HorseLinc has announced the winners of its 2019 educational scholarship award, offered to three hard working horse enthusiast students–one incoming college freshman, Ada Rohan; one college undergraduate, Chloe Bellerive; and one graduate student, Taylor Bass. Each winner was awarded $1000.
“As a young rider trying to achieve my junior riding goals and continue with horses through college, I had many jobs within the horse industry,” explains HorseLinc founder Misty Pleiness. “From braiding and grooming at shows to being a working student to pay for lessons, the work ethic and time management skills this honed in me have been critical to my success beyond school. I am thankful to be in a position to give back to young adults with the same drive and dedication to the horse industry, and offer options to help not only with school expenses but horse related expenses as well as many school team riders must pay for their equipment and fees themselves.”
The scholarships offer support to equestrians at different stages in their pursuit of higher education. “A lot of scholarship options for incoming freshmen aren’t available to undergraduates past their first year,” Pleiness said, “and even fewer were available for any type of post-graduate degree. HorseLinc offers three scholarships to continue to support the future of our industry throughout their educational journey.”
Application requirements involve assessing involvement in the industry and work ethic. Incoming freshmen had to detail their experiences working in the industry as a working student or providing horse services (like braiding or clipping). Undergraduates need to be riding for a team at their school while also enrolled in at least 12 credits. Graduate students need to be alumni of a university riding program. All applicants were evaluated on their work ethic and contributions to the horse community.
“We had so many great submissions, it was much harder to decide than anticipated,” Pleiness said. “In the end, the winners of each scholarship stood out with their impressive work ethic and experience, and their continued dedication to the horse sport and community.”
Ada Rohan received the undergraduate award, which she applied for after her mother heard about it on The Plaidcast. Her application detailed her work as a braider and clipper of her own and others’ horses at horse shows.
“Working with horses has taught me patience, communication, and time management,” she said. “Learning how to organize my time has transferred into other areas of my life as well, especially in staying on top of my school work when I had to miss classes for horse shows.”
Rohan was recruited onto the University of Georgia’s Division 1 equestrian team, a longtime goal of hers.
“I am going to UGA on a partial athletic scholarship, so not all of the costs are covered,” she explained. “My family is having me pay for college, so this HorseLinc scholarship was vital for me to be able to afford my education.”
Pleiness is thrilled with the outcome of the scholarship process. “Our team here at HorseLinc is so excited to see so many hard working and intelligent young adults who love horses as much as we do. The future for the industry is very bright!”