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The Utah Dressage Society - How it All Started

The seeds of our current dressage culture were planted in November of 1964 when Johanna Adolphi and her daughter, Eva Adolphi purchased horse property in Utah. They had accumulated four horses and decided that the only way they could afford to support them was to give riding lessons. Their riding school was called Oquirrh Riding School.

Johanna had received dressage training in Germany, her home country. While she started out offering Western and English riding lessons, the students came asking only for dressage. Soon, Johanna focused exclusively on dressage. She taught lessons and held small shows for her students a couple of times each summer.

At one of the small summer shows in 1969 or 1970, a paper was passed around asking if people would be interested in forming a Utah Dressage Society. Ten people signed the paper and our club was born. Dues were $3.00 per year.

The Utah Dressage Society First Annual Horse Show was held on August 19, 1972. The show offered classes in a variety of English riding disciplines. There were 25 horses and 33 riders, so some horses were ridden more than once. By 1983. The Annual Show had 28 horses, 78 rides, and was exclusively a dressage show. It was the first show that lasted a full day.

By the early 1980s, the UDS had 25 members which was enough to join the United States Dressage Federation as a GMO. At first, the club activities were mainly schooling shows but eventually the club offered shows which were recognized by the United States Equestrian Federation.

While competition is still a big part of the UDS, we now offer much more to our members. Our mission is to educate, inspire and encourage dressage riders around the state of Utah, and to promote the sport of dressage in our community. We now offer educational opportunities on and off the horse, social events, information, and other support for our members. We are happy to have you as a UDS member and hope you enjoy what the UDS has to offer.

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