|not as sexy as leather|
We're currently training-level-schooling-first, and we're looking to move up to first level this show season.
But before all that, what do we have to do to be eligible for the USDF Bronze Medal program?
This year, I want to show at the nearby USDF recognized show and then at 1-2 more GMO recognized shows, plus as many schooling shows as I can squeeze in. If I don't get bronze scores at the big recognized show, I am considering traveling to another show, but that's very $$$ and time dependent.
Step 1: Become a USDF member.
USDF= United States Dressage Federation. There are lots of levels of memberships. A participating membership of USDF is the most expensive at $75 a year or $300 for 5 years. Here's the rub: the participating membership does not include local GMO membership. GMO membership allows me to support the local dressage community and schooling shows, qualify for local awards in a pool of riders I can get to know, and still gives me eligibility for those bronze medal scores that I really, really want. GMO membership is NOT enough to participate in the regional championships. Fun fact: championships are wicked expensive, it's our first year showing, and even if we qualified, I just don't think we'd be competitive. While I might want to have regionals as a goal at a later date, it's just not in the cards for me this year.
While I will not be participating in the regional championships this year, I'd like to think I might qualify for something at the local level. (don't rain on my parade, ok?)
The GMO membership gives me all the benefits I need.
|we're members of a national organization!|
This makes sense to me. In order to track horses at national-level competitions, the USDF assigns them a number. It's either $25 for a horse identification number that lasts one year or $95 for a lifetime registration number. The lifetime registration makes the horse eligible to compete for year end awards on a national level against people on fancy imported warmbloods who show a hell of a lot more than I do, so that's not a factor for me.
More importantly, if I pay the lifetime fee once, I don't have to dink around with it and if I show for 4 or more years on this horse, I will actually be money ahead.
That said, I might HATE dressage shows or something, so let's not get ahead of ourselves. Also there's my weird jinx thing.
So far, so good, right? Neither of those are too cost-prohibitive.
|i feel blurry, oh so blurry|
USEF= United States Equestrian Federation. This step is stupid to me. USEF is the national body regulating all horse sport. If I complete the above steps, I am technically eligible to show at USDF shows, BUT if I want my coveted ammy status, I have to shell out for a USEF membership. It's $55 a year. Ammies are eligible for different awards than pros and our qualifying scores are slightly lower (and then I don't have to compete against people who ride fancy horses for a living).
I could forego this step and pay the non-member fee, but that's $30 a day and of course a weekend USDF show is actually two shows at the same facility with different judges, so $60 a weekend. At this point, I'm only planning on one* "real" USDF show to avoid travel, but that $60 would be per weekend. If I were to add another show, it would only get worse.
*Or two. Or three.
Step 4: Get Courage a USEF number.
Once I have paid my USEF membership fee, I need a USEF number for Courage. I have options here: I can shell out $200 for a lifetime number which national year-end-award eligibility because my 11 year old OTTB warhorse is TOTALLY going to beat out some Grand Prix star's fancy young thing (snort). No. Or I can pay $75 a year for the same privilege. OR I can just get a recording number that is free.
If you have a fancy young thing, by all means, pay up. If you're me, save your dollars. Lulz.
Sources for further reading:
Dressage Memberships - blogger Karen is an absolutely invaluable resource here. She has done ALL her research and is fantastic at answering questions.
USDF Rider Awards - official USDF info is pretty accessible.