At their February 24, 2017 Board meeting, the WE United Board formally established a Licensed Officials Committee with the following members: Jim Havelhurst, Doreen Atkinson, Wayne Hipsley, Michael Vermaas, and Carlos Carneiro.
We are particularly delighted with the depth of expertise and strong diversity of the people who have volunteered to serve on this very important committee.
Jim Havelhurst brings decades of experience as both a licensed judge and as a member of a variety of Licensed Officials Committees both within the United States Equestrian Federation and within other organizations, such as the American Haflinger Registry, the Pony of the America’s Club, the American Miniature Horse Association, the Pinto Horse Association, Oregon Horseman’s Association, and Oregon Cowboy and Western Dressage Association. Jim is a resident of Oregon.
Doreen Atkinson, one of the first Americans to be licensed as a “R” judge within Working Equitation (alongside Wayne Hipsley and Michael Vermaas), is also an avid competitor in the sport. She is one of only two Americans who has shown at the Master’s level in the sport and was the Advanced Level Champion at the 2015 Haras Cup in Texas on her self-trained horse. Doreen is a graduate of the USDF L Program for Dressage and is also working her way through the Western Dressage ‘r’ judge program. Doreen resides in Texas.
Wayne Hipsley received his “R” judge license for Working Equitation at the same seminar as Doreen Atkinson and Michael Vermaas, fellow members of the WE United Licensed Officials Committee. Wayne brings decades of experience to this position as a judge and a member of the Licensed Officials Committees for a variety of organizations. Along with holding numerous judge cards within the United States Equestrian Federation (USEF), Wayne has led Judge Seminars for over 16 different groups, including the Western Dressage Associations of New Zealand and Australia, the International Andalusian and Lusitano Horse Association, the American Morgan Horse Association, Fjord Horse International, the International Arabian Horse Association, and the Gypsy Vanner Horse Society. Wayne lives in Kentucky.
Michael Vermaas was one of the first three Americans to receive his “R” judge license for Working Equitation (along with Wayne Hipsley and Doreen Atkinson). A professional horseman who focuses on Classical Dressage, Michael studied horsemanship in both Portugal, where he earned his Portuguese Equestrian Federation Credentials in 1984, and Great Britain, where he earned his British Horse Society credentials in 1985. In addition to his focus on Classical Dressage, Michael has trained horses for careers as eventers and jumpers. He has competed at the Novice level in Working Equitation. Michael lives in Texas.
Carlos Carneiro, classically trained Portuguese horseman, is a familiar face in the United States Working Equitation world. He has trained and competed through the Masters level and topped the 2016 WE United Leaderboard for Horse/Rider pair at the Masters (#1 in the nation) and Advanced (#1 and #2 in the nation) levels. In addition to training and competing, Carlos has provided clinics on Working Equitation in both the United States and Canada. Carlos currently resides in California.
The Licensed Officials Committee is tasked with reviewing all applications for licensed officials (e.g., Judges and Technical Delegates), conducting interviews with applicants for licensing, and making recommendations to the Board both for initial licensing and for promotions.
The work of this Committee is essential for building a solid foundation for the sport. Accordingly, the WE United Board has sought out Committee Members who bring with them not only experience in the sport, but a deep understanding of the qualities needed to ensure that officials who receive WE United licensing truly have the expertise needed. Please join us in thanking Jim, Doreen, Wayne, Michael, and Carlos for their willingness to serve on this critically important committee!