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Maryal and Charlie Barnett Continuing Education for Dressage Instructors Fund

Maryal Barnett

The Maryal and Charlie Barnett Continuing Education for Dressage Instructors Fund provides grants to attend the USDF Instructor/Trainer Development Program. Funding is available for up to six individual grants annually.  

Amount of Grants: $1,000 - $1,500 

Application Deadline: February 1 and *** Updated Deadline: June 1 ***

The Maryal and Charlie Barnett Continuing Education for Dressage Instructors Fund was established in 2011 to make it possible for present and future dressage instructors to obtain quality education through the USDF Instructor/Trainer Development Program. 

Applicant Requirements: 

Applicant must 

  • Be a U.S. Citizen or Permanent Resident. 
  • Be a professional instructor/trainer. 
  • Have an attainable plan to participate in USDF Instructor/Trainer Development Program components. 

Additional Grant Information: 

  • Training 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 two years 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 Maryal and Charlie Barnett Continuing Education for Dressage Instructors Fund:   

This grant program is made possible by funding donated by Maryal and Charles Barnett (MI). Maryal is a long-time premier U.S. dressage instructor and a member of The Dressage Foundation’s Board of Directors. Maryal states, "The future of dressage and the welfare of our horses is dependent on the quality of education that our professionals obtain. There were people in my life such as Violet Hopkins and Lowell Boomer, who were instrumental in making education possible for me, and many others through their generosity and foresight. Lowell Boomer, along with many others, saw the importance of education; and they founded the USDF to unite and educate dressage enthusiasts. Violet Hopkins gave her farm, time, and wisdom each summer to make the Vi Hopkins Seminar for Dressage Instructors possible for those of us hungering for more knowledge. Now, I desire to give back to the sport that has given me such a rewarding and happy life. That is why I want to help to make it possible for other present and future dressage instructors/trainers to be able to obtain quality education through the Maryal and Charlie Barnett Continuing Education for Dressage Instructors Fund." 

The Dressage Foundation is pleased and honored that Maryal has arranged to “give back” to her beloved sport in this special way.  

Maryal Barnett (MI) and Lowell Boomer (NE) stand beside the sculpture Maryal donated to USDF, through The Dressage Foundation. This donation honors the 81 founding organizers who met in Lincoln, Nebraska in 1973 to form and organize USDF. Her gift also permanently remembers Lowell Boomer, who devoted so many years of hard work to transforming the founding group's dream into action.