Four Deserving Applicants Impressed the Michael Nyuis Scholarship Judges and Were Awarded Scholarships for West Palms Events’ Horse Shows
West Palms Events is excited to announce the four winners of our 2016 Michael Nyuis Scholarship. We offer our congratulations to Zoey Pacyna, Tyler Francis, Laura Ware and Asia Brown – exemplary young equestrian athletes who will each receive a $6,500.00 Scholarship to West Palms Events horse shows for the 2016 season!
“I chose to honor my nephew, Michael Nyuis, through this scholarship opportunity because it is the best way I can think of to remember this wonderful, generous and caring man,” Dale Harvey said. “Michael was an amazing person who celebrated others’ accomplishments and achievements, was always there to lend a hand or a shoulder, and truly lived life to the fullest in the time given him. I miss him every day, and I know that all the people who knew and loved him do as well. This scholarship is named to honor Michael, celebrate his life and keep his memory alive through the good works and accomplishments of others. The applications this year were a true representation of some of the best and most talented young horsemen and women I have had the pleasure to come across. West Palms Events is proud to support and encourage riders like Zoey, Tyler, Laura and Asia, and I look forward to seeing them all in the show ring this year.”
West Palms Events’ judging panel was made up of three consummate professionals who have made lifetime contributions to equestrian sport: Dale Harvey, Archie Cox and Hope Glynn. All agreed that this year’s group of applicants were especially impressive, and choosing just four was extremely difficult. Dale, Archie and Hope would like to offer their thanks to every applicant who took the time, effort and energy to apply.
Hope added, “The Michael Nyuis Scholarship applicants were an impressive group of young riders. They showed their dedication to the sport and interest in pursuing a career in an equestrian field. It was a difficult decision, but was an incredible experience to take part in. Thank you to Dale for providing young athletes with this opportunity!”
Archie agreed with Hope, explaining, “It was fantastic to see so many young riders applying for the Michael Nyuis Scholarship, and it was enlightening to learn so much about these young athletes. The recipients are outstanding and they have every quality the program and sport are hoping to promote.”
While each of these riders comes from a different background, all share a common goal: to make their way as professionals in the sport they love. Here is a brief introduction to each winner:
Zoey has been riding and loving horses as long as she can remember, and she always seeks to better herself as a rider and learn from her mounts. Zoey works with her mother, trainer Michelle Pacyna, owner and operator of Fieldstone Riding Club and together they teach, train, accompany clients to shows and perform all the other myriad duties of operating a show barn. Zoey’s inspiration is her mom, and her dream is to become an upper-level jumper rider and own her own training barn.
Pacyna explains what it would mean to her to receive the scholarship, “Becoming a recipient of the 2016 Michael Nyuis Scholarship would be amazing! I could compete at beautiful West Palms’ venues against world class riders. It would be a learning experience of a lifetime!”
Tyler is happiest on the back of a horse or at the barn. He finds that what he has learned through horseback riding – patience, dedication and empathy for others – carries through to all aspects of life. He enjoys bringing along young horses, and hopes to make his way as a trainer and upper-level rider some day. A sophomore in high school, Tyler balances riding, school work and barn chores to work toward his goals.
He explains, “Winning the 2016 Michael Nyuis Scholarship would mean so much to me, as it would help me fulfill my dream of pursuing a career in the equestrian community, and would give me the ability to compete more throughout this show season.”
Laura is committed to one day reaching her goals in the Grand Prix ring, and as a professional trainer. She has shown unwavering commitment to the sport since first sitting on a pony as a child. Laura is a UCLA graduate who spent a year and a half as a working student in Switzerland, and another six months working with Anne Kursinski as a rider and groom. These experiences showed her that although the work was incredibly hard at times, the rewards were far greater.
Ware explains, “I am honored and excited to be a recipient of the Michael Nyuis scholarship. I am committed to the sport and I appreciate this validation as I begin what I hope will be a long and fulfilling journey as a horse professional. Additionally, I am eager to put the funds towards good use in furthering the development of myself and my own two beloved jumper mares.”
A native of Canada, Asia grew up near Calgary, Alberta. She holds an Honors degree in Business from the University of Western Ontario, which she plans to apply to operating her own training business someday. She has worked in barns in every capacity: riding, grooming, horse care, stall cleaning, basic vet care. Her first love is show jumping and she hopes to compete at the highest levels she can, while bringing her horses along to the best of their abilities.
Brown expresses what it would mean to her to receive the scholarship, “Receiving the Michael Nyuis Scholarship would mean so much to me. It would not only offer me an incredible opportunity to develop my own and horses’ experience, but also allow me to travel to the high caliber shows at West Palms Events. I have no doubt that a scholarship such as this would be integral to me being able to reach the next level of my showjumping ability. I am very grateful to be considered for this award and would like to sincerely thank the people involved in the Michael Nyuis Scholarship.”