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TDF’s Shannon Foundation Fund Awards Three Grants to Dressage Judges

The Dressage Foundation (TDF) is pleased to announce three recipients of a grant from its Shannon Foundation Fund for Judges’ Licensing. Each recipient will receive a $1,000 grant to use toward the cost of training for their licenses.

Katelyn Victoria Kok (KS): Katelyn Victoria is a member of the Kansas City Dressage Society and will use her grant funding to participate in the USEF 'r' Judges program and apprenticing. She is a USDF gold, silver, and bronze medalist with distinction and runs a training and sales program in Kansas City, KS, with clients from grassroots to Grand Prix.

Photo by Susan J Stickle

Katelyn Victoria said, “Thank you so much for this support! This grant will help in my journey to becoming a licensed USEF ‘r’ judge! As many know, this road is long and expensive. Judging training means lots of travel, time away from our businesses, and apprenticing expenses. The support I receive through TDF will help make this goal a reality and lend much-needed support to alleviate the financial stress incurred while becoming a judge.”

Sandy Toby (VA): Sandy is a long-time board member of the Virginia Dressage Association and the Southeast Virginia Dressage Association and has been a USDF Region 1 Delegate for over 10 years. Sandy is a USDF gold, silver, and bronze medalist. Sandy’s goal after retirement from the police force is to be an 'S' judge. She will use her funding to apprentice with approved judges and for her final exam.

Photo by High Time Photography

Sandy said, “TDF’s commitment to the dressage community makes significant impacts on riders, trainers, and judges to aid in educational endeavors that may not be financially feasible for candidates. The generosity of TDF will make an enormous difference in my life and educational path. I hope that one day I can pay it forward and make a difference in someone else's life. I am thrilled about the ability to continue my education at the next judging level and sharing my journey. I am honored to receive this grant. Thank you to TDF and donors for helping make this dream come true.”

Nicole Trapp (WI): Nicole is a member of the New Dressage Association and Wisconsin Dressage Association. Nicole is the head trainer at a barn near Milwaukee. She plans to use her grant funding for her USEF 'r' Judges program apprenticeship in Lexington, KY, and for her final exam in Saugerties, NY.

Photo by April Knuth

Nicole said, “Thank you to The Dressage Foundation and the donors of the Shannon Foundation Fund. I appreciate being one of the grant recipients to help me complete the USDF ‘r’ Judges program this fall! I’m learning so much through this program that will help me be a better judge, and education will make me a more effective instructor and trainer.  Thank you so much for the support!”

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. 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.   

Applications for the Shannon Foundation Fund grants must be submitted to The Dressage Foundation on or before March 15th of each year.  For more information about this Fund, please contact Sara Weiss, Director of Grants and Programs, at or at (402) 434-8585 or visit

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