Western Pennsylvania Dressage

Junior/young rider


Erin Vensel, President

I am currently in my second year of college as a business major.  I preside over the other officers, and we are currently working together to recruit new members and to encourage all junior riders to get involved in the WPDA. A little bit about me: I have been riding since I was 8 years old. In 2012, I started competing with the junior team with my partner, King Julian. Julian is my little engine that could. This year we will be debuting at third level and gunning for that bronze medal! I will also be competing with my Friesian, Willem M, who started dancing with me last May. I can’t wait to see what we can do together. I love learning how to train horses, and my ultimate goal is to ride in the Olympics someday!

I am so looking forward to the competition season. WPDA juniors are my favorite group of equestrians, and I am so honored to be able to give back and serve such a great Association!

Emma Teff, Education Chair

I can't wait to tackle my role of organizing clinics and other educational opportunities for juniors in 2018!  I have been riding since I was 7 years old, and I have been doing dressage since I was 10.  I own two horses, Dakota and Rainier.  Dakota is my first horse and the one that made me love dressage.  I just got Rainier in May of last year, and I am working to progress through the levels with him.  I have pretty high goals, and I believe education is a huge part of achieving them.

Hanna Hudec, Social Chair

Hi everyone! I am Hanna Hudec and I am the Social Chair for the WPDA Juniors for 2018. I am almost 20 years old and have been riding since I was about 9. At Silver Crest Equestrian Center, I am part of the IC Eventing team coached by Pam McCready. During the school year, I attend Indiana University of Pennsylvania for Sociology and Criminology. Although I do not own my own horse, most of my training within the past 3+ years has been with Bonjour, a 12 year old Gypsy Vanner/ Trakehner cross. We’re excited to see where this year/show season will take us!

Allie Salt, Fundraising & Finance Chair

Hey everyone! I am Allie Salt, the Jr. Financing and Fundraising Chair for the WPDA. I am currently studying accounting at Duquesne University and will be graduating next winter! I started riding about ten years ago at Silver Crest Equestrian Center and absolutely fell in love with riding. I began to focus on dressage about 6 years ago and have been showing with the WPDA ever since! I am currently schooling first level movements with Pamela McCready`s lovely friesian, Cirinity, who I have been fortunate enough to ride for the past 4 years. I look forward to spending my last year as a JR/YR competing with the WPDA and all the lovely riders of the junior team at Lendon`s Youth Dressage Festival this July!

Grace Baierl, Competition Chair

This year I will be helping with coordinating and organizing some of the competitions. There is a plethora of shows available ranging in travel time and whether or not they are recognized or schooling shows. One of the main shows on which we are focusing is Lendon Gray’s Dressage4Kids Youth Dressage Festival in Saugerties, NY. Dressage for Kids is a team competition for people ranging in age from four to twenty-one. I myself have been to this show four times. It is an absolutely phenomenal experience. You meet many new people and grow closer with the people you already know. I highly recommend any junior to go and participate.

Horses have always been something I loved. I grew up riding my mom’s horse, and eventually getting into lessons. I started riding as a Hunter, and my horizons were eventually broadened by Pony Club. I always want to go to every rally, meaning I had to learn to ride in multiple disciplines. These disciplines were dressage, eventing, show jumping, and tetrathlon. My love for dressage grew and grew.

When I got my first pony named Catskill Nola I began to put a lot of my attention into moving up the levels of dressage. Nola and I competed up to first level in dressage. We also greatly enjoyed eventing and competed through Beginner Novice. After owning my pony for three years, I unfortunately had to sell her. I grew several inches while she did not. Nola now lives in Oklahoma with a wonderful new family who cherishes and takes care of her. I had to begin my search for a new horse. After looking for a month or two I found Advantageous, aka Tage in November. Tage is a six-year-old off the track thoroughbred. He has a very sweet and attention seeking personality. He loves to jump and enjoys learning about dressage. I’m looking forward to our future of riding together, and can’t wait to see how we will grow as a team.