$25,000 Debbie McDonald Fund for FEI Riders Announced

$25,000 Debbie McDonald Fund for FEI Riders Announced

The Dressage Foundation (TDF) is honored to announce that its previous $10,000 Debbie McDonald Fund for Pacific Northwest FEI Riders has been expanded and increased, thanks to the generosity of Pamela S. Jones and the Jones Family Foundation—Malama Honua.

Beginning this year, TDF’s Debbie McDonald Fund will now offer $25,000 grants to FEI riders from across the country, to include riders in the Under 25 Division.

The Debbie McDonald Fund will provide funding for high-level training to horse and rider pairs who are training at Prix St. Georges or higher, who show potential to succeed at FEI Levels, and who may not otherwise have the opportunity for the training. Additionally, the Fund seeks to grow the legacy of compassionate and effective dressage training embodied by Debbie.

Beth Baumert, TDF’s President and CEO said, “Over many years, Debbie McDonald has repeatedly proven her ability to develop top dressage horses that are also healthy and happy. For me, that’s the bottom line. Debbie’s horses go the extra mile for their riders because they’re physically able to and they mentally and emotionally want to. The more that Debbie’s unique ability can be duplicated or at least approximated in her students, the better. Endless thanks to Pam Jones and the Jones Family Foundation—Malama Honua for making this extraordinary grant possible.”

Debbie McDonald shared, “I can’t thank Pam, her foundation, and The Dressage Foundation enough for giving this opportunity to riders. I am hopeful that this will help us identify and help riders that would not have this opportunity otherwise.”

A special note from Pam Jones:

To say that Debbie McDonald has a profound positive impact on U.S. dressage and most important, in my opinion, on the well-being of our horses, is an understatement. We all witness how Debbie’s training creates relaxed, joyful, willing equine partners and winning results in the show ring. 

Debbie always puts the horse first. She brilliantly clarifies the training process in a way that is understandable and kind to the horse, quickly rewarding even the smallest of desired responses to aids. Debbie teaches us to always be mindful of the horse’s physical and mental health, and to create opportunities for our equine partners to succeed. After a day of training with Debbie, every horse comes out better and keen to work. Resistances or misunderstandings that may have existed begin to evaporate.  

These grants will provide U.S. dressage riders opportunities to further their education, learning from trainers who adhere to these empathetic training methods. Our hope is that the educational opportunities provided by these grants will help to further the spread of this knowledge and understanding throughout our dressage communities, benefiting our horses and U.S. dressage. 

My family and I are grateful for the opportunity to support grants made in Debbie’s honor. Thank you to the dedicated Board and staff at The Dressage Foundation for the tremendous time and effort they apply to the management of these, and many other grants, all for the benefit our entire dressage community. 

TDF welcomes additional donations to the Debbie McDonald Fund for FEI Riders. Gifts can be made at www.dressagefoundation.org or by calling Jenny Johnson, TDF’s Executive Director, at (402) 434-8585.  Donations by check can be mailed to TDF’s office at 1314 ‘O’ Street, Suite 305, Lincoln, Nebraska, 68508.

The grant guidelines and application for the Debbie McDonald Fund for FEI Riders can be found on The Dressage Foundation’s website at www.dressagefoundation.org.  The application deadline will be June 15th of each year.

For more information, call The Dressage Foundation at (402) 434-8585 or email info@dressagefoundation.org.

About 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.