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Virginia Dressage Association

 Year-End Awards

Annually, the Virginia Dressage Association recognizes rider and horse achievements (schooling and licensed), In-Hand/Dressage Sport Horse Breeding (DSHB), volunteers for their hard work throughout the year at a Chapter and State level, "Trainer of the Year", "The High Score Adult Amateur Award" and "Breed in Virginia" which goes to the rider, not breeder or owner. Other VADA Awards include the "Chapter Volunteer of the Year Award", "Chapter President's Award", and "Chapter Newsletter Editor's Award".


The award year runs from 1 December - 30 November and is restricted to VADA competitors and volunteers. General requirements for all VADA Year-End Awards are outlined below, links to individual award descriptions/qualifications, and applications to download. The deadline for the 2021 Year-End Awards is 1 December 2021. 


To download an award application, click on the appropriate link below.  Award descriptions are provided below.


Licensed Shows

Schooling Shows

In-Hand/DSHB

Special Awards

Volunteer Work Requirement Form

General Requirements for All 2021 VADA Year-End Awards

  • All competitors must be VADA members at the time of the competition.
  • All awards will be calculated by adding the horse/rider scores together and then dividing by the total number of tests ridden to result in an average score.
  • The awards year will run from December 1 —November 30.
  •  For all awards, scores must be earned from at least 2 different judges and at least 2 shows.
  • Every score submitted must be 55% or higher (schooling and licensed).
  •  Scores cannot be counted if your trainer is the judge.
  • Competitor photo included with photographer credit.

Volunteer Requirements

  • One day of volunteer time at a VADA event (i.e, Annual Banquet, Symposium, Chapter Challenge Schooling Show, DAL, GAiG's/VADA Fall Show Competition or other as approved by VADA President)
  • Half-day of volunteer time with the local chapter.
  • In the case of Pas de Deux or Quadrille awards, ALL riders of the team must satisfy volunteer requirements in order for the whole team to be eligible for award(s).
  • A rider DOES NOT have to do multiple days of volunteer time in order to submit awards with multiple horses, at multiple levels, or for schooling licensed and in-hand/breed awards.
  • Someone else may donate their volunteer time to another VADA competitor. However, it must be clearly indicated on the volunteer form submitted or noted on the chapter volunteer spreadsheet submitted to the VADA Year-End Awards Chairperson.  Note: The same volunteer time cannot be donated to multiple competitors.
  • There are no exceptions to these volunteer requirements.


Awards may be submitted electronically or by mail to JoAnn Collins, Year-End Chairperson, 4172 Range Road, Mechanicsville, VA 23111, or emailed [email protected] by 1 December 2021.   Carefully review award packets prior to submitting to ensure forms are completed and volunteer work requirements forms are signed.  Incomplete packets received will not be considered for Year-End Awards.   


Nominees will receive notification of the receipt of the award package and 2021 award recipients will be notified no later than 31 December 2021.  


The Year-End Awards package must include the following:

  • Award Report Form; 
  • Volunteer forms (VADA and local chapter) or verification of completed volunteer time; 
  • Copy of the front page of the test for each score submitted must include: show horse, name, date of the show, location, and total percentage or USDF printout (licensed shows); and,
  • Competitor photo included with photographer credit.

Schooling Shows





Ribbons will be awarded at each level (levels and Jr/Sr may be combined for MFS), divided into Junior/Young Rider (rider 21 or under as of Jan. 1, 2021) and Senior. Ribbons will be awarded to 10th place for Intro to 1st level, to 8th place for all other levels.



General Requirements:

  • Tests must be judged by a USDF L graduate or a US Equestria r, R, or S judge.
  • Scores from virtual shows or fix-a-tests may not be used.


Intro through Fourth Level:

  • 4 scores all at the same level from tests ridden by the same horse/rider pair. ∙
  • Every score submitted must be 55% or higher. 
  • At Intro Level, 1 score must be Intro B. Intro C is not required for Year-End Awards, but can be used.
  • For Training thru the Fourth level, 1 score must be from the highest test of the level. 


FEI Levels, Musical Freestyles, Pas de Deux and Quadrille:

  • 3 scores all at the same level from tests ridden by the same horse/rider pair. 
  • If submitting scores for Pas de Deux or Quadrille, all 3 scores submitted must be from the same horse/rider combination and the same team.


Licensed Shows









Ribbons will be awarded at each level (levels and Jr/Sr may be combined for MFS), divided into Junior/Young Rider (rider 21 or under as of Jan. 1, 2021) and Senior. 


For senior riders at USEF and FEI levels, an open and adult amateur will be pinned separately (must provide a copy of current US Equestrian AA card to be eligible, otherwise you will be pinned in open). 


Opportunity classes will count for the level being ridden and may be mixed with non-opportunity classes for purposes of achieving the required number of scores. 


General Requirements:

  • Scores from all open shows (those without breed restrictions) will count toward awards.
  • Scores must be from at least 2 shows from at least 2 different judges.
  • If a test has been scored by more than one judge (i.e., judge at C and E), the combined average score as calculated at the show will count. The tests MAY NOT be counted individually. 


Intro through Fourth Level:

  • 4 scores all at the same level from tests ridden by the same horse/rider pair.
  • 2 scores must be from the highest test of the level. 


FEI Levels (including FEI young rider, junior, children, and pony); Paraequestrian:

  • 4 scores all at the same level from tests ridden by the same horse/rider pair.


Musical Freestyles (including USDF, FEI, Pas de Deux, and Quadrille)
  • 3 scores all at the same level from tests ridden by the same horse/rider pair. 
  • If submitting scores for Pas de Deux or Quadrille, all 3 scores submitted must be from the same horse/rider combination and the same team.


Young Horse (including USEquestrian Four-Year-Old and FEI Five, Six, or Seven years old):
  • 3 scores all at the same level from tests ridden by the same horse/rider pair.


In-Hand and DSHB

(Licensed Shows Only)


Ribbons will be awarded for all in-hand/breed show classes combined (young horse, mature mare, stallion).


General Requirements:

  • The owner must be a VADA member at the time the score is earned.
  • If a test has been scored by more than one judge, the combined average score as calculated at the show will count. The scores MAY NOT be counted individually.
  • Class may be open or IBC.
  • Materiale and other under saddle classes DO NOT count toward this award. ∙
  • Amateur handler scores DO NOT count toward this award.
  • 2 scores are required, by the same horse.
  • Scores must be earned at Licensed Shows.


Special Awards


Trainer of the Year

High Score Adult Amateur 

Bred in Virginia












Competitors do not submit for any of these awards individually. These awards are based upon year-end award submissions that meet all of the general eligibility requirements as well as those specific to each of these awards where the necessary documentation has been provided. 



Trainer of the Year


To be awarded annually to the trainer whose students have achieved success during the year at schooling or licensed shows. Award will be given to the trainer with the highest average student score as determined below: Note: No special form needs to be completed, simply include the name of your primary trainer where indicated on the award report form for schooling and/or licensed shows.


No special form needs to be complete,  include the name of the primary trainer where indicated on the award report form for schooling and/or licensed shows. 

  • The trainer must be a VADA member.
  • The average score as submitted for schooling or licensed shows for each student will be the score used.
  • The three highest average scores from students will be added and averaged to determine the trainer score.
  • Scores can be from either schooling or licensed shows, but scores can only be counted from each student once.
  • Freestyle scores are not eligible.
  • One student must be riding First Level or above.
  • No more than one student at Intro Level can be counted. 

NOTE: THE SAME TRAINER CAN NOT WIN IN CONSECUTIVE YEARS.




The High Score Adult Amateur Award


To be awarded annually to the adult amateur with the highest average score earned at licensed shows. One award will be given at US Equestrian levels and one award for FEI levels.

  • Must be an adult amateur with USDF and US Equestrian (Must include a copy of Adult Amateur card or USDF printout with Amateur status verification with year-end award submission).
  • The same horse/rider combination is only eligible to win in either the US Equestrian or FEI category.
  • Freestyle scores are not eligible.
  • Intro Level is excluded from this award.


Bred in Virginia (Award goes to rider, not breeder or owner)


To be awarded annually to the horse/rider combination with the highest average at licensed shows riding a horse that was bred in Virginia.


  • The horse must have been bred in Virginia (must include a copy of breed registration or other documentation showing the horse was bred in Virginia as part of the awards packet submission).
  • The rider must be a member and meet volunteer requirements.
  • Freestyle scores are not eligible.



2021 Annual Meeting and 2020 Year-End Awards

On 27 February 2021, VADA hosted its first virtual "Annual Meeting and "Year-End Awards" ceremony. Congratulations to all 2019 winning competitors and volunteers. Give a round of congrats! 


To view the evening's presentation, click here.  To view the composite award listing, click here.


VADA would like to acknowledge "Pics of You", photographer John Robinson, for the wonderful pictures of our winning competitors. www.PICSOFYOU.com.

Virginia Dressage Association

2021 Annual Meeting and 2020 Year End Awards


2019 Year-End Award Recipients

Congratulations to VADA's 2019 award recipients!


Terry Adcock, Karen Barnard, Suzanne Cotter, Nina Cwieko, Tara Dean, Anne Draine, Donna Gatchell, Heidi Joi Gayle, Jessie Ginsburg, Robin Hazelwood-Grosenick, Charlene Jensen, Raina Sophia LaBonte, Diane Nathan, Lynn Ramsey, Katie Saucier, 

Cathy Scholten, Liberty Seaford, Madison Sexton, Anna Shores, Angela Stanaway, 

Gemma Stanley, Sophie-Ann Stremple. Marie Taylor, Carol Thomas, and Sandy Toby.

Nancy Doody Volunteer of the Year

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