Frequently Asked Questions
Watch: "What we offer." Slide show!
- What is the mission and vision of the First Coast Classical Dressage Society?
- Why are the entry fees more than other schooling show fees?
- Why are all of the shows at Jacksonville Equestrian Center?
- Why do you require all show/event participants to be GMO Members?
- What is a GMO?
- What are the benefits from Society GMO Membership?
- Can you be a member of another GMO and also a member of the First Coast Classical Dressage Society?
- Will you offer social non-horse events for Members?
- Will you offer clinics throughout the year?
- What is a Schooling Schooling Show?
- Will you be offering Western Dressage Classes?
- How does your Volunteer Program work?
- How does The Society monitor and record Mandated Service Requirement Hours?
- How do I submit my show scores for Year-end Awards?
- How do I register my recognized show results with the Society for Year-end awards
- Does both the Horse’s Owner and Rider need to be a member of The Society to participate in Year-end Awards?
- Can a Recognized Division Member apply non-Region 3 competitions to Year-end Awards?
What is the mission and vision of the First Coast Classical Dressage Society?
- The Society focuses on education and the promotion of amateur sport with an emphasis placed upon Classical Dressage theory, its history and the development of its principals. Our mission is to inspire individuals to become knowledgeable in classical theory and follow the teachings of the classical training Masters.
- Our vision is multifocal. Our primary vision is to promote classical dressage with hopes to facilitate its fusion with competitive dressage at our events. We do this in multiple ways. One example is hiring quality, credentialed judges that possess mastery of the training scales to officiate. Another is by doing away with championship restrictions, which exclude horse and rider teams after obtaining a certain number of Champion titles at a given training level. In following with our classical focus, we recognize that certain horses have reached their zenith in regard to capabilities and simply cannot compete at a higher level. As a result, we allow horse and rider teams to compete in our champion classes at any level for as long as they desire regardless of how many times they obtain the title of Champion. The need to force progression or retire from the local show circuit does not exist. This means we will have riders that compete at a given level for many years; for it is the level that is appropriate for them at the time and in some cases, may be so for the remainder of the horse’s competitive life.
- Another aspect of our Vision is to provide the safest showing environment possible. All of our participants are required to be members to assure this safety. They will become educated on Show Etiquette and Safety knowing how to ride in a busy warm up area, how to enter/leave the show ring, what tail ribbons signify, loading and unloading precautions and considerations, methods of “loose horse” prevention, fire safety and many other aspects of show safety and courtesy. Each member is not only required to sign confirmation of understanding of our Show Etiquette and Safety From before being permitted to participate in mounted activities, but they must also complete a short, but comprehensive, online exam.
- We strive to provide an exceptional showing experience. This is evident from the moment one arrives to unload until they load again for departure. A donations accepted, refreshments table providing coffee, citrus flavored Zephyrhills water, granola bars, cookies and of course a few horse and dog treats awaits. During the show, class results with current leaders of high point and high point reserve will be displayed in the awards area. Muck buckets along with self-compressing hoses with squeeze free nozzles will be located in the wash down areas to facilitate those areas being kept clean and tidy by competitors. Tables for ribbon and award presentations will be elegantly dressed with linens and paintings by our website and local artists will be displayed. A comfortable sitting area will be available to await score announcements. Board members and volunteers will be easily recognized at events by their red embroidered Fleur de lis vests so show competitors and observers may easily recognize show “staff” and know who to approach if needed. Show management will remain on site until the last participant has safety loaded and departed so no one is left to attend to potential safety issues alone.
- There will be no need for our competitors to copy, scan, email, mail or fax in show results for year end and rider awards. Our show staff will monitor all placing and post them to the website following each competition. When the qualifications for rider awards are met, they will receive an announcement of congratulations and receive their medals at the black tie year end awards banquet.
- We will provide a multitude of education opportunities throughout the year, focusing primarily on classical techniques and theory but touching on all aspects of the equine lifestyle. An educational board will be placed near the awards and refreshment table at select shows which will have Classical Dressage educational information and Society news and announcements. Clinics, symposiums and eTrak learning modules will also be offered. Educational events offered by other dressage organizations in our region will be announced and promoted.
- Our membership is valued and appreciated as individuals. We will promote social affairs within our membership by offering member gatherings at each of our shows with a Share-a-plate dinner onsite Saturday evening, beach sunset gatherings, group Spa visits, theater productions and many more similar situations. We will also hold an annual General Membership Meeting each October following our Dressage Deciphered Clinic.
- Lastly, we strive to bring awareness and basic understanding of Classical Dressage to the people of Northeast Florida. We will promote education of the general public and encourage attendance to observe our shows and events.
- In summary, our vision is to inspire individuals to follow the teachings of the Classical Masters. We wish to make the journey of dressage training more rewarding than achievement of the end-goal destination. We wish to set a new standard for the showing experience and awarding our members. We wish to bring elegance and grace to every aspect of your GMO. We wish to elevate your expectations and to meet your demands.
Why are the entry fees more than other schooling show fees?
- Our class fees are the same as many other GMO organizations within Region 3. The main reason they are greater than some schooling show organizations is because we higher and offer highly trained judges to officiate at appropriate levels for our competitors. Securing these judges simply cost more.
- All of our shows are at Jacksonville Equestrian Center. The premier facility in our area. Their grounds fees are more than other equestrian facilities. However, we feel only they can provide the exceptional show experience we wish to offer.
Why are all of the shows at Jacksonville Equestrian Center?
- Easy trailer access from major artery roadways
- Angular sand mixture and fiber footing in arenas
- Each stall has its own electric for fans or charging your mobile needs
- Climate controlled restrooms with shower facilities available
- Abundant RV hook up sites
- Night time security for the stabling area and entire facility
- On site facility managers to address any issues that may arise
- Adequately lit stabling and wash down areas for nighttime grooming or socializing
- Close proximity to hotel accommodations and restaurants.
- Hacking available onsite.
Why do you require all show/event participants to be GMO Members?
- All show and event participants are required to be members for a variety of reasons
- All show participants have read and signed an acknowledgement form for show safety and etiquette making everyone’s show experience more pleasant and safe.
- All show participants have completed a brief but comprehensive online exam on show safety and etiquette.
- All show participants value a fabulous show experience
- All show participants are eligible for year-end awards
What is a GMO?
- GMO stands for “Group Member Organization”. It is an organization, often a 501(c)3 non-profit corporation, offering education and adult amateur sporting events in Dressage in a local geographic area in the United States. There are hundreds of GMOs in the USA. All GMOs are affiliated with the United States Dressage Federation.
- Most local GMOs offer educational opportunities, mounted events and an awards program in Dressage to its members.
- Some basic GMO information: Members of a USDF Group Member Organization (GMO) enjoy all of the benefits of their GMO and USDF through one membership process. By joining a GMO, members automatically become a member of the only national organization devoted exclusively to dressage – The United States Dressage Federation
What are the benefits from Society GMO Membership?
Exclusive Society Benefits:
- The primary benefit we offer as a GMO is the eligibility to participate in our premier equine events, attend our Social Affairs and participate in our Year-end awards program.
- Eligibility to register any recognized show results in Region 3 with the Society for year-end awards
- Eligibility to participate in Society Members Only schooling shows
- Eligibility to participate in the Society’s Championship Finals and FEI Challenge with scores obtained from Society schooling shows or Region 3 recognized shows
- Have your show placing monitored and posted on the website
- Automatically receive year end awards
- Receive priority registration to participate in symposiums and clinics
- Receive invitations to attend our Members’ Only social events
- Receive an invitation to our Year-end Awards Gala
The Benefits one receives from being a member of any GMO of the United States Dressage Federation:
- Access to eTrak; USDF’s online learning center for dressage and equine education. Through one convenient location, access hundreds of educational resources, engage in structured learning activities, and earn USDF University Program credit!
- Ten issues of the award-winning USDF Connection magazine
- Access to the online version of USDF Connection
- Eligibility to compete as rider and/or owner at USEF-licensed/USDF-recognized shows
- Eligibility for rider awards (Rider Performance Awards, Bronze, Silver and Gold Medal, Freestyle Gold, Silver and Bronze Bar, Master’s Challenge). Rider receives patch, pin, or picture frame, personalized certificate, honorary presentation at USDF’s Annual Awards Banquet, publicity in the Annual Award Banquet program, listing on the USDF website, (both current year and historical lists), and will be listed in the yearbook issue of the USDF Connection
- Eligibility to compete for Adequan/USDF Pas de Deux year-end awards
- Access to “members only” section of the USDF website
- E-newsletters sent by USDF, which helps Group Members stay in touch with what is happening at USDF and in the sport of dressage
- A USDF Group Member card which can be used at USDF competitions and an online membership card available for printing, at any time, free of charge
- Discounted rates at USDF educational events
- Discount in the USDF store
- Discount on memberships and subscriptions with USDF’s educational partners
- Eligibility to earn USDF University Program credit
- Representation at the BOG through the GMO delegate
- Eligibility to receive a Ruth Arvanette Memorial Fund grant, which funds convention attendance
- Eligibility for the Regional GMO Volunteer of the Year Award
- GMO youth members (21 and under) are eligible for the USDF Youth Volunteer of the Year Award, USDF Shining Star Awards, and USDF Arts and Creativity Contest
- Eligibility for the “L” Education Program
- Grants funded by The Dressage Foundation are available to USDF Group Members
Can you be a member of another GMO and also a member of the First Coast Classical Dressage Society?
- Yes. You may join as many GMOs as you desire. In fact if you already belong to another GMO, part of your membership dues from your second and third organization are refundable in the amount of $12.00 from USDF.
- You need to submit a form to USDF to receive your reimbursement directly from them. We are required to send them our full amount. Submission are accepted April 1st – August 1st only.
- Members of a USDF Group Member Organization (GMO) enjoy all of the benefits of their GMO and USDF through one membership process. By joining a GMO, members automatically become a member of the United States Dressage Federation
Will you offer social non-horse events for Members?
- Yes. We will be offering social networking events for our members throughout the year. Events such as sunset gatherings at the beach, Share-a-plate dinners at each of our shows, symphony nights, theater production gatherings, group spa days and many more similar situations will be offered.
- We will also have a General Membership Meeting with a membership renewal drive each October.
Will you offer clinics throughout the year?
- Yes. We will be offering clinics separate from our shows twice a year. If our membership warrants, we will offer clinics at our shows for those wishing to participate in our Schooling-schooling Shows.
What is a Schooling Schooling Show?
- We offer the opportunity for members to come to our shows and just practice being at a show for whatever their personal reasons: no regular dressage arena available, green horses, nervous horses, nervous riders, etc.
- Participants will have arena ride times booked and will be able to warm up along with other show participants. Show safety and etiquette will apply.
- The Schooling-schooling show arena will be separate from the main show arena
- Stabling will be amongst other competitors.
- If entry numbers allow, an “l” judge with distinction will be secured to score a test and/or offer advice for improvement.
- Individual arena access time frames will be 15-30 minutes as entries allow. When not assigned, the arena will be open to all show competitors for schooling purposes.
- This option will be offered on selected dates (usually Friday night – Saturday)
Will you be offering Western Dressage Classes?
- No. Western Dressage tests will not be offered. The mission of the First Coast Classical Dressage Society is to promote the theories and teachings of the Classical Dressage Masters in order to facilitate the fusion of classical training techniques into competitive dressage and bring the two disciplines closer together. In keeping with the theories and teaching practices of the Classical Masters, the use of traditional dressage equipment will be required.
- However, we have offerings for western dressage riders as a Social Member.
- Attend our clinics and symposiums as an auditor and increase your education and understanding of horse kinetics, behavior, care and training.
- Attend all of our Social Affairs which are offered throughout the year
- Possess the ability to upgrade to a full membership category and ride in classical dressage tack in the clinic setting and perhaps decide to show in classical attire increasing the disciplines you perform with your horse(s).
How does your Volunteer Program work?
- Our “Volunteer Program” is referred to for what it actually is: Mandated Service Requirements
- Each member that wishes to participate in our Year-end Awards Program will have to fulfill 8 hours of service to The Society to be eligible for awards.
- A Mandated Service opt out option is available for $50.00 for each membership year.
- Volunteers at our shows and events will have free access to our donations accepted refreshments table and receive recognition at the show and in our newsletters.
- Volunteers at our shows will receive lunch. Individuals with dietary restrictions or allergies are encouraged to bring their own lunch as we cannot consider restrictions and allergies in our Volunteer lunch items presentation.
How does The Society monitor and record Mandated Service Requirement Hours?
- Society Members are responsible for completing the Mandated Service Requirement Form so service hours may be recorded.
- If applicable, a Members are responsible for completing the Volunteer Service Time Form following any event where their services were offered over and above the Mandated 8 hours.
- A spreadsheet form will maintained and updated following events listing members and their Mandated Hours. The form will be posted in the Members Only Section.
- A separate spreadsheet will be maintained and updated following events listing members and their actual Volunteer Service Time.
- Members are responsible for assuring their hours are recorded correctly and notifying The Society if any discrepancies exist.
How do I submit my show scores for Year-end Awards?
- Schooling Division: You will not need to submit anything. We monitor all scores and placings throughout the year and post them online under our Member’s Only Section. Scores and Standings are transparent throughout the year for all competitors.
- Recognized Division: You will need to complete to the Intent Show Recognized Declaration form so we may know you are showing. This form notifies us of the need to look up your scores online and include them in our scores and standings for the Recognized Division. This form also lets us know how many members are showing locally so we know how many gift “Rockin’ out Recognized” treat bags to make!
How do I register my Recognized show results with the Society for Year-end awards?
- A member that wishes to have their recognized show scores included in Society Year-end Awards will need to do the following:
- Be sure the show is taking place within USDF Region 3 or that your qualify to compete out of region (see Award Rules)
- Complete the Intent to Show Recognized Form on the Website before the start date of the show. If for some reason the Form cannot be completed, a Member may call 904.252.5170 to state their Intent. (leave a message if necessary)
- If a Member wishes to Qualify for the Society Championship Show with a ride from a Recognized show, they must state they will be riding a Qualifying Ride on the Form or in the phone call and mail in a check or process online payment in the amount of $5.00 per Qualifying Ride.
- Q rides must be declared prior to the start date of the show where they will be ridden. (Must be the same Q test as determined by USDF for each level)
- If the show has already begun, Q rides may be added as a late fee of $10.00
- For the FEI level:
- Q Rides will allow you to show in the Society Championship Class for Society Championship Awards
- If held, the FEI Challenge will be open to non-members and your championship score will count toward your placement in the FEI Competition. You will not have to ride the test twice.
Does both the horse’s Owner and Rider need to be a member of The Society to participate in Year-end Awards?
- Schooling Show Division
- Only the competitive Rider has to be an active member of The Society in order to participate in the Year-end Awards Program.
- Owners do not have to be a member
- Recognized Show Division
- Both the rider and owner need to be members of The Society in order to participate in the Year-end Awards Program.
- The owner must have either an “Owner” or “Riding” Membership.
Can a Recognized Division Member apply non-Region 3 competitions to Society Year-end Awards?
- Yes. Any Recognized Division Member that resides and competes outside of Region 3 for all or a portion of the year may have their scores obtained at a recognized dressage shows in other regions applied to Society Year-end Awards when the following conditions are met:
- The Recognized Division member holds an active Riding Membership with The Society
- The Recognized Division Member actively supports Society by participating in at least 2 Society Equine Events or Social Affair Offerings in a given calendar year, by participating on a Society Committee or organizing and offering Flash membership events to the Society.