NWHA National News August 2018 - Page 2

FROM THE DESK OF Amy Spinelli-Olson WELCOME TO THE 2018 NATIONAL WALKING HORSE ASSOCIATION PRE-NATIONAL ISSUE The 2018 National Show is just around the corner. And this event is more than just a horse show – it is a special occasion and a time for all of us to gather together and celebrate our amazing breed. We travel many miles to compete, visit with our horse family and friends and revel in our sound, naturally-gaited horses. And many of us have been preparing for this event for months – whether as a part of a committee, a volunteer or as an exhibitor. Many hands and hours of effort go into making the National Show the best it can possibly be. I want to personally thank all of our hard-working members, our volunteers, our sponsors and our exhibitors for the endless hours of thought, time and support. I’m certain that this year’s National Show will be one to remember. We are blessed with unequalled members, trainers and support teams – and as a result – each and every National Show continues to thrive and grow. The passion, teamwork and enthusiasm from our member-driven committees is second to none. And I’d like to thank them for their tireless efforts. Focusing on our Future As in past years, we are keenly focused on our youth. At the 2018 National Show, all of the Youth rail classes are scheduled primarily on Friday and Saturday to better support our youth participation. Our members shared feedback on the difficulty in taking their children out of school for an entire week. While there is still one youth versatility class prior to Friday, we are confident this modification will make it easier on our youth riders and their parents in attending and participating at The National. We must continue to invest in our youth – they are our future. Amplifying our Dressage Both Dressage and Western Dressage continue to grow at our National show and across our industry as a whole. In 2018, our Dressage events will make their debut in the main indoor ring at the Showplace Arena on both Sunday and Monday to kick off the National Show. We believe our Dressage program deserves to be in the spot light – and we are excited to announce – our Dressage exhibitors will find themselves in a brand new Dressage ring as well. We are thrilled to welcome the Honorable Beth Barritt, a USEF “R” Dressage judge and licensed Western Dressage judge, who possesses 35 years of experience spanning multiple events and breeds. 2018 will be a remarkable year for Dressage at the National Show. 2 NWHA National News / August 2018