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Q: How do I qualify for ATA Year-end awards?

A: To qualify for ATA Year-end awards you need to compete in USEF or EC recognized shows. Be sure that the horse you compete on is ATA-registered and that the ATA owner of record is a member in good standing. If you are competing in USDF or USEA competitions you must also be sure the horse is registered as a Trakehner with that organization. In certain situations the owner of the horse in the USDF or USEA records must match the ATA registered owner, so it is always best to transfer the ATA registration papers into the current owner's name.

Q. Does my horse have to be a purebred Trakehner to win year-end awards?

A. Aha! You have uncovered one of the many benefits of registering geldings and part-Trakehner horses with the ATA. Every ATA-registered horse, regardless of which book it is registered in, is eligible to compete and win any of the Horse of the Year awards and many of the other specific awards. Only a few are limited to purebred horses.

Q: Do I have to send in my show results?

A: If you compete in any discipline other than Dressage, Dressage Sport Horse Breeding (USDF/DSHB) competitions or Eventing or if you compete in Canada you need to send in your results on the Awards form provided on the website and in the online newsletter. USDF "rides" and all USEA rides are “captured” by our awards program and results in these do NOT have to be sent in to us, as long as the horse is identified as a Trakehner in USDF or USEA databases. See Rules.

Q: Why are there sometimes no Reserve Champions in the Breeding category named even though results were sent in?

A: In order to award a Champion plaque there must be at least two entries in the award category. In order to award Champion and Reserve Champion plaques a minimum of three qualified horse entries are required.

Q: Why was my horse Reserve Champion in the Breeding Category, when the horse named Champion had a lower USDF median score?

A: Hunter Breeding, Sport horse breeding, and Dressage Sport Horse Breeding are combined for ATA Horse of the Year awards. Since hunter competitions do not give comparable scores, only placings, the ATA uses placings rather than scores in determining the Champion and Reserve Champion Horse of the Year. We do not always exactly follow the final results from the Breeders' Championship Series.

Q: Why are there currently no awards for Adult Amateurs?

A: ATA tries to keep the focus of the awards program on the horses rather than the riders. Trakehners do make excellent mounts for amateurs who love to compete and hundreds are used that way. Every year adult amateurs win some of the Horse of the Year plaques against all competitors, because their horses' performances are in those cases superior. It is the superior horse that is the recipient of the ATA award. The ATA does sponsor (ie pay for) USDF All-Breeds awards. Because the USDF is rider-oriented they DO present some awards at all levels to adult amateurs who compete on Trakehner horses. The USEA is still working on the concept/definition of adult amateur.

Q: Why can't we get recognition for competing in unrecognized shows?

A: It is too difficult to verify results if they are not reported to a national governing organization, and the competition rules often vary. Experience has led to a firm policy on this.

Q: Why didn't I receive high point ribbons for my USDF recognized show?

A: Each year, the show secretary or show manager of each show must request the high score ribbon. To apply, they need to contact Carol Poulin-Taylor, Awards Committee Chairman, at espritec@aol.com. They must include the full name of their competition, date, and location so USDF recognition can be verified. They must also report the ribbon-winner's results and details . Sometimes organizers prefer not to participate in the ATA High Score Dressage Ribbon program. Sometimes communication within the show organization breaks down. Every USDF performance and Breeders' Championship Series show is solicited in writing to participate, every year.

Q: May I get a separate high point ribbon for the breeding division of my USDF recognized show?

A: Yes, if it is part of the Breeders' Championship Series, either as a qualifier or a finals.

Q: How do we help USDF and ATA avoid errors in determining All Breeds Awards?

A: Some errors are inevitable, but it is very helpful if your horse is registered with both organizations under the same name. The owner's name should also be the same with both organizations and, in the case of multiple owners, should appear in the same order. Be sure your ATA membership is up-to-date as well.

Q: What if there is a mistake?

A: Please contact USDF well before their stated median score calculation deadline. If you don't reach them before their deadline they cannot change the All Breeds awards rankings. United States Dressage Federation, 220 Lexington Green Circle, Suite 510, Lexington, KY 40503, PH: 859-971-2277, Fax: 859-971-7722, e-mail: usdressage@usdf.org .

Q. How does one apply for the young/junior rider prize awards?

A. Notify the ATA central office if you know of a youngster succeeding in competition in dressage, eventing, or jumpers on an ATA-registered horse. We very much appreciate the chance to broaden our base of competitors. Both dressage and eventing awards are determined objectively. The Samurai Scholarship prize is more subjective and one does not need to be the best young rider to win.

Q. What if I find an engraved error on the plaque I receive from the ATA?

A. Notify the ATA Central Office and a correction will be made, without fail.

Q. I take my horse to a zillion shows and always display the ATA logo. Shouldn't I be entitled to an award? Isn't this about advertising Trakehners?

A. Yes you should have an award for a job well-done, as your diligence benefits all of us. There are budgetary limits however, and the ATA tries to put the spotlight on the most prominent, most successful performing Trakehner horses in each discipline. The system does reward persistence when it can.

Q. How do I find out if I won something? How do I find out who won everything?

A. As quickly as we can, we publish results on the website, in the newsletter, and in the magazine.

Q. May I start a new award?

A. Yes, you surely may. We have found it best not to do any “one time” awards and so new awards must be funded for a minimum of ten years at the outset, as well as be approved by the Awards Committee and Board. Bring us your ideas and donations! And by the way, there ARE opportunities to donate “one time” awards to individual shows. Good ideas should be run by the Central Office, who will forward them to the Awards Committee and/or Public Relations Committee if needed.

Q. What about Canadian dressage competitors? How are the scores compared?

A. We use the exact method used by the USDF to calculate median scores and use the USDF medians to determine winners at all levels. If all scores of a Canadian ATA horse competing in Canada are reported to the ATA Central Office for the dressage competition year (October 1 to September 30), the median is used to compare to the most appropriate level. This is a difficult area for the ATA awards program, but we intend to include Canadians in every situation we can. Some day we hope for “unification” of dressage rules and scoring below the FEI levels, but until then we will do our best.