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South Florida
Dressage Association

Our Mission

South Florida Dressage Association (SFDA) promotes and supports both the Art and Sport of Dressage within the equestrian community of South Florida. SFDA is committed to the promotion of an educational framework for the fair treatment of horses, fair competition, and activities directed towards fostering a better understanding of Classical Dressage. Our membership includes horse enthusiasts from Palm Beach, Broward, Miami-Dade, and Monroe counties.

Current Board

Holly Zickler,  

President

Holly rode hunters as a kid in the Midwest. She walked away from riding after high school but, began again in grad school. After starting dressage lessons through the university’s PE program (because it was cheap), she was half leasing her instructor’s horse a few months later and she was hooked again!

Holly has become very passionate about dressage, not just because it’s a good old lady’s sport, but because it offers a new pathway into deeper communication with the horse.

Roseanne Denham,  

Vice President

Roseanne is originally from Boston, MA.  While always a horse-crazy kid, it wasn’t until a volunteer opportunity as an adult offered her the chance to get near a real horse.

Boom, that’s all it took! 

Learning from dozens of horses, Roseanne gained experience in the hunter ring, in combined training, on hunter paces, and on super fun beach rides. With that, her future with horses was sealed!  Each horse, each ride, each instructor managed to teach her just a little something.

Bringing her illustrious Selle Francais jumper to Wellington for a few winter seasons tempted – neigh, converted Roseanne to a permanent South Floridian.

Now totally smitten with, and learning everything about dressage, Roseanne is now loving her time learning from her schoolmaster, Qualidor as they prepare for competition!

Melissa Sandness,  

Secretary

Melissa grew up a horse crazy girl in the San Francisco Bay Area. She had yet to grow out of it. From the rodeo world as a child, to eventing in Virginia, Melissa has been as part of horse world in one form or another for over thirty years. Most of that time has been in the hunter jumper world, where she rode IHSA in college and hunters in New Mexico. Now that she’s in Miami, Melissa enjoys dressage, trail riding and jumping with her thoroughbred, Swannyland aka Spruce, and driven dressage and trail driving with the miniature horse, Rowdy Cowgirl SOS aka Holly.

In addition to her many disciplinary pursuits, Melissa keeps the horses at her home in Miami. She is especially interested in the art of keeping happy, healthy horses.

Sue Reamer,  

Treasurer

Sue began riding as an adult. While bringing her daughter to weekly riding lessons, and obviously enjoying sitting by the ring, the instructor encouraged Sue to give it a go. She instantly fell in love and has been riding ever since.

Her passion for dressage comes from the cooperation between horse and rider and the never-ending path of learning together. Helping encourage and support the education of our equestrian community is also part of this passion.

History

South Florida Dressage Association launched with it’s first general meeting on November 22nd, 2014 to serve the vibrant community of horse enthusiasts in South Florida and to fill the void left by the dissolution of the Miami-Dade Dressage Association, shortly after Hurricane Andrew in 1992.
Jennet Cook Linn as President, Jennifer Petrey as Vice President and Lee Ann Steinberg as Treasurer founded the organization and made up the first board.

From it’s creation, SFDA emphasized an amateur friendly atmosphere and evolved to serve its members south of and outside of the spotlight of Wellington – primarily focusing on cultivating members from Southern Palm Beach County to the Florida Keys.

One of the continuing management principles employed to preserve this intention is that all leadership and management positions within the organization be filled exclusively by amateur adult riders so that issues and needs of the amateur are always a high priority. However, SFDA also maintains a strong commitment to appreciate and support all of the dedicated local dressage professionals working hard to advance the skills of their clients as they are our members.

Many amateurs and professionals volunteered their help to insure SFDA’s growth during this first phase.

The first two schooling shows were held at Plantation Equestrian Center March 28 & 29 and October 3 & 4, 2015. Suzie Cook chaired this first Horse Show Committee and successfully ran the shows as she brought her experience from both operating Spectrum Saddlery and organizing the Parkland Dressage Horse Shows.

Thomas Poulin, a USEF “S” Judge, instructor, clinician and dear friend to Jennet has continued to be an immense help to the SFDA since its inception. He has continued to give dressage clinics at Buttonwood Farm and acted as SFDA’s Advisor during those first few years. He even waved his judging fee for one of the first schooling shows.

SFDA also hosted clinics with other highlevel riders and trainers including Bill McMullin, Willette Brown and Olympic team member Allison Brock during those first few years.

Others offering their help included local equine veterinarian, Laine Hills D.V.M, as author to a ‘Vets Corner’ column in the first newsletters, and the use of her farm for association clinics. Becky Baez, owner of Live Oaks Andalusians, a beautiful breeding and training facility in Sunshine Ranches, also offered to host SFDA activities and lend her breeding knowledge to a newsletter submission.

While not all ideas were realized during the first few years of the association, the ideas were sound and hopefully will transform into reality someday. Perhaps one day we will have a beach ride in the Keys and or join with SWFDA and Alpha Dressage in hosting a GMO Schooling Show Championships in Tampa.

SFDA continued the work with it’s second elected board as of December 1, 2018 consisting of President Holly Zickler, Vice President Daphne Plug, Treasurer Sue Reamer and Secretary Kellie Kaspriske. SFDA has also expanded committee roles with Caitlin Flynn as our horse show scorekeeper, Ellen Greenfield as our Instructors and Barn Listings coordinator, Natalie Perlin as our volunteer outreach coordinator.

As of January 2022, SFDA has had some changes in leadership and added new roles for committee chairs. The current board includes Holly Zickler as president, Lindy Brounley as vice president, Melissa Sandness as secretary and Sue Reamer as Treasurer. The committee chairs include Caitlin Flynn as our Awards Committee Chair, Jennet Cook Linn as our Clinics and Education Chair, Sarah Dayboll, Tammi Jordan and Verena Schreiber-Frank share the duties of our Newsletter team. Verena also hopes to begin to organize SFDA’s junior and young rider programming.

As of the beginning of April 2022, Lindy took a new job up in Gainesville, FL so we regretfully had to say goodbye to her, but thankfully Roseanne Denham has stepped into her place as the SFDA vice president.

However, as with any small organization, all volunteers have gratefully stepped up to wear multiple hats and get the work done.

Please reference our newsletters to see what we’ve been doing lately.

In the meantime, we will continue to support our members riding at any level and on any horse to find that elusive moment when riding becomes a dance.

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