We Receive Lots of Thanks...Here are a few!

Betsy Labelle- Trip Harting Grant Recipient

"Thank you so very much for selecting me as a recipient for the Trip Harting Fund!  The A Session was quite a weekend with lots of valuable information.  The door opened to us all with positive advice on what we need to learn, how to get there, and what is expected.  I was impressed at the straight-forward, strong structure that we all must grasp.  Because of the help from your organization, I really have quite a base to build.  Thank you!

Debbie Howard- USDF Region 1 Gifted Fund Scholarship Recipient

"Thank you so much for providing me with the Region 1 Adult Amateur Scholarship.  I learned an amazing amount in my week in the Williamsburg, VA, area with Debbie Rodriguez for 6 days!  I never could have walked away from my home obligations without this scholarship.   My husband is in the construction industry and with the down-turn in the building industry I never really could have afforded this opportunity without your help.  Thank you!"

Cyndi Craig- USDF Region 9 Gifted Fund Scholarship Recipient

"Dear Ms. Lavell: You and Gifted were, in my world, the original dressage superstars. I had just started taking dressage lessons when you were making dressage history. I, like many others, was wowed by your performances – most notably Gifted’s huge flying changes and extended trot. And how a short person (like myself!) could partner so successfully with such a big horse! And make it all look so effortless!

When I first heard about the Gifted Fund scholarship, I was so impressed that an Olympian would sympathize and value an ordinary, everyday adult amateur’s dressage ‘dreams.’ We will never compete at the Olympics, most of us will never even master flying changes. But so many of us are truly passionate about aspiring to those heights  – despite the constrictions of time, talent, money, family obligations and our ordinary-but-much-beloved equine partners.

I was able to take a week off work and train with my two horses. Taking lessons five days in a row was so much more productive than the two-a-month I had been doing, since my trainer is 2 hours away. And I also realized it was the first time I had taken an entire week off of work since 1998!  Like many horse people, my vacation days are usually doled out one-at-a-time for vet visits, farm chores and horse shows, and are rarely taken for ‘real’ vacations.

I have earned the First and Second level scores toward my Bronze medal, on a horse I bred, raised and trained myself. I tried to show at Third last year, but just after I entered a show, she fractured her coffin bone. It was a “good” place for a fracture, and she healed uneventfully – but it’s taken a long time to get back to where we were last summer. Hopefully, with the knowledge and progress I was able to make during our training week, this will be the year I finally earn my Bronze. Thank you, thank you, not only for myself, but for every adult amateur who will come a bit closer to their dream thanks to the opportunity you have created."

Paula Pugh- USDF Region 6 Gifted Fund Scholarship Recipient

"Andy and I are thrilled with our scholarship grant and want to thank all who have helped make it possible. As our date for lessons gets closer and our plans firm up, I'll be in touch with the details. We are trying to work hard, but it's been pretty wet here in the NW. It's such great incentive to ride during the winter months when this lovely grant is ahead of us. Thank you in advanced for this incredible opportunity."

Marie Morgan- USDF Region 9 Teaching Excellence Recipient

"I was very honored and excited to receive the first USDF Region Nine Teaching Excellence Award this fall. I am so grateful to Meg Flemming who conceived this immense project and brought it to life through much hard work over the past three years (at least!)I am also grateful to Bess Reineman and The Dressage Foundation for their efforts. This is a unique award. Not only is it the first of its kind to recognize good teaching but also in its unprecedented scope. I don’t mind telling you that the application process was daunting.  Here’s the short version:  after being nominated, I made five copies of a very complex and thoughtful application. It included dvd’s of at least four lessons at different levels, many letters of recommendation for both teaching and community service, a biography, several pages discussing my teaching and training philosophy and a business plan detailing what I intended to do with the money. It turned out to be a wonderful process though.  As the letters of recommendation came in, I found myself in tears reading them. I was very touched by the sentiments expressed in those pages. As I put together “My Philosophies” it clarified my thinking and made me aware of just how far I’ve come in this journey as and teacher and trainer. So I get to thank you all twice: once for this fantastic award and once for the opportunity to participate in the process."

Thank You Card from Courtney Dale


"It felt like Christmas in October when FedEx delivered your amazing letter and gift announcing that you had selected me for the Renee Isler grant. I am so grateful and honored. I would like to thank Renee Isler who has inspired me to follow in her footsteps once I have finished my medical schooling, by setting up a young rider's scholarship as well. You see, I couldn't have been able to do it without her generous "leg up" and I will never forget her kindness."


USDF/FEI Junior Young Rider Clinic Series Region 5
Funded by The Dressage Foundation

Devon Wycoff

"Thank you so much for all the time and support you have given to the youth programs. I learned and gained so much from my lessons with George Williams which would not have happened without your support."

Morgan Heinrichs

"Thank you so much for supporting the JR/YR clinics and youth programs. This is such an amazing opportunity and you are more than generous."

McKynzee Wiggins

"Thank you for making these clinics possible. These are a great way to improve my own riding and meet great trainers."

Aylin Corapcioglu

"Thank you very much for all of your support for the clinics and other youth programs. We really can't thank you enough and we know these events would not be possible without your support!"

Holly Bergoy

"Thank you so much for making these clinics possible! They are a great way to meet other young riders. I am so happy I got the opportunity to participate!"

Kevin Schauer

"Thank you for your support of the FEI JR/YR Clinic. It was a pleasure to ride in, and would have been impossible without your help. Thanks again!"

Tiffany and Forest

"Thank you for supporting the clinics through the years. I am glad that I was able to ride in one of the clinics with a great insturctor."

Connor McPeak

"Thank you so much for all of your support of the clinics and other youth programs! It would not be possible without your help."


"Your support in the sport of dressage is invaluable. I was included in the George Williams Clinic in Colorado this year and it meant a lot to me."

Rachel Motsinger

"Your continued support of the JR/YR Clinics and other youth programs is much appreciated. I attended the JR/YR George Williams Clinic and learned so much! I thank you ver much for giving me and other JR/YR riders the opportunity to learn from some of the best people in Dressage! Thanks."



Central States DEA




Gifted Fund Scholarship Recipients

Beverly B. Reid

"I am so excited. Nadine and I are all set to fulfill this scholarship. It means the world to me."

Holly Spencer

"Thank you so much for allowing me to be the recipient of the 2009 Gifted Grant for Region 3. I must tell you that the honor of being chosen means at least as much to me personally as the grant itself does financially. Please extend my thanks to all the other people involved in this program."

Jana Nelson

"OH MY GOSH!!! I am SO excited and honored!!! Again, thanks for this wonderful opportunity."

Joann Messersmith

"Many of us take regular lessons but to focus on only my riding has not happened since college days. I now have the opportunity to pack up and spend 5 days with my instructor, something I could not do with these extra funds. Thanks!"

Laurie Bauchman

"Thank-you so much!!! I am absolutely thrilled! Please express to everyone on the committee how grateful I am for this opportunity! I really can't thank you enough and will look forward to telling you all about my experience."

Marsha Williams

"I am so thrilled to receive this scholarship! I am planning to do the training in April of 2009. Thank you so much. I so sincerely appreciate this and I know it will make a huge difference in the future of my horse and I."

Maggie Stonecipher

"As an Adult Amateur working full time, taking time away for this type of intensive training was only a dream. The Gifted Scholarship has allowed me to take my dream and turn it into reality. I'm extremely thankful to TDF."

Jennifer MacPhail

"Thank you!!! I am thrilled and honored to be awarded this scholarship."

Barbara A. Cadwell

"Thank you for your exciting and gratifying e-mail advising me that I have been selected to receive a Gifted fund grant. I am most grateful that fellow riders whom I respect chose me for this honor."




Joan Darnell

"Thank you so much for all your support for the FE/ Jr/ Yr clinics."

Jordan Meadows

"I would like to thank you for all of your hard work to help put on this years Olympic Dream Program.... I hope the program will continue to educate and inspire others in the years to come!"

Vanessa Simon

"I can't begin to tell you how thankful I am that I had the opportunity to go on the Olympic Dream Program.....These memories will stay with me for the rest of my life. I can't thank you enough, and I hope I will have more experiences like this in my future."

Emily Tears

"Dear Mr. Boomer: Thank you so much for giving us the opportunity to tour the different training facilities in Europe. Their riding is excellent and I feel so privileged to have been a part of the Olympic Dream Program. Thank you for everything that you and the Dressage Foundation does for the dressage community."

Katie Alms

"Dear John, I wanted to thank you so much for making this trip happen. I had such a great time meeting and watching these top Dressage Riders. The trip was very educational and I feel that I have come home a better rider. Thanks again to all those who give so much to us Young Riders and I hope they all know that it means so much!"

Fort Worth Dressage Club

"The Fort Worth Dressage Club would like to thank The Dressage Foundation for their generous grant to FWDC for our Adult Camp. Without you this Camp could not have happened."

Emily O'Neill

"Dear Members of The Dressage Foundation,
I write to you in utmost gratitude for granting me the opportunity to participate in the Jr/YR Clinic Series with George Williams. It was an amazing weekend- educational, inspirational and truly a blast! It is a wonderful organization you all run and we are so fortunate as riders and dressage enthusiasts to be able to take advantage of such opportunities. I certainly would not have been able to do it with out the help from the Foundation."

Ann Bennett

"Thank you to the Dressage Foundation for supporting our event. GMO members who would not normally participate in this type of learning environment found that they made important breakthroughs in their communication with their horse and were inspired to continue learning and improving their horsemanship. The discussions about the training pyramid at lunch each day encouraged a healthy dialogue and inspired questions like why is there not a training pyramid for riders?"

Mickie Hull (Kaweah CDS)

"Thank you to the Dressage Foundation for granting us the financial help t put on this clinic for our local dressage community. We are in a fairly rural agricultural area of central California. Cows are a BIG business here, not horses. So, because of the grant from the Dressage Foundation, we were able to offer this clinic to CDS members in the Central region at a reasonable price and fairly close location. That is why we were able to fill the clinic slots almost immediately. Please let your Board know the grants (even the little ones) are promoting dressage and dressage education that would not be attainable to many in the rural areas."

Micaela Mabragana

"Hi! My name is Micaela Mabragana. I was the winner of the Amanda Ward Award. I just wanted to say Thank you!!! I've qualified to go to the young rider world cup in Frakfurt representing Argentina with Granada. The generous prize I received at Saugerties has been so helpful. I have no words to explain how happy and grateful I am. Once again, THANK YOU VERY VERY MUCH!!!!!"



The following thank-yous are from past recipients of the Carol Lavell Gifted Fund


Jennifer Brandl

"Again, I would like to say that this has been a very wonderful learning experience. Thank you very much to The Dressage Foundation and Carol Lavell for allowing PeeTee and me to develop something to build on for years to come."

Marsha Allen

"Thank you very much Dressage Foundation, and Carol Lavell for providing me and the other amateurs awarded a Gifted scholarship the opportunity of a lifetime to take a whole week off to train and ride dressage and not have distractions of work, family or pressing obligations."


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