ENYDCTA Dressage Days a Big Hit
~ CH Staff
The move for Dressage at Saratoga to Stockade Polo in Charlton, NY was a good decision for this legendary show. Catskill Horse magazine caught up with Chairmadam Regina Cristo (RC) to find out how things are going and to look back at the event in 2016 through our picture gallery (are you there?) and look forward to the 2017 show.
CH: How has the move from DAS to Stockade Polo grounds improved the show?
RC: Our move in 2016 proved to be the right decision. Many riders are familiar with Stockade, love the venue, the rings and overall ambiance of the shows there. From an oRCanizer and management point of view, it was wonderful. The load was lightened in paperwork, physical labor, expense and volunteer needs.
CH: What sort of feedback have you received?
RC: We really received positive reviews and everyone was just plain happy we made the move! As beautiful as Saratoga is, logistics for the show and competitors could be difficult.
CH: What different facilities are offered and how do they compare?
RC: The Stockade Show grounds are absolutely lovely, laid out perfectly, with everything within viewing distance no matter where you are on the grounds. In the past at Saratoga, it was more difficult to feel like everyone was together for a show, as the rings and stabling where far apart, there was a need to cross the road, not everyone liked that, especially young horses. Having everyone in close proximity gives the show a nice pleasant atmosphere!
CH: How is the volunteer base coping with the move?
RC: Volunteers worked out great. We actually need less volunteers, our agreement with Stockade is such that they handle the grounds, which was a huge undertaking at Saratoga, before, during and after the show. Many of our volunteers also volunteer for Stockade throughout the season, so everyone feels right at home. It's a really great core of experienced volunteers, they are so important to any event and we can't do enough to thank them each year! We always welcome new volunteers as well.
CH: How have advanced riders received the move?
RC: Our numbers were up last year, including upper level rides. Again, Stockade has a wonderful reputation and people know what to expect.
CH: How many entries did you garner last year and how is it going this year?
RC: Our entries were up about 15% last year, we ran 3 rings mostly all day. Closing date hasn't arrived yet, but from what I hear entries are pouring in.
CH: Would you like suggestions from competitors and if so where would you like them sent?
RC: We always love to hear from competitors, we can't make things better if we don't know what they need, or offer suggestions. We are always open to listening and appreciate any input. They can always contact me or any board member or member of the competition management team. We also encourage competitors to fill out the USEF surveys that are included in our program.
CH: Which judges are in the line up for 2017? Any new classes added?
RC: We have the same classes as last year, we try and offer as many different classes as possible. We even offer Eventing tests! Our judges this year are Cindy Canace, NJ, Willette Brown, FL, and Scott Peterson, NY.
CH: How are the sponsorships going? Do you have more vendors or less?
RC: Sponsorship is stronger than ever this year! It's unbelievable how generous companies are to our show. Our show is well known for its awards program, and each and every item we get goes directly to competitors. We also do some cash awards, which is unheard of at dressage shows. It is my favorite part of the show seeing how happy people are when they receive awards, especially our 16 High Point awards! In addition, every 1st and 2nd place in every class gets a prize. We also have a unique style award, our Saturday Top Ten Awards. The top ten scores of the day, from every level, with the exception of a few classes are in the running. It is a blast to follow the updates all day long, and exciting for the competitors! This is sponsored by Horse Watch/Glenn Geary, who are our stabling night watch. We give the beautiful sashes at our competitor’s party Saturday after the show.
As of today our sponsors are: TheHorseStudio.com Online Tack Shop, Beacon Hill Transportation, Cristo Demolition, Marshall and Sterling, Bishops Gateway Farm, Merrill Lynch, Suits Dressage, Rhinebeck Equine, Mrs. PASTURES cookies, The Dressage Foundation, Angle Meadow Farm, Saratoga Horse works, Ida Anderson Dressage and Triple Crown. More are coming in each day!
We have about the same amount of vendors, usually about 8. It's works out really nicely. We keep it very affordable for vendors and people love to look and hopefully buy something!
CH: What about accomodation in the area? Which are popular venues if you know?
RC: The show is very close to the small city of Schenectady, which has many really good restaurants and hotels. It also is only about a half an hour from Saratoga if anyone wants to go back to a favorite place there.
CH: Any advice for competitors/volunteers about how to prepare for the location?
RC: It is really easy to find from every direction. Most people are already familiar with Stockade, so that makes it even easier!
CH: Are trailer ins welcome?
RC: Yes, we welcome trailer in' s coming for just the day. There is massive parking, wash stalls and day stalls available as well. Many come early in hopes of finding a great spot under a tree! We have a wonderful food vendor too.
CH: What is special about the Dressage Days opportunities? (2 shows in 1 etc.)
RC: These days with the cost of doing a recognized show, it was a smart thing to bundle two shows together, especially for those looking to earn qualifying scores. As a competitor myself, this is the only route I take now if I am trying to get scores. It is a very popular idea now, and many take advantage of it, which we are grateful for!
CH: Last time we interviewed your own goals were competing at FEI with your horse Cody. I know you now have a new horse. How is he doing?
RC: I am having fun getting to know my new horse, Flash S, a Dutch Warmblood 6 year old that I bought this winter. He is by Vivaldi, who apparently is a famous Dutch Stallion! I am not into breeding really, but have learned about this horse. It's been a long time since I had a young horse, and he is very cool, and big! 17.3hh. He has no show career yet, so we will dabble in a few schooling shows to get his hooves wet. My FEI schoolmaster, Cody, is enjoying a semi-retired life in Massachusetts with a lovely woman who adores him! That makes me so happy!
Here’s a look back at 2016 ENYDCTA Dressage Days. If you are looking for a great venue to show or audit and enjoy some great dressage time in a great atmosphere put this show on your calendar this year or next. It’s a Memorial Day weekend well spent!