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Laura Ashley Killian Awarded The Dressage Foundation’s George Williams Young Professional Grant

Photo by Britt Gillis

Laura Ashley Killian, Loxahatchee, FL, has been selected to receive the 2021 George Williams Young Professional Grant from The Dressage Foundation (TDF). The purpose of the grant is to provide financial support to instructors and trainers aged 25-35 who have a strong desire to participate in continuing education opportunities, to provide higher-quality instruction to their students. Preference is given to those who have started or finished the certification process through the USDF Instructor/Trainer Program.

Laura is a USDF Certified Instructor through Fourth Level and has her USDF bronze, silver, and gold medals. She currently has about 25 weekly lesson students ranging from beginners through FEI levels. She also rides and trains numerous horses. 

Laura plans to use the grant funding to attend clinics with Lilo Fore to help prepare for the FEI examination of the USDF Instructor/Trainer Program. She will also travel to Europe to shadow Eva Möller at Helgstrand Stable in Skye, Germany, and at the World Young Horse Championships in Verden, Germany. Eva, a German dressage trainer, has a history of success at the World and German Young Horse Championships.

Laura said, “I’m thankful to receive the George Williams Fund grant to continue my Instructor/Trainer program journey with Lilo Fore. I am also thrilled to work alongside Eva Möller and to watch the World Young Horse Championships. The networking, mentorship, and education gained from these experiences will be invaluable and I look forward to sharing everything that I have learned. What an incredible opportunity and honor this is!”

When the Fund was established in 2018, George Williams shared, “I want to thank those who have given so generously to this Fund.  It is designed to reflect how important it is that our young professionals have a solid foundation – one that is based on good education and that includes a dedication to becoming first-rate teachers with an unwavering commitment to helping their students learn and become the best they can be, all while passing on love and respect for all horses.”

For more information about this Fund, contact Sara Weiss, Director of Grants and Programs, at (402) 434-8585 or Applications are due June 1.

TDF welcomes donations to further support young professionals through the George Williams Fund.  Gifts can be made online at or by calling Jenny Johnson, Executive Director, at (402) 434-8585 or  Donations by check can be mailed to TDF’s office at 1314 ‘O’ Street, Suite 305, Lincoln, Nebraska, 68508.

The Dressage Foundation

The Dressage Foundation is a 501(c)(3), non-profit, tax-exempt, donor-driven organization that is dedicated to educating, supporting, and advancing the sport of dressage. The organization solicits contributions, appropriately allocates the donations, and awards grants to dressage riders, judges, instructors, breeders, high-performance teams, nonprofit equestrian organizations, and more. For more information, please visit