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Four Young Riders Awarded Grants from TDF's Cynthia Aspden Youth and Young Adult Development Fund

The Dressage Foundation (TDF) is pleased to announce that grants from the Cynthia Aspden Youth and Young Adult Development Fund have been awarded to four riders after receiving a record number of grant applications.  

TDF’s Cynthia Aspden Youth and Young Adult Development Fund provides financial assistance to youth and young adult riders (age 25 and under) to aid in their development in dressage.  The grant selection committee was pleased to receive a record number of applications and stated that the quality of the applicants was exceptional.  One committee member remarked “With this many accomplished kids applying, it makes me feel confident about the future of dressage.”  

Maren Fouché-Hanson, a 13-year-old rider from Colbert, GA, has been awarded a $1,000 grant to train with Gary Rockwell.  Maren said, “This grant will allow me to work with Gary Rockwell and develop my new horse from Dressage4Kids in the FEI Junior division. Like Cynthia Aspden, I hold the care and happiness of the horses as #1 and I will continue my volunteer efforts to help others succeed and grow in dressage.”   

Sophia Chavonelle, a 20-year-old rider from Windham, ME, has also been awarded a $1,000 grant to take part in the Dressage4Kids’ ninth annual Winter Intensive Training program in Wellington, FL, this winter. Sophia said, "I am so grateful to TDF for selecting me to be a recipient of the Cynthia Aspden Fund grant! By attending the 2021 Dressage4Kids Winter Intensive Training program, I will continue to train at the Young Rider level with my horse, W Spotlight, as well as learn new horsemanship skills. This is sure to be a winter I will never forget! Thank you, TDF!"

Annelise Klepper, a 15-year-old rider from McCutchenville, OH, has been awarded $500 to take lessons with Katherine Bateson-Chandler while in Florida for the winter season.  "I am so incredibly grateful to be receiving this grant,” Annelise said. “The training it will provide will be immensely helpful in Wellington, especially in preparation for the CDI circuit. My hopes for this season are to compete in the PSG, and the Cynthia Aspden Fund grant allows me to supplement my training and rock it in the show ring! Thank you so much.” 

Andie Sue Roth, a 15-year-old from Alamo, CA, has also been awarded $500 to continue training with Brenda Beare.  She said, "I am so grateful to TDF for this very generous grant. I have been working to get my horse, Blue, up the levels in dressage so that we can compete at the standard needed for the USEF Paralympic Emerging and Developing athlete lists, but I need extra training on a horse who is confident at the higher levels. That is where the beautiful 'Exclusively Sunny' comes in. Being able to extend my training with Brenda and Sunny for another month is invaluable as I am hoping to compete in another para dressage competition in Wellington in January. Thank you so very much for this opportunity!” 

The Cynthia Aspden Fund grant application is available here, with a deadline of September 1st of each year.  For more information about these grants, contact Sara Weiss, Director of Grants and Programs, at (402) 434-8585 or 

Top left - Maren Fouché-Hanson by Meg McGuire Photography
Top right - Sophia Chavonelle by Kristin Chavonelle
Bottom left - Annelise Klepper by Susan J. Stickle
Bottom right - Andie Sue Roth by A.J.S.K. Photography