Monthly Greetings from NODA President,

Dee Liebenthal

2016 Monthly Greetings are published in the "NODA NEWS"  

2017          2016        2015


Dear NODA Members,

Happy Holidays to all.  I can’t believe that it is already December. 

New Executive Board    I want to start by congratulating the newly elected Executive Board.  The EB will serve a two year term from January 1, 2016 through December 31, 2017.  Thank you to all who returned your ballots.   The percentage of returned ballots this year was just under 14%.  We hope that by the next election two years from now, we will have online voting, which will entice a larger percentage of the membership to vote. 

NODA’s EB for 2016/2017:

President (Interim):           Dee Liebenthal        Vice President:                    Christine Thompson
                           Patti Valencic          Treasurer:                             Nancy Danielson
Directors at Large
:  Halle Clause, Mary Lou Gallagher, Mary Dana Prescott, Niki Sackman,  Barbara Soukup   

These results were announced at the Banquet on November 21st.  You might be wondering what it means that I am listed as Interim President.   As I have said before, I would like to step down from the role of President and let someone else steer the NODA ship.  However, as no one is interested at this time, I will continue as President until someone agrees to take over. 

Banquet News  The Banquet was lots of fun.  NODA awarded $2700.00 in scholarships, along with lovely PRI saddle pads, to our Recognized and Unrecognized Show Champions.  The silent auction was also well received.  If you were a winner of a silent auction item, you got a great bargain.  We can’t thank all our sponsors and donors enough.  To see who our sponsors and donors are, click on this website link,

Thank you to our Banquet and Awards Committees:  Banquet: Shannon O’Hara, Chair, with Rachel Carracci.  Awards: Janeen Langowski-Grava, Chair, with Anne McClintock, Heather Soones-Booher and McKenzie Miavitz.  A big thank you additionally goes to the volunteers who came in early and stayed late to help us set up, clean up, and man the tables for the event:  Lora Burgess, Rachel Carracci and her mom, Linda Cooley, Halle Clause, Fran Cverna, Sue Desimpel, Marcia Doyle, Noelle & Peggi Ignagni, Jennifer Kriegler, Jim McClintock, Regina Sacha, Kirsten Thomas, Patti Valencic and last but not in any way the least, Valerie Grava for handing out ribbons and making an appearance in many of our photos. 

Shannon O’Hara will be sending a survey to banquet attendees to get some feedback.  Please respond.  We can’t make decisions about the future of the banquet without your comments and suggestions.  We tried the Marriott East this year because members told us they were dissatisfied with only two choices of entrée offered at the previous venue.  The Marriott gave us three choices. The venue also was a little larger and handled more guests per table, making it easier for those who had more than eight in their parties.  We are always open to suggestions regarding format and venue. 

Volunteers - Help Wanted
We have a couple very important openings within NODA and we are reaching out to you all to take a look and seriously consider helping.  For additional information on these important open positions and others you might be interested in with NODA, contact Kathy Kirchner, your member representative at  

Chair of Silent Auction.  We are still looking for someone who would be willing to chair the Silent Auction.  Please consider this position as a way to give back to NODA and become more involved with the organization. 

Chair/Manager of the Schooling Shows.  This is an extremely important position that NODA is very anxious to fill as soon as possible for 2016.  This position is very important to the success of our schooling shows.   At this point we have had very little interest.  A great deal of the work for this position can be done from home.  This position does not include scheduling, as that is handled by the schooling show secretary.  The manager splits the office fees with the secretary.  There is a job description on the NODA website Volunteer page.  You can also contact our retiring Schooling Show Manager, Kara Maruszak.

Scholarships – Remember to apply:   I am embarrassed to say that NODA dropped the ball by not reminding our membership about our two, new in 2014, Amateur Scholarships.  Last year we had applications for both the AA and the Jr/YRs, but none this year.  We will do a better job of reminding you that these scholarships are available.  After a long time without applications, our Professional Grant program is experiencing a resurgence of interest.  Keep in mind that NODA can award a total of $1000 annually (5 x $200 grants) to professionals.   The Amateur/Jr/YR scholarships are similar in that we can award four at $250 each, two to Adult Amateurs and two to Jr/YRs in a calendar year.   Please visit  to get the details on both.  It may not seem like a lot of money, but we all know how expensive it is to enhance our riding abilities and every $200 or $250 helps.   Remember that the Amateur scholarships can be used for any educational experience, including clinics, seminars, and lessons. 

Year-End Awards Eligibility   With the Banquet over and our new membership year underway, I have a few very important reminders for competitors.

* You must be a NODA member before you earn your scores.  Recognized awards – Owners must also be members of NODA.
* You must earn your NODA Bucks in the current 2016 competition year.
* Four NODA Bucks are required for each horse/rider combination.
* Unrecognized awards only - The four scores you submit must include two scores from two different NODA shows.   
  This was new in 2015 and unfortunately, not all members remembered.

If you have comments, concerns, or suggestions on how NODA might do a better job serving its members, let us know.  Send your concerns, comments and suggestions to Kathy Kirchner, your member representative at  As hard as some of the “not so great” comments are to take, we appreciate knowing.  We can’t fix something if we don’t know what it is. 

Have a great December,



Dear Noda Members,

Really big congratulations go out to Mosie Welch.  Mosie recently won a USDF GMO first place award for her Newsletter article published in the December, 2014 issue of the NODA News, entitled, “Experiencing  the 2014 United States Dressage Finals Live on USEF Network.”  If you didn’t read it last December, or want to read it again, this is the newsletter link,   The article is on page six.  Mosie wrote an excellent and informative article.  NODA is very proud. 

Congratulations also go out to all the NODA members who were awards USDF Year-End Awards, Victoria Pirko-Patterson, Jennifer Mclandrich, Kristin Stein, Barbara Tuskas to name just a few!   Visit our Members Spotlight page of the NODA website to see some of our members’ successes.  We are so proud.    

We would like to celebrate with all of our members, so let NODA know about your accomplishments. E-mail Linda Cooley at with information about your great deeds on your great steeds.  You might find yourself on our Members Spotlight page and NODA’s Facebook page.

Speaking of celebrating, the NODA Annual Banquet and Awards Celebration will be on November 21st at the Marriott East.  I hope we will see many of you there.  We will have a silent auction, so bring your check book.  We will also be taking item donations for the Geauga County Dog (and Cat) Shelter.  If you bring a donation for the shelter, you will receive a ticket for a raffle drawing. 

After dinner and the awards presentation, a DJ will be providing music for dancing.  The invitations have been mailed.  If you wish to reserve an entire table of 8, you must include the full payment for that table along with the names of those attending.  Please contact Shannon O’Hara if you have questions about the banquet at

We are currently accepting Silent Auction items for the banquet.  Along with donations from local businesses, once again local farms/stables are putting baskets together for the auction.  The basket from a farm/stable that brings the highest bid will win a Pizza Party valued at $250.00 for the farm.  Wouldn’t  your farm love to have a pizza party?   Contact Shannon O’Hara at  for details.

It is NODA election time and you should have received your postcard ballot in the mail for the election of the Executive Board to serve a two-year term beginning January 1, 2016.  Once you have checked off your choices return the ballot to Dale Lappert, our Parliamentarian.  Please be aware that six people have been nominated for Director at Large (DAL), but only five can serve.  Please vote for five of the six names.   I am excited to have some new faces interested in being a part of our Executive Board.   New people bring new ideas, and new ideas help us become a better organization.  Contact Dale Lappert, , with any questions or concerns.

I want to say thank you to Gail Patton, our long-time Schooling Show Volunteer Coordinator, as she passes her volunteer coordinator’s torch to Kirsten Thomas.  Being NODA’s Volunteer Coordinator is just the latest way in which Gail has supported our organization.  She has always been active and willing to contribute in any way she could.  As a member since NODA’s early days, Gail’s contributions have been many and varied, even including the artwork for our NODA logo.  I bet many of you didn’t know that.  Gail has never hesitated to volunteer in any capacity needed.  She has helped set up the dressage ring more times than she cares to remember.   Many of you will miss her voice on the phone, diplomatically manipulating you into earning your NODA bucks by volunteering at a schooling show.   Gail isn’t going away; she will continue to find new ways in which to stay actively involved with NODA.  I bet you will see her working the paddock or scribing at a schooling show next year. 

We recently had our annual Schooling Show meeting.  For our discussions about the future of our Schooling Show series, we invited a couple of non-board members and new committee members to get their input.  Thank you to Crissteen Miller, Loreen Cobb, and also our new volunteer coordinator, Kirsten Thomas, for participating.  Your feedback and comments are invaluable.  Our goal for 2016 is to lighten up the atmosphere by adding some fun to the schooling show series.  We also want to add more meaning to the educational component of our shows.   We have come up with some exciting ideas to facilitate both fun and education.  They will be revealed as the details are worked out and confirmed.   Stay tuned!

We are looking for someone who would like to act as a liaison for Western Dressage to NODA.  NODA wants to get more involved and needs the input of a Western Dressage enthusiast.  If you are interested, please contact our member representative, Kathy Kirchner at

This liaison position would help educate NODA about Western Dressage, and vise-versa.  We want to offer more to area riders who are interested in Western Dressage.  Our membership year begins on December 1st.  Don’t forget to renew.  You can renew by mail, and also at the banquet on November 21st.  For 2016 year end awards you must be a member at the time you earn your scores.   Remember, for recognized show awards both the horse’s owner and the rider must be NODA members at the time scores are earned. 

Winter is fast approaching and as it gets colder, time in the saddle will sometimes be just a dream. Rest assured, however, that NODA will be working hard on the season to come.  Let us know if you would like to join the fun.  We can always use a hand with something, and many jobs can be done in the comfort of your own home.   Check our website for positions that might interest you. 

Thank you all for supporting NODA.


Dear NODA Members,

Northern Ohio Dressage Association is very proud and wants to congratulate all members and friends from Northern Ohio who competed at the Region 2 Championships in September.  Our area was very well represented and many are headed to Nationals in November. 

Congratulations, too, to all the NODA members who participated in the Schooling Show Championship on October 4.  Thank you to all our volunteers for the weekend and throughout the season.  Special thanks go to Kara Maruszak and Jennifer Tulleners, Gail Patton, and Mary Lou Gallagher for their hard work throughout the series.  We will bid farewell to Kara and Gail, as this was their final season as Show Manager/Chair and Volunteer Coordinator, respectively.   

The NODA shows are over for the 2015 season.  Did you participate in any of our schooling shows?  Did you make it into the schooling show championship?  How about the Recognized Shows?  Did you enjoy having the shows at Chagrin Valley Farms?  We would love to have some feedback on your experiences during this 2015 competition season.   Send your comments to your member representative, Kathy Kirchner at

What are your plans for the upcoming months?  Some equestrians have the opportunity to spend the cold Ohio months in the south but most of us do not.  Whether headed south or staying in Ohio, why not write an article and tell us about your goals and plans?  If you competed in the Region 2 Championships, tell us about your journey to get there.   Maybe you had a clinic experience that impacted your riding or gave you that much loved “aha” moment.  Share what you learned or how it felt.  NODA is looking for articles to share with its membership. 

The next big event is the Annual Banquet and Awards Celebration.  If you won a revolving trophy in 2014, it is time to turn it in.  We have arranged for several drop-off locations for your convenience:   Rocky River Stables in Rocky River, Big Dee’s in Streetsboro, Topline Stables in Aurora.

If you are having difficulty getting the trophy returned or have questions, please contact Anne McClintock at   If you are thinking about applying for year-end awards, remember that you must have earned 4 NODA bucks in this current competition year for each rider/hose combination. 

Everyone is welcome to participate in the banquet.  It is a celebration of all our members, not just award winners.  In an effort to keep things cost effective for the participants and add a little more variety to the dinner selections, we are trying a new location, the Marriott Cleveland East at I-271 and Harvard Road in Beachwood.   This new location is convenient to all and we will be interested to hear how you like it.  If you are interested in volunteering at the banquet for set-up or to man one of the tables, please contact Shannon O’Hara at  

NODA’s open meeting was held on September 21 at Fieldstone Farms TRC in Bainbridge, Ohio.  We had a nice session of yoga, a tour of the facility, dinner and a short meeting.  There were no additional nominations from the floor for the up-coming election; however, we do a few new members interested in getting involved.

My mantra will continue to be that we must have new people with new ideas to continue to grow into the future.  Our organization must figure out new ways to deliver on its mission, ways that take into account the technology and the needs of our members today and in the future.  We have a record number of members and a lower than ever representation of that membership at our schooling shows and our educational events.  We need our members to get involved.  We need you to get involved.  If you are a professional, please encourage your students to get involved. 

I, along with the NODA Board, thought that there would be a huge response to our recent survey on interest in a NODA sponsored USDF “L” Program.  The survey was put on Facebook, on our website, and in the September newsletter.  Judging from the lack of response, there seems to be very little interest.  We will have to try it again, using a different approach.  I wonder whether people ignore requests for information because there are so many.  Is the general population is just numb?  How do we reach you for your opinion?

NODA is looking for a member to act as the liaison or representative for Western Dressage to the board and the NODA membership.  If you are interested please contact Kathy Kirchner,  Ballots for the upcoming election will be mailed in a few weeks.  Watch your mailbox for your ballot and return it with your choices as soon as you can. 

Thank you all for supporting NODA.


Dear Noda Members,


2015 is my last year as President of Northern Ohio Dressage Association. It is also Niki Sackman’s last year as Vice President. On September 27th, NODA will hold an open meeting at Fieldstone Farm Therapeutic Riding Center in Chagrin Falls from 5PM to 8PM. At that meeting we will take nominations from the floor for the Executive Board. WE NEED MEMBERS TO STEP UP IF NODA IS TO SURVIVE SUCCESSFULLY INTO THE FUTURE.

Both Niki and I want to express our gratitude and appreciation to the NODA Board and membership for their support over the last 4 years. It has been a great experience for both of us. If we didn’t think it was time for a change, we would run again. But as we all know, change is good and necessary in any organization. It is time for new people to step up and step in to guide NODA. New people bring fresh ideas that will add energy to the organization. NODA really needs to be energized. The hope is that new officers will spark more interest and involvement to carry the organization into the future.

The number of members who are actually involved is too small to successfully run an organization our size. We need leaders who have the ability to energize the masses and entice them to bring their expertise, ideas and time to the organization. Leaders who will express to the membership the importance and need for more individual involvement. I know that most members don’t want to see NODA slowly disappear, and I also feel confident that NODA’s membership will come together to assure the continuance of our organization and its educational mission.

 ……”to promote and further interest in the understanding of dressage through education, active participation and support of local, regional, and national dressage activities”, By supporting the education of the rider we support the welfare of the horse. I am certain that each of you agree with this mission and just need to know and understand that your help is needed.

Both Niki and I will remain active as members of the board and/or committees and we will continue to work hard. We are both committed to NODA and to producing great Recognized Shows next year and beyond, as well as updating our schooling show series. We also are interested in putting together a USDF “L” Program in the near future. (Please note the current survey on the subject is available on the website and in this issue of the NODA News.) Niki and I, as well as the rest of the experienced board will be available to help and support new officers, so don’t let inexperience with the NODA board keep you from making a difference. You may also help NODA in one of the committee openings we have: Silent Auction Chair, Recognized Shows Assistant Volunteer Coordinator, Schooling Show Volunteer Coordinator or Schooling Show Committee Chair, to name just a few.

It’s a fact that every single one of us is busy beyond words. It is also a fact that an energized and more active membership spreads the time commitment over more individuals, ultimately producing a more balanced organization able to meet the needs and desires of the membership.

If you would like more information, please contact me, Dee Liebenthal at 216-534-1911 or, Dale Lappert at 440-813-4009,  Niki Sackman,,  Kathy Kirchner at,  or any other board or committee member.

Join the team! Make a difference!


Dear NODA Members,

We are pleased and excited about how well the Recognized Shows went this year at Chagrin Valley Farms.  Despite the heat and heavy Friday afternoon rain, the footing in the arenas held up well.  A few things will need some improvement, and the Show Committee has already met for a review. We know what needs to be addressed for next year.   Comments were for the most part positive, and we are confident that all the work that was put into the shows this year will make next year much easier.

Any success achieved this year could not have been enjoyed without our dedicated Show Committee chaired by Niki Sackman, also NODA’s VP.  An army of volunteers came out to support this undertaking.  “Thank you” is not enough, so I hope everyone knows how important they were to the shows.   Karen Eisenhauer-Shirring, Volunteer Coordinator extraordinaire for many years, recruited and recruited and recruited.  We had plenty of help Saturday and Sunday; in fact we were packed up and on our way home two hours after the end of the show Sunday. 

Our success this year was also achieved due to the generosity of our Sponsors and Advertisers.  Because there were many people behind this undertaking, many friends of NODA also rallied to help ensure our success.  Please take note of all the area businesses that supported the show and whenever possible, return the favor and support their businesses.  You can see lists of our supporters on NODA’s Facebook page and also on the NODA website.  

Thank you to all the competitors who came out to ride for the judges, and more.  Many local professionals, adult amateurs, and Jr/YRs didn’t stop at competing -- they also rolled up their sleeves and helped!  Our local competitors were instrumental in getting our platforms constructed, producing new artwork for our program, and manning and advising the show committee.  They were also responsible for thousands of dollars in sponsorships and advertising. 

Three cheers for BMCI and Kevin Bradbury’s team of experts.  Scoring was easy and displayed for all to see in the office.  Kevin arrived on Wednesday before the show and with a team of volunteers on Thursday we set up.  We got started a little later than planned, but eventually it all came together.  I hope we didn’t drive team Bradbury too crazy, and that they agree to come back again next year.

Our officials were great.  They were patient and tolerated the sweltering heat and mosquitos with good humor.  We thank them for coming, being flexible, and working with us to schedule as many rides as was reasonable. 

Thank you also to Chagrin Valley Farms.  It had been nearly 20 years since we held a Recognized Show there, and it was a learning experience for all of us.  Linda Joseph and her hard working staff were great.  They are accustomed to the Hunter Jumper world of competition, so our needs, which are quite different, came as a bit of a surprise.  Also, they were coming off of their involvement with the Hunter Jumper Classic, and had only four days to get the venue shipshape for Dressage.  They rose to the occasion like the pros they are, and were amazing. 

The future of these shows will be built on the success of this year.  I know we can count on our members, their families and friends, along with local businesses to continue and grow the support we had this year.  Thank you everyone!

Next year, longtime Volunteer Coordinator Karen Eisenhauer-Shirring will be unavailable for the Recognized Shows.  We are actively looking for someone to fill her position.  Karen will help the new volunteer get started and will supply information and lists.  Please contact her at if you are interested in learning more about this position. 

It is with great fondness that we remember John Claridge, who passed away on July 15, 2015.  John was a longtime member of NODA, and was NODA’s first Dressage Foundation Century Club member.  We have included a reprint of an article that appeared in the Century Club News, January 2011.  We hope to have an in-depth article about John in next month’s issue.  Please keep John’s wife Gay, also a longtime NODA member, in your thoughts.  If you wish, you may remember John with a donation to the American Cancer Society, 2115 W. 38th St., Erie, PA 16503.

We are looking for a chair for our Silent Auction to be held at the 2015 Awards Banquet.  I know I announced last month that Janice Lawrenz was taking over the auction, but due to recent changes in her job she finds that she won’t be able to chair the committee.  She will, however, be able to help.  Please contact our member liaison, Kathy Kirchner, at if you would like to take charge of this important and fun part of the yearend banquet.

2015 is an election year for NODA, which means that all Executive Board positions are up for election this year.  NODA’s President, Vice President, Treasurer, and Secretary will be elected to start serving January 1st 2016.  If you are interested in any of these positions, please contact Dale Lappert, our Parliamentarian, at   There will be an open meeting in September (date TBD), and we will also take nominations from the floor at that time.

Thank you once again for all your support this year.

JULY 2015

Dear NODA Members,

By the time this July NODA News is published the recognized shows will be at hand. Given the weather so far this month, I am sure July will be fabulous. Keep thinking “dry” thoughts and maybe together we can send enough energy to help make that happen. That being said however, the universe and powers that be may have more important things on their plates than our weather, but it is certainly worth a try.

As I write this we are excited, very thankful, and very busy. With 12 days remaining, we are running around like crazy trying to get everything completed so that the show experience is good for all the competitors.

We can say that Sponsorships and Advertising are a big success. We met our budget goal for the category and we are so happy. We are so very grateful to those who unselfishly gave their time and helped with solicitation and follow-up, and to those who generously gave as sponsors and/or advertisers, whether in cash or in kind. This is going to be the largest program we have ever had, with a beautiful new cover design and even a couple color pages. I can’t wait to see the final product.

Our Rocky River schooling show is the 11th of July with closing date July l.  As I write this, our entries are not what would be expected for this once very popular show. I don’t want to keep beating the proverbial dead horse, but we continue to struggle with a lack of participation. Too many choices? As we have said before, the wide range of opportunities to ride in schooling shows grows wider each year.

Important things to remember:
 Schooling Show Championship – NEW FOR 2015: Riders must earn two qualifying scores 60% or higher in Intro through First Level classes (58% or higher for Second Level and above) from two different judges at two separate NODA schooling shows.
 Unrecognized shows year-end awards - NEW FOR 2015: Two of the scores submitted must be from two different judges earned at two separate NODA schooling shows.
 Recognized shows year-end awards - NEW for 2015: a horse/rider combination may win a championship three times at any level before becoming ineligible to apply for the championship at that level or any lower level.
 Deadline to apply for scholarships for Jr/YR and AA is October 1st. These awards will be announced at the annual banquet at the end of 2015, for use in 2016.
 Professional Grants are also available.

For information and details on the above please visit our website,

Please also remember that this is an election year. If you are interested in getting involved with the NODA Board, please try to attend a meeting and/or contact Kathy Kirchner, your member representative, at  for information. The membership will be electing the President, Vice President, Secretary, and Treasurer. There are also open positions available on many committees

We send a huge shout out to the many volunteers who continually support NODA with your generous gift of time. We need and are grateful to each and every one of you!

Happy July


JUNE 2015

Dear NODA Members,

June is here and I ask myself, as I do each year, why does spring pass so much more quickly than dreary winter?   The nice weather sure puts pressure on us to live in the moment and enjoy every drop of sunshine. 

Our first schooling show of the season, held at Chagrin Valley Farms, went very well.  CVF was ready for us and everyone enjoyed themselves.  Thank you to CVF and its staff.  The rain stayed away giving us a beautiful day with sunshine and nice warm weather.  Participation was good, but we could have easily handled more competitors.  There is a lot of competition for schooling show participants these days, and we are feeling the pain.  NODA does seem to struggle to keep its numbers up enough to break even with our expenses.  Our schooling show series used to support itself and was even able to contribute a little money to bring in judges from out of town and to support other NODA sponsored events. 

We are asking ourselves what we can do to keep our shows self-supporting.  Among other questions, we wonder whether we need to reduce the number of shows in our series, and/or do we need to go to a system of sanctioning similar to those of other GMOs?  In an effort to increase participation we updated our rules for year-end award qualifications, and now require scores from two NODA shows.  We will evaluate the effect of this change as the season goes on. 

We would love to have some feedback from our schooling show competitors.  We need to know how you feel about the series and your general opinion of schooling shows in our area.  What are your favorite venues?  What do you like and what don’t you like?  What would you like to see us add or eliminate?  Tell us the good, the bad, and the ugly.  Please let Kathy Kirchner ( or Kara Maruszak (, or me ( know your thoughts.

As I write this we are heading into the week prior to our second schooling show of the season, a partnering with CADS for a two-day show weekend at Ridgewood Stables.  I am anxious to see how this turns out.  Ridgewood, the current home of CADS, is a part of NODA’s past.  Do any of you remember attending shows there in past years?  It was before my time with NODA.  Some of our members will have to travel a bit to get there; however, west side and southern competitors will find it convenient. 

The much anticipated Recognized Shows at our new venue, Chagrin Valley Farms, are just about six weeks away.  We are racing to the finish line to make sure that everything is ready and complete.  Feedback has been positive, but we are going to need lots more sponsors and advertisers, and a ton of volunteers.  We encourage everyone to sponsor a class or to advertise.  Take advantage of our many available levels of sponsorship.  Everyone who sponsors a class will be entered in a raffle for a $50 Gift Card from Big Dee’s. 

We believe that because CVF’s location is more convenient for much of our membership, we will be better able to recruit volunteers -- and we need many more volunteers.  There is information in this month’s issue regarding what we need and who to contact.  PLEASE help make this show a success.  Remember that we can’t exist without all our volunteers.

Please take note of a couple of good articles in this month’s issue of the NODA News.  There is an excellent article on hoof health and also a very nice summary of the Sarah Martin Clinic from the end of April by our Jr/YR Liaison, Lauren Hunter. 

It is time for the LEC Dressage Derby I & II, June 20th and 21st.   I encourage NODA members to volunteer to help with these very popular shows.  Lots of NODA members compete at these shows, and with LEC student out of school for the summer, volunteers are harder to find.  I know that competitors enjoy having these shows available during the month of June and no one wants to see them go away.  Please support these shows.  Following is what is being offered by LEC to those that volunteer.

Volunteers working 5 hours or greater Saturday OR Sunday will get a Lake Erie College cloth tote bag plus free lunch at concession stand. 
Volunteers working 8 hours or more Saturday AND Sunday will received FREE Auditor Admission to Hilda Gurney Clinic on Monday plus a Lake Erie College cloth tote bag along with free lunch at concession stand. 
  Scribes for both the indoor and outdoor ring, In-Gate Steward for both indoor and outdoor rings plus the outdoor warm-up ring.  Secretary’s Assistant/Tabulator and Runners.   Volunteers please email Courtney Newby at or call 440-375-8000 for volunteer information and scheduling. 

2015 will be my last year as President.  If you are interested in becoming a member of the NODA board, I encourage you to attend a couple of our monthly meetings, held on the second Monday of each month at Panera in Solon, from 7PM to 9PM, to get a feel for what is going on.  If you would like to facilitate change and help the organization forward into the future, we would welcome your involvement.  Our lives are busy, but we always seem able to make time for something that we love.  Through the influence of the GMO, you can also have some impact with the USDF through voting at the Annual Convention.  Would you like to be more involved?  Would you like to see change? Please join us!

Happy June,

MAY 2015

Dear NODA Members,

Your NODA Board, committee members, and other volunteers have been crazy hard at work with exciting things that have been going on and those to come.

We recently partnered with Big Dee’s and The Paddock Saddlery to bring Sarah Martin back to Northeast Ohio.  Big Dee’s brought Sarah, along with several other prominent professionals, to lecture on equestrian subjects throughout the weekend of April 24
th and 25th, in celebration of their first year anniversary at their Streetsboro location.   NODA arranged for Sarah to give a clinic at Sand Hill Stable in Mantua while she was in the area.  The clinic, which was open to Classical and Western dressage riders of all levels, was full with private and semi-private sessions and it was fabulous!  Auditors attended at no charge, and were generously rewarded with lots of tools, ideas, and insights easily translatable to their own riding.  

We thank everyone who made this clinic possible.  Big Dee’s and The Paddock Saddlery, who suggested the partnership, were more than supportive through the entire process.  Thank you to Sand Hill Stables and especially to Berni Moauro and Marcia Doyle, our dedicated education committee co-chairs, for putting the clinic together.  Thank you to Kathy Kirchner for providing Sarah’s transportation to the airport.  These tireless volunteers care about NODA and our educational mission and can always be counted on to do a wonderful job.  And of course, we thank Sarah Martin, a wonderful clinician and teacher.  We hope she comes back to share her knowledge with us again.

In the NODA News this month, you will find the new/revised sponsorship and advertising information, and forms for the support NODA’s 2015 Dressage shows at our new venue Chagrin Valley Farms.  We are already getting support from our professional and amateur members with ideas and manpower.  As always, we will have a Musical Freestyle evening with a fun competitors’ party.  We have added pony cup classes, and we will be pinning AA, Jr/YR, and Open for most classes.  We need sponsors and advertisers and volunteers to make this show work.  If you want to volunteer, contact Karen Eisenhauer Shirring at to sign up early for these shows.  We need scribes, paddock masters, runners, tabulators, and volunteers to man the gates.  If you can’t volunteer at the show but still want to help, we need people for setup on Thursday and/or Friday, July 16
th & 17th, and/or with taking down (which takes much less time than setup) on Sunday, after the shows have ended.  I am going to be a bit of a nag and keep reminding everyone how important volunteers are to the success of NODA in everything we do, but this year your help will be critical for our recognized shows.

Speaking of volunteers, we are looking for someone to run the silent auction for the 2015 year-end banquet.  Last year Kirsten Thomas did a marvelous job creating themed baskets for the auction.  They were beautifully done and a big hit.  NODA reaped the benefits of Kirsten’s hard work and we will be forever grateful.  This year, the silent auction would be yours to set up how you see fit.  If you are interested in this committee position we will make sure that you have assistance if you would like, or perhaps you have a friend or fellow equestrian that you work well with, who would also be interested.  If you would like to run the silent auction please contact the Banquet Chair, Shannon O’Hara, at or Kathy Kirchner at

Karen Eisenhauer Shirring, who has been our Volunteer Coordinator for the recognized shows for over 24 years, will be unavailable to act as Volunteer Coordinator in 2016.  We are looking for someone to shadow Karen this year to learn the ropes, and then take the reins next year.  I bet there is someone out there that would like to earn lots of NODA bucks by shadowing Karen this year and actually doing it next year.  A complete job description is available.  Please contact Karen at

Also please read all the excellent information available in this month’s issue.  Mary Lou Gallagher has provided us with a lot of information about rules and requirements updated for 2015.  See her articles on USEF/USDF membership requirements, information and clarification of NODA’s Schooling Show Championship rules, and last but not least, using the USEF/USDF Master Verification Search. 
Please also note that the information missing from your prize list is included.  If you haven’t already pulled this information from the website, please pull the page out and put it with your mailed hard copy.  Remember that the updated schooling show prize list can always be found on our website.

Please support all our generous sponsors and advertisers, many of whom have links on our website.  I want to close this month with another special thank you to Big Dee’s and The Paddock Saddlery for supporting NODA and suggesting that we partner for the Sarah Martin Clinic.  It worked out wonderfully well and they couldn’t have done more to help ensure success.  

Looking forward and wishing you all a successful show season, whether you ride in schooling shows, recognized shows, or both.   And may you always learn, may you ride your best ride, and may you have fun with your four-legged partner.

Happy Summer Riding!


APRIL 2015

Dear NODA Members

I know that it is officially Spring and the snow has melted, but 24 degrees on March 28th? Come on, now! I am very grateful however, for the warmth and sunshine we have had this past month. There is hope -- as we choke on hair from shedding horses, we smile and enjoy the dawn of the long awaited new season.

NODA committees have been crazy busy getting everything put together for the upcoming show season. You should have received your copy of the 2015 Schooling Show Prize List by the time you get this NODA News. But…Ooops! There is some very important information that was inadvertently left out of your printed copy of the prize list.

Missing subjects under the heading “NODA SCHOOLING SHOW RULES

** About half of the Entry requirements, Scratches & Refunds, Ring Size and Awards.
** Prize list date error: The date of the Rocky River Schooling Show is July 12th.

The correct information is in the online version, and there is a single sheet that you can download and print to keep in your hard copy.    Please also note: The date of the Rocky River Schooling Show is July 12th. It is incorrect in your printed prize list but correct on the website.

If you are planning to show and apply for year-end awards, please be sure you know and understand everything in the prize list this year. There are changes to eligibility requirements for both the championship show and year-end awards. We will always do our absolute best to make sure that all information is available. As a competitor, it is your responsibility to know and understand the rules. If you don’t understand something in the prize list or have a question about anything, please contact your member liaison, Kathy Kirchner,,  or Kara Maruszak, Schooling Manager and Chair,,  or Janeen Langowski-Grava,  There is also an extensive contact list in this newsletter and on our website.

Our first schooling show of the series is less than six weeks away at Chagrin Valley Farms. The opening date is April 22nd and closing date is May 6th. Remember that we now have a Professional division for both the Championship Show and yearend awards. After this tough winter, what better way to get your horse(s) back in the swing of things than by attending NODA schooling Shows?

I hope you are as excited as I am about the Recognized Shows this year. We have a lot of work to do and some of us have had our noses to the grindstone since we made the official announcement last month. Our goal is to host quality shows now and into the future, shows that will provide an enjoyable experience for all competitors and spectators. Toward accomplishing that goal, we have hired Kevin Bradbury to manage the shows, but there is a lot of work still to do, including everything necessary to get the show grounds set up and ready. We have to procure and organize the volunteers, entice sponsors and advertisers, prepare the program and information for the prize list, and a great many other little things that make a show successful. If you can help in anyway, please contact Niki Sackman,  or me, Dee Liebenthal,  Let’s put meaning back in the word “community” and come together as a supportive dressage community and help make this the best darn event there is. I know we can do it. We have the members; we just need a little of your support.

We are really in need of a person to help with Sponsorships and Advertisers, someone who will keep track of the data and do follow-up. After consulting with experts, we think that our members will contact their friends and families and ask them to support us with their advertising and sponsorships. If we are correct, then we just need someone who is organized and has good computer skills to keep everything organized.

Soon, those who were lucky enough to escape the winter weather will be coming home from Florida, South Carolina, and other warmer states. Maybe you lucky NODA members with the tans would like to tell us about the highlights of your time away, and/or share your pictures and stories of a good lesson or clinic you participated in with a particular trainer. Those of us who had to tough it out this particularly harsh winter could use the good news of your southern experiences. We are always on the lookout for good cover photos for the NODA News, so keep that in mind when sharing. We need an 8.5 x 11 format in a photo type file.

Ok, let’s all come together and work to make all of NODA’s shows shine this year and into the future. I am certain we can do it.

Thank you, and Happy Spring


MARCH 2015

ear Noda Members,

Most of you have known since September that after many years of service to our equestrian community, Robyn and John Ambrose of Grand Haven Stables in Jefferson, Ohio, have retired. We are very sorry to lose not just this show facility, but more importantly, Robyn and John’s dedication to our sport.  They have been very good to NODA, as well as to many other equestrian organizations in Ohio, Western Pennsylvania, and the SW New York area.  We thank them for all their hard work and generosity over the years.   

There are not a lot of options for horse show venues in Northeast Ohio.  Knowing we were going to have to find a new venue for our recognized shows, in November of last year NODA formed an ad hoc committee headed up by Lisa Gorretta and Berni Moauro, who brought in the counsel of local professionals Lauren Ball Tisdale and Kate Poulin.  There has been a lot of action behind the scenes and it has taken us a long time to get to the point where we can sign contracts with a new manager and a new venue, but we are finally there.

We are very excited and happy to announce that NODA Dressage 2015 and Dressage 2015 Encore Shows will be held at Chagrin Valley Farms on July 18 and 19.  Kevin Bradbury of BMCI ( will take over the management of these two shows.  We will have three rings and we are confident that that the shows will be full.  We think bringing the shows a little closer to home will be to our benefit.   We are very grateful to Lisa Gorretta, our External Relations Liaison, for all her hard work and constant vigilance as the situation changed, and changed, and changed again. 

Getting a late start finalizing our plans has put a great deal of pressure on us, and adding a new venue and new management to the planning will make for a busy four months.  We know, however, that with your support we can put on a fabulous and unforgettable show!   Please join us on this journey, one that will require a lot of work from a lot of people, NODA members and non-members alike.   To make this work we will need competitors, financial support from sponsors and advertisers, and lots and lots of hands on deck to volunteer before, during, and after the shows, much more so than any other year.

NODA needs a Coordinator for Sponsorships and Advertising.  This position has not been permanently filled for almost five years.  It is more important this year than ever, as the funds that come from advertisers and sponsors are what fill the gap between our income and our expenses.   Please contact Niki Sackman at  for more information about this vital position.

It would also be fabulous if we could recruit someone to come on board to handle marketing and publicity.  It is going to be extremely important to get the word out about our new venue.  We want everyone to know and participate.  We want competitors and members to get as excited as we are.  We really want to grow these shows over the next few years.  I know that we will all come together to give whatever support is needed to ensure the success of our shows at Chagrin Valley Farms.  This is just the beginning!  Here are a few of the many ways you can help:  Sponsor a class or two, Advertise your business
, Recruit sponsors and/or businesses to advertise, Volunteer your time before, during, and after the shows, or Encourage your friends, family, and students to volunteer.

Sarah Martin is coming!  Sarah Martin is coming!
  We are excited to partner with Big Dee’s to bring Sarah Martin back to Northeast Ohio.  Many of you may remember that NODA brought Sarah to Lake Erie College in 2013 for our first USDF Instructor Certification Workshop.  I do not exaggerate when I say that she impressed everyone with her knowledge and ability to deliver her message.  Our participating instructors, auditors, and organizers were so impressed that we thought it would be great to bring Sarah back to do a clinic. 

That time has arrived.  Sarah will give two lectures at Big Dee’s, and she will be at Sand Hill Farm for private, semi-private, and group classical dressage and western dressage clinic rides.  If you would like to learn more about Sarah and her philosophies, visit her website,     You can find information about Sarah’s experience and qualifications in this month’s NODA News.  In addition to having many years of experience teaching and doing dressage clinics, Sarah is also a supporter and instructor of western dressage, and helped write the USDF’s tests and guidelines for western dressage.  Please join us in welcoming her back to NE Ohio and consider signing up for a clinic ride on April 25 or 26.  These rides are underwritten by NODA and reasonably priced.   All levels of riding are welcome.  You can get additional information and rider application form on our website,

We want to extend a huge thank you to everyone for your continued support of NODA.  We are your organization and need all of you to make a difference in the dressage world.



ear Noda Members,

If I see my glass as half empty, the arrival of February means that there are still a lot of weeks of cold and cloudy weather to endure.  If I see my glass as half full, the arrival of February means that it’s almost March when we can start to expect some warming and the continued extension of daylight hours.  How is your glass looking about now?

As I write this, with temperatures in the single digits, it could be a tossup, but I believe my glass is half full because I am eagerly looking forward to learning about the new USEF dressage tests at the USEF New Test Dressage Test Seminar on February 21st.  This indoor event, at the Crown Plaza in Independence, is hosted by NODA and will be presented by USEF Senior Judge Margaret Freeman.  I am hoping that everyone will find this an affordable and warm way to learn, and that our professionals will encourage their students to attend.  What better way to get ready and pumped up about the 2015 show season?  It will be here before we know it!

Several big changes are on tap for the new competition year, and everyone who shows in our schooling show series needs to be aware of them.  Important eligibility requirements for NODA’s Schooling Show Championship and Year End awards have changed.  The new season will require two qualifying scores from two different NODA shows.  There is a change once again for Juniors and Young Riders (Jr/YRs), and we will welcome the Western Dressage Division to the Schooling Show Championship in 2015.  These are only a few of the changes; an article in this issue of the NODA News outlines all the changes for 2015.  Please read it carefully.  The 2015 Schooling Show prize list, which will be out in early March, will contain all the rules and changes, as well.  As a NODA member, you will receive a hard copy in the mail.  But remember that, as always, the most current prize list and rules will always be on the NODA website.

If you are interested in earning some NODA Bucks and want to work from home, Lora Burgess, our Historical Chair, needs someone to help with scanning NODA items for the historical archives data base.  Please email Lora at

We also want to remind our professionals that we now have a division for you in our Schooling Show Championships.  2014 was the first year for this new division and we saw a few pros take advantage of this opportunity, but not as many as we’d hoped.  Because it was new, perhaps not all of our pros were aware of it.  We also included professionals in the schooling show year-end awards.  So remember to take advantage if you can.  If you are a professional and have ideas that would make participating in our Schooling Show series more inviting or work better for you, please let us know.

I also want to let everyone know that NODA members are eligible for a year’s subscription to the Horsemen’s Corral magazine for $10.  There is a coupon in this issue that you can use to send in along with your check.  The Corral has reduced its size and now is the size of most magazines.  Please take advantage of this great offer.

Happy February and I hope to see lots of you on the 21st at the 2015 USEF Dressage Test Seminar.



Dear NODA Members,

The Holidays are just about over as I write this, and I am thinking about what the New Year will hold.  It’s the first month of our good intentions, perhaps to start living a healthier life, to spend more time with family and friends, to be kinder and more considerate, to be more organized, to make each moment count, to give more to charity, to make that job change, or to take a risk and try something we might be afraid to try.  These are only some of the many and very personal intentions we may be thinking about.  As equestrians, we likely have included plans to improve our riding and/or our horses' training. These intentions will be as varied as our riding goals.  As you strive to achieve your goals, NODA encourages you to take advantage of what we offer to help you improve and enhance your equestrian pursuits. 

NODA also has some goals and plans for the new year! 

  • ·       Selection of a venue for our Recognized Shows Weekend 

  • ·       January Schooling Show Committee meeting to finalize our 2015 plans for the schooling show season 

  • ·       NODA’s USEF 2015 Dressage Test Symposium with Margaret Freeman on February 21st

  • ·       Joint Schooling Show Weekend with CADS…should be a lot of fun

  • ·       New venues for our schooling show series this year

  • ·       Collaborative endeavor with Big Dee’s to host a Sarah Martin Dressage Clinic in April

  • ·       USDF Instructor Certification Testing for 2015

  • ·       Begin planning a USDF “L” Program

We face a lot of challenges in 2015.  NODA and the equestrian community continue to change. We need to adapt to these changes, and we believe that this year could be pivotal in our effort to grow into the future.  We must continue in our role as a source of education, and the questions remain as to the best use of our educational dollars.   

NODA, like most GMOs, continues to struggle with challenges that unfortunately won’t disappear with the beginning of a new year.  We still will have to work hard to get enough volunteers for our shows, clinics, and committees. We also need members who are willing to give more than just the required 4 hours.  We need members who are willing to lead and coordinate and put in more time to help ensure the future of NODA. 

We also must find ways to fund our educational mandate. With entries for our schooling shows trending down the last couple of years, and with low attendance at our clinics, we find that we no longer come close to breaking even, and the shortfall comes out of NODA’s general funds.  Facilities are not donated and there are fees and other costs for clinicians.  Without participants at our shows and clinics, we can’t survive.  Right now if we didn’t have our wonderful sponsors helping to pick up some of the financial slack we would be offering less at a higher cost.   

I want to thank all the NODA board and committee members for their hard work and continued support going into 2015.  I look forward to spending my last year as president working with all of you.  You are dependable and dedicated and we couldn’t do what we do without each and every one of you.   

Stay warm,

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