Upper Peninsula Information


The Upper Peninsula chapter serves members from in the UP of Michigan and the surrounding Northern Wisconsin region.

As many of you know, the UP chapter is WDCTA’S northernmost membership. I remember so many years ago when we in the Houghton and Marquette areas started to meet, trying to figure out what we could do to enhance our dressage addiction. We knew that ideally we should join a Michigan group, but most of the lower part of Michigan doesn’t seem to know that the UP even exists, then or now. Plus we would have to travel at least 5 hours to get below the Mackinac Bridge to be a part of the larger group. So with Donna Destrampe at the helm, we contacted WDCTA and asked to be a part of this group, because in 2.5 hours we could attend a WDCTA function in northern Wisconsin. We started with 10 members in June 25, 1994. We fluctuated between 10 and 20 for many years. We are at 10 members right now, always looking for more to join us.

Our first real dressage instructor was Violet Hopkins from Lower Michigan. My goodness, the raw material she had to work with, both riders and horses! Many of us can still hear her admonishing us in our heads when we think about our lessons with her. I recall my mother, after watching a lesson I had with Violet, wondering how I could still ride with her, year after year. More importantly, Violet came back year after year, probably because our hearts were so set on learning this mystery of Dressage and she hoped she could teach us!

Many very good and well known instructors followed, and we have become a core group of oldies that just want to ride and do it the best we can. Collectively, we have a lot of knowledge and skill. Some of us teach, passing on what we have learned, hopefully making our riders have a better understanding of the artistic and athletic joy of training the horse. We have had successful riders in the show ring; others have moved away and are teaching and training dressage in other parts of the country.

Yes, we are a small group dedicated to the awesome sport of dressage. Our members have diverse personal backgrounds in the educational, medical and service areas. We have 2 to 3 months of winter that it is impossible to ride because it is too cold, and too much snow. The other 3 months of winter, we do what we can to keep our horses and ourselves in riding shape. There is about 2 hours of travel from one end of our group to the other, but we have managed to meet several times a year as a group.

Last fall, many of us rode in a clinic given in Marquette by Tom Betts from California. in 2016 we contacted him to do two UP chapter clinics, one in June and the other in September. Now here is another instructor that is willing and capable of helping us reach our goals in dressage, whether we are beginner riders or riders that have been doing this for a while! He can help our top level riders also with the little things that make them the best in their class. Plus, Willow Farm is willing to host the clinics for us and they are wonderful to work with and their facility is great.

As in the beginning of our journey in WDCTA, we are many hours from the majority of members down near Madison, but are a distinctive group of dressage enthusiasts that will continue in the excellence of the WDCTA mission. We will help improve our sport and maybe have to do much of it on our own. We welcome new members to join our quest in encouraging and enjoying each other and our horses. Perhaps former Northern WDCTA members would like to join us and continue the tradition.

-- Kathy Caspary,
President, UP Chapter, WDCTA 

2017 UP Chapter Officers:

President: Kathy Caspary
Vice-President: Ivy Barnhart
Secretary: Cathy Ruprecht
Treasurer: Tina Ozanich


 

UP Chapter Minutes

Minutes are posted once approved.

2016

JAN 2016 - Printable PDF 
JULY 2016 - Printable PDF 
OCT 2016 - Printable PDF

Click "Read More" to view additional minutes!

 

2017 UP Chapter Dressage Clinic Success

The UP chapter of WDCTA had a very successful dressage clinic with Orrie DeCaster of Green Bay, WI, May 20-21, 2017.

tina and mystic

This clinic started at Donna Destrampe’s Farm in Chassell with two horses there late Saturday morning, Then off to Highland Stables in Dodgeville to work with a couple of young riders, Molly and Erin McKenzie. Finally, the day ended at Caspary Farm in Dollar Bay with 4 rides.