The Dressage Foundation’s Shannon Foundation Fund Awards Two Grants to Dressage Judges

Michell Combs (Photo: Marilyn R. Sheldon)

Michell Combs (Photo: Marilyn R. Sheldon)

The Dressage Foundation (TDF) is pleased to announce that dressage judges Michell Combs (AZ) and Katie Rocco (MA) have each received a $1,500 Shannon Foundation Fund Grant for Judges’ Licensing to help them obtain their “recorded” (small r) license from USEF.

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.  

Michell Combs said, “I am honored and grateful to be selected as a recipient of TDF’s Shannon Fund Grant. As a life-long student of dressage, my passion for education and training led me to a goal to become a USEF licensed dressage judge. I applied for the USEF ‘r’ dressage judge program and was selected to attend a program in New York. Because I live in Arizona, the grant will relieve some of the financial pressure associated with the program’s cost and travel. I’m looking forward to being focused and confident as I continue the education, training and testing to become an ‘r’ dressage judge.”

Katie Rocco shared, “Becoming an ‘r’ judge has been a goal of mine for some years and this grant will go a long way in making it all come together. I deeply believe in doing the right thing for the horse and I have always tried to convey this belief through my comments while judging. I also strive to give feedback to riders that gives them a clear, positive picture of what took place during their ride. I intend to extend this positive perspective while I judge and hope that riders feel comfortable and relaxed while riding in my arena.”


Katie Rocco

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. She shared, “I know many people who have spent thousands of dollars to become a dressage judge, and I respect their willingness to sit in the box all day. The Shannon Foundation, through TDF, wanted to provide financial support to help judges achieve their ratings, because they are such a necessity to the sport's growth.”

Applications for the Shannon Foundation Fund grants must be submitted to The Dressage Foundation on or before March 15th of each year.  Visit www.dressagefoundation.org for application information.

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 and scholarships to dressage riders, judges, instructors, breeders, high performance teams, and nonprofit equestrian organizations. For more information, please visit www.dressagefoundation.org




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