They’re off to Scotland! Members of French Creek Dressage Association who will be traveling to Scotland this spring include: Louise Jordon-Beam, Sandy Foster, Justine Howell (standing) and Fay Seltzer.
For members of French Creek Dressage Association, horsemanship is a state of mind. It goes beyond getting on a horse and riding competently. “It’s not just a dressage and eventing club,” explains Louise Jordon-Beam, “we offer courses on horse care and welfare.” Justine Howell, one of French Creek’s board members, says that’s one of the exciting distinctions of this group. “This particular club is different because it offers the horse management aspect,” she explains. “It is structured along the same lines as pony clubs.”
Jordon-Beam is French Creek’s membership chair, and she brings international experience to the organization. She was born in Germany but spent 12 years in Glasgow, Scotland, competing in the British Riding Clubs system.
In Scotland she was a member of Polnoon Castle Riders Association, which is now French Creek’s sister club. French Creek is the only American riding club affiliated with the British Riding Clubs, Jordon-Beam says, and it’s a sibling relationship that will be made even stronger this summer when 11 of its members will travel to Scotland to help celebrate Polnoon Castle Riders Association’s 50th anniversary.
“We’ve been invited to compete in the British Riding Club’s Area 1 Qualifier,” Jordon-Beam says. The 50th Anniversary celebration and the competition will be on June 4 and 5. Members of Polnoon Castle Riders Association will loan the Americans horses for the competition, along with providing lodging for them.
Warming Up with InterDressage
As they prepare for international competition, several members of French Creek are already competing on a global stage via the internet. InterDressage.com is running the competition, and teams post videos of their tests to the InterDressage site. Judges review all the entries and award points and prizes. Jordon-Beam is thrilled that the team from French Creek is leading the world. “Right now we’re ahead of Canada, Finland, Denmark, the UK, Australia and Corfu,” she says proudly. As she looks ahead to the group’s May 29 departure for Scotland, though, she says there is much to be done.
“There must be five of us who have our own horse farms and have to find someone to look after them,” she says. And they also want to organize a paper chase as another way to raise money for the trip. Then there are lessons to give and more tests for the InterDressage competition.
Gala Fund-Raiser Planned
To help defray the cost of the Scotland trip, French Creek is holding a fund-raiser on April 30, from 7-11 p.m. “It’s a barn dance/social at Whysper Wynd Farm,” Jordon-Beam says. “We’ll have a DJ, but we’re planning on having a Scottish tilt to the event,” she says. “There will be a full-size picture of a man in a kilt, with the face cut out,” where guests can get their pictures taken.
The event will be a BYO affair, and local restaurants will offer samples off their menus. In addition, Jordon-Beam says there will be a silent auction, a 50/50 raffle and lots of door prizes. “The silent auction will feature things which are horsey and non-horsey” she says, and will include a timeshare week in Orlando, Mountain Horse clothing, a Pessoa bridle, a week at a Long Beach Island house and more.
Tickets are $25 per person at the door, or $20 in advance. They’re available at Whysper Wynd Farm on Hill Road in Elverson, Equine Exchange on Ridge Road in Pottstown or from any French Creek Dressage Association board member. More information is available on the association’s website, www.frenchcreekdressage.org., or by calling 610-883-7861.
Besides donating $750 worth of clothing that will be sold at the barn dance, Mountain Horse USA has become the official clothier of French Creek Dressage Association, Jordon-Beam says. They’ve agreed to provide clothing for the 11 members of the group that will be competing in Scotland in June.