Convention Home
Education & Special Events
Convention Agenda
Salute Gala & Annual Awards Banquet
Hotel, Travel, & Area Activities
Convention Registration Coming Soon
 Home > Education

Education Presentations & Opportunities

While USDF continues to follow and evaluate developments related to the COVID-19 pandemic, all currently scheduled events are subject to change.

Draft Featured Education Presentations

Featured education presentation information will be announced at a later date.

Draft Education Opportunities

USDF Dressage Apprentice Technical Delegate Clinic
This one-day education session is open to all interested registrants and focuses on the role and function of dressage technical delegates. Additionally, this clinic serves as a prerequisite for enrollment in the “r” Dressage Technical Delegate Training Program. Separate registration required.

Judges, L Program, & Freestyle Open Forum
Three committees join together to discuss the latest in judge training and competition tests.

Membership Committee & Communications Open Forum
Held in conjunction with an extended open Membership Committee meeting, the Communications Open Forum will include a USDF staff panel that will give a brief overview of the various USDF communication properties, followed by Q&A session and discussion.

USEF/USDF Open Forum: Trending Topics in Sport & USEF Rule Changes
A joint open forum to discuss the latest trends in dressage, as well as what new rule proposals are being put forward at the upcoming USEF convention.

US Dressage Finals Open Forum
This forum provides a chance for attendees to hear updates and ask questions regarding USDF’s premier event.

Competition Open Forum with Q&A
Hear from and discuss various developments in the competition world with competition related USDF committees.

Instructor/Trainer Program Education Session 
A professional education session geared towards Judges, Certified Instructors, Instructor/Trainer Program Faculty, L Program Faculty, and L Graduates.

GMO Roundtable Discussions
Share ideas with industry experts and USDF Group Member Organizations on a variety of GMO interests and topics.

L Program Education Session 
A professional education session geared towards Judges, Certified Instructors, Instructor/Trainer Program Faculty, L Program Faculty, and L Graduates.

USEF/USDF Dressage Technical Delegate Clinic and Training Program
Education opportunity for currently licensed dressage technical delegates or individuals accepted into a dressage technical delegate training program.

USEF Athlete Open Forum
A USEF open forum to discuss topics focused on achieving high performance competition levels.

Draft Special Events

Welcome Reception
This kick-off event is your place to connect with old friends and meet new ones.

Board of Governors General Assembly Meeting (BOG)
We encourage you to join your elected officers and delegates as they plan and discuss the future of USDF. At the completion of the BOG, join us for the presentation of the GMO awards.

GMO Gift Baskets
This tradition continues as GMOs donate customized gift baskets, given away as door prizes to attendees of the BOG. These baskets highlight the uniqueness and distinctiveness of the GMO’s club and region. Recognition will be given to the best basket in three categories, as voted by the members of the Group Member Organizations Committee.

If your GMO will be submitting a basket, please send in the GMO Basket Letter of Intent!

Salute Gala & Annual Awards Banquet
You are cordially invited to celebrate the annual accomplishments of top competitors. We will commemorate the dedication and support of our USDF volunteers, competitors, and award honorees. Make sure to purchase your tickets through our online registration.

Featured Education Presentations

Conformation, Mechanics, Performance, & Soundness of Dressage Horses

Presented by Dr. Hilary Clayton

Dr. Clayton will explore the relationship between conformation and mechanics in dressage horses and will explain how form and function affect the horse’s performance and soundness.

Dr. Clayton graduated from Glasgow University Veterinary College and practiced veterinary medicine before becoming a full-time researcher. As the first incumbent of the Mary Anne McPhail Dressage Chair in Equine Sports Medicine at Michigan State University, Dr. Clayton’s research focuses on biomechanics and conditioning of sport horses, and the interaction between rider and horse. Dr. Clayton is currently a board member of the American College of Veterinary Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation, and is a member of the USEF Dressage Committee. She has earned her USDF Gold, Silver, and Bronze Medals.

Degenerative Joint Disease in the Equine Athlete

Presented by Dr. Victoria Maxwell

Dealing with the challenges of the modern equine athlete, trainers, riders, and owners are well adept in understanding the set backs of a lame horse. Every top barn has a philosophy in dealing with the inevitable stresses of equine degenerative joint disease, with many gaining a distinct advantage over their competitor. As an equine veterinarian dealing with performance horses Dr. Maxwell will address the topic of joint disease in the equine athlete.

She will review important terms and outline the anatomy to help visualize the disease process equine joints undergo. Therapeutic treatments ranging from the conservative to the newly applied technology will be discussed to enlighten the audience’s understanding of joint disease therapeutic options. This is a great opportunity to review your understanding of the equine athlete’s challenges, as well as refine your approach in addressing equine degenerative joint disease in your own barn.

Dr. Maxwell currently serves as the technical services veterinarian for Luitpold Pharmaceuticals, Inc. She has had the privilege of learning to ride and train show jumping horses under Olympic medal winners Joe Fargis, Conrad Holmfeld and Melanie Smith. Dr. Maxwell is a graduate of Tuskegee University School of Veterinary Medicine. Her current area of medical focus is pursuing new pharmaceutical therapies for the equine patient. Luitpold Pharmaceuticals continues to investigate new and unique technology to improve veterinary medicine and quality of life for the horse.

Carbohydrate Conundrum

The importance of carbohydrates, and tips on how to safely and effectively incorporate them into any horse’s diet.

Presented Dr. Emily Lamprecht

Carbohydrates are often misunderstood in both human and horse nutrition. Diet fads in human nutrition, a growing body of knowledge regarding metabolic disorders in horses, and increased messaging in popular media with cautionary tales about the dangers of carbohydrates in a horse’s diet, has created heightened awareness and many misconceptions regarding these important nutrients. The equine industry is in the midst of a “low” carbohydrate craze, which for the majority of horses, particularly performance horses, may not provide nutritional solutions they need to support optimal health and performance.

This presentation will address what carbohydrates are, where they come from, why they are an important part of any horse’s diet, understanding what your horse needs from a nutritional standpoint, and how to safely and effectively manage carbs in a horse’s diet.

Dr. Lamprecht earned her doctorate in Endocrinology and Animal Biosciences (with an emphasis on equine nutrition and exercise physiology) in 2009 from Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey. She also holds bachelors degrees in Animal Science and Psychology from University of Missouri, Columbia (2003, 2004). Her doctoral research focused on exercise-induced inflammation and antioxidant status of intensely exercised horses, and addressed the effectiveness of a supplemental antioxidant enzyme intended to mitigate conditions associated with the onset of chronic disease.

Dr. Lamprecht currently serves in the role of Technology Lead for Consumer Nutrition at Cargill Animal Nutrition. She also trains and shows her horse in dressage.

Colic – The Number One Killer

Presented by Lyndsey White

Colic is the number one killer of horses worldwide and yet we still have limited knowledge with regards to how we can aim to minimize the risk of our horses becoming yet another statistic. This seminar will provide a brief overview of colic, before focusing on the link between colonic ulceration and colic. It will also discuss the symptoms that may provide advanced warning of an impending colic, thus allowing you to take the appropriate avoiding action.

Lyndsey holds a masters degree in Animal Science and is the Domestic & International Product Manager for Freedom Health LLC, manufacturers of SUCCEED Digestive Conditioning Program. Lyndsey has presented at numerous national meetings including: USEA Convention, Equine Affaire, USDF Convention, and USDF Trainers’ Conference.

Harmonizing With Your Horse

Presented by Hilda Gurney

Join USDF in welcoming Hilda Gurney as she introduces her topic for the 2013 Nutrena/USDF Adult Clinic Series starting April 1, 2013. Hilda will emphasize sitting in balance and harmony while riding the horse, with a connection from a supple seat into a softening ‘hand’ contact.

Inducted into the Roemer Foundation/USDF Hall of Fame in 2013, Hilda Gurney has had an enormous impact on dressage in the United States. Her competition record is unsurpassed: an Olympic Team bronze medal in 1976, an individual gold and silver, and three team gold medals at the Pan Am Games, 6 USET National Grand Prix Championships on the legendary Hall of Fame Inductee, Keen. Hilda is an 4*/FEI Dressage Judge, a “R” Dressage Sport Horse Breeding Judge, “S” Dressage Judge and continues to actively train and compete several horses at the FEI Level. In addition, she is a dedicated teacher, instructing a generation of students from the grass roots to international levels. The names of her many students could fill a book, including Debbie McDonald and Charlotte Bredahl-Baker.

The ABC’s of Rider Strength & Fitness with CORE-ect Riding

(Interactive Sessions Thursday-Saturday, 6:30 a.m.)

Presented by Kerry Petty

Be an Athletic, Balanced, Core-centered rider by participating in three days of exercise designed to improve you as a rider. With slides, video and handouts, each day is packed with information emphasizing a different area essential to your growth as an effective rider.

A is for Athletic- Leave with an overall fitness program combining upper & lower body exercises to keep you as fit as your horse.
B is for Balance- Find keys to balancing yourself on the horse, emphasizing all lateral work as well as lengthening & mediums.
C is for Core- Build your core as your riding foundation. Abs take center stage here. Added bonus - NEW core exercises for upper level work.

USDF welcomes back Kerry Petty (USEF “r” Dressage Judge) who, as a certified Pilates and Yoga instructor, works with riders to build their core strength and improve their balance both on and off the horse. Kerry developed Core-ect Riding- a systematic approach to teach riders how to improve their core strength and thus their riding.

Additional Educational Opportunities

Competition Open Forum with Q & A

Presented by a panel representing Competition Management, Judges, Membership, and Technical Delegates Committees, this forum provides an opportunity to discuss issues that surround the competition world. All are welcome, whether you are a seasoned competitor, an experience official, or new to the sport.

Youth Education Session- Improve Your Rider Fitness by Building a CORE

This fun and fit session, presented by Kerry Petty, will focus on teaching youth how to build a strong core and its affect on the horse. You will leave with a plan, full of specific exercises for a core fitness program! Don’t miss this opportunity to learn how to fine tune your CORE-ect riding! Adults are also welcome to join in on the fun at this session.

Youth Programs Open Forum

Representatives from the Youth Programs and FEI Jr/YR Committees will be on hand to answer questions or listen to suggestions regarding all of USDF’s youth programs from Jr/YR clinics to qualifying for NAYC. We encourage youth, parents and trainers to attend this informative session. Members of all ages and abilities are welcome to attend.

Fox Village Advanced Software Applications Clinic

This clinic, hosted by the Competition Management Committee, will demonstrate how to utilize Fox Village software tools, even at the smallest show. Competition managers and secretaries will learn unique features of this popular dressage show software. (Ticketed event)

USDF Apprentice Dressage TD Clinic

Thinking about becoming a TD or just interested in knowing more about the rules, policies and procedures associated with dressage competitions? Consider attending this clinic. (Ticketed event)

GMO Roundtable

Take part in brief, informal discussions on various topics presented by GMO officials and experts. Learn tips that can benefit your GMO and share your ideas too! This year’s topics include: creating surveys, hiring show management, motivating members to join, USDF’s e-TRAK as a member benefit, and insurance needs for GMOs.

Equine Insurance Q&A With Industry Experts

Whether you’re a GMO representative concerned about prudent liability coverage for your GMO, a horse owner wanting to learn about options for insuring your horse, a dressage professional or farm owner wondering about prudent liability practices, experts will be on hand to answer your questions.

Your insurance experts, Shawna Dietrich, Donna Meyer, and Kathy Stringer, are active equestrians who have been involved with USDF for many years. They are seasoned agents and representatives of the Great American Insurance Group, sponsor of the GAIG/USDF Regional Dressage Championships and GAIG/USDF Breeders’ Championship Series.

Shawna Dietrich operates Dietrich & Company Equine Insurance Services. She has held a USEF hunter and jumper Judge, and a USEF C-1 Steward’s license. In addition to Shawna’s insurance agency, she operates a show horse rehabilitation and retirement center.

Donna Meyer, Equine Agent for “THIS” -Taylor Harris Insurance Services is based in Bryan, Texas, where she owns and operates “On the Bit Farm,” instructing riders and training horses for dressage and eventing. She is an active FEI rider/competitor as well as a USEF ”r” dressage judge.

Kathy Stringer has been with Great American for 17 years and is now the Senior Underwriting and Marketing Manager. She previously owned a boarding and training dressage farm, and presently is the proud owner of a 9-year-old Hanoverian gelding.

Special Events

Welcome Party

This year, Southern Eventing and Dressage Association (SEDA) will be extending Southern hospitality to all attendees with an authentic Cajun experience at Michaul's, a local venue providing food, music and atmosphere that must be experienced to be believed. Transportation will be provided.

Board of Governors General Assembly Meeting (BOG)

The most important USDF meeting. Come and see your elected officers and delegates discuss and vote on the present and future of USDF. A highlight at the BOG is the presentation of the GMO Awards.

GMO Gift Baskets

Win a terrific door prize but you must be present! Ruth Arvanette started this tradition and it continues to be a favorite activity at the Board of Governors General Assembly. GMOs donate these beautiful customized gift baskets that uniquely represent their club, and winners are drawn throughout the meeting.

“Looking Back at London”-Olympic Memories

An opportunity to hear what really happened from those who were there! An entertaining array of Olympic guests will provide insight into their personal experiences and what you did not see on TV.

Salute Gala & Annual Awards Banquet

The convention culminates with the USDF Salute Gala & Annual Awards Banquet. So, “Laissez les bon temps rouler!” --Let the good times roll!
Join your friends for a masquerade ball. SEDA members will be selling Mardi Gras masks at their booth to help you create a costume for the evening. Dress in your finest evening attire, join the Mardi Gras parade, see and be seen, and celebrate with top competitors from around the country. And don’t forget your bangles and beads. This one is going to be memorable!

We’ll pay tribute to this year’s award winners and all the USDF Gold, Silver, and Bronze Medalists, and honor dressage legends and USDF volunteers.

Ghostly Spirits and Scandalous Tales with Dinner

“A Scandalously Good Walking Tour and Dinner”

Narrated historical walking tour of The French Quarter. New Orleans has a dark and scandal-filled past that is delicious to discover. Hear about the unforgettable cast of characters including eccentric outlaws, pirates, saints, sinners, and famous Voodoo Queens. Click here to register for this event.