Shawna Harding Awarded $25,000 Carol Lavell Advanced Dressage Prize

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Shawna Harding and Rigo, 2010 US Developing Horse Champion. © Ken Braddick/

LINCOLN, Nebraska, Feb. 18–Shawna Harding has been awarded the $25,000 Carol Lavell Advanced Dressage Prize by The Dressage Foundation to pursue training with her two FEI horses.

Shawna, of Aiken, South Carolina, plans to take her two horses, Come On III and Rigo, to Europe for training.

The $25,000 Prize will be awarded to Shawna at the Palm Beach Dressage Derby on Mar. 6 by Carol Lavell, whose partnership with her horse Gifted took her to a team bronze medal at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics and with Much Ado to team gold at the 2003 Pan American Games in Santo Domingo. Carol, who divides her time between Florida and North Carolina, established the Prize in remembrance of her parents, May and Gordon Cadwgan.

The purpose is to provide financial assistance for coaching and training to a talented, committed, qualified rider whose plan is to reach and excel at the elite, international standards of high performance dressage.

Shawna has competed the 12-year-old Danish Warmblood gelding Come On III by Come Back II at Grand Prix for two years and won the Grand Prix and Special at Dressage at Devon last September. She won the 2010 U.S. Developing Horse Championship on Rigo, a 10-year-old Hanoverian gelding by Rotspon and owned by Tonya Rowe, and won the Intermediaire Freestyle in their first CDI last month.

Shawna Harding and Come On III at the US Grand Prix Championships. © 2010 Ken Braddick/

“I would like to thank Carol Lavell and The Dressage Foundation for selecting me for the prestigious Advanced Dressage Prize,” said Shawna. “This Prize will help fund the substantial amount of money it takes to travel to Europe and pay for training and international competitions, which are necessary to get the exposure and experience to excel further in my riding and in the sport.

“Without the help of the Foundation this would not be a possibility. This is a very cost intensive sport and riders like myself, who are not financially blessed by birth or don’t have owners/sponsors that can back them, are limited to how much they can achieve and accomplish on their own. I am honored and very touched by this great acknowledgement from my peers and will do my best to make them and the USA proud.”

Donor support designated for the “Carol Lavell Advanced Dressage Prize” has been exceptionally strong and effective this year, two annual $25,000 Prizes will be made to suitable riders who apply by the Dec. 13 deadline.

“I established this Fund at The Dressage Foundation as my way of ‘giving back’ to the sport that has been so good to me,” Carol said. “I know that, for most riders, obtaining financial support becomes the ultimate hurdle. I’m so grateful to my family and loyal friends whose charitable gifts have helped me establish this Fund, and in a dollar amount that will be able to award these $25,000 Annual Prizes for many years into the future.”