United States Dressage Federation Celebrates Groundbreaking

United States Dressage Federation

The United States Dressage Federation (USDF) held the official groundbreaking ceremony for the USDF National Education Center on Wednesday, June 22, 2005 at the Kentucky Horse Park. The organization's President, Dr. Samuel Barish stated, "I believe that this is the most significant event in the history of USDF. We are looking forward to being included on a daily basis in an equestrian community environment where we can work effectively on behalf of dressage and our members."

The USDF National Education Center will be the next door neighbor of the United States Equestrian Federation and within sight of the U.S. Pony Clubs, the American Hanoverian Society and many other equestrian organizations.

John Nicholson, Executive Director of the Kentucky Horse Park, in referring to the Horse Park's bid to host the 2010 World Equestrian Games, asked those in attendance to imagine they were in the year 2010. "We are hearing a thunderous ovation and seeing the flag of the United States of America elevated to the highest position. We are listening to our national anthem because the United States has just won a gold medal in dressage. They have done it literally in the very shadow of [the USDF's] national headquarters."

"This is a very special moment for USDF," said Charles Smith, USDF National Capital Campaign Chair, "and I want to thank those that have worked with the campaign both in contributing money, time and energy." Those contributions currently total over two million dollars, but Mr. Smith cautioned the audience that the campaign has a long way to go to reach the five million dollar goal. "We would like to be completed with this campaign by the time we have the ribbon-cutting ceremony."

Kentucky Commerce Secretary Jim Host recalled how the original plan for the Park included making it the "business center of equestrian sport and a gathering place for all related horse associations."

The highlight of the event came with the honored guests donning hard hats and digging in with their gold shovels to ceremonially break the ground at the site of the USDF National Education Center. Immediately following the groundbreaking, large earth-movers stoked up their engines and began the construction project, which is expected to be completed in late April 2006.

Dignitaries taking part in the golden shovel ceremony included Kentucky Commerce Secretary Jim Host, USDF President Dr. Samuel Barish, Kentucky Horse Park Executive Director John Nicholson, Deputy Secretary of Commerce Derrick Ramsey, Kentucky Horse Park Commission Chair Tandy Patrick, USDF Executive Director Stephan Hienzsch, USDF National Capital Campaign Chair Charles Smith, Joann Smith, USDF Vice President George Williams, USDF Secretary Janine Malone, USDF Regional Director (Region 3) Sandi Bishop, USDF Regional Director ( Region 2 ) Sue Hughes, USDF Budget & Finance Committee Chair Robert Higgins, USDF Development Committee Chair Margee Koffler, and USDF Regional Championship Committee Chair Lisa Gorretta.

The progress of the building project and the capital campaign can be viewed on http://www.usdf.org/capitalcampaign.

Founded in 1973, the United States Dressage Federation is a nonprofit membership organization dedicated to education, the recognition of achievement, and the promotion of the sport of dressage. For more information about USDF membership or programs, visit www.usdf.org, e-mail usdressage@usdf.org, or call (859) 971-2277.

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