Amanda Ward JR/YR Memorial Award Presented at NEDA Fall Festival - Benefits Deserving Young Rider

The Amanda Ward JR/YR Memorial Award was established this year to honor Amanda Ward, who passed away in July, and to inspire future young dressage riders to pursue their dreams of dancing with horses as Amanda did everyday of her life.

Ward competed in the North American Young Riders' Championships from 1993-1995, and had established her own business as a dressage trainer, before her untimely death is a tragic car accident this year.

She was a beautiful young woman in both presence and spirit, who after a glamorous career as a fashion model returned to her home in Exeter, New Hamphire in 2003 to the best part of her life, a life with horses, family, and the love of her life, Derek, who she planned to marry. A beautiful and touching website has been created in her memory, when family, friends, and some of Amanda's former Young Rider competitors have posted their thoughts and photos:

Micaela Mabragana won the prestigious Amanda Ward JR/YR Memorial Award riding her horse Granada at the New England Dressage Association's Fall Festival competition, held this past September 13th - 16th in Saugerties, NY. Mabragana won the $1000 award for her high score of 68.9% in the CDI Young Rider Individual Test.

During the mounted award ceremony, Micaela Mabragana bowed her head in respect, as the announcer read a short piece opening with "As many of you know, we lost a great friend and colleague this past summer—Amanda Ward." Melinda Johnson, Amanda's first dressage instructor, presented the award. Following the presentation, Micaela rode a victory gallop aboard her gelding Granada, much to the excitement of New England dressage fans gathered at the New England Dressage Show finals.

Micaela Mabragana, 21, is from Argentina and resides in Bedford NY. She is currently training under Olympic rider Lendon Gray. At the award ceremony Gray said, “This award could not have gone to a more deserving Young Rider. Micaela is such a hard worker and she is also a very nice person.” Gray added, “And this award money will help her very much, since she earns her own way, without additional sources of financial support."

To ensure this memorial legacy award helps young dressage riders well into the future, please consider making a donation to the Amanda Ward Legacy Fund. Donations can be sent to: The Dressage Foundation, Wells Fargo Center, Suite 732, 1248 O Street, Lincoln, NE 68508. Please make checks payable to The Dressage Foundation and place The Amanda Ward Legacy Scholarship written in the memo line.

The Dressage Foundation is a non-profit, tax-exempt organization, whose mission is, "to cultivate and provide financial support for the advancement of Dressage." For more information contact: The Dressage Foundation,
Wells Fargo Center, Suite 732,
1248 'O' Street,
Lincoln, NE 68508.
Phone: 402-434-8585.
Fax: 402-436-3053.
Email to
Visit our website at: