The Dressage Foundation (TDF) has announced the recipients of this year’s Shannon Foundation Fund for Judges Licensing. Jaki Hardy (CA), Alexis Martin-Vegue (CA), Anne Moss (PA), Danielle Toscano (PA), and Joan Williams (CA) will each receive $600 to pursue their USEF dressage judge licenses.
The purpose of the Shannon Foundation Fund for Judges’ Licensing is to provide financial support for dressage judges to participate in activities related to obtaining a judging license of “recorded” (‘small r’) or higher.
Williams is pursuing her Senior ‘S’ status; Hardy, Moss, and Toscano are pursuing their Registered ‘R’ licenses; Martin-Vegue is pursuing her recorded ‘r’ status.
The grant recipients shared their thanks:
“Thank you to The Dressage Foundation for awarding me the Shannon Foundation Fund grant. I will use the money to apprentice outside my region, which would be a financial burden without the grant.” – Jaki Hardy
“Receiving the Shannon Foundation Fund grant will help me to cover the expense of the group apprentice requirements I must complete before my ‘small r’ exam. Being relieved of the financial burden frees me up to focus on studying and learning all I can from the dedicated and experienced judges who are teaching the program.” – Alexis Martin-Vegue
“The grant from the Shannon Foundation Fund will be a great help in pursuing several apprenticing sessions for the USEF ‘R’ dressage judge training program. My goal is to study with as many top judges in the country before the final exam.” – Anne Moss
“Apprenticing not only satisfies the requirement for the program, but it is also a great opportunity to work with experienced and educated upper-level judges. I will be able to apply what I learn from my mentors toward my own judging.” – Danielle Toscano
“I would like to thank TDF for the grant from the Shannon Foundation Fund. Becoming a better dressage professional is a lifetime journey and there is a great deal of travel and studying involved. The grant will help me achieve my goals!” – Joan Williams
The Shannon Foundation Board of Directors, at the request of dressage professional Julie Shannon (GA), established these grants at TDF in 2016. As a successful instructor and trainer, Julie saw the need to help dressage judges who are interested in moving up the levels, to create a strong pipeline of judges in the United States. She shared, “I know many people who have spent thousands of dollars to become a dressage judge, and I respect their willingness to sit in the box all day. The Shannon Foundation, through TDF, wanted to provide financial support to help judges achieve their ratings, because they are such a necessity to the sport's growth.”
Applications for the Shannon Foundation Fund grants must be submitted to The Dressage Foundation on or before March 15th of each year. Click here for application information.
(All photos are courtesy of the grant recipients)