BOARD MEMBER BIOS
I have been a member of CPDS for about two years and in that time have really grown to love the community of our Fun, Friendly and Forward group. I believe a group needs every member to contribute as they can at that time. Volunteering for shows, helping get Valley View ready for a show and cleaned up after shows, and learning to scribe have been my main ways I have been active. Being on the board would give me another way to help out and learn more about this wonderful group and how we can all benefit from an active and vibrant organization.
Although I have been largely absent from competitive dressage and club administration, I have not lost interest. After moving to Oklahoma from Arizona, I was not able to indulge my interest in dressage as much as I would have liked. Finally, after 20 some years, I can return to a sport I find continually challenging and gratifying. To participate with a group of people who I have come to know and respect is even more satisfying. I was President of the Tucson Dressage Club
for a number of years and was not surrounded by the same comradery, so I appreciate it even more with CPDS. I would be honored to serve on the board.
Horses have been a part of my life since childhood. My first horse, Moon, taught me how to ride and instilled in me a lifelong passion for horses. Though I took a hiatus from equestrian sports, I am excited to be riding again as a working student for USDF Gold Medalist, Robin Hessel. With an MFA in Creative Writing from Texas State University-San Marcos, I completed and published a book-length manuscript under the guidance of Pulitzer Prize winning novelist, Tim O'Brien. I now enjoy teaching English full-time at the University of Central Oklahoma, incorporating creative writing, research, and transformative learning methodology into my
curriculum. Additionally, I have also been exploring the power of webinar technologies to help me successfully teach my students in a collaborative remote setting. While most of my attention has been directed to successful teaching, I have also held the position of Creative Writing Guest Speaker Coordinator at UCO; in this role, I solicited sponsorship from organizations across campus, created and disseminated promotional materials to various venues across campus and
the Oklahoma City Metropolitan Area, and kept on-going event correspondences with guest speakers.
Since 2008, I have been a certified dance aerobics and mat Pilates instructor, and I have enjoyed capitalizing on my health and wellness background to address the specific fitness needs of dressage riders.
As a member of USDF, USEF and CPDS, I am greatly enjoying being part of a dressage community that has already given me so much.
My name is Chris Cashel. I am running for a CPDS Board position this year. I have been involved with CPDS since its inception. Prior to that I was on the Board of Great Plains Dreesage that was a chapter of ODS and the Stilwater Dressage Club. I have two horses, Waterfront, who helped me earn my gold medal in 2022 and Buena Vista. I love being around horses and enjoy barn work almost as much as riding. I have been a consistent volunteer in Club activities. We have a great group of members who love spending time with their horses and the Club provides many opportunities to do so. I look forward to serving again.
I grew up on a ranch riding horses - they were an integral part of our life. My grandfather raised and raced horses, as did my parents. I grew up showing horses but had a great love for the racetrack. After college I went to the racetrack as an assistant trainer and was blessed to work with some of the greatest athletes of the equine world. While at the track I was dared to "ride dressage". I accepted the challenge and was hooked. Fast forward through several wonderful partners ( for those that remember, Hoku was the best! ) to today - I am riding Barn Dance and Reverence NLS. What I find the most fascinating about this sport is that the horse talks to us every day if we can only learn to listen. Education is paramount to develop the skill to listen to the horse. I currently compete at the national level, and will be going to the National Dressage Championships in November with Barn Dance. I am employed full time with the Oklahoma Department of Corrections and still hold an assistant trainers license with the Oklahoma Horse Racing Commission. I help with my husbands stable, usually around 25 horses. I have authored the Central Plains website for several years and will continue to help in any way I can. While in Kentucky last year I witnessed the "paperless" scribing used there, took several pictures and brought the idea back to Stacia Wert-Gray (Horse Show Consulting) as I knew she was contemplating a new direction for her platform. This platform was a win-win for both management and competitors. We are a rural GMO, but we are a mighty GMO with cutting edge technology and very competitive riders. I envision great things for Central Plains Dressage in the future!