The 45th Anniversary CDS Championship Show Presented by HorseShow.com Celebrates...A Rich History
This year's CDS Championship Show Presented by HorseShow.com, to be held October 4 - 7 at the Los Angeles Equestrian Center in Burbank, CA, will be the culmination of an incredible 45-year history of dressage on the West Coast. A look back on CDS' formative years provides an appreciation for how far the organization and the sport have come.
In the mid-1960's, dressage was just beginning to pique riders' interest in California. But a devoted group of eighteen enthusiasts had the vision to recruit friends and fellow equestrians to form the California Dressage Society. In 1968, its very first full year of operation, CDS ambitiously established an "Annual Dressage Competition" for members to be held at Susan Davidge's Etcetera Farm in Santa Ynez. "We decided from the first to hold a two-day show," Davidge told CDS in 1987. "As there were not enough riders to support two days of dressage classes, we rode the test in the morning and had hunter classes in the afternoon. In those days most dressage riders also jumped, and the majority of the participants entered both the dressage and hunter classes." Adding to the challenges of establishing a new organization and annual competition, remember that the technology we rely upon today to help run large shows smoothly (such as computers and adding machines for scoring) simply didn't exist at that time, and Davidge reported that "secretaries frequently totaled the scores in their heads."
But the "Annual Dressage Competition" concept was a success, and CDS knew it was on to something. Soon outgrowing its first home in Santa Ynez, the newly-christened Championship Show moved on to various horse show facilities and fairgrounds throughout California in the 1980's and 1990's, finally settling on the current north-south rotation of the Murieta Equestrian Center near Sacramento and the Los Angeles Equestrian Center in Burbank.
While many things have changed (and will continue to do so), CDS' dedication to the sport and its members has not. Come to year's Championships and be a part of California's rich equestrian tradition. Take a walk down memory lane, be thankful for the hard work of those equestrians who have helped pave the way for dressage in California, and then enter the arena and make your own history!
For more information about the 45th Anniversary CDS Championship Show Presented by HorseShow.com, visit www.california-dressage.org.
Written by Yellow Horse Marketing for the California Dressage Society