The Dressage Foundation Creates New Grant For Youth Riders

Tuesday, August 23, 2016
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Keri-lyn Thomas (GA)

Keri-lyn Thomas (GA) (Photo: Jean Carnet)

The Dressage Foundation announced a new Grant Fund for youth riders, established by a gift from the estate of Cynthia Aspden. TDF is pleased to share that the inaugural Cynthia Aspden Youth Development Fund Grants have been awarded to three youth riders: Emma Claire Stephens (TX), Katherine Tackett (NC), and Keri-lyn Thomas (GA).

Cynthia was known as the “go-to- woman” throughout her dressage community, giving freely of her time and experience to whomever needed it. As a professional groom and barn manager for many years, her top priority was the health and welfare of horses in her care, and she often shared her knowledge with youth riders through free educational clinics. Cynthia was an instrumental volunteer for the Virginia Dressage Association; she served on the Board of the Charlottesville Chapter, helped organize many fundraisers, and could be found donating her time and energy at many dressage shows.

Emma Claire Stephens (TX)

Emma Claire Stephens (TX) (Photo: Patricia Ernesto)

Before Cynthia passed away in August 2011, she made it clear that her estate gift was to be used to help youth riders in dressage. She felt that this group of riders needed to become horsemen, not just riders, as their foundation is critical for the growth of the sport.

The goal of TDF’s Cynthia Aspden Youth Development Fund will be to provide financial assistance to youth and young adult riders (age 25 and under) to aid in their development in dressage.

Katherine Tackett (NC)

Katherine Tackett (NC)

Grants will typically range in the amount of $250 - $1,000, to be used for educational experiences that are not within the horse and rider’s typical training plan. These may include events such as USDF’s youth outreach clinics or Dressage4Kids’ Emerging Dressage Athlete Program or Winter Intensive Training Program.

The grant application will be available on The Dressage Foundation’s website with a deadline of July 15 th of each year.

For more information, please visit www.dressagefoundation.org.