The Dressage Foundation Announces 2021 Amanda Johnson Freestyle Fund Recipient

Wednesday, December 8, 2021
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Cover-Brynne Varvel Abby Westman Photography.jpg

The Dressage Foundation (TDF) is pleased to announce Brynne Varvel of Bloomington, IN, as the 2021 recipient of the AmandaJohnson Freestyle Fund grant.  This Fund provides an annual grant of up to $2,000 to a young professional from USDF Region 2 or 4 to pay for the costs of creating a professionally prepared musical freestyle for competition.

Brynne has been a professional for just a year but had a long Junior/Young Rider career. She has attended clinics with Lilo Fore and Laura Graves and has taken lessons with Maryal Barnett. She is close to earning her USDF gold medal and is also participating in the USDF L Education Program. Brynne plans to work with Beth Hall of Woodwind Studios to create a Third Level Freestyle. Beth is an L Program graduate and has a master's degree in music.

Brynne said, “I am so excited to have the opportunity to have my first professional freestyle created thanks to this amazing grant. Riders like Amanda Johnson have inspired my desire to ride freestyle, so it is an absolute honor to receive this grant and be able to ride in her memory. I am greatly looking forward to this process and to being able to ride down centerline to music!”

This Fund was established by Amanda’s family and friends in memory of her dedication to the sport of dressage.  Amanda passed away in 2018 at the age of 37 after a three-year struggle with triple-negative breast cancer.  Her family and friends remember her as kind, generous, humble, talented, and brave. She was a well-respected member of the dressage community as a trainer, coach, competitor, and clinician.  Amanda was a lifelong student of dressage and especially enjoyed showing in the musical freestyle classes. 

Applications are due October 15. Visit www.dressagefoundation.org for more information and to find the online application form. Contact Sara Weiss, Director of Grants and Programs at (402) 434-8585 or sara@dressagefoundation.org with any questions.

To donate to the Amanda Johnson Freestyle Fund, contact Jenny Johnson, TDF’s Executive Director, at (402) 434-8585 or jenny@dressagefoundation.org.  Secure online donations can also be made at www.dressagefoundation.org.

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.