
Custom Saddlery brings an incredible quality product that is appreciated by riders and coaches,” said Beth Beukema, IDA president and director of Equine Studies for Johnson and Wales University in Rhode Island. “Custom Saddlery saddles are known throughout the industry as being beautifully crafted and balanced, and will be a lifelong memory for our winning riders.“
Eight Custom Saddlery saddles will be awarded during the 12th annual IDA National Championships, April 27-28, at Mount Holyoke College Equestrian Center in South Hadley, Massachusetts. “We are proud to say that each member of the winning team will receive a saddle on Team Championship Day,” said Cary Wallace of Custom Saddlery. “In addition, on Individual Championship Day, four levels of riders will vie for Individual National Champion titles that will include winning their own Custom Saddlery dressage saddles.”
The IDA National Championships will host more than 100 riders from more than 20 colleges and universities. Four-member teams and individuals in each of four IDA divisions--Introductory Level, Lower Training Level, Upper Training Level and First Level - are chosen from approximately 600 student riders representing 55 colleges and universities from nine regions across America and Canada. Qualifying points are earned in IDA-sanctioned competitions held throughout the academic year within each region.
Unlike traditional dressage competition where riders bring their own horses, IDA shows require the host school to provide horses and tack, and riders randomly draw the horse on which they will compete. This adds an additional element of challenge to the competition as riders pair with unfamiliar horses, and get only 10 minutes of warm-up to establish a bond before entering the ring. “There is such camaraderie among riders and coaches,” said Lisa Moosmueller-Terry, IDA vice president and Virginia Intermont College coach. “Competition is intense but there is still a sense of support. We applaud one another and are happy when ribbons are well-distributed among riders from all regions. In that same shared spirit of support, we are pleased to partner with Custom as the official saddle sponsor for IDA.”
Mount Holyoke, Johnson and Wales, Ethel Walker School, Williston-Northampton School, Stoneleigh-Burnham School, and Savannah College of Art and Design were among the first school-sponsored programs to develop dressage as a team sport. International growth of dressage inspired greater development within college and secondary school riding programs, prompting increased interest in a formalized national organization dedicated to increasing interest and participation in competitive dressage at college and secondary school levels.
Custom Saddlery's deep history of support to its dressage community has included recognizing Most Valuable Riders at prestigious Florida dressage shows throughout the winter circuit including the Adequan Global Dressage Festival and Gold Coast Dressage series. For more information on Custom Saddlery visit their website at http://mysaddle.com/en.