From Endurance to Dressage
I don't know how many members the California Dressage Society (CDS) has, but I do know we are the largest Group Member Organization (GMO) of the United States Dressage Society (USDF). Being in a large GMO has both advantages and disadvantages. It can be challenging to qualify and earn awards, but on the other hand, CDS offers a ton of opportunities for participation.
We just finished competing at the CDS Regional Adult Amateur Competition (RAAC). While there, we earned an automatic spot in the CDS Championship by winning the Training Level Novice division. Speedy and I also earned the qualifying scores necessary to go as well.
Qualifying for the CDS Championship
The CDS Championship is a huge show. Just getting there takes some planning. The qualifying criteria is different at each level and for who you are: AA, JR/YR, or professional. For Speedy and I to qualify, we had to have 5 scores of 63% or better from four different judges. We qualified last year, but just barely. This year, all but two of my season's scores were qualifying.
My first scores of the season were a 68% and a 62%. We followed that with two 61%s, a 65%, and a 63% at a two-day show. At the next show, we nailed it with a 67% and a 65%. We finished up the regular season with awesome scores at RAAC: 70%, 68%, 72%, and 64%. Even though I qualified for the championship, I wasn't going to go until I saw how high my RAAC scores were.
I've heard so much about the championship show; it's HUGE, busy, and jam-packed with the USDF Region 7's elite horse and rider teams. I may have forgotten to mention that this show is not only the CDS Championship, but also the USDF's Region 7 Championship. I definitely didn't want to go if we weren't going to look as though we belonged.
The Entry tomorrow ...
About the Writer and Rider
I am a lifelong rider.
I began endurance riding in 1996 where I ultimately completed five, one-day 100 mile races, the 200-mile Death Valley Encounter, and numerous other 50, 65, and 75 mile races. I began showing dressage in 2010.
Welcome to my dressage journey.
About Speedy G
Speedy went from endurance horse to dressage horse. After helping me earn a USDF Bronze medal in the summer of 2020, he is now semi-retired. Speedy is a 2004, 15'1 hand, purebred Arabian gelding. His Arabian Horse Registry name is G Ima Starr FA.
Izzy was started as a four-year old and then spent the next 18 months in pasture growing up. I bought him as a six-year old, and together, we are showing at the lower levels. He is a 2008, 16'3 hand warmblood gelding. His Rheinland Pfalz-saar International (RPSI) name is Imperioso.
National Rider Awards
State Rider Awards
State Horse Awards
CDS Sapphire Rider Award
Third Level: 63.514%
Third Level: 62.105%
2023 Show Season
(r) Ride-a-Test Clinic
2023 Show Schedule
2023 Completed …
2023 Qualifying Scores
Regional Adult Amateur Competition (RAAC)
Qualifying Training Level
3 Scores/2 Judges/60%: