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Virginia Dressage Association

2021 Board of Directors 

 Licensed Show Management 

Committee Membership

Board Meetings

Learn About the History of VADA, Board Activities, And Focus 

History: A Narrative

In the beginning, Virginians interested in dressage joined their northern neighbor, the Potomac Valley Dressage Association (PVDA). By 1971, when most riders in the US hadn’t heard the word, Dressage, or if they had they couldn’t pronounce it, the Virginia Dressage Association evolved out of the PVDA and was established. In 1974, the VADA became a Charter Group​ Member of the United States Dressage Federation when that organization was founded. All VADA members became Group Members (versus participating members) of the USDF by definition.

The original VADA had no Chapters. The fifteen Board Members were elected by written ballot by the general membership. Horse shows were needed to generate the necessary revenue and publicity needed to make a fledgling association viable. Frying Pan Park (Herndon, VA) was the first USEF/VADA Recognized Dressage show and the Foxcroft girls school was the second. Richmond was added to the schedule in 1978, and Sankt Georg Farm (Petersburg, VA) in 1979. A Dressage Division was added to the Virginia State Horse Show in Richmond in the early 1980s.

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 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.

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2021 VADA State Board of Directors 

Bettina Longaker,  President

Michelle King,  Vice President

Alison Douglas,  Secretary

Beth Rippel,  State Membership Chairperson

VADA Licensed Show Management Committee

Diane Boyd,  Manager

Bettina Longaker,   Show Secretary

Michelle King,  Assistant Manager

Rachel Rice, Volunteer Coordinator

Michelle King and Nancy Doody, Awards

Nancy Lowey and Nancy Doody,  Sponsorship 

2021 Downloadable Monthly

Board Meeting Minutes






Conflict of Interest Policy