The Dressage Foundation Awards $25,000 Carol Lavell Advanced Dressage Prizes to Claire Darnell and Amelia Newcomb

Amelia Newcomb and Harvey. Photo by Tess Mitchelle

Edited Press Release

The Dressage Foundation (TDF) is pleased to announce two recipients of the $25,000 Carol Lavell AdvancedDressage Prize. Recipients are Claire Darnell of Mount Vernon, WA, with her horse, Harrold S, and Amelia Newcomb of Simi Valley, CA, with her horse, Harvard.  These riders were selected because they display the characteristics and qualities of being talented, committed, qualified riders with plans to reach and excel at the international levels of dressage.

Claire, a member of the Kundrun United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) Dressage Development Program and a United States Dressage Federation (USDF) gold, silver, and bronze medalist, will use the grant funding to travel to Wellington for training and competition this winter. Harrold S, a nine-year-old Dutch Warmblood, was the 2019 USDF Fourth Level Horse of the Year and recently made his debut in the Intermediaire II.  Claire plans on training with Olympians Jan Ebeling and Nick Wagman, as well as competing in the CDI medium tour and the Developing Grand Prix.

Claire said, “I am thankful beyond words for the support of TDF, whose grant has opened doors for me to follow my dreams with Harrold S. Thanks to the Carol Lavell Advanced Dressage Prize, we will be able to receive intensive training this winter and have a competition schedule I never thought would be financially feasible this year. This grant is a total game-changer for us, as we have big dreams and a very limited budget for our journey. Many thanks to the incredible donors who make this grant possible and to this wonderful Foundation that makes dreams come true!”

Claire Darnell. Photo by Cortney Drake Photography

Amelia and her horse, Harvard, a nine-year-old Dutch Warmblood, are also members of the Kundrun USEF Dressage Development Program. In 2020, Amelia qualified Harvard for the Developing Prix St. Georges at the Festival of Champions and in 2021 they qualified for Intermediaire 1. She will be using grant funding to train with Johann Hinnemann and Christine Traurig.

Amelia shared, “When I got the news that I had received the grant I could not believe it!  Pursuing my dream of competing internationally in dressage can often feel hopeless, especially without a sponsor. This grant is a huge boost and will allow me to train extensively with Joh Hinnemann and Christine Traurig and move Harvard up to the Grand Prix.  Harvard is an amazing horse with tremendous talent and heart, and I feel a huge obligation to give him the best training and care possible.  Thank you to TDF and to all its donors.  I am very grateful and incredibly honored to receive this prestigious grant.”

The Carol Lavell Advanced Dressage Prize Fund was established in 2009 in special remembrance of Carol’s mother, May Cadwgan, and in honor of her father, Gordon Cadwgan. At that time, Carol shared, “The road to the top is very difficult: some ways are bumpier than others, some are more crooked, and some are dead ends.  My Olympic dream came true only because my road was paved with many generous supporters who gave not only dollars, but also tack, equipment, and even discounted transportation.  I hope this Prize will smooth the bumps for those deserving riders and horses on the road to their dreams.”

Since 2009, the Prize Fund has made eighteen awards totaling $450,000 in support of U.S. High-Performance teams. 

Information about The Dressage Foundation and the Carol Lavell Advanced Dressage Prize can be found at The Prize application deadline is August 31st of each year. For more information, please contact TDF’s Executive Director, Jenny Johnson, at (402) 434-8585 or

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 to dressage riders, judges, instructors, breeders, high-performance teams, nonprofit equestrian organizations, and more.  For more information, please call (402) 434-8585 or visit