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U.S. Breeder Excellence Fund

The U.S. Breeder Excellence Fund provides financial assistance to breeders to pursue educational opportunities related to breeding that will advance their careers, promote sound breeding practices, and further enhance the quality of U.S.-bred dressage horses. 

Amount of Grant: up to $2,500 for international programs; up to $1,000 for education within the United States 

Application Deadline: May 1 

The U.S. Breeder Excellence Fund was established at TDF in 2011 to help support breeding programs in the United States. The Fund supports attendance at educational programs related to breeding, such as: 

No preference is given to programs focusing on a particular breed. 

Applicant must:  

  • Be a U.S. Citizen or Permanent Resident. 
  • Have an obtainable plan to use grant funding with specific goals for education.  
  • Preference is given to USDF members. 

Additional Grant Information: 

  • Training or events funded by this grant can start no sooner than two months after the application deadline date.  
  • Funding cannot be used for competition entries, vet and/or farrier expenses, or the purchase of a horse or equipment.  
  • The recipients of these grants must use the funds within one year of the date of the award.  
  • Recipients are chosen by an independent selection committee comprised of dressage industry leaders. The applications and discussions of the selection committee are confidential, and their decisions are final. 
  • The selection committee reserves the right not to award a grant in any given year if they determine that no candidate has met the criteria.   
  • If the grant recipient is unable to attend the event/training specified in their application, The Dressage Foundation must be notified as soon as possible. Approval for a change in the use of funds is at the discretion of The Dressage Foundation and the grant selection committee.  
  • This grant can only be received once.  

Reporting Information: 

  • For all recipients, 75% of grant funds will be paid prior to the recipient’s departure for training; 25% will be paid after the applicant has completed training and has submitted a training and financial report to The Dressage Foundation. 
  • The recipients of the grants are required to provide a training and financial report of their experience to The Dressage Foundation. The reports may be written, video, photo journal, or in other ways pre-approved by The Dressage Foundation. The report is due within two months following the completion of the training. 
  • Throughout their training, recipients are encouraged to share training/event updates with The Dressage Foundation via email or tag The Dressage Foundation on social media.   

History of the U.S. Breeder Excellence Fund

The Fund was initially established by Abbey Henderson, who founded Elysium Farm LLC in 2010. “I wanted to do something to support breeders in the United States ever since I found my ‘perfect’ horse from a local Dutch Warmblood breeder. From that experience, I gained a better understanding of the challenges facing breeders in this country. I learned how serious many of them are about improving the quality of U.S.-bred horses,” said Henderson.  

Within the past several years, additional donors have supported the U.S. Breeder Excellence Fund, including TDF Board of Directors member, Karin Reid Offield.