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Team Tate Mentorship and Leadership Fund

The Team Tate Mentorship and Leadership Fund provides funding for recipients to work with their dressage mentors to improve their equestrian skills and/or to receive business, leadership, or coaching education.  These training opportunities should help riders develop skills that will enable them to become more well-rounded and successful professionals. 

Amount of Grant: $5,000 

Application Deadline: July 15 

The Team Tate Mentorship and Leadership Fund was established by the Tate Family in 2020.  Throughout her dressage career, Jessica Jo (JJ) Tate has shown dedication to continuing her education by participating in programs that improved and enhanced not only her riding and training skills, but also her ability to run a successful business. 

The Tate Family believes strongly that participation in mentorship and leadership programs can lead to a successful business and life.  However, training, teaching, and competition schedules, as well as finances, make it difficult for dressage professionals to find time and resources to focus on personal growth, leadership, and business skills. 

Applicant Requirements:  

Applicant must 

  • Be a U.S. Citizen or Permanent Resident.  
  • Be at least 25 years old. 
  • Be a professional in the dressage community, to include instructors, trainers, and clinicians. 
  • Have a detailed and obtainable training plan that includes business or development programs along with dressage training with a mentor. * 
  • Be a demonstrated team player through volunteer work, donating resources, or hosting educational events to help their dressage community. 

Additional Applicant Criteria: * 
1.  Business or personal development programs – to focus on skills necessary to improve business, communication, or leadership skills.  Programs can include opportunities such as leadership events and programs, personal coaching, business classes, etc. 
2.  Dressage training with a mentor – to improve skills as an equestrian (instructor, trainer, clinician, etc.).  Applicants must have a history of working with their mentors.  This should be a true mentorship – someone who has already been a trusted adviser to the applicant for a period of time. 

Applicants, we encourage you to consider these questions about your training programs: 

What business, communication, and/or leadership skills do you need to develop?  What programs (within or outside the equestrian community) will enable you to improve in these areas?  What can you do with the grant money that will bolster your relationship with your mentor, leading to new experiences and ideas for your future?  What do you want to gain from time with your mentor? 

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 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.   

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 Team Tate Fund:

I have been very fortunate to have a strong supportive network of trainers, family and clients who have helped me develop as a trainer and as a person. I believe that being successful in our sport requires a lot more than just good riding. My dad, Joe, has always been a huge inspiration to me for self-growth and development, and we would love to share that opportunity with others.  We hope this grant will help people further not only their depth of relationships with their mentors, but also to further their education; whether that be through personal development and growth or better business skills. 
I had the wonderful opportunity to meet Charles de Kunffy when I was 11 years old, and through that relationship, I have built an incredible bond with him over the last 30 years. He has not only helped me develop my equestrian skills, but also my character. I am honored to call him my mentor and I hope people can find these important relationships in their own lives to further their life experience. -- JJ Tate