Special Honors
MDA recognizes members who have distinguished themselves for their accomplishments as riders (Vi Hopkins Trophy or Rosemary Herman Memorial Award) or their dedication to the Midwest Dressage Association (Jean Brown Memorial Award or Life Member). These awards are presented at the Annual Awards Banquet.
Distinguished Rider Awards
Vi Hopkins Trophy
This trophy was donated by Chris Snow in 2003 to honor Ms. Violet Hopkins for the significant role she played in the development and growth of the sport of dressage not only here in Michigan but across the country. Vi was a longtime dressage enthusiast, charter member of the MDA, judge and instructor who has served the dressage community in many capacities. Many of today's top dressage professionals were brought along via her unyielding commitment to the classical training of both horse and rider.

The Vi Hopkins Trophy is presented annually to the Adult Amateur Training Level rider who has the highest average percentage from scores submitted to the MDA from recognized competitions. This award can only be won once by the same horse and rider combination.

Recipients of the Vi Hopkins Trophy
2013 - Andrea Bruce & Gauguin
2012 - Caitie Illich & Prince Figaro
2011 - Michelle Davidge & Ek Taj Mahal 70.119%
2010 - Kristy Hume & Fiesty Star 71.333%
2009 - Melissa Wanstreet & Pulsar 73.519%
2008 - Barbara Butman & Del Piero Van De Leennakker 71.067%
2007 - Heather A. Jones & Celestial Shadow 70.653%
2006 - Laura Hagen & Absolut' Teyn 74.860%
2005 - Carol G. Giles & Romeo 72.354%
2004 - Amy Dahlgren & Patriot 70.128%
2003 - Joan Williams & Teddy's Day 69.963%


Rosemary Herman Memorial Award
This award was created in memory of Ms. Rosemary Herman who passed away in December 2010. Rosemary was one of the founding members of the Midwest Dressage Association and served as its first Treasurer. She was on many subsequent Boards and also served as Vice President and Chairman of the Rules Committee.

She became an AHSA steward in 1966 and became a Technical Delegate in 1973 which fit with her interest in rules for organizations and competition. She strongly believed: "There was a need because so many people seem so uninformed about rules." Rosemary competed in lower level dressage. She will be fondly remembered as a woman of warmth, energy, intelligence and strength who was a wonderful supporter of dressage and especially the MDA. We will always have memories of her sitting at the "In Gate" ("Win-A-Gin Farms") during the MDA Schooling Shows smiling and enjoying every minute of the competition.

This award will be presented annually to a Midwest Dressage Association member and will be determined by the following criteria:
  • MDA member during the year for which the award is given
  • Rider is 50 years of age above (as of Jan. 1 of the award year)
  • Test scores achieved from October 1st through September 31st
  • Determined by averaging the three highest scores, from three different judges, from three MDA Schooling Shows. If a tie occurs, the award will be given to the individual with the highest single score
  • May be earned at any level (final average percentage to be determined by using a "weighting factor" = 1% added to average score as level increases
  • Awarded only once to the same horse/rider combination at a given level

Recipients of the Rosemary Herman Memorial Award
2013 - Shannon Dempich & Paprika
2012 - Jan Nierzwick and Martin P (Training Level)
Jean Brown Memorial Award
Jean Brown served as the editor of the Midwest Dressage Association newsletter from November 1971 through July 1979. To stop here, however, would be committing a disservice to this tireless worker on behalf of dressage. "No" was not a word in her vocabulary. Following her untimely death, Jean's family chose to honor her by naming a perpetual trophy to be awarded annually to individuals for distinguished service to the Midwest Dressage community. Nominations shall be accepted from the General membership from July 1 through November 1st with the final decision being determined by the Board of Directors.

Recipients of the Jean Brown Memorial Award
2013 - Marge Bird
2012 - Jennifer Moyne
2011 - Tom Bird
2010 - Gary and Linda Currier
2009 - Constance Esposito
2008 - Joyce Kehrig
2007 - Sue Ashley
2006 - Deborah Paton
2005 - Gail L. Anderson
2004 - Chris Snow
2003 - Carolyn Van Cise
2002 - Kathleen Marquardt
2001 - Linda Piette
2000 - Patricia Affeldt
1999 - Jessica Yurasek
1998 - Andrea Becker
1997 - Linda Stevens
1996 - Lucie Bouchard
1995 - Kathy Muresan
1994 - Cheryl Connell-Marsh
1992 - Robert and Christine Thiel
1991 - Charles Barnett
1990 - Theo Wilkinson
1989 - Sue Ann Brown
1988 - Carole Grant Oldford
1987 - Sue E. Hughes
1986 - Major Robert Borg
1985 - Linda Rands
1984 - Robert Brown
1983 - Lillian Zimmerman
1982 - Mary Anne McPhail
1981 - Celia Cram
1980 - Violet M. Hopkins
1979 - Charles D. Grant
Life Members
To recognize and honor those individuals who in years past have shown a lifetime of dedication to the dressage community with distinguished service to the Midwest Dressage Association. Nominations shall be made by the general membership. Candidates will not be limited to riders, trainers or instructors, as there are many instances of substantial contributions to dressage, and the MDA by persons who have never competed in the show ring.

Recipients of the Life Member Status
Carolyn Van Cise (deceased)
Gabor Foltenyi
Lillian Zimmerman (deceased)
Maryal Barnett
Sue Hughes
Rosemary Herman (deceased)