Photos, top to bottom: Emma Claire Stephens, credit Patricia Ernesto. Katherine Tackett, Kerilyn Thomas, credit Jean Carnet.
The Dressage Foundation is pleased to announce that the inaugural Cynthia Aspden Youth Development Fund Grants have been awarded to three youth riders.
Emma Claire Stephens of Waxahachie, TX, will receive a grant in the amount of $990. “I am so excited to receive the Cynthia Aspden Youth Development Fund Grant. I plan to use the grant for a clinic with Heather Blitz,” Emma said. “In the past, Heather has helped me work on my seat, position and especially my balance. I believe that working with Heather again will make me a better rider.”
Katherine Tackett of Snow Camp, NC, will use her $520 grant to ride in a clinic with Scott Hassler. “I have a passion for working with young horses, and to have the opportunity to participate in a clinic with someone known for their success in training young horses will be invaluable to my education as a young professional,” Katherine shared. “I hope to gain new tools to communicate with young horses so that I can build harmonious partnerships with every horse I work with. I hope it will allow me to reach my ultimate goal of competing in the young horse classes in coming years.”
Keri-lyn Thomas of Gainesville, GA, will use her $1,000 grant to participate in Dressage4Kids’ Emerging Dressage Athlete Program. “Being able to participate in the EDAP clinic is something that I have wanted to do for three years. I have been able to audit one EDAP clinic, and Lendon Gray really helps riders define their aids to better communicate with their horse. It is my hope to become a more educated rider through this program. I am so grateful to the Cynthia Aspden Grant Fund for helping me achieve this!”
The goal of TDF’s Cynthia Aspden Youth Development Fund is to provide financial assistance to youth and young adult riders (age 25 and under) to aid in their development in dressage. Grants will typically range in the amount of $250 - $1,000, to be used for educational experiences that are not within the horse and rider’s typical training plan. These may include events such as USDF’s youth outreach clinics or Dressage4Kids’ Emerging Dressage Athlete Program or Winter Intensive Training Program, among other opportunities.
The grant application will be available on The Dressage Foundation’s website with a deadline of July 15th of each year.