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 United States Dressage Federation



The United States Dressage Federation (USDF) is the only national membership organization dedicated to dressage, a method of horse training in existence since ancient Greece and an Olympic sport since the inception of the modern Olympics in the late 1800s.  Dedicated to education, the recognition of achievement and promotion of dressage, USDF is a tax-exempt 501(c)3 organization with more than 30 different educational programs, 125 affiliate local or regional clubs and more than 2000 annual awards for excellence in competition.  The national levels, Training Level through Fourth Level, are governed by the United States Equestrian Federation (USDF). The international levels are governed by the Federation Equéstré Internationale (FEI).


Individuals may join the USDF as a Participating Member (PM), which provides full USDF membership benefits including eligibility to compete in USDF recognized shows and  qualify for championships and year-end USDF awards.  Individuals may join the USDF as a Group Member (GM) by joining a local Group Member Organization (GMO), which provides USDF membership benefits including eligibility to compete in USDF recognized shows but NOT qualify for championships or year-end USDF awards.  Many dressage enthusiasts join USDF as a PM and also join one or more local GMOs as a GM.


As in the diagram on the right, the USDF is composed of a governing body, the Board of Governors (BOG), which is supported by an Executive Board (EB), Councils and Committees, and USDF Staff.  The USDF is organized into nine USDF Regions, each of which has a variable number GMOs. 


The BOG is composed of PM delegates and GM delegates.  PM delegates are elected by each region and GM delegates are appointed by each GMO President.  The PM and GM delegates votes and make the major decision at the USDF.


The EB is composed of nine Regional Directors (RD) and four Officers.  The RDs are elected by the PM and GM delegates in each regions.  The officers are elected by all the USDF PM and GM delegates. 

The EB manages the day-to-day USDF operations and councils & committees that oversee specific functions and areas.


The nine USDF Regions are headed by a RD, who is elected by the region's PM and GM delegates.  The Regions organize regional dressage activities.


The GMOs are the local dressage groups that sponsor local dressage activities, including USDF recognized dressage shows, local schooling shows, clinics, etc.



 USDF Region 1



USDF Region 1 was created when USDF started the geographically-based region system.  Originally encompassing Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Virginia, in the late 1980s, USDF determined that Region 1 was too large, and it was split into what is currently Region 1 (Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Virginia) and Region 8 (Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island, and Vermont). 


Sam Barish was the first Region 1 Director after the split; he served from 1988 to 1995.  Janine Malone was the Region 1 Director from 1996 to 2001, and Alison Head served in the position from 2002 to 2010. Lisa Schmidt is the current Region 1 Director, starting her term of office on January 1, 2011.


Region 1 covers Delaware, Maryland, North Carolina, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and eastern counties in West Virginia.   There are 16 GMOs in Region 1.  Click here to open a list of the regions, their location, and a link to their web sites.  Click here to open a map showing the location of each GMO.

USDF Governance