A record number of USDF Group Member Organizations (GMOs) have applied for Violet M. Hopkins Fund grants to seed educational programs in 2004. The Dressage Foundation administers the fund, which is specifically for USDF GMOs to offer effective dressage programs to riders at all levels. A GMO may receive up to $2000 in a calendar year to underwrite dressage clinics, lectures, camps, and/or demonstrations that serve the greater good of the dressage group.
"Basics, basic, basics," was always Vi Hopkins mantra," said John Boomer, TDF President and CEO. "This fund encourages GMOs and chapters to incorporate extra educational benefits into their program plans such as lectures on basics and theory. It can also help to cut costs to participants and auditors."
The fund was started in 1995 to honor Violet M. Hopkins, a lifelong dressage rider, trainer, instructor and judge. Vi Hopkins devoted her adult life to issues of education for dressage riders, with special concentration on the training of American dressage instructors who teach the dressage riders. Vi left two major legacies to American dressage – the core curriculum for dressage instructors which grew into both the National Dressage Symposium and the USDF Instructor Certification program, and the Violet Hopkins Living Trust, a continuous source of funding to support educational activities of USDF GMOs through The Dressage Foundation.
In past years, many GMOs have found the additional financial support from the Hopkins Fund to make a big difference in the success of their programs:
Central States Dressage & Eventing: "On behalf of participants of the Rider Development Program, THANK YOU! This will help us keep the program affordable to riders."
Dallas Dressage Club: "Thank you for being there to help Dressage! Because of the grant help you provided, we could give a reduced rate to our participants!"
New England Dressage Association: "...our warmest thanks to The Dressage Foundation for helping to make this pilot program a possibility. Truly exciting!"
CDS/Santa Clarita Valley Dressage: "We had a blast during the weekend of freestyle. It would not have been possible to have this weekend without your help!"
In 1995, the Violet M. Hopkins Fund awarded the first grants totaling $2400 to four GMOs. By mid-year 2004, The Dressage Foundation has awarded grants to 20 GMOs and will no doubt award others in the last half of the year. Expectation of total grants for 2004 is in excess of $30,000.
Recent funding for 2004 includes:
- Mid South Eventing & Dressage Association
- CDS/Santa Clarita Valley chapter
- Dallas Dressage Club
- Charles River Dressage Association
- New England Dressage Association
- Tri State Dressage Society
- California Quadrille Association
- Connecticut Dressage Association
- New Mexico Dressage Association
- Central Vermont Dressage Association
- Nebraska Dressage Association
- Tri-State Dressage Association
- Oklahoma Dressage Society
- New Mexico Dressage Association
- Central States Dressage & Eventing
- Kansas City Dressage & Eventing
- Commonwealth Dressage & Combined Training Association
- Eastern New York Dressage & Combined Training Association
- Kansas Dressage & Eventing Association
- Middle Georgia Sporthorse Association
Complete information about the Violet M. Hopkins Fund and a grant application are available at The Dressage Foundation website (www.dressagefoundation.org). Applications must be submitted at least 90 days before the planned event.
This program is made possible by donations to The Dressage Foundation, 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 at 130 North Tenth, Lincoln , NE 68508 ; phone: 402/434-8585; or email to email@example.com. Visit the website at www.dressagefoundation.org.