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Military Grant Fund

The purpose of The Dressage Foundation’s Military Grant Fund is to provide financial support for dressage-related education to riders who have served, or are currently serving, in the United States military and their dependents. The Fund is open to all branches of the military to include active duty, reserves, and veterans. Amateur or youth riders, to include para-dressage riders, are welcome to apply.

Grant Information:

Grants in the amount of $1,000 each are available for amateur or youth riders, including para-dressage riders, who need financial help to continue their dressage education. The grant review committee will look for applicants who are eager to grow and improve, have shown a passion for the sport, and who have demonstrated a commitment to furthering their dressage education.

Grants must be used for dressage-related educational experiences that are not within the horse and rider’s typical training plan.  Examples include clinics, camps, more lessons than a rider normally receives, etc.

One or more grants will be available each year to qualified applicants, chosen by an independent selection committee.

Applicant Information:

  • Applicant must be U.S. Citizen or Permanent Resident.
  • Applicant must be a dressage rider who has served, or is currently serving, in the United States military or be a dependent of a military member.
  • The Fund is open to all branches of the military to include active duty, reserves, and veterans.
  • Applications are accepted from amateur or youth riders, to include para-dressage.
  • Applicant does not need to own or lease the horse they will use for training.
  • A rider may receive this grant only one time.

Additional Grant Information:

  • Funding cannot be used for competition entries, vet and/or farrier expenses, or the purchase of a horse or equipment. 
  • The committee reserves the right to not award a grant in any given year if they determine that no candidate has met the criteria.  The applications and discussions of the selection committee are confidential and their decisions are final.
  • If the grant recipient is unable to attend the specified event/training, TDF must be notified as soon as possible. Approval for a change in the use of funds is at the discretion of TDF and the grant Selection Committee.

Applications must be received on or before May 15th of each year.

About the Military Grant Fund:

The Military Grant Fund was established in 2022 by Colonel David and Sue Bender of Beech Island, South Carolina. Through their generous gift, the Benders wish to recognize the contributions of military members and dependents to our country and sport.

“These individuals are constantly giving to this country in many ways, sometimes with little ability to concentrate on their personal goals,” said Sue Bender. “While serving, the pay received is not large and there are usually moves required every two to three years. We hope that this Fund will ease the financial burden of dressage training and will allow recipients to take the time to focus on their riding goals.”