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Christian Kennedy Memorial Fund Scholarships

The Christian Meriwether Kennedy Memorial Fund was established with Dressage4Kids to support Dressage4Kids' mission to develop youth riders through training that promotes horsemastership, riding, sportsmanship, education, and fun.

Christian's legacy is one of love: love for the horse, a spirit of love and respect between trainer and rider, and love and understanding that builds a bridge between the rider, the trainer, and parents.

As a young rider, Christian was known for his patience, his kindness, his horsemanship, and his joie de vivre.  Dressage4Kids, his family, and the equestrian community have chosen to remember Christian through programs and scholarships that reflect and recognize his own understanding that horsemanship means much more than simply riding.  Although Christian's strengths and intellect led him into dressage, he loved jumping and eventing and even went fox hunting with his mother.  Christian's riding ability and work ethic made it possible for him to work in top national programs.  In early 2017, he was awarded one of four national scholarships to train with Robert Dover, former Chef d'Equipe of the US Olympic Team.  Robert has since renamed that particular scholarship in Christian's honor.

Christian, his family, Lendon Gray, and other leaders in the sport have long felt that riding should be more accessible to all kids who are willing to work hard.  His legacy will include not only scholarships for gifted athletes, but also support for programs that help democratize the sport and help train, from the grassroots, American riders who are competitive internationally.

All recipients are expected to give back to D4K programs in some way. Riders can volunteer their time and/or expertise to benefit or enhance Dressage4Kids programs as a whole. Examples include assisting with D4K programs, organizing a clinic or a fundraising event, judging, writing an article or a blog, and/or mentoring new D4K riders.

Scholarship recipients are required to write a report or story about their experience in the form of a letter, journal, blog, or diary. Photographs may be included. The report will be kept by the Committee, shared with local organizations if applicable, and may be used for publicity purposes to advance the overall awards program.

There are currently 3 scholarship opportunities within the Christian Kennedy Memorial Fund.  Click on the links below to read more or continue scrolling down the page.

  • CK Unicorn Scholarship

    The Christian Kennedy Unicorn Scholarship opportunity is now available.  The applicant must be from Iowa and must be nominated by a trainer in Iowa.  The scholarship will be awarded to help fund an educational trip to Wellington, Florida during the Winter season (January – March).  Scholarship funds will be available to help cover transportation to/from Wellington, transportation while in Wellington, accommodations, and other incidentals (please note applicants will be responsible for finding their own housing and will be responsible for transportation to and from the stable and other venues).  Scholarship awards may vary depending on the expenses of the applicant(s) and may not cover all expenses.  

    The Christian Kennedy Unicorn Scholarship Application Form is available at https://dressage4kids.org/scholarships/christian-kennedy-memorial-fund-scholarships/christian-kennedy-unicorn-scholarship.html.

    For questions please contact Mary Livernois at d4k.org@gmail.com

  • CK Young Adult Scholarship

    The D4K Christian Kennedy Young Adult Scholarship will be awarded to promote, train, and inspire young riders through a special winter training grant.  The scholarship will fund one advanced rider, age 18-26, for the 2020 Wellington Winter Equestrian Festival, January through March 2020.  

    The selected rider must plan on bringing his or her own horse (either owned or leased) and will work under the training leadership of Oded Shimoni at OS Dressage in Wellington, Florida.  On riding with Oded, previous scholarship recipient Emily Gill commented, “I am really grateful to work with Oded; he pushes us to be better and that is just what we need!”  After her winter working with Oded, Emily gained her Grand Prix scores for her USDF gold medal on her home raised and trained Morgan.  

    Kim Van Kampen of Hampton Green Farm has offered a special stabling rate.  The scholarship recipient will need to trailer from Hampton Green Farm to OS Dressage twice weekly for lessons.  The scholarship will provide funds up to $15,000 towards transportation to/from Wellington, stabling, training, showing expenses (if applicable), and living expenses (recipient must find their own housing).

    Interested riders must submit an application with information regarding recent training and clinic experience, a training video, a letter of recommendation, two references, and a letter stating riding and life goals.  The selection committee is interested not only in an excellent rider, but in a well-rounded and committed student who is a strong team player, who demonstrates ethical behavior, and who has sound horsemanship skills.

    Evaluation criteria may include: exceptional talent, proven ability to work hard, demonstrated ethical behavior, horsemanship skills, and consistent drive towards stated goals.

    The D4K Christian Kennedy Young Adult Scholarship Application is available by clicking on the following link: https://dressage4kids.org/scholarships/christian-kennedy-memorial-fund-scholarships/d4k-christian-kennedy-young-adult-scholarship.html

  • CK Open Requests

    Open requests may be submitted to the committee at any time during the year and will be considered based on need and available funds. Awards are for specific educational expenses such as seminars, workshops, clinics, lessons, and training programs.  Applicants must state specific objectives, a defined beginning and end, and the request must be for the specific purpose of advancing the individual’s horsemanship skills, knowledge, or experience. All applicants must be actively pursuing a specific goal, and be able to demonstrate ability commensurate with stated objectives.  

CK Unicorn Scholarship

The Christian Kennedy Unicorn Scholarship opportunity is now available.  The applicant must be from Iowa and must be nominated by a trainer in Iowa.  The scholarship will be awarded to help fund an educational trip to Wellington, Florida during the Winter season (January – March).  Scholarship funds will be available to help cover transportation to/from Wellington, transportation while in Wellington, accommodations, and other incidentals (please note applicants will be responsible for finding their own housing and will be responsible for transportation to and from the stable and other venues).  Scholarship awards may vary depending on the expenses of the applicant(s) and may not cover all expenses.  

The Christian Kennedy Unicorn Scholarship Application Form is available at https://dressage4kids.org/scholarships/christian-kennedy-memorial-fund-scholarships/christian-kennedy-unicorn-scholarship.html.

For questions please contact Mary Livernois at d4k.org@gmail.com

CK Young Adult Scholarship

The D4K Christian Kennedy Young Adult Scholarship will be awarded to promote, train, and inspire young riders through a special winter training grant.  The scholarship will fund one advanced rider, age 18-26, for the 2020 Wellington Winter Equestrian Festival, January through March 2020.  

The selected rider must plan on bringing his or her own horse (either owned or leased) and will work under the training leadership of Oded Shimoni at OS Dressage in Wellington, Florida.  On riding with Oded, previous scholarship recipient Emily Gill commented, “I am really grateful to work with Oded; he pushes us to be better and that is just what we need!”  After her winter working with Oded, Emily gained her Grand Prix scores for her USDF gold medal on her home raised and trained Morgan.  

Kim Van Kampen of Hampton Green Farm has offered a special stabling rate.  The scholarship recipient will need to trailer from Hampton Green Farm to OS Dressage twice weekly for lessons.  The scholarship will provide funds up to $15,000 towards transportation to/from Wellington, stabling, training, showing expenses (if applicable), and living expenses (recipient must find their own housing).

Interested riders must submit an application with information regarding recent training and clinic experience, a training video, a letter of recommendation, two references, and a letter stating riding and life goals.  The selection committee is interested not only in an excellent rider, but in a well-rounded and committed student who is a strong team player, who demonstrates ethical behavior, and who has sound horsemanship skills.

Evaluation criteria may include: exceptional talent, proven ability to work hard, demonstrated ethical behavior, horsemanship skills, and consistent drive towards stated goals.

The D4K Christian Kennedy Young Adult Scholarship Application is available by clicking on the following link: https://dressage4kids.org/scholarships/christian-kennedy-memorial-fund-scholarships/d4k-christian-kennedy-young-adult-scholarship.html

CK Open Requests

Open requests may be submitted to the committee at any time during the year and will be considered based on need and available funds. Awards are for specific educational expenses such as seminars, workshops, clinics, lessons, and training programs.  Applicants must state specific objectives, a defined beginning and end, and the request must be for the specific purpose of advancing the individual’s horsemanship skills, knowledge, or experience. All applicants must be actively pursuing a specific goal, and be able to demonstrate ability commensurate with stated objectives.  

Photo Usage Policy

Dressage4Kids often takes photographs and videos during its events and activities.  Dressage4Kids may use these photographs and videos for general publicity and programming purposes, including to raise funds.  Pictures may appear on the website, on the Dressage4Kids Facebook page, in newsletters, and in other print and digital marketing materials.  In addition, participants’ names may be used to recognize individual achievement in marketing materials.

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