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D4K UP with The Dressage Foundation

D4K Unmounted Programs

D4K UP with The Dressage Foundation

Dressage4Kids and The Dressage Foundation are offering an Intro to TDF Grants via Zoom on July 15th at 7:30pm Eastern Time!

The Dressage Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit whose mission is to cultivate and provide financial support for the advancement of dressage in the United States.  Since its founding in 1989, TDF has awarded millions of dollars in grant funding to improve dressage in the United States. Grants are available for riders of all ages and levels, instructors, judges, breeders, show managers, dressage clubs, and more.

We are pleased to welcome panelists Sophia Chavonelle, Jenny Johnson, Sabine Schut-Kery, and Sara Weiss, along with Lendon Gray as moderator.

July 15th at 7:30pm Eastern Time via Zoom

Speaker Bios

Sophia Chavonelle - Sophia Chavonelle is a USDF bronze and silver Medalist based in San Diego, California, where she has worked for Sabine Schut-Kery since 2021. Sophia grew up riding at Vienna Farm in southern Maine, serving as a Region 8 Delegate, USDF Youth Programs Advisory Subcommittee member, and the New England Dressage Association’s Youth Liaison for several years before her move to the West Coast. In 2016, Sophia was awarded the USDF’s Youth Volunteer of the Year, and in 2018 represented Region 8 at the North American Youth Championships. The next year Sophia was lucky to be selected for The Dressage Foundation’s Young Rider International Dream program to attend the CHIO Aachen. A member of Dressage4Kids since 2014, Sophia has been a part of nearly every D4K program including the Winter Intensive Training program in 2021, where she was introduced to Sabine. Since then, she has transitioned from young rider to young professional, competing with her horse Jetson successfully through Intermediate 1.


Lendon Gray - From her early years competing in Pony Club, western riding, hunters, and driving to her famous work with Seldom Seen and other ponies, Lendon developed a reputation for “taking unremarkable horses and making them good.” This belief in created talent and the power of dedication has inspired many of Lendon’s activities over the years. Determined to give others the opportunity to learn and improve, she has been extremely involved with organizations such as TDF, USET, USEF, USDF, US Pony Club, and Dressage4Kids (D4K), having served on nearly 50 committees for these organizations. She was a founding member USDF Instructor Certification program where she is currently an Examiner.

As a competitor Lendon not only won innumerable national championships, but she also represented the US in international shows in Europe and Australia, competed in the 1978 World Championships and was on the 1980 and 1988 Olympic Dressage Teams.

Though busy with organizational commitments, Lendon has been a successful professional in the equine world since she was 15. Over the years, she has taught clinics all over the world.  Lendon’s formidable reputation for her coaching abilities is reflected in her training of many International, national, and regional champion riders, both juniors and adults.

Generous, outspoken, and pragmatic, Lendon has devoted her energies to the improvement of all riders and all horses. With the goal that all youth might learn how to become, not just better riders, but all-around horsemen, Lendon established Lendon’s Youth Dressage Festival in 1999. This was followed by the creation of the organization Dressage4Kids which has blossomed into a full-fledged non-profit, operating YDF, D4K UP (Unmounted Programs), the Winter and Summer Intensive Training Programs, the TEAM program (Training, Education, and Mentoring), the Horse Donation Program, Training4Teaching, and the Scholarship Program.

Lendon has been repeatedly recognized for her performance and service including the 1989 Governor’s Award from Maine Sports Hall of Fame, 2002 Exceptional Equine Educator Award, ARIA Master Instructor Award, USPC Legend (2004), 2006 Sweet Briar College Sports Hall of Fame, 2011 USDF Hall of Fame (Seldom Seen was also elected to the Hall of Fame),and in 2020 the Most Influential Trainer Award from Young/Youngish Equine Professionals Group. 


Jenny Johnson – Jenny Johnson is currently in her 15th year with The Dressage Foundation, where she has served as Executive Director since 2014. In her role, she has the honor of working closely with donors who have big dreams for the U.S. dressage community and helps those donors reach their philanthropic goals through contributions to TDF. Growing up as a lover of all things horse-related, Jenny is amazed each day about how she came to this dream role. She lives just outside Lincoln, NE, with her husband, three teenagers, and rescue dog, who keeps her plenty busy outside of work.


Sabine Schut-Kerry – Sabine Schut-Kery captured the attention of dressage enthusiasts around the world when she competed in the 2021 Tokyo Olympics.  She and Sanceo displayed elegance, harmony, balance, and poise in one of the world’s highest-stakes and most competitive environments.  With every ride, the pair achieved a new all-time personal best score, surpassing the elusive 80% twice, helping to secure the United States Team Silver Medal, and culminating with an impressive fifth place in the world in the individual competition. 

Sabine’s path to the Olympics, however, involves quite a unique history.  German-born and classically educated within the German system, her career began in the entertainment industry, where she trained and showcased horses in exhibitions.  Those exhibition years are why Sabine is who she is today and are an invaluable part of her success in the sport of dressage.  It is during this time she developed her training philosophy, techniques, and style that she has taken into the dressage arena.  

In 2005, Sabine decided to focus solely on developing horses for the sport of dressage.  She remains true to her German classical dressage roots and trains under Olympian Christine Traurig.  She bases her business at The Palms Equestrian Center in San Diego, California.

Of the many critical components that involve training, Sabine prioritizes the welfare of the horse above all else.  “When I train a horse, it is important to me to interact with him, not only on a physical level but a mental one, as well.  I feel it is my responsibility to safeguard the spirit and the soul of the horse.”


Sara Weiss – Sara Weiss has worked for The Dressage Foundation for four years as Director of Grants and Programs. Sara works directly with grant applicants and grant selection committees. She also helps to organize TDF’s Century Club. Before TDF, Sara worked for the Omaha Equestrian Foundation and was a member of the Organizing Committee for the 2017 FEI World Cup Finals in Omaha. Sara is a lifelong equestrian, first competing in Paint, Pinto, and 4-H, before transitioning to the hunter/jumper world. Sara lives in Omaha, NE, with her husband, two kids, and a crazy dog. 



Registration Fees

We understand that access to education has in some cases become quite expensive.  Therefore, in lieu of registration fees, we invite you to make an optional donation to Dressage4Kids and The Dressage Foundation.  A donation of any size is welcome.  In order to receive the Zoom log in information, please be sure to fill out the registration form below (one registration form per person).

Registration deadline: July 14, 2024

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Dressage4Kids, Inc. reserves the right to alter or modify the advertised speakers and/or schedule as necessary.

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