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Meet the Slate

Oct 25, 2010

Please note that even though everyone is running uncontested, we are still required to mail out ballots.  Please read on to learn about those looking forward to serving our club.



Hello, my name is Jacqueline Caldwell. My first experience with dressage came as a boarder at Linda Zang's barn 30 some years ago. After a 25 year hiatus from riding, I bought my first horse Logan's Cloud of Dreams and became a member of MDA five years ago. Since joining I showed Cloud mostly in Harford County and PA. Two years ago, I sold Cloud and bought JC’s Keely of Texel, a 3 year old barely broke Friesian cross l. We have been going to schooling shows for 2 years, starting with Intro level last year and Training level this year with our first Musical freestyle this year and am looking forward to our journey up the levels. We were a part of the Adult team competition in Culpepper, VA this year. I worked to organize our four teams that went. I have volunteered for the past 5 years as entry secretary for several schooling shows, including our newest addition of the Fall Fun Show this year, scribed at several schooling shows and our recognized show, scored for numerous shows including our recognized show and our final show. This year I was one of the volunteer organizers for our licensed show at Heavenly Waters. I have been on the board of the Maryland Dressage Association as the recording secretary for the past 2 years. I currently work for Gaudenzia, a non profit substance abuse program in Baltimore City as an administrative coordinator for Maryland Prison services. We have six programs that run in both state facilities and one county detention center. I have been working there since 2006. I have a daughter who is 21 years old.  Through my volunteering I have met many of our wonderful members and thank you in advance for your support in my run for office of President. I will always keep in mind when reviewing the issues that will come before the board to have the members' best interest in mind. I feel that without a strong membership base, we will not have a viable organization.

Sr. Vice President

Hello. My name is Lauren Comish-Sumwalt. I am running for Senior Vice President. In years past I have served on the MDA's board as the Young Rider Vice President, and most recently on the Board of Directors.  I am currently the Schooling Show Chairman. This role has been most interesting and put me in contact with many members.  In addition to scheduling shows, hiring judges, and managing show records, I have a great deal of interaction with the show managers (Entry Secretaries and Organizers).  I find one of the most rewarding things about being the Show Chair is being able to help first time and inexperienced show managers navigate their first show(s) and gain confidence in the role. We have been cultivating a superb group of Entry Secretaries and Organizers, and I hope they all know how proud we are of each of them and grateful we are for the time they invest in the club.  The same must be said for all of our dedicated volunteers. All of our shows are run by volunteers and I believe that providing them with solid support is crucial at all levels of the organization.  As a rider, I understand the value of good judges and good show venues and keep both at the forefront of my planning each show season.  If elected, I will carry these values into office.  I believe strongly in giving back to the membership through such efforts as subsidizing clinics and Adult and Young Rider Teams.  In the spirit of maintaining a fun, safe, and educational environment, I will work with the Board and the membership to identify and maintain best practices both for the show program and for the club at large.  My husband, Dean, and I share our home with dogs Riley and Pip, and cats Caden, Poppy, and Maddy.  I work full time on the night shift as a CAT Scan tech for Upper Chesapeake Medical Center.  I ride/own Odin's Raven, a draft cross.  In addition to dressage, I enjoy trail riding, biking, hiking with my dogs, and reading.  I am currently working on my Bachelors degree in Radiology.

Jr Vice President

Hi, my name is Sarah Brooks. I have been an MDA member for the past several years and this year I am running for the position of Young Rider President. I have been around horses and riding for as long as I can remember but I didn't start focusing on dressage until after my Mom talked me into trying out a Intro test when I was ten or eleven- and I'm happy to say that I've been an addict ever since :) Currently I am riding and showing Reuel- the mare my mother and I have shared for the past several years- at fourth level, and also this year Golden Cloud- a welsh cob mare- at training level. I have had the privilege of being able to take both of them to the Young Rider Team Championships at Morven Park over the three years that I've been able to go- I don't think it's possible to explain how much fun we all have down there :)

Well I guess now is just as good of time as any to tell you all the boring stuff about me :) I am from Conowingo- a small, one traffic light town in Cecil County. I live with my family on a small farm just our side of the Conowingo Dam. The oldest of six children I am homeschooled and currently in my senior year of high school. Starting this semester, I am trying to get a few of the required college courses under my belt at Cecil Community.



Susan Van Norman

I have been a member of MDA for several years and have been the Treasurer for MDA for the past two years.  Two years prior to that, I acted as Auditor for the club, completing the annual audits for 2007 and 2008.  I have owned and shown horses for over 30 years, focusing exclusively on dressage for the past 5. I am currently competing my gelding McGuiness at First Level.  I’m married and live in Rising Sun, MD. I’m employed as Director of Administrative Services for Hanger Prosthetics & Orthotics where I have worked for 28 years.


Recording Secretary

My name is Brianne Reynolds and have been a member of the MDA since 2007. This year I have decided to run for one of the positions on board of directors. Some of you might remember me better by my maiden name of Conway, or by my little spotted draft mare, Peppermint Patti. Or by my young sister Hannah and her Friesian gelding, Hershey Kisses. Patti and I are competing First Level and have started showing at licensed shows this year in hopes of winning the USDF All Breed Awards for North American Spotted Drafts. I have ridden horses all my life, starting in hunter-jumpers as a child, moving on to eventing in my teenage years, then finally dressage after college. I graduated from Baltimore International College with a degree in Baking Science and Pastry Arts and currently work for a large catering company based in Annapolis as a wedding cake designer and pastry chef.
Hannah and I have been actively competing and volunteering these past few years, despite our long commutes from "down south". I moved to Kent Island in 2008 when I met my now husband and competed in a few PVDA shows down here, but found myself missing the close knit, family style group I had grown accustomed to when showing with the MDA. Hannah and I both proudly represented the MDA at the Young Rider and the Adult Team Championships this year and I would love to help promote, organize, and support future MDA teams. I helped lead and organize the two young rider teams this year and have special interest in developing the young rider program and keeping them interested in dressage. Finally, I would like to help the MDA grow and move forward, while preserving the family atmosphere that sets us apart from other dressage groups


Corresponding Secretary

Kristen Vance

I have been riding and training horses for 20 years and an active member of the dressage community for at least 15 of those years.  I currently own two horses, one of which I took up to FEI levels of dressage.  I was very active in the young riders program of MDA while I was a young rider as well as being the secretary for Heavenly Waters during one of the early years.  Before I went to veterinary school I was focused on my riding and always attending clinics etc.  Now, I'm a practicing veterinarian which doesn't leave me quite as much time for my horses, but has brought a whole new level of knowledge of our equine friends that I would love to share with others!


Board Positions


I began a love of horses at a very early age and would labor at nearby farms for the opportunity to catch a ride. Because of this early background, I learned a solid work ethic.  My initial exposure to dressage was on alternative breeds for the sport and this fostered a strong set of creative skills for problem solving. I eventually began teaching at local lesson programs and attended the University of MD Institute of Applied Agriculture Equine Business Management Program.  In 2003, I moved to Glen Arm, MD as the Assistant Trainer and Manager of Thornridge Manor, LLC. Here, I have trained and competed many dozens of horses.  My all time favorite horse happens to be my 2010 partner:  4 yo, AHS gelding, Wallstreet Prince.  I look forward to many more rewarding years riding this horse thru the levels.  With my job, I interact with many different (people) personalities and multi task on a daily basis.  These are skills that I hope to bring to the board table at MDA. I look forward to the opportunity to volunteer even more time to this vital local dressage organization.

Susan Peterson

My name is Susan Peterson, and I am running for one of the Board of Director positions with the MDA.  I have been a member of the MDA for the last several years, and previously in the mid 1990’s.  I have ridden horses all my life, but turned my focus to dressage about 12 years ago, when my children were quite young.  I began my dressage career taking lessons with a local instructor, leased her low level schoolmaster, and showed in several schooling shows.  Due to family responsibilities, I had to put my riding on hold for a few years, and returned to riding in 1998.  Four years, and 2 more leased horses went by, before I bought my mare Rianna as a very young foal. In 2001, just after Rianna was born, my husband and I began a small breeding program, focusing on breeding warmbloods suitable for the dressage ring. We currently own 2 horses, including my pinto mare Rianna, and an Andalusian filly, Valencia KDW, my next dressage prospect.  After the 2007 season, we decided to ‘take a break’ from breeding so that I could focus on my riding and training.  With the support of many friends and knowledgeable horse people, Rianna and I are now showing at Second Level, with hopes of continuing to progress through the levels.  As I began to show at MDA schooling shows, I wanted to support the club that makes these shows possible.   I enjoy volunteering at shows, particularly scribing and scoring, and am willing to help ‘behind the scenes’ when I can.  I have edited many articles for MDA publications. I believe I will be an asset to the MDA as part of the Board of Directors.  I have served on the Board for the last term, and I believe that I can continue to bring a fresh perspective and new ideas to the club.  I graduated from the Universtiy of MD with a BS in Nursing.  I have been a practicing RN for 23 years, and currently work in Staff Development as a Clinical Nurse Educator at Baltimore Washington Medical Center.  I am married, with 2 children, and live in Forest Hill, MD.

Toni Over

I have been a resident of Harford County for 42 years, graduating form North Harford High School and attending Harford Community College after that. I worked in the quality control/research and development field until having my children, when I left work to be a stay at home Mom. My husband and I now operate a construction business out of our home, for which I am the VP and Secretary.

I have adored horses all my life, but my family’s income could not support a “show horse” when I was growing up. I was given a 1 year old colt when I was 13 that I broke myself and trail rode for over 20 years. At age 40, I went to my first show with a 3 year old Anglo Arabian mare and went home with 2 Reserve Champion ribbons.

Since then, I have dabbled in the hunters when my daughter was showing and did hunter pleasure and sport horse classes. My love of dressage came when I bought Sole in 2004. I have brought her up to second level now and I am looking forward to the challenges and rewards that will come in the future.

Previously, I have served on the board for three years with the Harford Horse Shows organization and I am currently on the board of the Maryland Network for Injured Equestrians. I am an active member of MDA with a dedicated volunteer record (member since 2007).


Susan Brooks

My name is Susan Brooks. I have been involved with MDA since I was a teenager.  I am now a 40 year old homeschooling mother of six wonderful children- well most of the time. My husband and I have been living on our small farm in Conowingo for the past 13 years of our 19 year marriage. At Adonai Farms we breed Retrievers and Pembroke Welsh Corgis along with our talented and often colorful warmbloods. We train our homebreds from start to finish ourselves and are currently showing three sisters (Ria, Roo, and GG) at First level through FEI. I look forward to many more years of showing and volunteering with MDA.

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