Your TDF Update: April 2024

Donor Pamela Jones (right) in good company, riding with Debbie McDonald and Adrienne Lyle

The Dressage Foundation is a donor-driven organization. But what does that mean? It means that all the good work -- supporting U.S. dressage in nearly every aspect -- is only possible because of the generosity of many amazing people.

In the past 35 years, thousands of donors have come together to make a big difference. One of those donors is Pamela Jones, who not only contributes to TDF as a whole, but also founded the $25,000 Debbie McDonald Fund for FEI Riders.

Pamela shared...

"Providing opportunities and access to others has always been a core value for our family, as has our passion for animal welfare. I realized that we could contribute to both of these purposes in the horse world by exposing as many people as possible to classical training methods which put the horse’s welfare and well-being first.

"My professional background is in finance and accounting so I tend to evaluate contributions to charitable organizations in much of the same way I would evaluate investment opportunities in my work:

  • Does the organization have a clear mission and vision?
  • Does the organization have a track record of successfully implementing their plans and achieving their goals?
  • Are the leadership and staff talented and committed to the organization and its ambitions?
  • Are they fiscally responsible, cost conscious, and diligent in the use of resources to produce optimal results?

"In my due diligence of The Dressage Foundation, as I interfaced with leadership and staff, reviewed literature and financial information, and witnessed all the great work they do, the answer to all of the above questions was a resounding YES!"

Read the Rest of Pam's Story

Two Up-and-Coming Dressage Professionals Receive Grants from Skvarla Fund

We congratulate Cassandra Falardeau (NC) and Sarah Sharpe (SC), this year's recipients of our $1,500 Karen Skvarla Fund Grants for Emerging Professionals!

The Skvarla Fund provides grants enabling dressage professionals, at the beginning stages of their careers, to receive education that will enhance their knowledge and teaching abilities. 

Sarah shared, "While I've had many lessons and participated in clinics, I have never had the opportunity to train intensively for more than a few days at a time. This grant will enable me to train for an extended period on both of my up-and-coming horses. To be able to do this at this point in my dressage career means more than I can say! Thank you to all the donors for this great opportunity!”

Read the News

Sarah Sharpe photo by Susan J Stickle

10 Years of Helping Youth Riders from Michigan

Carolyn Van Cise was a role model in the Michigan dressage community as a trainer, instructor, judge, and mentor. When Carolyn passed away, her family established the Carolyn Van Cise Fund for Michigan Youth and Young Adults at TDF.

Since that time, 10 grants have been awarded to deserving Michigan youth who exemplify positive sportsmanship, good horsemanship, dedication to academic education, and commitment to dressage education.  

Paige Comito has recently been awarded the 2024 Van Cise Fund grant. Carolyn's daughter Carrie Wilson said, “We are amazed that this Fund has awarded 10 grants in memory of my mom. This brings great joy to me and my family as it gives us a way to see my mom still able to influence, educate, and support the youth in our dressage community. We miss her dearly but are very thankful to TDF for keeping her memory and legacy going.”  

Learn More

Paige Comito

Anna Buffini Receives First Patsy Albers Award Presented on the West Coast

We are pleased to announce that Anna Buffini (CA) is the first recipient of our Patsy Albers Award presented on the West Coast!

At the 75th Annual Del Mar National Horse Show managed by HITS, Anna was the highest placing Grand Prix rider who previously competed for the U.S. at the FEI North American Youth Championship, winning our $2,500 Patsy Albers Award.


Anna said, “I am incredibly honored to receive TDF’s Patsy Albers Award! Everyone who knew Patsy has been telling me what an incredible woman she was, and I wish I could have met her. The reason I am able to compete successfully in the Grand Prix today is because of the pipeline from Young Riders to Grand Prix. I would not be the rider I am today without that journey and everything I learned during those years." 

Read the News

Anna Buffini at HITS Del Mar photo by Terri Miller

Applebee: A Three-Time Century Club Member

All horses in the Century Club are special, but there aren't many that have joined the Club with multiple riders. Applebee (aka Jamie) has the distinct honor of carrying three riders to Century Club membership!

Jamie's first ride was in 2022 with owner Janet Mitchell (OR). They had been partners for over 22 years at that point and Janet said that their Century Club ride was "truly the capstone of Jamie's career and of our long partnership."

Later in the same year, Janet's friend, Judith Spaulding (OR), rode Jamie for the Century Club ride. She had taken lessons on him for three years and said when she first began riding Jamie, "I fell in love with the horse and dressage."

Two years later, Jamie is now 30 years old and recently helped Carleen McCornack (OR) join the Club!

Carleen said, "My special thanks will always go to Jamie. Thank you for all you are in my life and for keeping this old, horse-crazy girl’s dreams alive. Onward then, with hopes of good health and fortune to 102!" 

Read Carleen and Applebee's Story

Carleen McCornack and Applebee

Upcoming Grant Deadlines

Don't miss out on the opportunity to apply for funding for your dressage education!

5/1 -- U.S. Breeder Excellence Fund

5/15 -- Military Grant Fund for youth, amateurs, and para-dressage riders

6/1 -- Barnett Fund Grant to attend USDF Instructor/Trainer Development Program

6/1 -- George Williams Fund for Young Professionals

6/1 -- Veronica Holt Fund for Technical Delegates

6/1 -- Region 9 Teaching Excellence Award nominations due

6/15 -- Debbie McDonald Fund for FEI Riders

75 days before the event -- Many grants are available for dressage clubs/groups to host educational events.

TDF's Grant Calendar

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The Dressage Foundation

(402) 434-8585