The Dressage Foundation Announces First Recipient of $25,000 Debbie McDonald Fund for FEI Riders Grant

Picture by Susan J Stickle

August 15, 2023 – The Dressage Foundation (TDF) is pleased to announce that Lindsey Holleger and MW Ave Maria OLD are the first recipients of the $25,000 DebbieMcDonald Fund for FEI Riders grant. The Debbie McDonald Fund provides 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.

MW Ave Maria OLD is a ten-year-old Oldenburg bred in the United States by Nancy Holowesko (MD). MW Ave Maria is owned by Maplewood Warmbloods in Middletown, NY where Lindsey is the head trainer. Lindsey and MW Ave Maria are members of the Kundrun USEF Dressage Development Program. Lindsey plans to use her funding to train virtually and in person with Debbie McDonald in Florida this winter. 

Lindsey said, “I am incredibly grateful to The Dressage Foundation for giving MW Ave Maria OLD and me the opportunity to receive world-class training. The training I will receive will make an enormous difference for us and for my education as a rider. Being able to train in Florida with a trainer of Debbie’s caliber would not be possible without this grant. This invaluable opportunity will give me knowledge and experience I will carry with me for the rest of my career.”

The Debbie McDonald Fund previously provided $10,000 grants to Pacific Northwest FEI Riders. Thanks to the generosity of Pamela S. Jones and the Jones Family Foundation—Malama Honua, the Fund has expanded and increased. TDF welcomes additional donations to the Debbie McDonald Fund for FEI Riders. Gifts can be made at 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  The application deadline will be June 15th of each year.

For more information, call The Dressage Foundation at (402) 434-8585 or email

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