Chapter of the Virginia Dressage Association
& Group Member Organization of the 
United States Dressage Federation

The Southwest Virginia Dressage Association, Inc. (SWVADA) was organized in 1978 when a group of dressage enthusiasts came together to form a new chapter of the Virginia Dressage Association (VADA), a Group Member Organization of the United States Dressage Federation. As a 501(c)3 non-profit educational organization, SWVADA offers clinics, shows, demonstrations, and seminars that are open to the public.


SWVADA is fueled by enthusiastic members who are separated geographically, but linked closely by their dedication to the sport. The chapter attracts around  members from throughout Southwest Virginia, from Abington to Harrisonburg to Lynchburg, as well as from West Virginia, North Carolina and Tennessee. Among the members are judges, technical delegates, trainers, instructors, amateur riders, non-riders, and juniors. Dressage is one of the fastest growing equine sports.  In 2002, VADA won the USDF national award for the largest increase in membership within its size category.

Eleven board members are elected annually by the general membership, and four officers are elected each year from among the previous year’s board members. The officers and board meet on the third Monday of every month at area restaurants. These meetings are announced on the website,, and are open to anyone. All members are encouraged to attend.


SWVADA participates in and hosts a variety of educational events, shows, and social activities throughout the year. The chapter begins each year with Educational Sunday.  Educational Sunday is a free symposium featuring speakers and demonstrations on a variety of equine and dressage-related topics. The public is invited, and horse enthusiasts from across the region attend to gain new information and sharpen their skills. To promote year-round learning, SWVADA also maintains a lending library of dressage and horse care videos and DVDs.

The chapter and its members are active in hosting, supporting, and attending dressage shows.  The chapter hosts four dressage schooling shows, one 'fix-a-test' event, and threes clinic each year at Green Hill Park Equestrian Center.  Qualified members who have fulfilled their volunteer requirements are eligible for year-end awards. The annual banquet, held each winter, features a silent auction benefiting GHEPC, presentation of year-end awards, and recognition of SWVADA members and volunteers.

Members have had the opportunity to volunteer for and support the hosting of prestigious events including Olympic, World Cup, North American Young Rider qualifying competitions, East Coast  Dressage Champtionships, Bengt Ljungquist Memorial Championships, and GAIG/USDF Region One Championships.  Many SWVADA members contribute their volunteer time and energy to support these VADA-sponsored major events.

Mounted clinics for all levels continue to be popular and are offered throughout the year. Fix-A-Tests give members the opportunity to interact with judges to improve the quality of their test performances. In past years, SWVADA has offered a three-day Adult Dressage Camp, which has featured numerous nationally and internationally-recognized competitors, trainers, and clinicians.

SWVADA supports the horse community through educational programs such as our annual Educational Sunday, and by maintaining close ties with organizations such as the Virginia Horse Council, Roanoke Valley Horsemen’s Association, Blue Ridge Eventing Association, and the Green Hill Park Committee. 


Members join for friendship, education, enjoyment, and for the satisfaction of being part of an active and cohesive organization. 
Some perks of membership include:

Membership in the Virginia Dressage Association through the Southwest chapter
Group membership in the United States Dressage Federation
Eligibility for chapter year end awards
Discounted show and clinic fees
Subscription to the e-newsletter
Service and information via our website:
The Omnibus, containing valuable information and a schedule of events for the year
Access to SWVADA’s video lending library
Fun and friendship with others sharing a common interest

Vice President     
Tracey Smith-Oliver
Meredith McGrath
Molly Ryan
Bob Whitehurst
Katherine Abrams
Annie Connelly
Heather Hilgartner
Ashley Huray
Amanda Paxton
Mary Kay Sustek

P.O. Box 615
Boones Mill, VA 24065

Contact the webmaster:

Board Members
2016 Sanctioned Events
4/22: SWVADA Schooling Show (Flanagan Stables)
6/10: SWVADA Schooling Show (Green Hill Park)
10/21: SWVADA Schooling Show (Green Hill Park)