California-Based Brian Hafner & Kathleen Raine Each Awarded $25,000 Carol Lavell Prizes

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Kathleen Raine and Breanna completing their Freestyle that led the United States to second place in the Nations Cup at Hickstead, England. © 2013 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com
Kathleen Raine and Breanna completing their Freestyle that led the United States to second place in the Nations Cup at Hickstead, England. © 2013 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

LINCOLN, Nebraska, Feb. 13, 2014–Brian Hafner and Kathleen Raine, both based in California, have been awarded The Dressage Foundation’s $25,000 Carol Lavell Advanced Dressage Prizes

Brian and and Kathleen were selected, the foundation said Thursday, “because they display the characteristics and qualities of being talented, committed, qualified riders whose plans are to reach and excel at the elite, international standards of high performance dressage.”

Brian is based in Sonoma as the head trainer and owner of Brian Hafner Dressage. Brian and his horse, Lombardo, have earned their USDF bronze, silver, and gold medals as well as triple medals at the 2009 North American Junior and Young Rider Championships.

In 2010, Brian was selected to participate in The Dressage Foundation’s Young Rider International Dream Program as one of the United States’ top young riders. Brian and Lombardo won the Brentina Cup Under-25 championship in 2012 and finished in the top six at the 2013 USEF National Championships in Grand Prix.

“I am incredibly grateful and thrilled to be chosen as a recipient of the Carol Lavell Advanced Dressage Prize,” Brian said. “This grant will provide me with the opportunity to further my training and education with my current horse, Lombardo, through intensive training in Europe. Without this grant, this would not be possible. Thank you to The Dressage Foundation, Carol Lavell, and all of the donors who continue to support the sport of dressage.”

Brian Hapner and Lombardo. © SusanJStickle.com
Brian Hafner and Lombardo. © SusanJStickle.com

Kathleen and her husband, David Wightman, are owners of Adventure Farms in Murrieta. Kathleen rode Avontuur to become one of the United States’ leading combinations in the 1990s.

Kathleen and David bought her current mount, Breanna, as a four-year-old at the 2004 Hanoverian Elite Auction in Verden, Germany. Since then, the pair have garnered many wins and awards and are currently ranked No. 8 on the USEF Dressage High Performance Grand Prix list.

In 2013 the combination placed third at the U.S. national championships, second in the Grand Prix and third in the Freestyle at the Nations Cup competition in Hickstead, England and third in the Grand Prix Special at the CDI4* in Lingen, Germany.

“Thank you so much to Carol Lavell and The Dressage Foundation for the generous prize, which will be used to further my goal of competing internationally,” Kathleen said. “Without this kind of support, training and competing in Europe would not be possible. I feel very honored to receive this award.”

Both Kathleen and Brian will also use the money to go to Germany to train with Johann Hinnemann.

Jo is the trainer of several top American riders, including Steffen Peters and Christine Traurig who, with Kathleen, participate in regular two-week coaching sessions in San Diego.

The Carol Lavell Advanced Dressage Prize Fund was established in 2009 in special remembrance of Carol’s mother, May Cadwgan, and in honor of her father, Gordon Cadwgan. Since that time, the Prize Fund has made eight awards totaling $200,000 in support of U.S. High Performance riders.

Details about The Dressage Foundation’s Carol Lavell Advanced Dressage Prize are at www.dressagefoundation.org. Application deadline is Dec. 13 each year.