November 09, 2023 – The Dressage Foundation (TDF) is pleased to announce the five young rider participants for its Young Rider Dream Program trip to Wellington, Florida, in January 2024.
Kylia Baker (CA), Caroline Colby (NH), Bella Perkins (NY), Chloe Roth (SC), and Katie Staib (PA)
were selected to participate in this year’s program. The selection committee based their decision on candidates’ merit, riding proficiency, a history of volunteering in the dressage community, and commitment to training in the sport of dressage.
Thanks to generous donors, the 2024 Young Rider Dream Program is a fully funded opportunity for riders who are 18-22 years old, riding Third Level and above, and who have never trained or competed in Wellington. During their week in Wellington, TDF’s Dream Program group will be led by a dressage professional as a chaperone and will have the opportunity to meet with some of the top riders, coaches, and judges in the world. Kelly Irving-Burris of Gig Harbor, WA, will be the program chaperone in 2024.
The group will also attend competitions at Adequan Global Dressage Festival. While traveling, the young riders will record their observations in daily journals and chronicle the events with photos and videos to share.
After being selected to participate in the Dream Program, the participants said the following:
Kylia Baker: “Thank you to TDF and its donors for providing riders with such fantastic opportunities. I am honored to be chosen as a participant in the 2024 Young Rider Dream Program. Through this opportunity, I will be able to greatly expand my knowledge of the sport and gain valuable insights from some of the top riders. This trip will help me attain my goal of one day representing the United States in top international competition.”
Caroline Colby: “Growing up in a small town has given me the determination to make the best out of all opportunities. Getting to be a part of TDF’s Young Rider Dream Program is an unbelievable opportunity that I am eagerly looking forward to.”
Bella Perkins: “I’m incredibly excited for this extraordinary opportunity to see a whole new side of the dressage industry. I will gain so much knowledge from this chance to be immersed in the highest levels of dressage and learn from some of the best trainers in the world. I can’t wait to use all that I learn in Wellington to improve the way I train, teach, and compete at home. I’m honored to have been selected for this program. Thank you so much to TDF and the extremely generous sponsors that make this trip possible!”
Chloe Roth: “It is an honor and a privilege to be a part of this incredible program. I am beyond excited for the opportunity to hear and learn from some of the masters of this sport. I am so grateful for the mission of TDF and their desire to equip individuals and invest in the future of dressage.”
Katie Staib: “I am beyond grateful for the opportunity to participate in this amazing program and learn from such talented professionals in the dressage industry. I have dreamed about experiencing the wonders of Wellington, and this opportunity has allowed me to do so. This experience will allow me to further my education for my future in riding/developing horses of my own, as well as teaching dressage in the years to come.”
TDF’s Young Rider Dream Program was originally created in 2000 by Olympian Michael Poulin as a trip to Europe for four top U.S. Young Riders. Since then, the program has given 74 young riders the chance to be immersed in the international dressage scene in Europe and Wellington. Most of those riders have become dressage professionals, including 2005 participant and Olympian Adrienne Lyle.
Funds are currently being raised to secure the future of the Dream Program thanks to a generous matching gift challenge by Margaret Duprey and her Cherry Knoll Farm. Currently the funds raised for the Program—up to the $100,000 mark—will be matched dollar-for-dollar by Duprey.
Gifts can be made by credit card online at www.dressagefoundation.org or by calling TDF’s office at (402) 434-8585. Donations by check can be mailed to The Dressage Foundation at 1314 ‘O’ Street, Suite 305, Lincoln, Nebraska, 68508. All donations will be doubled by Margaret Duprey’s match.
Further information on TDF’s Young Rider Dream Program will be kept current on the TDF website, www.dressagefoundation.org, and on TDF’s social media pages (Facebook and Instagram).
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 visit www.dressagefoundation.org.