The Dressage Foundation has announced two recipients of the $25,000 Carol Lavell Advanced Dressage Prize.
Recipients are Claire Darnell of Mount Vernon, Washington, with her horse, Harrold S, and Amelia Newcomb of Simi Valley, California, 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.
Darnell, a member of the Kundrun U.S. Equestrian Federation Dressage Development Program and a U.S. Dressage Federation gold, silver and bronze medalist, will use the grant funding to travel to Wellington for training and competition this winter. Harrold S, a 9-year-old Dutch Warmblood, was the 2019 USDF Fourth Level Horse of the Year and recently made his debut in the Intermediaire II. Darnell plans on training with Olympians Jan Ebeling and Nick Wagman, as well as competing in the CDI medium tour and the Developing Grand Prix.
“I am thankful beyond words for the support of TDF, whose grant has opened doors for me to follow my dreams with Harrold S,” she said. “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!”
Newcomb and her horse, Harvard, a 9-year-old Dutch Warmblood, are also members of the Kundrun USEF Dressage Development Program. In 2020, Newcomb qualified Harvard for the Developing Prix St. Georges at the Festival of Champions (Illinois), and in 2021 they qualified for Intermediaire 1. She will be using grant funding to train with Johann Hinnemann and Christine Traurig.
“When I got the news that I had received the grant I could not believe it!” said Newcomb. “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 Lavell’s mother, May Cadwgan, and in honor of her father, Gordon Cadwgan. At that time, Lavell 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 18 awards totaling $450,000 in support of U.S. high performance teams.