Dressage in the Sandhills Organizer Kay Whitlock Does it All

When she needed another judge at the last minute, organizer Kay Whitlock, who has been organizing the Sandhills Dressage show since 1985, called Leslie O'Neil Olsen in Georgia. She was judging at Poplar Place Horse Trials, but would jump in the car and head to North Carolina immediately after the dressage finished.

Tornado warnings held things up and even though she and a friend drove through the night, O'Neil Olsen didn't make it to Pinehurst on time for the first class to start.

"I'm a large R judge, so at the last minute I jumped in the box and rang the bell," said Whitlock, who turned over her organizational duties to Secretary Bo Belton for the time being. "I figured it would turn out to be something easy like training level -- I'd done all the schedules myself so I should have known -- but it was a third level test!"

No wonder she drove around in a golf cart labeled "Chief Cook and Bottle Washer."

Scorer Janet Ricardella writes computer software and rides dressage horses. She decided years ago to combine her interests and created a computer program called "Easy Show." A windows-based scoring program, it has evolved over the last ten years or so. "I used to use a DOS-based program, but it was always crashing," said Ricardella. "Most of the work on this is done now. I've written quite a few reports for different clients, so there's a lot on the menus. I update it regularly."

Whitlock said, "The cool thing is that I can save it all to as word file and then to our website, so the results are up really fast." In the modern show world, everything is on the website -- show times, stabling, and results. Competitors can log on to find out everything that they used to have to wait for in the mail.

Whitlock was happy with the way her show ran, and grinned when she saw the number of families with children who came out to watch at the Pinehurst Harness Track. Gesturing with a wave of her arm that encompassed the entire grounds, she said, "This is the way horse shows should be."

By Amber Heintzberger for DressageDaily.com

Related Links
Dressage in the Sandhills Website