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Trip Harting Fund for Graduate or Current Pony Club Members

The Trip Harting Fund provides an annual grant to a current or graduate dressage rider with U.S. Pony Club experience to attend an educational event.  

Amount of Grant: $1,000 

Application Deadline: March 25 

The Trip Harting Fund was created with donations from Trip's friends and colleagues after he passed away in 2008.  

Applicant Requirements: 

Applicant must: 

  • Be a U.S. Citizen or Permanent Resident. 
  • Be a current or graduate dressage rider with a Pony Club Certification of A, B, or C. Preference will be given to riders with an A or B certification.  
  • Have an obtainable training plan with achievable goals.  

Additional Grant Information: 

  • Training or events funded by this grant can start no sooner than two months after the application deadline date.  
  • Funding can be used for training, board, and competition but cannot be used only for competition. Funding cannot be used for vet and/or farrier expenses, living expenses, or the purchase of a horse or equipment.     
  • The recipients of this grant must use the funds within one year of the date of the award.    
  • Recipients are chosen by an independent selection committee comprised of dressage professionals, many of whom have had Pony Club experience. 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 not be received in consecutive years.  

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 Trip Harting Fund

Raised in Potomac, MD, where his father founded the Potomac Horse Center, Trip Harting began riding when he was six years old. By the age of 15, he became the youngest member of the U.S. Pentathlon Team. Trip showed jumpers at the Grand Prix level and competed internationally in three-day events, but he found his true passion in the dressage ring. Outside of competition, Trip was revered as a brilliant trainer and clinician. He taught hunt seat equitation, dressage, and eventing for more than 30 years. Trip’s real love, however, was working with youth riders. 

His extensive involvement with the Junior/Young Rider dressage program included serving as the chairman for the California Dressage Society and the USDF, directing and managing the CDS Junior Championships, and serving as USDF Region 7 Director. In 2001, Trip accepted the position of coach and chef d’equipe of the USPC Team at the North American Junior Dressage Championship. The USPC honored him as a living legend in 2004. 

Trip was a longtime member of the USPC Dressage Committee and judged the dressage division at the USPC Championships on many occasions. He promoted the introduction of musical freestyles and quadrilles into the team competition at Pony Club rallies and was known for his cheerful encouragement to every rider, “Have a great ride!” Trip taught young riders many times at the USPC Festival and was a frequent guest speaker on “The View From C” at USPC Annual Meetings. Trip also helped create the USPC upper-level specialty ratings in Dressage, introduced in 2007. 

During his last four years, Trip performed countless hours of volunteer work for recovering drug and alcohol addicts and shared his battle with drugs in the documentary film entitled, “Trip to Hell and Back.” The biography won the grand prize for best short documentary at the Rhode Island International Film Festival.