Monday, Sep. 25, 2023

Dressage4Kids Awards Two $25,000 Christian Kennedy Scholarships



Dressage4Kids and Anne Baber Wallis have announced that the recipients of the $25,000 D4K Christian Kennedy Scholarships for 2024 are Nash Gagnon and Quinn Ridgway. The D4K Christian Kennedy Scholarships are awarded in memory of Christian Kennedy. Kennedy’s legacy is one of love—love for the horse, a spirit of respect between trainer and rider, and love and understanding that builds a bridge between the rider, the trainer, and parents.

D4K Christian Kennedy Young Adult Scholarship

Quinn Ridgway is a 21-year-old dressage rider from Springfield Township, New Jersey. She is currently a USDF silver medalist with placings at USDF Regional Championships, USEF Festival of Champions, and the North American Youth Championships. In addition to her riding ambitions, Ridgway graduated early from The College of New Jersey in the spring of 2023 with a bachelors in marketing with aspirations to pursue a masters in business administration. Ridgway has been an active Dressage4Kids member for many years and currently trains with Nicole DelGiorno out of her family’s farm, Greymare Farm, where Ridgway lives and helps care for both her horses and boarder’s horses.

“Quinn makes me proud every day,” DelGiorno wrote. “She jumps at every opportunity to learn, and she perseveres through every challenge put in front of her. Her resilience knows no bounds, and she inspires me and everyone around her with both her grit and her humility.”

Ridgway will train with Oded Shimoni of OS Dressage.

“I am filled with excitement to have received this once in a lifetime opportunity,” Ridgway said. “I am truly looking forward to gaining new knowledge and experiences during my time in Florida with Oded. I am also looking forward to bringing my friend and partner, Chessie, to continue to train and further develop our partnership. I am honored to be riding in memory of Christian, and I am so grateful to all who have made this outstanding scholarship possible. Going to Florida has been a long-time dream that I never thought would be possible, but as a result of the generosity of Dressage4Kids, Oded Shimoni, Anne Baber Wallis, and all other donors, my unimaginable dream has turned into a reality.”


Nash Gagnon is an 18-year-old dressage rider from Region 8. He has always had a passion for “forses,” as he used to call horses when he was younger. Even though he grew up in a non-horse family, horses have always played a major role in his life. Gagnon grew up riding in southern Maine before graduating early and taking a working student position with Jane Hannigan. Gagnon is a self-funded young rider who works fulltime both at the barn during the day and at local restaurants at night in Massachusetts and Florida in order to support his riding. He is currently a USDF bronze medalist and recently competed in the young rider division at the FEI North American Youth Championships (Michigan). Ragnon is currently taking a gap year from college in order to focus on riding.

“Nash is in my opinion a very hard working and dedicated horse person focused on learning,” wrote Hannigan. “He works many jobs to be able to get where he wants to go with horses, and he’s exactly the role model you want other kids to look up to.”

Ragnon will continue training with Hannigan.

“I couldn’t believe that I had received the scholarship,” Ragnon said. “I could barely contain my excitement and was overwhelmed with joy! We celebrated at dinner and spent our evening in awe as the news sunk in.”

Ragnon is thrilled to have the opportunity to pursue a career in dressage and most importantly wants to be able to feel the joy of being around horses until he’s well into his 80s.

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.




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