Monthly Greetings from NODA President,

Dee Liebenthal

Monthly Greetings are published in the "NODA NEWS"  

2017          2016        


Dear Noda Members,

Northern Ohio Dressage Association’s
2016 competition year culminated on November 19th with a fabulous year-end Banquet and Awards Celebration at the Crowne Plaza in Independence Ohio.  There were 122 members, family and friends in attendance.  Many generous people in our dressage community contributed to the success of this year’s banquet and we want to say thank you.

Banquet Speaker:
  Lisa Gorretta, Long time NODA member, NODA Lifetime Achievement member, NODA External Relations Liaison, USDF Vice President, USEF “R” Dressage Technical Delegate, Level 2 FEI Steward for Dressage, and Co-Chair USEF Dressage Committee, gave attendees a taste of what is was like to have been an official at the 2016 Rio Olympics with clarity and humor.  Thank you so much for sharing your experience, Lisa. 

Banquet Committee:
  Shannon O’Hara chaired our banquet committee for the third year and as expected did a super job working with the venue.   Thank you to all for your help with set up of the venue.  Everything was organized, delegated and implemented smoothly.

  Thank you for your help with set up of the venue.  You were essential to the Banquet’s smooth organization and success.

Danielle Bolm - Membership                                                          Sally Burton - Banquet set-up
Rachel Caracci
& mom Kim - Reservations & Registration        Halle Clause – Banquet set-up
Doug Cooley
-  Photographer                                                         Linda Cooley – Geauga County Dog Rescue
Fran Cverna
-  Membership                                                            Sue Desimpel – Banquet set-up
Noelle Ignagni
– Banquet set-up                                                    Peggi Ignagni – Banquet set-up
Kathy Kirchner
– Master of Ceremony                                         Regina Sacha-Ujczo -  Master of Ceremony
Maggie Tifft
-  Slide Show creation                                                Patti Valencic
- Geauga County Dog Rescue

Awards Committee:  A big thank you to Awards Committee Chair, Janeen Langowski-Grava, for collecting, tabulating and organizing all the award winners.   Also, thank you to Lisa Antoniou, who assisted with the year-end ribbons.   Thank you to Anne McClintock for collecting and updating all the rotating trophies, and to her husband, Mike McClintock, for helping with set-up and working the trophy contract table.  Thank you to Big Dee’s Tack & Vet Supplies for their help with the NODA embroidered Sport Duffle Bags awarded to all the Champions. 

Silent Auction Committee:
  Thank you to our new committee chair Patty Keim along with her solid and organized crew of volunteers, Sally Burton, Kristen Stein, Lea Wojtkiewiez, Kim Shepard, and Kiley Dill.  We had a fun and successful Silent Auction and Chinese Auction.    Even under the threat of hotel evacuation at the end of the banquet because of a fire alarm, everything was sold and raffled bringing in a record amount of money for our 2017 education events and scholarships.  A sincere thank you to all the generous donors and sponsors of our Silent and Chinese Auction.  We couldn’t do what we do without your continuing support. 

It was also great to see so many new faces at this year’s banquet.   New people help to enhance an organization by adding insights and ideas that foster growth and help keep things fresh for the future. 

We hope you are looking forward to 2017 as much as we are.  It is going to be another great year for NODA.  All our committees are working hard planning our shows and other events.   Please don’t hesitate to send us any ideas that you have for things that you would like to see NODA do.  You can send your comments suggestions or concerns to NODA’s member liaison Kathy Kirchner at

Happy Holidays,


Dear NODA Members

I hope you are planning to attend NODA’s Banquet and Award Celebration on November 19th at the Crowne Plaza in Independence.  It is always a good time for all.  You don’t have to have applied for awards to attend and have fun.  Please come to celebrate the end of the 2016 season, to support your friends or family members, or just to have a good time.  A great silent auction again this year will be your chance to get some really nice items and support NODA.  Here are just few of the items that we will have on the auction table.  Don’t forget your checkbook!

         Custom made leather halter, donated by Christine Wrona of Formal Glory
         Clipper package and a blanket package, donated by Big Dee’s
         Saddle pad, bridle, reins, bell boots and much more, donated by Schneiders
         Horse Massage package, donated by Angela Rahn 
If you bring an item to donate to the Geauga County Dog Shelter or renew your NODA membership, you will receive a raffle ticket for a drawing.

There is a lot for NODA to celebrate this year.
  The 2016 Schooling Show series was fabulous and very well attended.  All but one show was full.  It was wonderful to see everyone’s enthusiasm.  We successfully used online volunteer sign up, which offers our volunteers flexibility in deciding when and where they would like to earn their NODA Bucks. 

We had another successful Recognized Show weekend at Chagrin Valley Farms.  Thank you again to Betsy Juliano and Havensafe Farm for sponsoring the Saturday evening Freestyle and helping this event grow. We had a NODA record number of Freestyle competitors.  Our success each year is due to all our sponsors.  In addition to Betsy and Havensafe, we wish to thank Big Dee’s, Shade Tree Farm, Schneider Saddlery, Christine Thompson, and Geauga Feed, to name a few. 

GMO Awards: 

·     Congratulations to Linda Cooley our webmaster extraordinaire.   Our NODA website won FIRST Place in our GMO size category.  Thank you, Linda for doing such a great job! 

Congratulations also to Jeni Gaffney.  Her article, “It’s All Roberta’s Fault” in the January issue of the NODA News, won Honorable Mention.  

Schooling Show Secretary Changes for 2017

We want to thank Jennifer Tulleners for her dedication to NODA and working for the last four years as Schooling Show Secretary.  Jennifer has worked hard to help make our Schooling Shows a good experience for all our competitors.   We sure hope we will see Jennifer helping NODA in new ways in the future.  Thank you Jennifer!   

NODA is excited to welcome Gwen Samuels who has been training with Jennifer, Mary Lou Gallagher and Sally Burton to fill Jennifer’s shoes as Schooling Show secretary beginning now for the 2017 season. 

NODA member Clara Etzel achieves USDF “L” with distinction
   Congratulations to longtime NODA member Clara Etzel on obtaining her “L” (Learner Judge) with Distinction.  NODA has been happy and proud to help support Clara in her dressage journey over these many years.  Even though Clara moved to Michigan she continues to support NODA in many ways.   She has contributed many articles to the NODA News as far back as her teenage years.  She also makes it back to volunteer at our Recognized Shows.  You may even remember her and her mom, Teri, manning the registration table at our annual banquet over the years.  Thank you, Clara and congratulations!  

NODA has a few very important openings.
  NODA always needs new people with new ideas to help keep NODA moving forward.  All the positions below are open now for 2017. 

  This is an Executive Board position.  The treasurer is responsible for NODA’s financial records.

         NODA Newsletter Advertising position(s):
          We are looking for one or two volunteers to be a part of the Newsletter Committee and take charge of advertising.

          2017 Banquet Chairperson
  The Banquet Chair is responsible, with committee members, for organizing the
          annual banquet. 

More information can be found on the NODA - Volunteer Information page.

NODA wishes everyone a wonderful Thanksgiving with family and friends, celebrating everything you are thankful for.



Dear NODA Members,

Congratulations to all the NODA members who qualified for Regionals this year.  We have a list of NODA’s Regional competitors in this issue of the NODA News.  We wish all of you heading for USDF Dressage Finals in November good luck and good riding. 

We had a large number of members qualify for our Schooling Show Championships this year.  By the time you read this letter, the open and championship Shows will be over, and I hope everyone that participated had a wonderful time.  It was a really good schooling show series this year with record entries for almost all our shows.  Thank you again Sally Burton, Jennifer Tulleners, Kirstin Thomas, and Mary Lou Gallagher.  Great Job! 

We are working hard on the Year-end Banquet and Awards Celebration.  In this month’s edition of the NODA News please make note of all the Banquet and Silent Auction information.  You will receive your invitation in the mail, but the invitation will also be available on the NODA website.  We are very pleased to announce that Lisa Gorretta has agreed to speak about her experience in Rio at the Olympics.  You don’t want to miss it.  Remember, you do not have to have applied for an award to attend.  This is a celebration of everyone’s year of horse fun and accomplishment.  A celebration of you! 

You also might want to consider donating something to the silent auction, or maybe your barn would like to put a basket together for the auction.  We will have a contest again this year, and award a Pizza Party to the donor or donors of the item or basket that brings the highest bid.  Please come and join in the fun.  For information, contact Patty Keim at

NODA is looking for someone who would like to come on board as our Jr/YR Liaison.  This is an immediate opening for someone who can work on specific events or projects for our youth and young riders.  Please contact Kathy Kirchner at if you are interested in this important and fulfilling position.

We are also looking for one or two people to help with the newsletter advertising and classified ads.  This is a committee member position and you can volunteer from the comfort of your home a few hours each month.  It requires some skill with Microsoft Office software and you will work and communicate with other newsletter and website staff.  Please contact Kathy Kirchner at

As we know, all good things must come to an end, and we are sad to say that this will be Shannon O’Hara’s last year as Banquet Chair.  We thank her and appreciate all she has contributed over the past three years.  If you or someone you know is interested in chairing the banquet committee for 2017, we would love to hear from you and are happy to answer questions about the position.  Please contact Kathy Kirchner at for more information. 

NODA is fortunate to have many sponsors and advertisers.   We are extremely grateful for their support and contributions to our Recognized Shows, Schooling Shows and our Annual Banquet and Awards Celebration.  Please support those that support NODA. 

Happy October,


Dear Members,

I want to start this letter by thanking everyone who helped and is still contributing while I am recovering from my broken arm.  Thank you also to all those that sent me “get well” wishes.  I am back to work and able to use my right hand for typing.  I still have weeks to go for a full recovery, but having the concern for NODA taken off my shoulders has been extremely helpful.  NODA is a great organization with so many helpful members, and there are no words to convey how appreciative I am for all of you. 

I want to remind everyone that the deadline to apply for the Adult Amateur and Jr/YR scholarships is October 1st.  The winners will be announced at the annual banquet November 19th.  Information and application forms are on the NODA website at SCHOLARSHIPS.

As always, our Professional Grants are available throughout the year.  There is no deadline and we can award up to five in a calendar year.  If you are a professional and want financial help in attending a symposium or the “L” program or other similar educational event, please check out the requirements at

This is a busy time for NODA members, as over the next few months there are lots of equestrian activities happening.  The NODA schooling show season is drawing to a close and the next big event is our schooling show at CVF on October 8, followed by the Championship show on October 9.  Attendance at our shows this summer has been encouraging, to say the least.  Many of our shows have been unexpectedly full.  It has been nice to pay a judge for an hour of overtime, instead of sending them home after only five hours of judging.   

A very big “Thank you” to Sally Burton, Jennifer Tulleners, Kirsten Thomas, Mary Lou Gallagher, and all our wonderful volunteers.  Shows were organized, very welcoming, and our volunteers were always well fed.  Send us a note and tell us what you liked about this year, what you didn’t like, and what you would like to see next year.  What did you think of the team competitions?  We want to keep them going if you liked them.  How did you all like registering for classes and also volunteering on line?  Do on-line registrations make it easier for you? 

After the close of show season, the next big event will be our Annual Awards Banquet on November 19.  We will be back at the Crown Plaza this year, as we received feedback from members letting us know that last year’s facility was nice but members weren’t wowed by the cuisine.  You won’t want to miss this this year even if you aren’t applying for awards.  Lisa Gorretta will take the podium and tell us a little about her experience as an official and TV star at the Olympics in Rio.   So mark your calendars!

We are still looking for a volunteer to work with the Newsletter committee managing the classified ads.  This takes a few hours each month, you can do it from home, and you will be assured of having your volunteer hours in for year-end awards.

We are also be looking for volunteers to help with the annual banquet and silent auction.  The NODA bucks for these hours will apply towards 2017 awards.  If you want to be part of the action, which is always fun, send an email to

We are beginning to look back on the 2016 competition year, analyzing what went well, what needs improvement, and what we can add to help NODA work better for all its members.   Please contact our Member Liaison, Kathy Kirchner, at with your thoughts, ideas, kudos, and/or concerns.

Thank you all for your support. 

Dear Members, As many of you already know, our hardworking President Dee fell the evening of our Encore Show and broke her arm. While she is recovering, Christine Thompson (NODA VP and Recognized Show Chair) and I, (Regina Sacha, Sponsorship Chair) are taking the opportunity to use her President’s column to give THANKS!

As we write this column, Cleveland is still in the heat wave which deluged our show weekend. A twist on the old adage “Neither rain, nor sun, nor HEAT” definitely applies to our show this year! The sweltering heat and rain on Sunday didn’t seem to dampen the spirits of our competitors, horses, judges and volunteers who made this year’s Recognized Shows - NODA 2016 and 2016 Encore a raving success! This year we implemented many process improvements and amenities to insure an even smoother and welcoming show. First, we were aided by the fantastic “Sign-Up Genius” to encourage NODA members to volunteer. It was a raging success! We had ample people to assist in the organization and set up prior to Friday which enabled readiness for show arrival day! And thanks to all the volunteer “arms and legs” in the office and paddock areas to provide the necessary show support.

Secondly, you may have noticed our smiling and helpful Parking Management Team who facilitated the unloading of trailers and parking to insure that horses didn’t sit in hot trailers. They were also equipped with stall charts, we think all of this really aided in making the arrival process move quickly! The Recognized Show Committee worked very hard to implement changes to make the show more enjoyable and to help it to run a bit smoother. Linda Joseph and her staff at Chagrin Valley Farms were a huge part of this! We really appreciate all the hard work during the show and before and after as well!

It was great to have some wonderful shopping available from Big Dees' Tack and Vet Supply and Sarah Krishnar Studios. We look forward to adding more vendors next year!

Our Thank YOU list to all the wonderful volunteers is immense! We thank each and every one of you for all you did to make this these shows a success! We also could not do it without all of our generous Sponsors. Special thanks to our Platinum Sponsors – Big D Tack and Vet Supply, and Betsy Rebar Sell. Our Gold Sponsors Schneiders Saddlery and Geauga Feed; our Silver Sponsor Arielle Brodkey; and our Bronze Sponsor, The Visiting Vet. SO many generous people advertised in our lovely Program and many donated necessary “in-kind” items to provide platforms, golf carts, plants, etc. to make our show special! We also appreciated all our class sponsorships and program advertisers. You can look forward to next month’s issue where we will highlight and focus upon all our valued Sponsors and Advertisers.

The Recognized Show Committee began planning this event last year and met often to handle the myriad of details that go into planning the show. Our leader, Dee Liebenthal always gives her all and does it with diplomacy and a smile! Her Recognized Show Team Chair, Christine Thompson is invaluable and so generous with her time and talent. As Sponsorship Chair, I (Regina) was so pleased to secure such generous support from members and businesses alike. Many thanks to Niki Sackman for expertly handling the complexity of Sponsorship and Advertising tracking and administrivia! A big thank you shout to Show Manager Kevin Bradbury and his efficient and easy on-line registration system. Show Secretary Mary Lou Gallaher is fantastic in handling and juggling the details of a sold out show and wait list of entrants. Karen Eisenhauer Shirring and Sally Burton are pros at volunteer management and it shows! Hospitality was handled so well by Kirsten Thomas and Program Coordinator Elizabeth Bross produced a keepsake program. The cover was so beautiful and pictured the exquisite portrait of Gayle Rusk’s “Werner.”

We would be remiss not to give special thanks to our Freestyle Sponsor, Betsy Juliano of Havensafe Farm who was so generous and encouraging to the Freestyles competition. Thank you to the Freestyle participants as well which made our delicious Saturday night Competitor’s Party (generously sponsored by Christine Thompson) and libations (made possible by Dee Liebenthal) so extra special. We appreciate everyone AND it truly takes a Village. Finally, thank you to our wonderful Judges and ALL Competitors who make this year’s Recognized Show simply AMAZING! Now it’s time to think about next year!

Thankfully, Christine Thompson and Regina Sacha-Ujczo

JULY 2016

Dear Members,

Can you believe it?   We are already into July!  We are really excited and busy getting ready for all we have going on this month, including  Ride-a-Test and schooling show, July 9 and 10, and our Recognized Shows, July 23 and 24, all at Chagrin Valley Farms. 

This is our second year back at CVF for the Recognized Shows and we have some nice improvements in place.   We have reserved more stalls so we can meet requests for tack stalls.  We will have access to the large indoor arena which will allow lots of warm up and lunging space.  We have added an additional porta-potty and lots more signs. 

There is also a new wash area that will help a lot.  We have a plan to do a better job with parking.  We’re going to ask those with two-horse trailers, once they’ve unloaded, to park in the front lot.  This will leave the back parking lot for the larger trucks and trailers.   We also have lots more volunteers to help with parking this year.  Cars will have designated areas in both the back and the front parking areas.  We also plan on sending out stall assignments and parking information prior to competitors arriving at the show.  

If the shows are full, we will be starting early each morning to facilitate the Free Style and Competitors’ party on Saturday night and getting the judges to the airport on time Sunday.

We have fabulous support again this year from sponsors and advertisers.  Big Dee’s and Shade Tree Farm are supporting us at the Platinum level, Geauga Feed and Schneiders Saddlery at Gold level, Arielle Brodkey at the Silver level, and The Visiting Vet at the Bronze.  We also have lots of advertisers and class sponsors.  We asked our sponsors to support NODA and they have come through for us, so please support our sponsors by using their services and purchasing their goods.  

Big Dee’s Tack and Vet Supplies will be on the show grounds again this year.  Please visit them for your personal riding or equine needs.  We are also pleased to be hosting Sarah Krisher and her beautiful handmade jewelry.  

The Schooling Show Committee has been working very hard getting ready for July 9 and 10 at Chagrin Valley Farms.   Both the Ride-a-Test on Saturday and the schooling show on Sunday are completely full.  Competitors are taking advantage of the opportunity to get some feedback on how to ride a better test before showing in Sunday’s schooling show.   Thank you all for supporting NODA and these two events.

In August our schooling show will be at South Farm.   We are hoping that support will match the enthusiasm that’s been shown for our schooling shows thus far this season.  There will be a Team Competition at this show.  We hope you will get your friends together to form a team and try to earn one of those great medals NODA is awarding to the first and second place teams.   Entries open July 8 for the South Farm show. 

Our volunteers have been great in stepping up to give of their time and effort for our schooling shows and recognized shows this year.  Perhaps the convenience of signing up online has helped, but whatever it is it has been great!  NODA really appreciates all of you for your support.  Thank you!!!

One last reminder.  NODA offers Adult Amateur and Jr/YR Scholarships.  Application deadline is October 1st.   Please visit the SCHOLARSHIPS page for details.

Thank you to everyone for supporting this organization!  Thank you to our hard working board and committee members.  There is absolutely no way we could do what we do without your help. 

Happy summer,

JUNE 2016

Dear NODA Members,

The 2016 show season is in full swing, and we have important information and news!

New potential outlets for your unused NODA bucks:
  The NODA board approved a program that will offer NODA members additional opportunities for spending those old and well-worn NODA bucks earned over the years.  We are asking venues and professionals who are having clinics of interest to NODA members to accept a maximum of five NODA bucks as part of the audit fee payment.  We will then reimburse the facility for those NODA bucks.  We hope to draw more auditors into local events, and we are pleased to give discounted local education to NODA members.  If you are a professional or have a venue that will be bringing in a clinician that could be of interest to NODA members and are interested in participating in this program, please contact one of NODA’s Education Committee Co-chairs, Berni Moauro,  or Marcia Doyle,  We will include the discount information in our calendar information for your event.  The venues can then include this opportunity when advertising auditing fees for their events. 

Sweetwater Schooling Show:  
NODA’s first schooling show couldn’t have gone better or had any worse weather conditions!   A full show, with more entries than we have had in years, gave our judges a full day of judging.  Thank you Barb Soukup and Debby Savage for coming.  Competitors and volunteers were fabulous, facing the ever-changing conditions with smiles and good humor.  Kristi Foltz and crew at Sweetwater Equestrian, a new venue for us, were extremely helpful and totally welcoming.  Thank you to Sally Burton and Kirsten Thomas, who handled their new positions like pros, and with the help of veterans Mary Lou Gallagher and Jennifer Tulleners it was a great day that won’t soon be forgotten.  After years of absence we finally had entries in our Lead Line Class.  It was great fun to see the little ones in the ring and we hope that they are our next generation of dressage riders.  We introduced some new High Point Awards at this show:
  beautiful Thoroughbred Incentive Program (TIP) High Points (one for Classical and one for Western),  and a High Point Western Dressage ribbons joins the High Point awarded for Classical Dressage. The Team Competition was also a success with excellent teams winning at both Champion and Reserve.  The participation in this show gives us hope for a wonderfully successful schooling show season. 

Rocky River
is our next schooling show and I am encouraged that it will also bring competitors back to NODA schooling shows.  We are working hard to be what our membership expects.   

Raffle tickets on sale – Charlotte Dujardin:
   As some of you may already know, NODA member Arielle Brodkey generously donated a VIP ticket package for “An Intimate Weekend with Charlotte Dujardin,” October 15 & 16 at Caledon Equestrian Park in Caledon, Ontario.  This raffle was announced on our Facebook page on May 25 and we sold 10 of the 60 tickets within two days.   Please see the details in this issue and on our Facebook page and website.  Tickets will be sold until gone and the winner’s name will be drawn during the Recognized Show weekend at the Competitors’ Party on July 23.  You don’t need to be present to win.  We are extremely grateful to Arielle for this generous donation.  Someone is going to have a great time --  it could be you!

Sponsorship Recognized Show – Thank you
:   Thank you so much to all of you who have pledged your support.  We need a little time to get our fabulous program together, so if you haven’t sent your ad and/or payment, please do so by June 27.  

A great deal of the success of NODA’s Recognized Shows depends on support from our sponsors and advertisers.  We are behind last year’s commitments for support.  I know once the nice weather arrives we get very busy and it’s hard to find the time to make that call or fill out a form.  The deadline for sponsorship and advertising is June 27.  There is still time so please help make it possible for our Recognized Shows to continue and to grow into the future.  Check out our many levels of support starting at $25 for a class sponsorship, all the way up to $1500 for Platinum level.  Advertise your business with a business card ad for $40 or a half page ad for $100.  Also $200 will get you an ad in the program and also the NODA News, banner space, and other perks.   Honor a friend, remember a loved horse, or just sponsor a favorite class for only $25.  Please check out many ways you can help.  Thank you.

Happy summer and thank you for continuing to support NODA.

MAY 2016

Dear NODA Members,

I must admit that after many years writing this monthly letter, it may be clear to all that I am beginning to run out of things to say.  I am thinking it would be a good idea to request help from a few guest writers to give you some other views and to relieve what might be a lot of redundancy from letter to letter.   If you’d like to author a “Guest Letter,” or send suggestions for things to include, please let me know!

That aside, I am excited about the show season in northeast Ohio.  We have a refreshed Schooling Show Series and this will be our second year back at Chagrin Valley Farms for our Recognized Shows.  None of this could happen without our hard working, dedicated volunteers.   NODA only works because of the volunteer hours everyone generously gives.  Many thanks you to each and every one of you. 

The spring and summer show season has begun and the area is brimming with activities to enjoy with your horses.  There are shows, clinics, trail riding, obstacle adventures, and many more fun and exciting things to do.  How do you decide what you will do with your horse time?  What are the most important experiences for you, your horse, and your friends?  Tell us about an experience that you had that you really enjoyed or that changed your riding in some way.  We would love to share your experience with our members.

NODA Scholarships and Grants – NODA doesn’t have a truck load of money, but we do try to help out members a little with their continuing education.  We offer a Professional Grant, and scholarships to both our Junior/Young Riders and our Adult Amateurs.  Our Professional Grant has been offered for many years and I am happy to say we given out a good bit of money, so I think most members are familiar with this opportunity.

A couple of years ago we created two scholarships, one for Jr/YRs and one for AAs.  These are not so well known.  In 2014 we awarded one of each.  Last year there were no applications.  Other than that first year we haven’t done much advertising so I think most don’t know or don’t remember that they are available.  The scholarships are awarded at the annual banquet and can be used for any educational activity (clinic or lessons) in the following year.   

  Application deadline is October 1st of the current year
Scholarship will be awarded at the November annual Banquet
  NODA can award four $250 scholarships annually – two to AAs and two to Jr/YRs

Please go to the NODA website and select “Scholarships” for more information and forms.   For this scholarship you don’t even have to know what it will be used for when you apply.   The most important factor for these scholarships is your history of giving back to both NODA and your community.  If you’re new to NODA or haven’t volunteered as much as you’d like, now is the time to start building that history.  $250 can cover quite a few lessons or pay for a clinic ride or two.  Don’t let these opportunities pass by. 

Our Recognized Shows will be at Chagrin Valley Farms on July 23 and 24.  Have you sent in your forms for Sponsorship/Advertising?  Don’t wait too long.  Levels that include Ring Sponsorships are limited.  You can find the package offerings along with the forms in last month’s and this month’s NODA News, and they are also available on the website.  There are many ways to support this wonderful recognized show weekend that’s right in your backyard. 

o   Support as a competitor.
Volunteer your time.  We will need help Thursday the July 21 through Sunday the 24. 
o   Sponsor or advertise your business and/or solicit a sponsorship or advertising from family or friends with a business. 
o   Sponsor one or more classes.   

As we build these shows over the next years, trying to make improvements with each succeeding year, we need your support.  Be a part of that growth. 

Are you going to attend NODA schooling shows this season?  Are you interested in qualifying for the schooling show Championship and/or NODA Year-End awards?  If you are, it is important that you remember the following: 

o   Championship Show 
     To qualify you must earn two qualifying scores from two different judges at two separate NODA schooling shows. 
o   Year-End awards
     The scores you submit must include two scores from two different judges earned at two separate NODA schooling shows. 

Northern Ohio Dressage Association needs and appreciates your support.  We wouldn’t exist without each of you.  Thank you.   Enjoy the competition season.


APRIL 2016

Dear NODA Members,

March is over, spring is here, and the show season in the Northeast Ohio has begun.  As has been true for the last few years, the number of schooling shows available to Dressage equestrians in our area is impressive.  It is almost like picking out a wallpaper pattern when trying to decide where you will spend your schooling show dollars.   As members of NODA we certainly hope you will support our shows.  There are lots of advantages:

·   You are supporting your local GMO and contributing to keep NODA viable.
The scores that you earn can be used towards our Schooling Show Championship.
The scores that you earn can be used towards our Year-end Awards.
You have the opportunity to ride in front of two accomplished judges at each show, all of whom
     are “L” graduates with distinction, or “r”, “R”, or “S” judges.  Many of these judges come from
     outside of Ohio.  All this for a fraction of the cost to attend a Recognized Show!

You have the opportunity to travel to different venues to help you and your horse get acclimated to
     new and different sights and sounds.  

You can try out that next level or young or new horse at a low cost.
You can have fun with your friends and sign up for one of our team competitions. 
      We will award nice medals to the Champion and Reserve teams at three shows.  Details are on the website.

We hope you will support NODA Schooling Shows when you make your choices.  The competition is heavy but we like to think some of the new things we have put into effect will help see that our wallpaper is a cut above and lots more fun.

New for 2016 for Schooling Shows:

·    Online entry through Horse Show Office (HSO).   There are some simple
     instructions on our website for anyone who needs a little help.  You will be able to use a credit card or PayPal
     through HSO.  If you want to pay by check, please fill out an entry form by hand or use the “fill in” form on
     our website, print, and mail.

Online volunteer signup using  You can as always contact our volunteer coordinator,
     Kirsten Thomas, by phone or email using   It is so great to be able to check out
     who has already signed up. 

Holy Cow -- we are only four months away from our Recognized Shows, July 22nd and 23rd at Chagrin Valley Farms.  This month we are kicking off our Sponsorships and Advertisers drive.  The support we received from our members, sponsors, and friends last year was wonderful and gratifying.  We would not have been successful without it.  We hope to keep that momentum going with another great year of support.   Please take a look at the Sponsorship/Advertising information in this issue to see the many opportunities for support.  If you don’t see anything that works for you, we might be able to create a custom package for you or your business.  We also have “In Kind” offers available for anyone that would like to supply a service or an item such, as the use of a golf cart.   We are in need to volunteers, including a few husbands, brothers, or sons of members or competitors to be available beginning Friday for help with parking.  Thank you for your continued support of NODA.  All this information is also available on our website.

NODA professional member Clara Etzel has once again provided an excellent article on her experience at the Session B of the “L” Program.  Clara took advantage of NODA’s Professional Grant Program to help her with this cost.  She is giving back to NODA members by sharing her experience.  If you are a professional and would like financial help with education, consider applying.  Information about the Professional Grant, as well as our scholarships for Adult Amateurs and Junior/Young Riders, can be found on NODA’s website,

I am glad to be able to add a quick note about our Western Dressage Clinic with Patrick King that was held at Brecksville Stables on April 2nd.  Not only was it successful, we had lots of fun, too.  Twelve riders and many auditors took advantage of Patrick’s knowledge and expertise.   I am pretty sure everyone liked Patrick and was in agreement with his philosophy.  He was entertaining and really knew his stuff.  Occasionally his words made me think of Charles de Kunffy in a cowboy hat.   Seriously, Patrick is classically trained so I expected nothing less.  The fun we had aside, auditors and riders came away knowing more about Western Dressage. 

Happy Spring!

MARCH 2016

Dear NODA Members,

March has arrived and we are well into planning the upcoming show season.   I hope we will see many of you at our Western Dressage Clinic with Patrick King at Brecksville Stables on Saturday, April 2.  As I write this letter, the clinic is full and we are taking names for a waitlist to determine whether to add a second day to the clinic on Sunday.  We are very excited to be bringing this event to our members.  Don’t forget to grab a chair and $5, and come audit.  Watch the website and our Facebook page for updates. 

Important Update:  The venue for NODA’s May 15 Schooling Show has changed.  We just finalized an agreement with Sweetwater Equestrian Center in Ravenna.  We are quite sure you are going to love it!  We hope to have more information and some pictures available on Facebook and our website soon. 

 The Schooling Show Prize list will be going to press shortly, and we hope you will have it in your mailbox by the middle of this month.  There is lots of valuable information in there, including some changes you should be aware of, so please take the time to read it.  It will also be posted online with a link on our website.  The on-line prize list will always be the most current and up to date edition.  Keep your hard copy handy in the barn, glove compartment, or tack locker.  We also ask that you support all our generous advertisers and sponsors

All our members with e-mail addresses have received an invitation to volunteer early and often using the online program,  There is also a link on the welcome page of our website.  Job descriptions are on our website, and on, too.  Kirsten Thomas, our new Schooling Show Volunteer Coordinator, will also contact members by phone to volunteer.  Please also feel free to contact Kirsten at or
216-509-8881..   She can answer any questions you may have.

Sally Burton, NODA’s new Schooling Show Manager has written an article about our 2016 show series. The article contains very important information of which you will want to take note.   

Sally and I have been spending a good bit of time on the road together, touring new possible venues for schooling shows and other events.  We have toured and talked with property managers/trainers and owners, in search of possibilities for the next year and beyond.  As most of you know, we have lost some much depended on, and now greatly missed, schooling show venues in the past few years.   These tours have been an uplifting experience for Sally and me.  All the places we visited were welcoming and eager to work with us.   It is great to travel with someone as positive as Sally.   

Some important things to remember and look forward to:

 You must be a member of NODA when earning scores for Schooling Show Championships or for Year-end Awards.

  For Recognized Awards, both the rider and the owner of a horse must be members of NODA.

o    Year-end Awards for unrecognized shows require that two of your four scores to be earned from two different
 judges attwo NODA Schooling Shows. 

o     We will offer team competitions at three of our schooling shows this season. 

I want to remind everyone that NODA schooling shows continue to offer lead line classes for those with young children and/or students.  We have had a couple of young mothers request that we keep this class.  The young rider is the future of the sport, and we can’t start them too early.  Get those kids in the show ring!  No better place to start than at a NODA schooling show. 

We will all be able to order NODA logo items through Big Dee’s in the near future.  The details should be available soon.   

Our April Newsletter will have lots of information on the NODA Recognized Shows at Chagrin Valley Farms on July 23 and 24.  We are very excited and working hard now to make sure that it is a really good experience for all competitors.    The officials for the shows have been hired. by Kevin Bradbury and his staff of BMCI.   The preliminary prize list should be available later this month. 

Happy Winds of March,


Dear NODA Members,

January reminded us all of the reality of an Ohio winter.   It brought snow and very cold temperatures, which can make riding challenging.  I find as I get older, I understand why retirees move to a warmer climate.  Reading the posts from Wellington and other areas of Florida where many of our friends have gone to train and learn makes me jealous.   

The NODA schooling show committee has been working to get the 2016 prize list updated with the new calendar, adding more for Western Dressage, team competitions, and other things to make your schooling show experience more of a learning experience and, at the same time, more fun.  NODA schooling shows continue a tradition of making sure your schooling show experience is a cut above.  To that end we continue to bring in “r”, “R”, or “S” judges to team up with an “L” graduate for each show.  You don’t often get to ride in front an “r’ and higher judge for such a reasonable price.  Take advantage of the opportunity! 

Watch for an article in March’s NODA News from our new Schooling Show Manager, Sally Burton, outlining everything you can expect this year.  There are lots of new things to look forward to.  The article will coincide with the issuing of our 2016 Schooling Show Prize List.   Lots of new, helpful, and fun things are in the plan for the 2016 Schooling Show Series.

o   Online Schooling Show registration
Online volunteer sign up through “”
Team competition added to several schooling shows
Ride-A-Test Saturday before a Sunday show at Chagrin Valley Farms
Expansion of Western Dressage opportunities
Year-End award for Western Dressage
Thoroughbred awards
Spring Western Dressage Clinic

We have started work on the 2016 Recognized Shows, and are excited to expand on our successes of last year.  We hope you will support the shows again this year, as you did last year.   Kevin Bradbury, with his company BMCI, will again be Manager and Secretary of the shows.  Join us as a competitor, volunteer and/or Sponsor for our shows on July 23rd and 24th at Chagrin Valley Farms.  

Volunteer needed
We desperately need someone to volunteer to help Karen Eisenhauer-Shirring, our Recognized show Volunteer Coordinator, with obtaining, scheduling, and working with volunteers from set up to tear down.   This job is extremely important to the success of our shows.   Please consider helping.  To find out what is involved in this important job, contact Karen at or phone her at 330-220-4705.

We have some really good articles in the NODA News this month contributed by a couple of NODA’s younger members. Please enjoy an article by Colin Gaffney who shares his experience at the Youth Sport Horse Handler’s Seminar at Devon last year.  There is also some really great information in Clara Etzel’s article on Session A of the USDF “L” Program.  Thanks to both for sharing their experiences with all NODA’s members.

If you haven’t read the news about Betsy Juliano’s generosity to US Dressage through her support of Laura Graves, Jennifer Baumert, and Adrienne Lyle, please check out the link below.  Betsy’s generosity never ceases to amaze us.   Thank you Betsy for all your do.   Click Here

Happy February,



Dear NODA Members,

The holidays are over and we are off and running with our 2016 plans for NODA.  I am excited by all the new involvement from members and the fabulous ideas that have been pouring in.   If you are wondering what is on the agenda and what changes we are making (and I hope you are), all will be revealed soon.  I am certain you will be as excited as we are.  Most of these changes this year will be to our schooling show program, to enhance the educational experience as well as increase the competitors’ enjoyment.  Stay tuned!

I want to say a sad good-bye and big thank you to Kara Maruszak, who has served as Schooling Show Chair/Manager for the last two years.  Kara is taking her organizational skills, attention to detail, and the ability to deal with the demands of law school, a job, and our schooling show series to Columbus to start her new career as a lawyer.  Congratulations, Kara.  You will be missed, and we wish you great success.    

As we say good-bye to Kara, we welcome Sally Burton, who will be taking over for Kara as the Chair/Manager of the Schooling Show Committee.  We hope to have a little bio available soon for Sally in the newsletter and on the website; however, I think many of you already know her.   Sally comes with all the excitement and ideas of someone starting a brand new job, and her excitement is totally infectious.

Sally’s excitement and enthusiasm join that of all new members on the NODA Board and Committees. Kirsten Thomas is our SS volunteer coordinator; Halle Clause is a Director at Large and Western Dressage Liaison, and our new Vice President is Christine Thompson.   Their influence will re-energize us all and help lead us forward into the future.  I am extremely excited. 

We are still looking for a few people to help us out in 2016.  We are desperately in need of someone who will come on as Assistant Volunteer Coordinator for the Recognized Shows.  We also need a coordinator for the Silent Auction.  If you are interested in helping to facilitate educational opportunities, there is room for you on our Education Committee.  For information on any of these please contact Kathy Kirchner, NODAs Member Liaison at  

For those of you who may have missed the election results, Niki Sackman has retired from her VP position, but she isn’t going anywhere.  We won’t let her.  However, I do want to publically say thank you to Niki for her service as NODA VP and Recognized Show Chair for the past four years.  The Recognized Shows would not have successfully returned to CVF without Niki.  She was a huge part of making it all happen.  Niki has served NODA well in several positions and will continue to do so as a newly-elected Director at Large.  She has pledged to continue to bring us her expertise and experience with the Recognized Shows as a member of the show committee, and to NODA in general where and when needed.   Niki is a very valuable member of our team.  Her experiences with NODA are too numerous to list.   We thank Niki for everything she’s done in the past and look forward to her many contributions in the future. 

This issue includes reports on the NODA Banquet and Awards Celebration.  We hope you enjoy the pictures.  Check out the submissions by Dr. Jeni Gaffney, winner of the Fabian Schoolmaster Award, and Wendy Gruskiewicz for her husband Mike, who won the Edy Ujczo Partnership Trophy. 

Speaking of Dr. Jeni Gaffney, see the terrific article she wrote, “It’s All Roberta’s Fault,” describing her experience at Devon with Fabio in 2015.  We at NODA have been following this accomplished pair with great pride.  

Do you have an experience you would like to share with your fellow NODA members?  If so, please write an article.  Every year NODA submits two articles to the USDF for GMO awards.  We can submit an article from a “personal experience” and an article that is of “general interest.”  If your article wins, you will be awarded a lovely plaque at the USDF Annual Meeting, and if you are at the convention to receive your award, you can get your photo taken with George Williams!  You will join the list of NODA members who have won for their articles.  Some recent winners are Jeni Gaffney, Niki Sackman, Regina Sacha-Ujczo, and Mosie Welch.   You can also earn some NODA bucks towards your own year-end awards and maybe inspire someone else with your experience.

Happy New Year Everyone – It’s going to be an exciting one for NODA, so stay tuned.

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