Year round Floridian Dressage riders and horse owners have proved their resiliency after being slammed not once, not twice, but four times in 2 months with fierce hurricanes which ripped their way across the state. Evacuation weary horse owners not only survived, so did their horses, and for the most part their properties, where the worst damage was the loss of trees and foliage. The end result after the clean up was cleared land, which as any Floridian knows will quickly begin to sprout re-growth.
The state of Florida has many GMO’s (General Member Organizations) within the USDF (United States Dressage Federation) often referred to as the “grass roots” of Dressage in America, and literally the backbone of American dressage. These clubs are managed by dedicated members, many successful professionals in other fields, whose efforts not only create opportunities for a good time for all involved, but a chance to make a difference, and a contribution to a greater cause. In spite of the hectic months which also included the 2004 USDF Championships, the group pulled together and ran a well attended show, for an important cause.
The North Florida Dressage Association took an idea, and ran with it, by turning their October schooling show, into a hugely successful fundraiser for a hugely important cause. October is Breast Cancer Awareness month, and on October 30th, The NFDA Dressage Schooling show became “The Ride for the Cure” event, to benefit the Susan B Komen Breast Cancer Foundation, raising over $3,000 in donations before the first rider of the day trotted down the center line.
"Think Pink" For the Day
The North Florida Dressage Association will be managing the 2005 USDF Championships, to be held at the shiny new Jacksonville Equestrian Center, has also managed to raise close to $10,000 to become a Bronze Medal sponsor for the facility, helping in their efforts to build permanent stabling. But it was at the Green Cove Springs Agricultural Center, the site for the NFDA’s schooling shows where the members took the day to “Think Pink” and spend a fun filled day, with riders wearing pink, and horses donned in special pink saddle pads, which was part of the fundraising efforts.
During a full day of classes with three rings going all day, the highlight was the barbecue luncheon donated by Tom and Marge Savage, and the costume class, where thinking pink, and Halloween were combined into creative afternoon entertainment.
DressageDaily and PhelpsPhotos welcomed the opportunity to not only spend a day in our own back yard, having only to drive an hour from our home base, but to also have the opportunity to work with a great group whose passion for Dressage created a fun and educational day for competitors, and raised awareness and money for a cause important to us all. In spite of the challenges Floridian Dressage riders faced recovering from a harrowing hurricane season, they were not only back on track, but moving forward with impulsion. A special thanks to Marge Savage and Mary Ann Kovach for making welcoming us, and promoting our presence.