California Becomes a State Affiliate of WDAA
Hold onto your hats!! An ambitious and energetic group of horsemen and women have come together in Northern California to take on the California Affiliate of the Western Dressage Association™ of America. Rounding up the diverse and far flung members of this immense state is a challenge for any non-profit group, but the new Board and talented members of the Western Dressage Association of California are up to the task. Already the ideas for growing Western Dressage in this area fill a long list, and the search for volunteers to help in this is underway.
California’s Board of Directors is made up of Terry Tomasini, President, Vice President Julie Renfro-Cross, Secretary Judy Tamagni, and Treasurer Allison Lake. Additional help and ideas have been contributed by Dean Voigt, Wanda Smith, Tracy Underwood, Jec Ballou, Amanda Prestyly, Marian Taylor, Ramay Metcalf, Rhonda Azevedo, Roni Brooks, Terry Church, and Susan Tomasini (apologies to those I neglected to mention).
Siting the new affiliate in Sonoma County should galvanize the many horsemen and horsewomen in that county to become involved in Western Dressage at so many levels. There are 22,000 horses in this County located just north of San Francisco in the Wine Country of California. Long a place of heavy involvement with horses, Sonoma has a history of intense participation in horse shows and racing with both English and Western disciplines heavily represented.
Sonoma’s horse community also has an ambitious plan to bring a California Equestrian Park and Event Center to the West Coast which would give Western Dressage a tremendous venue for both coaching and competitions. Wanda Smith who has been a vital part of the discussions in the creation of the California Affiliate has spear headed the charge to get this Equestrian Park, known as CEPEC, located in the rolling hills of Sonoma County with over 1000 acres devoted to all horse sports. Coupling this effort with that of Western Dressage should make the West Coast a centrifuge for drawing more and more horse owners and trainers to the discipline.
Sonoma County also has an active traditional Dressage community, so the ability to locate top level dressage instructors and judges for Western Dressage also enables the Western Dressage Association of California to benefit from the knowledge base and enthusiasm of many fine horsewomen and men.
As the California Affiliate looks to 2012, its plan to grow has many dimensions. It will promote Western Dressage throughout California with presentations, mailings, brochures, and newsletters. It will soon launch its website and Facebook page. Adding to its Board of Directors is a primary task as well as the creation of many committees headed by professionals familiar with marketing, publicity, and fund raising. It will hold several Western Dressage schooling shows this year as well as several clinics and demonstrations.
Jack Brainard has been coming to Sonoma for years to give clinics, as have Lester Buckley and Jon Ensign, another fine horseman from Montana who is an essential part of the annual Light Hands Horsemanship Clinic. Eitan Beth-Halachmy’s Wolf Creek Ranch is a short drive from Sonoma, and Eitan’s presence at the yearly Dressage In The Wine Country event held in Santa Rosa has already introduced the lightness and beauty of Western Dressage Freestyle of the Sonoma community of horsemen. Susan Tomasini was also invited to demonstrate Western Dressage at this year’s Dressage In The Wine Country.
As we look to the coming year of 2012, it’s an exciting time for Western Dressage in California. Anyone interested in joining this dynamic group to contribute ideas or help in any way whatsoever is encouraged to contact Terry Tomasini to learn more. Terry can be reached through his email address: firstname.lastname@example.org.
A major challenge will be developing an organization to service and support the entire State of California. We are actively looking for folks in both Central and Southern California and look forward to their enthusiastic participation.
There is much to do this year as we strive to introduce Western Dressage to those who have not been exposed, and to organize events that attract and inspire riders. Please contact us and volunteer your expertise and enthusiasm.