Updates from the RS

2019 Midwest Region State of the Region

It’s hard to believe this is the end of the fifth year that I have served as Regional Supervisor.  Each year I take stock of our strengths and weaknesses; what we do well and what we can improve on; and what my successor would think about the state of the region.  

On the positive side-

  • Mackenzie Monteith (MPC) and Chloe DeYoung (SWPC) represented the Midwest Region at the 2019 National Youth Congress
  • Scot Fernandez put on another great HB Prep Clinic
  • We hosted an HB test August 31-Sept 1, 2019.  All five candidates passed the test which brings up our percentage of HB’s to just over 11%
  • We created a Regional Youth Board who planned and put on the D Camp, a C Camp and volunteered at the Padawan Rally
  • We held a second annual Regional D Camp with 14 riders representing 4 clubs plus 7 youth board members
  • We held our first Regional C Camp in recent history with 11 riders representing 6 clubs plus 6 youth board members
  • We held 5 rallies in 2019:  Quiz, Eventing, Mega, Games and Padawan
  • Sarah Bloss organized a Standards of Proficiency (SOP) Clinic  taught by Asia Thayer, National Examiner Co-chair. 
  • Sarah also organized a “mini-Symposium”.  Asia Thayer will be teaching variety of unmounted sessions  with assistance from Michael Pence  
  • We sent 22 members to champs East and 15 members to champs Central
    • 2 in Dressage East
    • 6 in Eventing East
    • 6 in Show Jumping East and 2 in Show Jumping Central
    • 6 in Games East and 10 in Games Central
    • 2 in Quiz East and 2 in Quiz Central
    • 1 in Tetrathlon Central

Areas for improvement:

  • Our membership has continued to decline –  254 which is down from 299 in 2018 and 329 in 2017. 
    • Native Pride and Brass & Bridle closed at the end of 2018
    • Appleshed is closing at the end of 2019
  • We did not have an Upper Level Mounted Test in the region this year due to not having at least 6 candidates even though we had the second week in August identified as our test date last year

The Region faces some challenges in 2020. We have not had a member do a mounted national level test in the past 2 years and need to understand what we can do to encourage members to continue to test and certify. Our rally participation rate is declining at a rate in line with membership loss. Our Quiz Rally location has raised their prices to be in line with the rates of other Kansas City hotels which may require a price increase. In the past participation at Mega has increased during Festival years, but we will probably still need to consider a price increase to help offset the projected loss.

I love the Mega Rally format as it prepares our members to compete in a Championship environment. Our format is unique in the United States but requires a facility with 100+ stalls that can support a dressage arena and a show jumping arena with warm-up for both. There just aren’t that many locations near Pony Clubs who also have the jumps and dressage arena required for the event. It may be time to consider a back-to-back format with dressage on one day and show jumping on the other two days.

The Midwest Region has a lot to be proud of. Recognizing that there are areas that we’d like to continue to improve does not mean that we are not doing well. Even our current downward membership trend is still better than the national average. Our percentage of members with a national level certification is higher than the national average. We regularly have members selected to compete on International Exchange Teams. We have not been cancelling our
rallies and hold more than most regions. We are scheduled to host the 2021 National Meeting in St. Louis Let’s continue to focus on the things that we do well and offer a fantastic program to regional members in 2020!



"Riding a horse is not a gentle hobby, to picked up and laid down like a game of solitaire. It is a grand passion. It seizes a person whole and, once it has done so, he will have to accept that his life will be radically changed." -Ralph Waldo Emerson