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Grants for Youth and Young Adult Riders

  • The Young Rider Dream Program started in 2000, takes five top young American dressage riders to Wellington, FL, for five days of intensive learning opportunities. Applications can be accepted from riders, 18-22 years of age, who are riding at Third Level or above, and who have never trained or competed in the greater Wellington area.

  • The Amanda Johnson Freestyle Fund was established at The Dressage Foundation in 2020 by Amanda’s family and friends, in memory of her dedication to the sport of dressage. The goal of this Fund is to provide an annual grant of up to $2,000 to a young professional between the ages of 20 and 30 to pay for the costs of creating a professionally prepared musical freestyle for competition. Applicants must be current residents of USDF Region 2 or USDF Region 4.

  • With funding provided through the Carol Lavell Gifted Memorial Fund, The Dressage Foundation is pleased to offer grants of up to $500 each to individual participants to attend the USDF/USEF Young Rider Graduate Program.

  • One $1,000 grant will be awarded annually to a youth or young adult rider (25 or under as of December 1st of the current year) who is a current Michigan resident and best exemplifies the qualities that Carolyn found most important in life, including exhibiting the characteristics that demonstrate positive sportsmanship principles.

  • The goal of the Cynthia Aspden Youth and Young Adult Development Fund is to provide financial assistance to youth and young adult riders (age 25 and under) to aid in their development in dressage. Grants awarded will typically be $1,000, to be used for educational experiences that are not within the horse and rider’s typical training plan.

  • The purpose of the Karen Skvarla Fund is to provide $1,500 grants to enable emerging dressage professionals to pursue a variety of training or educational opportunities. Grant applicants should be in the beginning stages of their dressage careers as instructors and/or trainers. The Karen Skvarla Fund especially looks for applicants who are eager to grow and improve and who are fair and respectful to both students and horses.

  • The Lynn Palm Western Dressage Fund was established in 2019 by Lynn in celebration of her 50 years as a professional equestrian and to give back to the sport she loves. Lynn believes that the classical training principles of dressage are applicable and beneficial to all levels of riders, breeds of horses, and riding disciplines. Grants in the amount of $1,000 each are available for riders who need financial help to continue their Western Dressage education.

  • 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. Grants in the amount of $1,000 each are available for amateur or youth riders, to include para-dressage riders, who need financial help to continue their dressage education.

  • The purpose of the Para-Equestrian Dressage Fund is to provide financial support for para-dressage riders, including Visually Impaired and Blind riders, to attend educational events such as clinics/seminars at the USEF/USPEA Para-Equestrian Centers of Excellence, lessons with a trainer of choice, or other educational opportunities that will enable the riders to improve and reach their goals. The amount of the grants can vary depending on the need and request of the applicants, but are typically $1,000 each.

  • The purpose of this Fund is to provide financial support to obtain further dressage training for riders who train and compete a Pure Spanish Horse/P.R.E. in the sport of dressage. An annual grant will be given to either a professional, adult amateur, or a Young Rider (over the age of 16) competing at Prix St. Georges or Young Rider equivalent or higher. The grant is to be used for educational purposes such as training, lessons, clinics, etc.

  • This fund will provide an annual $1,000 grant to a current or graduate rider with a Pony Club Rating of A, B, or C rating to attend an educational event of his/her choice. Preference will be given to riders with an A or B rating.

  • The USDF FEI Youth Clinic Series is an educational opportunity for youth riders striving to compete at FEI levels. The goal of this series is to promote hardworking, talented youth riders who want to rise to the top of the discipline. This year, The Dressage Foundation will help make these clinics possible with a grant to USDF.

  • The USDF/USEF Young Rider Graduate Program is a two-day educational seminar that focuses on crucial topics that young adults, ages 20-28, need to know to prepare for a professional career in the equine industry. Topics include goal setting, sponsorship, international competition and business subjects such as contracts, insurance and tax practices. The Dressage Foundation helps make this event possible with a grant to USDF.