The Dressage Foundation Announces 2020 Multiple Grant Recipients

Lincoln, NE. – Oct. 30, 2020 – Over the last few weeks, The Dressage Foundation (TDF) is has announce recipients for several of their grant opportunities. Check out the winner’s below:

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

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.

  • 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!”

Veronica Holt Dressage Technical Delegate Fund: 
Provides financial assistance to pay for costs associated with completing apprenticeship requirements at competitions or attending required TD clinics.

  • Arlene Gaitan of Lakehills, TX is an adult amateur rider who has been involved in dressage since her early 20s and is a USDF silver and bronze medalist. Arlene is also a USDF L Program graduate and loves to be involved in supporting dressage, especially at a grassroots level.  Arlene became interested in becoming a Technical Delegate because of their crucial role for the welfare of the horse and for the safety of riders.
    “I am thrilled to receive the Veronica Holt Dressage Technical Delegate grant.  This grant will help me tremendously, particularly to defray expenses for travel from Texas to apprentice at the Tryon International Equestrian Center with “R” TD, Carolyn VandenBerg.”
Left: Kelly Coyne by High Time Photography. Right: Kristina Harrison-Antell by Susan J Stickle.

$25,000 Carol Lavell Advanced Dressage Prizes:
The Carol Lavell Advanced Dressage Prize Fund was established in 2009 in special remembrance of Carol’s mother, May Cadwgan, and in honor of her father, Gordon Cadwgan. Since that time, the Prize Fund has made sixteen awards totaling $400,000 in support of U.S. High Performance teams.

  • Kelly Coyne of Virginia Beach, Virginia, with her 8-year-old Lipizzan/Dutch Warbmlood mare named Brilliance. The pair was named the 2019 Region 1 Fourth Level Open Champions and are currently competing at Intermediate 2. Kelly will use the funds to travel to Florida for the winter season to train with Olympian Michael Poulin. She also plans to compete at Adequan Global Dressage Festival. Kelly said, “What an incredible honor it is to be selected as one of this year’s recipients of the Carol Lavell Advanced Dressage Prize! Brilliance is my horse of a lifetime and I am overjoyed to now have the resources to continue our journey and take her training to the next level. I am so thankful to my coach and mentor Michael Poulin for his tutelage, and for always inspiring and motivating me.”
  • Kristina Harrison-Antell of Los Angeles, California, with her 10-year-old KWPN gelding Finley, who she competes Intermediate I. They are members of the Kundrun USEF Dressage Development Program and received third place in Prix St. Georges and 6th place overall in the Small Tour at the 2019 Festival of Champions. Kristina plans to travel with Finley to Wellington, Florida, for the 2021 season to train with Debbie McDonald and Button Baker, as well as compete in CDI competitions. Kristina shared, “Finley is a once-in-a-lifetime horse and I pinch myself every single day that I am fortunate enough to own him. This grant money will be transformational in helping me accelerate Finley’s future through training and competitions on a larger stage.”

Inaugural 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 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 of 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. “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 of 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.”


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