The Dressage Foundation Announces Tillie Jones as 2022 Amanda Johnson Freestyle Fund Recipient

Tillie Jones. photo by Susan J. Stickle

Edited Press Release

The Dressage Foundation (TDF) is pleased to announce Tillie Jones, Lincoln, NE, as the 2022 recipient of the Amanda Johnson Freestyle Fund grant.  This Fund provides an annual grant of up to $2,000 to a young professional from USDF Region 2 or 4 to pay for the costs of creating a professionally prepared musical freestyle for competition. 

Tillie has been a student of Jami Kment (NE) and Olivia LaGoy-Weltz (FL) and recently opened her own training stable in Lincoln, NE. Tillie is a member of the US Equestrian Emerging Athlete Program with Qi Gong TF, her 11-year-old Hanoverian mare. She plans to create a freestyle with Karen Robinson and hopes to compete in the U25 division or small tour division in 2023.

Tillie said, “I feel very honored to receive TDF’s Amanda Johnson Freestyle Fund grant. I met Amanda when I was 11 while I looked for a horse to borrow for the Dressage Seat Medal Finals at Lamplight. Unfortunately, the horse didn’t work out, but before my trip home, Amanda offered me a lesson on her Grand Prix stallion. She helped me feel piaffe, passage, and one-tempis for the first time. She was incredibly generous to give me a lesson on her personal horse. Amanda had a beautiful soul and is missed deeply. I will always remember that special day and her kind spirit. I know she will be dancing with us down centerline. Thank you, TDF, for this opportunity.”

This Fund was established by Amanda’s family and friends in memory of her dedication to the sport of dressage.  Amanda passed away in 2018 at the age of 37 after a three-year struggle with triple negative breast cancer.  Her family and friends remember her as kind, generous, humble, talented, and brave. She was a well-respected member of the dressage community as a trainer, coach, competitor, and clinician.  Amanda was a lifelong student of dressage and especially enjoyed showing in the musical freestyle classes. 

Applications for the Amanda Johnson Freestyle Fund are due October 15 of each year. Visit www.dressagefoundation.org for more information and to find the online application form. Contact Sara Weiss, Director of Grants and Programs at (402) 434-8585 or sara@dressagefoundation.org with any questions.

To donate to the Amanda Johnson Freestyle Fund, contact Jenny Johnson, TDF’s Executive Director, at (402) 434-8585 or jenny@dressagefoundation.org.  Secure online donations can be made at www.dressagefoundation.org.

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