Boomer also made trips to Fort Riley to watch future USDF Hall of Famer Col. Hiram Tuttle and Col. Isaac Kitts school their horses, and he would return home and try to copy what he'd seen. His growing interest in dressage led him to found the Nebraska Dressage Association.
By the early 1970's, Boomer recalls, "A number of us interested in dressage saw the need for a single organization to represent the various regional organizations which had developed. There was considerable discussion whether we should meet on the East Coast or on the West Coast. I suggested that middle America (Nebraska) would be better as a neutral location and made appropriate arrangements for the first meeting."
USDF was launched in 1973. "As the newly formed organization could not afford a full-time secretary, I volunteered to take the job and also make my business office available for a start," Boomer says. (From 1931 to 2001, he was president of the Lincoln-based Boomer's Printing Company.) USDF's offices would be located in or near the Boomer's quarters until the mid-1990s, when the Federation relocated to somewhat roomier digs near downtown Lincoln.
Asked why he chose to devote so much time and energy to USDF, Boomer says: "I really did not choose. It just sort of happened and chose me. Actually, it turned into a time consuming and expensive hobby."
Boomer thinks his role in USDF's founding was "to act as a spark plug to get things started and then to nurse the baby as it got under way. With all volunteer officers, it needed some sort of central place through which we could work. We did manage to bring the whole country together, though I did have to referee a few fights and differences."
"I am most pleased about the educational programs which the Federation now has," Boomer says. "At the beginning, it was important to have awards programs to interest people and to become noticed, but now I am wondering whether the awards have become too many and an end in themselves. I hope that the organization can stay financially sound and will not become overextended. I still think that it is most important to serve the persons on the bottom rung and help them to move up. Many of my dreams have been fulfilled with both USDF and The Dressage Foundation (a fund-raising organization that Boomer founded in 1990), and I only hope we continue on the path of serving the membership and the pursuit of dressage."
- USDF Connection Magazine, November 2003