Skip to main content

TDF’s Verne Batchelder Instructor Fund Awards Inaugural Grants to Dressage Instructors

The Dressage Foundation (TDF) is pleased to announce the recipients of the new Verne Batchelder Instructor Fund. The Fund, established by Verne’s family and friends in 2020, is dedicated to the memory of Mr. Batchelder’s long career as a dressage instructor and sport horse breeder.

The Verne Batchelder Instructor Fund provides grants of up to $2,500 to professional instructors from USDF Regions 1, 3, or 8 for continuing education and training.  Due to generous donor support and a large number of well-qualified applicants, TDF’s Board of Directors approved the awarding of two $2,500 grants this year.   

Angelia Bean, King of Prussia, PA, has operated Straight Forward Dressage since 2005 and works with a variety of clients from Pony Clubbers to FEI level riders.  She will use this funding to take three week-long training trips to work with Kathy Rowse.

“I am humbled and honored to receive the Verne Batchelder Instructor Fund grant. The spirit of this grant so clearly reflects one of my core values, that an instructor can only share the knowledge investment that they made in themselves. Making that necessary investment, among the noise and demands of a client-centered dressage career, isn't easy. Verne's Fund understands those challenges and helps in a very real, practical way. Thank you seems like too small of words for the gratitude in my heart.”

Jane Whitehurst, Odessa, FL, has been a professional dressage instructor for 35 years. While she works with a wide age range of riders, most of her clients are 50 years old or older. Jane will use the funds to take lessons with Jill Hardt and participate in clinics at Jill’s facility. 

“When I first read about the Verne Batchelder Instructor Fund , I felt like it was written just for me.  To be chosen for this grant makes me feel amazingly special.  This grant means that the work and experience I have put into a lifetime of dressage and horses has earned the recognition from a committee that believes I am worthy.  I am very appreciative and will relish this opportunity to continue broadening my knowledge base and passing this information to my students.  Thank you for the financial support to meet my riding goals, Already, I am much lighter in the saddle having that burden lifted off my shoulders.”

Nora Batchelder, Verne’s daughter, said, "My family and I are thrilled to hear from The Dressage Foundation that the inaugural offering of the Verne Batchelder Instructor Fund has been very well received. We are delighted that both the number and quality of applicants warranted awarding two grants this first year. Thank you to The Dressage Foundation and all those who made contributions to keeping Verne’s legacy of dressage education for all horses and riders alive through this Fund. Congratulations to the instructors chosen. Now, please go forth and learn and share your dressage knowledge, as not many things would have made Verne happier."

Applications for the Verne Batchelder Instructor Fund are due September 10th.  Visit for more information and to find the online application form. Contact Sara Weiss, Director of Grants and Programs at (402) 434-8585 or with any questions

Donations to the Fund are welcome and can be made online or by calling Jenny Johnson, Executive Director, at (402) 434-8585 or