Virginia Dressage Association
Virginia Dressage Association
Since its inception, the membership of the VADA has been veritable Who’s Who list of Dressage people: USEF judges (r up through O) and Technical Delegates, Olympic Candidates, Young Rider Champions, USEF Dressage Committee Members, International Clinicians and Trainers, Breeders, Instructors, just to name a few and most importantly, you.
Over the last 30 years, the VADA has thrived due to its hardcore group of volunteers. They have: Served on the Boards, run the schooling and or recognized shows, hosted the clinics, run the annual banquets, and made sure that the individual VADA member was able to take advantage of the VADA resources and learn more about dressage.
By 1982, there were actually three Dressage Associations in Virginia: The VADA, the Southeast Virginia Dressage Association, and the Southwest Virginia Dressage Association. The VADA wanted to eventually make it possible for all Virginia Dressage enthusiasts to come under one umbrella: a mother organization with representatives from each of the smaller groups (SVDA, SWVADA, and the newly created Chapters). In 1983 the mother organization was amicably split into three Chapters (NOVA, Fredericksburg, and Central), with each created Chapter receiving at least one dressage arena with letters and a prorated (by membership) amount of cash. The Southwest Virginia Dressage Association joined immediately, to make four original Chapters. The Southeast Virginia Dressage Association later joined, so the vision of one Virginia Dressage Association was complete.
As with any organization, needs change, and the Commonwealth Dressage and Combined Training Association evolved out of the VADA/NOVA Chapter, giving Virginia its first organization concerned with Combined Training. The CDCTA and VADA have gone on to jointly sponsor many of the USEF/USDF programs. An increase in active membership in the Charlottesville area in 1989-1990 leads to the inception of that Chapter from another chapter in late 1990. The Shenandoah Chapter (ShenVADA) was established in 1999 to serve the growing population in the Valley and finally in 2001, the North East Chapter (NEVADA) in the West Point/Gloucester area to make our seventh and eighth chapters.
Over the years, the VADA alone or through its Chapters has hosted many prestigious dressage shows: USEF, ABIG and GAIG, and CBLM finals; Qualifiers for Olympics, Pan American Games, Volvo World Cup, and the North American Young Riders Championships to name a few. The VADA is the only organization to ever host a USEF & CBLM Finals at the same show (Lexington Horse Center, 1993). It was one of the largest shows ever held on the East Coast with 1300 riders in four days, with no night classes and only six arenas. Though it was successful, this format has been discontinued, as it lessoned both of the individual finals. The VADA was the primary supplier of volunteers for the North American Junior Young Rider Championships themselves (2005-2007).