Hamel Family Establishes $25,000 Scholarship Through USHJA Foundation


Lexington, KY—-May 10, 2016—-The Hamel Family has established the USHJA Foundation Hamel Scholarship for Further Education, which will award up to $25,000 to one USHJA member each year to be used for college, graduate, trade or professional school. The first scholarship will be awarded in 2017.

“We are thrilled to be able to offer a national scholarship like this to USHJA members, all thanks to the Hamel Family’s generosity” said Jennifer Burger, president of the USHJA Foundation. “For the first time, members from across the United States will be eligible for scholarship funds that allow them to pursue advanced education.”

Designed to encourage further education among equestrians, the scholarship, up to $25,000, will be awarded annually and may be used for college, graduate, trade or professional school. The first round of applications will open on January 1, 2017, and are due no later than April 30, 2017. The scholarship will be awarded in early summer and is made possible by a generous donation from the Kristen and James Hamel Family Foundation.

“My husband and I didn’t come from great means, but we worked hard, putting education first since the beginning,” said Kristen Hamel. “We look forward to this scholarship helping others who value education, and we are so happy to give back to the equestrian community in this way.”

The Hamel Family of Richfield, WI, became involved with equestrian activities when Sydney, the youngest child of three, became interested in ponies through a friend. Beginning in U.S. Pony Club, Sydney quickly fell in love with the hunter/jumper sport, and her family followed suit, now owning their own barn where they keep their horses, including one for Sydney’s mother, Kristen. The Hamels can be seen regularly at the pony ring, cheering on Sydney.

 hamel family
The Hamel Family (From Left to Right: Sydney, Jake, Kristen, Jim and Nick Hamel) generously established the USHJA Foundation Hamel Scholarship for Further Education. Photo courtesy of the Hamel Family.


Current USHJA members who have been members for at least three years are eligible for the scholarship. Applicants must be accepted to a college, graduate, professional, or trade school and be entering the 2017 fall semester as freshman, sophomore, junior, senior, trade or graduate student. They should be ranked in the top 20 percent of their class or have a 3.5 grade point average on a 4.0 scale. For those who are not currently or recently in school, the Foundation will consider an equivalent employment history.

Candidates may only be awarded the USHJA Foundation Hamel Scholarship for Further Education once. For more information, visit www.ushjafoundation.org/hamelscholarship.

About the USHJA Foundation

The USHJA Foundation is the charitable arm of the USHJA with the vision that the hunter/jumper community embraces, supports, and protects the people and horses who give their hearts to this sport. The Foundation achieves this vision by: supporting the basic needs of the USHJA members who do not have the financial means to do so themselves following an accident, catastrophe or illness; inspiring USHJA members facing adversity through exceptional experiences; empowering USHJA members to further their education; and preserving and protecting the history and tradition of the hunter/jumper sport. For more information, visit www.ushjafoundation.org.

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