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Jackie Dwelle awarded IDA Lifetime Achievement Award

Written by Joe Cicchetto

Instructor in Equine Studies and Dressage coach Jackie Dwelle was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Intercollegiate Dressage Association Executive Board.

This is the first year of the award to recognize an outstanding coach who has given of themselves above and beyond, to their riders, and to the IDA organization.

Ms. Dwelle has served as the coach for the St Andrews University IDA team since its beginning in 2000 and has led their team to many IDA national appearances.  Additionally, she has served as the national treasurer for 16 years.  Her contributions to the IDA organization, on the large scale, as well as on an individual level with all her riders, have been immeasurable.  The IDA adds, “For these and many other reasons, Jackie was the obvious choice for this inaugural IDA Lifetime Achievement.”

Ms. Dwelle served as the Regional Representative for the South East region in the early days of IDA before being asked to assume the responsibilities of treasurer.  She was one of the four original founding board members of IDA and also served as the IDA Secretary for many years.  During the last 20 years the digital revolution has transformed the way organizations do business.  She has been the point person working with IT to transform the membership process from mail in paper memberships to the online service that is expected today.  In 2018-2019, she worked to develop the foundation for the recently launched new IDA website ( which came online in the last couple of weeks.

Peggy McElveen, Director of the Equestrian Programs said, “Jackie has been a board member of the IDA since its inception and has been a great supporter of its mission.  She successfully managed and hosted the IDA National Finals twice at St. Andrews University.  In her role as an Equine Business professor, Jackie has offered her students numerous internship opportunities in coaching, horse management, and event management all of which have helped to prepare the next generation for professional careers within the equine industry and specifically in intercollegiate dressage.  Her contributions to IDA have had a tremendous impact on the students and on collegiate riding.  It is very fitting that she was selected as the inaugural recipient of the IDA Lifetime Achievement Award.”

Prior to St. Andrews she worked in the horse industry as a groom, barn manager and riding instructor, working for leaders in the hunter seat industry and Olympic level riders in the discipline of Eventing.  She has been at St. Andrews for 21 years, first hired to be the Barn Manager that included developing and coaching the dressage team and teaching PE classes.  She then served as Director of Instructional Riding before joining the faculty to teach classes in the Equine Studies Department.

Her achievements at St. Andrews include involvement in two IDA National Championships.  She led a group of students to France staying in Paris for a week followed by a week in the Loire Valley visiting the Cadre Noir and the French Equestrian National Training Centre in Saumur.  She led the Equestrian Program online presence starting with a blog adding social sites Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and Instagram, developed and continues to update and revise the site.

She chaired the Web and Social Media Committee to improve, updated some of the crucial areas and prepared recommendations to the administration regarding web and social media.  And, she traveled with the SAU program in India with Dr. Neal Bushoven.

Ms. Dwelle is leaving St. Andrews at the end of this semester, moving to Camden, SC, and says, “Starting my next adventure.”