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George Williams Young Professional Fund

Photo by Susan J Stickle

The George Williams Young Professional Fund supports dressage professionals, ages 25-35, who are committed to the sport and have established businesses as instructors and trainers.   

Amount of Grant: $5,000 

Application Deadline: June 1 

The George Williams Young Professional Fund was established in 2018 to honor his lifelong commitment to dressage. Applicants should have a strong desire to participate in continuing education opportunities, in order to provide higher-quality instruction to their students. 

Applicant Requirements: 

Applicant must 

  • Be a U.S. Citizen or Permanent Resident.  
  • Be between the ages of 25 and 35 (at the time of the application). 
  • Be a dressage professional with an established business.  
  • Have riding experience at Third Level or above.  Preference is given to applicants who have competition records at Third Level or above. 
  • Preference is given to applicants who have started or completed the certification process through the USDF Instructor/Trainer Program. 
  • Have a detailed and obtainable training plan that is outside of the rider’s typical training and must include a plan to attend a formal instructor/trainer education program, such as the USDF Instructor/Trainer Development Program, the L Education Program, or other events of your choice that is focused on the education of instructors/trainers.  
  • Be committed to their dressage education, their clients, and their businesses. Applicants will be asked to present a brief business plan in the application. 

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 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 may 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 George Williams Young Professionals Fund:

Wanting to honor Williams’ lifelong commitment to the sport and acknowledge his nine years as President of the United States Dressage Federation (USDF), Janna Dresing, Dr. Jeni Gaffney and Gardy Bloemers initiated the idea of this Fund.  Dresing shared, “We felt that George has given so much to the dressage community in all of his roles within the USDF, and that creating a scholarship in his name would help honor his commitment to the sport." 

Williams was surprised with the news of the Fund at the USDF Salute Gala on December 1st, 2018.  After the announcement, he said, “I am honored to have a Grant Fund in my name, which will have a goal of helping up-and-coming young equestrians.  Thank you to all the donors.” 
TDF’s President and CEO, Beth Baumert, shared, “Those of us who hold USDF dear will never forget George's many years of wise and steady leadership. His contribution to dressage is impossible to calculate, and he set a fine example for us all. It seems very fitting that this Fund will continue beyond his tenure, giving in his honor.”