The Western Dressage Association of America is an educational nonprofit 501c3 whose primary focus is on the education about and the promotion of Western Dressage. The United States Equestrian Federation has recognized WDAA as the sole affiliate representing the discipline of Western Dressage. In 2020, the American Quarter Horse Association has begun approving USEF/WDAA competitions and recognizing points on the show records of registered American Quarter Horses. Following the progression of the training levels is a systematic way to advance horse and rider.
The first show to have done so was the Ocala Western Dressage Series IV at the Florida Horse Park in Ocala, FL June 20-21. With more than 10 American Quarter Horses entered several earned points in Basic Level-Level 4. Using the percentage to point conversion some earned 1 point for 1 test and others, like Lynn Palm and Adelaide Pickett’s WTR Herestoyourhonor as many as 6 points for 1 test.
Two weeks following the first AQHA USEF/WDAA approved show in Ocala, the Kentucky Dressage Association did the same with their KDA Western Dressage Shows I and II at the Kentucky Horse Park July 4-5. As their first time adding Western Dressage to their already established classical Dressage shows, the show managers and competitors rallied to meet the minimum number of horses to host the show. Again, success for registered American Quarter Horses piloted by AQHA professionals Lynn Palm and Stacy Westfall and Amateur Level 4 rider, Michelle Williams as well as others in Basic Level-Level 2.
In 2010, Lynn Palm was the rider to earn the first Classical Dressage Point in AQHA. Fast forward 10 years and many year-end Dressage High Point Titles later and AQHA Western Dressage points are now on her resume. With AQHA mares Madison Circle at Level 2 and WTR Herestoyourhonor at Level 1, Lynn will continue to compete with each at both USDF/USEF and USEF/WDAA shows approved by AQHA, showcasing the versatility of the American Quarter Horse and her 50 year career that she celebrates in 2020.
For more on the WDAA go to WesternDressageAssociation.org. Details on how to show American Quarter Horses in Dressage or Western Dressage see aqha.com/showing. For more information about Lynn Palm and Palm Equestrian Academy visit LynnPalm.com.
Palm's career highlights include 2007 American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA) Horsewoman of the Year, a record four AQHA Superhorse wins, AQHA Female Equestrian of the Year by the Women's Athletic Association, named one of the top United States clinicians by Horse & Rider magazine, over 34 AQHA World and Reserve World Champions, 7 WDAA World Championships and over 50 bridleless dressage exhibitions at events including the National Horse Show, 1989 World Cup and the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games, and World Cup. Palm and Cyril Pittion-Rossillon are co-founders of three horse industry companies: Palm Partnership Training, Women LUV Horses, and Alliance Saddlery USA. Palm is the author of The Rider’s Guide to Real Collection and Your Complete Guide to Western Dressage.
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