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2020 Shannon Foundation Fund for Judges' Licensing Recipient: Krystal Wilt (NY)

Photo by Q2 Photography

I am overwhelmingly excited to report that I am now a USEF ‘r’ judge!  I could not have achieved this title without tremendous assistance from the Shannon Foundation Fund grant!  It has been a lifetime goal of mine to become a USEF Licensed Official and work my way up the judging ladder, beginning with attending the USDF L Program.

Through the USEF ‘r’ Program, I was able to meet other judges throughout the nation, both as fellow candidates and as instructors and mentors during our group apprenticing.  This network of judges has already proven to be a priceless benefit of the program; providing me with connections to ask questions and clarify my methodology, as well as develop friendships with peers with who I will hopefully move through the judging levels and attend future programs. 

An unexpected benefit of attending every portion of the judging program, whether it was the classroom session, practice judging on live horses, group apprenticing, USEF Judges mini-clinics, or even the exam, was the level of inspiration that comes from grouping that many knowledgeable and passionate dressage riders together.  Every session that I attended gave me not only judging knowledge, but also riding, training, and teaching insights, and left me excited beyond words to continue learning and participating in a sport that I so adore.

I have to express tremendous gratitude to The Dressage Foundation for their support through the Shannon Foundation Fund grant.  The expense of many weeks of travel, being away from work and family, and the cost of participating in judge education programs certainly adds up, and the grant allowed me to pursue my goal successfully with financial support to offset the many expenses.  I am truly in awe at the contributions that TDF has made to further dressage sport in our country and providing grant support for future judges further supports that goal.  Thank you so much for believing in me and helping me reach my dreams!  I look forward to giving back to our sport as a Licensed Official for many years to come.