Changing Lives: The USHJA Foundation


The United States Hunter Jumper Association (USHJA) began its separate not-for-profit foundation branch in 2008 with the mission to promote the programs of the USHJA. Since then, the foundation has expanded to offer three different grants to support junior and amateur equestrians in their riding and educational endeavors, as well as an assistance fund to provide emergency financial support for all members suffering from injury, illness, and/or natural disasters. Here is an inside look into all of the wonderful programs accepting applications that are currently offered by the foundation.

The Horsemen’s Assistance Fund
The Horsemen’s Assistance Fund provides emergency financial support to people, horses, and/or organizations in time of need due to injury, illness, natural disaster, or catastrophic accidents. Funds are raised through private donations, member events, and fundraising through the foundation. Gifts are then repeatedly donated to recipients valued between $1,000 and $10,000 over a period of 2-3 years in order to help recipients as much as possible in their time of need, with a maximum donation limit of $75,000.

The Making a Dream Grant
The “Making a Dream” program was created by the USHJA to offer unique experiences to hunter/jumper equestrians facing adversity, such as mental, physical, or emotional challenges, and/or resource limitations. Each grant is custom-tailored to the recipient in order to ensure they have a once in a lifetime experience! Past recipients have used the grant, which covers up to $2500 in costs, for the Winter Equestrian Festival, Junior Hunter Finals, Brandywine Horse Show, and more. Recipients include:

2011- Lizzy Traband
2012- Lindsey Meisels
2013- Stevie Anne Thompson
2014- Maddy Parker and Kennedy Duke
2015- Alexis Baumann
2016- Adam Edgar
2017- Kendall Kauffman
2018- Annie Birmingham

Making a Dream Grant recipient and TPH Intern Annie Birmingham at the 2018 Winter Equestrian Festival with Clever and Smart. Photo courtesy of Stephanie Proffe.

The Gochman Family USEF Pony Finals Grant
The USEF Pony Finals is often referred to as a “right of passage” for young equestrians, with its countless educational opportunities and the chance to make connections that often follow riders throughout their careers. The Gochman Family and the USHJA Foundation graciously offer to cover the costs for three junior equestrians that accurately display horsemanship, tenacity, and sportsmanship, and can demonstrate the financial inability to afford the finals. The foundation describes the opportunity as “not strictly monetary in nature but rather experience-based”, even providing a pony for recipients if needed. 2017 recipients included Ella Doerr, Logan Blake Crouser, and Olivia DeStanley, and applications are currently available here.

2017 Gochman Family Grant Recipients (from right to left) Ella Doerr, Logan Blake Crouser, and Olivia DeStanley. Photo courtesy of the USHJA Foundation.

The Hamel Scholarship for Further Education
Each year, the USHJA Foundation grants a scholarship of $25,000 to one deserving equestrian to be used for college, graduate school, trade school, or professional school. Anyone who has been a USHJA member for three consecutive years, maintains a 3.5 GPA (or is in the top 20% of their class) is eligible to apply. The recipient is chosen every year in the early summer, and is made possible through the gracious donations of the Kristen and James Hamel Family Foundation. The grant was most recently awarded to Lizzy Traband in 2017.

2017 Hamel Scholarship for Further Education recipient Lizzy Traband. Photo courtesy of the USHJA Foundation.

Interested in applying for a grant or scholarship from the USHJA Foundation? You should be! The foundation offers once in a lifetime opportunities that can change the lives of their recipients. For more information on all of the available programs, be sure to check out the foundations website here.

About the Author: Annie Birmingham is an 18 year old equestrian from Long Island, New York. A freshman at Long Island University studying equine management, Annie can usually be found spending time at the barn and grooming at horse shows up and down the East Coast.

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