Alyssa Pitts & Sabine Schut-Kery Each Awarded $25,000 Training/Competition Grants

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Alyssa Pitts

Feb. 14, 2018

Alyssa Pitts and Sabine Schut-Kery have each been awarded $25,000 Carol Lavell Advanced Dressage Prizes, The Dressage Foundation announced Wednesday. This is the second year Sabine received the award.

The foundation said that Alyssa of Snohomish, Washington and Sabine of Thousand Oaks, California selected “because they display the characteristics and qualities of being talented, committed, qualified riders with plans to reach and excel at the elite, international standards of high performance dressage.”

Alyssa is a USDF bronze, silver, and gold medalist who trains her own American-bred Quintessential Hit, a nine-year-old Oldenburg gelding (Quaterback x Sandro Hit).

Quintessential Hit was the 2017 USDF Horse of the Year at Prix St. Georges and Reserve Champion at Intermediate I, but has not yet competed at international level.

The rider plans to use the prize to either train with Debbie McDonald and compete at Wellington CDIs, or travel to England to work with Charlotte Dujardin.

“I am really excited to have this opportunity to further my education in such a meaningful way with intensive training,” Alyssa said. “I hope that with the travel and training, that Quintessential Hit and I will be able to move into the international arena, and I know that this will help me to pursue my dream of being a team member for USA with him.”

Sabine on Sanceo was a member of the 2015 U.S. Pan American Games gold medal team at small tour. She and Sanceo, a Hanoverian stallion (San Remo x Ramiro’s Son II) owned by Alice Womble-Heitman and Dr. Mike Heitman of Horsegate Ranch, Texas, were were awarded the prize in 2017 and trained and competed at national level in Germany.

Sabine Schut-Kery and Sanceo. © 2018 Ken Braddick/

The duo moved up to Big Tour this year and are currently among the top group of Americans vying to go to Europe this summer ahead of selection of the U.S. team for the World Equestrian Games in Tryon, North Carolina in September.

“It is hard to put in words how I feel about Sanceo and I being chosen again this year for the Carol Lavell Advanced Dressage Prize,” Sabine said. “The training that the prize provides will have a major impact on pursuing my goal to develop Sanceo into a Grand Prix horse that has the quality to represent the USA in international competition.”

The Carol Lavell Advanced Dressage Prize Fund was established by the Olympic rider in 2009 in special remembrance of her mother, May Cadwgan, and in honor of her father, Gordon Cadwgan. Since then, 12 awards totaling $300,000 have been made to support U.S. high performance riders.