Ann Pereira has been a Committee member since 1999. Her daughter was riding with Lendon when Lendon mentioned that she was thinking of organizing a small show at Ox Ridge and asked Ann if she would like to come to a meeting at her house to discuss it as she needed some volunteers. At that first meeting she took some notes so she would know what she was responsible for at the show plus some general points that were discussed and then circulated them to the people that had attended. That is how she became the Secretary and the Northeast Junior Young Rider Championships (original name of the Youth Dressage Festival) was born. They were hoping that possibly 40 riders might turn up to show!
Now a member of the Scholarship Committee, Ann volunteers as a way to pay back all those who stood in wet, muddy fields as jump judges for her when she competed and the many people who organized all the events that she was able to attend for so many years of her life. Ann loves to see the enthusiasm and joy in our rider’s faces when they are at the Festival and realizes how much D4K means to them and their families on so many levels – not just riding. Because of her Pony Club background, Ann loves that there is a Written Test included so that the riders learn all aspects of horsemanship and what needs to be done to care for the horse on the ground. Ann has learned that a journey begins with one single step and from a tiny seed a tree definitely does grow! “One gains so much personally by doing things for other people and all ‘horse people’ share a common bond no matter where you live in the world! I consider the members of the Committee to be dear friends and I am so very proud of all that has been accomplished – it’s fantastic to be a part of it.”
Although she no longer rides (her grandchildren will have to take that over), Ann does stop every mounted Police Officer in New York City and feeds the carriage horses just to see the horses up close and personal. Ann’s advice: “You learn a great deal about yourself through riding – you learn to deal with success and disappointment, become a good sport; you learn to be part of a team both with your mount and other riders; and finally, that no matter what happens, your pony or horse always comes first.”