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Violet M. Hopkins Fund

The Violet M. Hopkins Fund was established at The Dressage Foundation in 1996 to help support educational programs of USDF GMOs and GMO Chapters. The objective of the Hopkins Fund is to give financial assistance for these groups to host educational dressage programs to riders at all levels. The maximum amount to be awarded will be $2,000 per event and applications are due at least 90 days prior to the event.

General Requirements:

  • Applications are accepted from USDF Group Member Organizations that are hosting educational events.
  • Applications must be received by The Dressage Foundation at least 90 days before the event.
  • Grant funds should only be used to support the educational part of the program and should not be used to purchase food, goodie bags, vests/t-shirts, etc.
  • Grants from the Violet Hopkins Fund may not be used for the GMO to make a profit and will only be provided to the break-even point for selected events.  Excess income should be returned to The Dressage Foundation, to be put back into the Fund.

Grant Amount:

  • The amount of the grants can vary depending on the need and request of the applicants but the maximum amount to be awarded is $2,000 per event. 
  • GMOs can receive a grant only one time per calendar year.

Additional Information: 

  • If the grant recipient is unable to hold the program specified in the 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. 
  • An independent Selection Committee will review the applications and make selections based on published criteria and guidelines. The committee reserves the right to not award a grant in any given year if they determine that no application has met the criteria. The applications and discussions of the selection committee are confidential, and their decisions are final.
  • For educational events that are selected to receive a grant, 75% of the grant will be sent one month prior to the event, with the final 25% sent after an evaluation form and final budget is received by TDF.
  • Not all events that apply for funding are guaranteed to receive a grant.

The application link is found in the right-hand sidebar (desktop computers) or by scrolling down (mobile).

About Violet M. Hopkins

USDF Hall of Famer, Violet Hopkins grew up riding horses at her family farm in Michigan without any formal instruction. She attended college to become a teacher so that she could save money for lessons and eventually buy her own horse. She began teaching professionally and was offered an instructor position at the Open Hunt Club in Bloomfield, MI. 

After studying with dressage trainer Arthur Konyot and several other mentors including Captain Vladmir Littaner and Erich Bubble, she decided to pursue dressage. She traded her jumping horse for a thoroughbred, Dark Warrior, who was her partner to the Grand Prix.

In 1969, Violet established her own dressage school, Tristan Oaks Farm, which was also home to the Midwest Dressage Association that she helped to found. Also a founding member of USDF, she is best known for her USDF Violet Hopkins National Seminars for Dressage Instructors, which gave birth to USDF Regional Workshops, The National Symposium and Instructor Certification Programs.