What it means to be a USDF GMO

Since LDS gained GMO status with The United States Dressage Federation (USDF) November 3, 2017 (We are 1 week old!) , I have decided to start a series of brief blogs that highlight the benefits, opportunities and materials that USDF provides for its GMO Members. This first edition is a brief overview. In weeks to come, more detailed explanations will be posted. This can be used as a quick tool to explore some of the benefits of being a USDF GMO Organization and Member.

Louisville Dressage Society started as an idea discussed over a dinner in December 2014. Kentucky is known for its horse farms, but we noticed that there seemed to be little communication between them. We set off to change this.

After taking a poll of the 30 attendees, we decided that we wanted to see one thing happen in the Louisville area, more education. LDS started with a few small clinics in 2015 and fast forward 2 years later, to 2017, and we have hosted over a dozen clinics with 6 concrete clinics for 2018 with Jeremy Steinberg and even more in the pipeline to come!

Because of our success, we started to look into ways to offer our members even more. The LDS board had thrown around the idea of becoming a USDF GMO since its start, but now it was time to make it happen, and after a short survey sent to members, that is just what we did!

(We are in Region 2)

After a few e-mails and a lot of paperwork we were granted USDF GMO status in a matter of hours! Now that we are a GMO, here are some of the benefits:

What it means as a member:

  • A GM (Group Membership) with USDF with most of the benefits of a PM Membership.

For a membership benefit chart you can check your USDF Membership Guide or click the photo below. Charts are on pages 8 & 9

  • This allows you to complete as a rider and/or owner at USEF-Licensed/USDF-Recognized dressage shows

  • Access to USDF eTRAK, an educational library with hundreds of articles, videos and quizzes to test your dressage knowledge. Click on the image below to access eTRAK

  • 10 issues of the award-winning USDF magazine, USDF Connection. There is also online/digital access to this for GM Members. You can click the picture below to view USDF Publications

  • You are eligible for USDF Rider Awards (Performance Awards, Bronze, Silver and Gold Metals, Bronze, Silver and Gold Freestyle Bars and Masters Challenge). Click on the image below to find out more information on USDF Awards on the USDF Official Website:

  • Eligibility for USDF/Dover Saddlery Adult Amateur National Merit Award. Click on the image below to find out more information on USDF Awards on the USDF Official Website:

  • USDF e-Newsletters to help keep you up-to-date on the most recent happenings

  • Discounts at USDF Events (such as USDF Convention) & USDF Store

  • Eligibility for the USDF "L" Judges Program. Click image below for more information on the USDF Official Website:

  • Grants and Scholarships offered to GM Members through The Dressage Foundation. You can click the image below to get more information on The Dressage Foundations Official Website.

Photo Credit: The Dressage Foundation

What it means as an organization

  • We gain the opportunity to apply for USDF National Education Incentive Grants (READ: More education for our members and helps with the costs)

  • Ability to apply for USDF GMO Grants through The Dressage Foundation Violet Hopkins Fund (READ: More education for our members and helps with the costs)

  • Access granted to educational lectures put out by USDF, designed for 1-2 hours of volunteer lead education

  • Ability to host USDF L Judges program and other CE programs, which leads to more qualified judges for schooling shows and ride-a-test clinics. Most of these forums are open to auditors.

  • Ability to apply for USDF GMO Awards, including the GMO Newsletter, Website, and Photography Awards. We can also nominate exceptional members for the Regional Volunteer of the Year Award.

If you have any questions about USDF or GMO membership, please feel free to contact LDS Vice-President Megan E Carr for more information. She can be reached via text at any time 502.472.7962 or by e-mail at For additional information, you can also visit USDF's info page at

*all photo credits are thanks to The United States Dressage Federation unless otherwise noted