Equestrian Grants & Scholarships Every Rider Should Know About

Photo © Lauren Mauldin

The equestrian community is generous, and many people and organizations are invested in the future of our young riders and up and coming professionals. The next generation is the future of the sport itself. We’ve compiled grants and scholarship designed to boost young riders and grant exciting opportunities in the sport. 

Alvin Topping Governance Grand Presented by USHJA

Alvin Topping has spent over 50 years in the sport of hunters and jumpers as an owner, trainer, rider and governance volunteer. The Alvin Topping Governance Grant was established to honor Topping’s work in equestrian sport governance, including his commitment to the establishment and success of the USHJA. One $500 grant is awarded annually to assist one USHJA member (25 years of age or under), with funding to support their attendance at the USHJA or USEF annual meeting.

Dressage Foundation

The Dressage Foundation has been providing grants and scholarships to members of the dressage community throughout the United States. From riders, breeders, show management and more, the Dressage Foundation has an opportunity for everyone. To view their full list of awards, click here.

Emerson Burr Horsemanship Grant Presented by USEF

Pony riders should check out their eligibility for the Emerson Burr Horsemanship Grant, which aims to promote good horsemanship among young riders. Grants are awarded at zone and national levels and are to be used for educational or equestrian related expenses.

Gochman Grant Presented by USEF/USHJA Pony Finals

The USEF Pony Finals is a rite of passage for many young equestrians. The Gochman Grant provides the USHJA Foundation the opportunity to give three young riders the chance to compete at Pony Finals. Recipients also get access to training, clinics, and exposure to other educational opportunities. Riders selected demonstrate not only financial need but also horsemanship, sportsmanship, and tenacity. 

Hamel Family Scholarship for Higher Education Presented by USHJA

The Hamel Scholarship for Further Education is designed to encourage further education among equestrians. Through a generous donation from the Kristen and James Hamel Family Foundation, the USHJA Foundation awards up to $25,000 to be used for college, graduate, trade, or professional school to one USHJA member each year. 

Photo © Lauren Mauldin

Helen Gurley Brown Foundation (HGB) Genius Grant

Genius Grants allow individuals to pursue their dream and to create magic. Genius Grants are typically awarded to change-makers that have demonstrated a commitment to solving challenges across different fields or are proven leaders in their community. Through these grants, the Helen Gurley Brown Foundation aims to empower innovative individuals and support their passion projects so that they can bring their brilliant idea to fruition.

Horsemans Assistance Fund Presented by USHJA

The USHJA Foundation Horsemans Assistance Fund protects the welfare of our hunter/jumper community by providing emergency financial assistance to USHJA members after a life-changing illness, injury, catastrophic accident, or natural disaster. The majority of the gifts distributed from the fund are between $1,000 and $10,000 and intended to assist with medical expenses and basic living expenses.

J.T. Tallon Memorial Equitation Grant Presented by USHJA

The J.T. Tallon Memorial Equitation Grant was developed by friends and family to honor the late, J.T. Tallon, a Lexington, Virginia horseman and USHJA member who dedicated his career to equestrian sport for over 40 years.  Each year, one junior rider with limited financial resources who has qualified for a national equitation championship at a fence height of 3′ or higher will be awarded $1,000 to assist with the expense of attending the competition.

Intercollegiate Equestrian Federation Scholarships

The Intercollegiate Equestrian Federation offers multiple general scholarships to equestrians in undergraduate programs; membership to IEF is not required. The four main scholarships are in honor of founding or significant members of the IEF: The Jack Fritz Memorial Award, The Joan Johnson Memorial Award, The Emily Jane Hilscher Memorial Award, and The Margaret “Maggie” Blackmon Memorial Award.

Intercollegiate Horse Show Association

IHSA members can apply for scholarships through the Intercollegiate Equestrian Foundation (IEF). The IEF awards multiple scholarships each year to deserving students. Winners are announced in conjunction with the National Championship Horse Show. See above for more details.

Interscholastic Equestrian Association

Thanks to the many sponsors of IEA, a variety of grants, scholarships, and awards are available to members of the hunter, dressage, and western divisions of IEA. Depending on the scholarship, funding can be provided for high school showing expenses or in pursuit of higher education. Click here for more information.

Jockey Club Scholarship

The Jockey Club offers a variety of scholarships of differing amounts to a student pursuing a bachelor’s degree or higher education who is pursuing a career in the Thoroughbred industry. The scholarships include a scholarship
specifically for women in racing and for minorities pursuing a career in the Thoroughbred industry.

Lindsay Maxwell Charitable Fund WIHS Equitation Scholarship

The Lindsay Maxwell Charitable Fund WIHS Equitation Scholarship provides riders with the opportunity to participate in the Lindsay Maxwell Charitable Fund WIHS Equitation Finals in Washington, D.C. without the financial commitment that accompanies the event. 

Michael Nyuis Scholarship 

The Michael Nyuis Scholarships are meant to support passionate and driven young riders who don’t have the funds to compete. Up to four scholarships are awarded each year (one of which is designated for a Canadian) to riders aged 14-25 that show a dedication to the sport. In addition to essays and letters of recommendation, riders must also submit two videos. 

Mountain King Ranch Equitation Grant Presented by The Colorado Hunter Jumper Association

Launched in 2021 by 2020 ASPCA Maclay Champion Dominic Gibbs, the Mountain King Ranch Equitation Grant offers the opportunity for a CHJA rider to travel to Wellington, FL for a week of training with Beacon Hill Show Stables during the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) season. The grant covers most expenses along with six days of lessons, a six-day lease of a horse, and more. Any Colorado Hunter Jumper Association (CHJA) junior member is eligible, regardless of of level or experience. The application requires written responses and self-reflection, two photographs and two uploaded YouTube videos of your riding. 

MZ Farms/USHJA Emerging Athletes Program

The MZ Farms/USHJA Emerging Athletes Program provides opportunities for young riders to advance their horsemanship education and riding skills. Athletes participate in regional training sessions, and some progress to national sessions. Past participants have seen great success in the hunter, jumper, and equitation rings, including the Platinum Performance/USEF Show Jumping Talent Search Finals, the ASPCA Maclay Finals, USEF Prix des States, and the IHSA Nationals, and more.

Naomi Blumenthal Memorial Training Grant Presented by USHJA

The Naomi Blumenthal Memorial Training Grant provides financial support for equestrians wishing to continue their equestrian education. Created in honor of Naomi Blumenthal, the grant is intended to support the furtherance of equestrian education in the areas of: hunter/Jumper Licensed Officials Education as a judge, course designer or steward; USHJA Instructor Credential; and individually identified educational opportunities designed to advance professional equestrian related business and horsemanship knowledge. Each year, the USHJA, Professional Horseman’s Association and Intercollegiate Horse Shows Association each donate $500 annually to support the grant for a total of $1,500 awarded to at least one member per year.

NEEC & NEHC Scholarships

The New England Equitation Committee and New England Horsemen’s Council each offer scholarships to members for the pursuit of higher education. Scholarships offered are: The Joanne C. Corsiglia Scholarship, NEHC Scholarship, and Marilyn Child’s Scholarship.

Photo © Lauren Mauldin

Pennsylvania Horse Show Association Scholarships

The PHSA provides scholarships and awards to members of the association. Click here to visit their website and learn more about the awards and grands they offer.

Purina Animal Nutrition Scholarship

Land O’Lakes, Inc. has established a scholarship program for students who plan to continue their education in college or vocational school programs. The program is administered by Scholarship America®, the nation’s largest designer and manager of scholarships and other education support programs for corporations, foundations, associations, and individuals. Eligibility for individual programs is determined at the sole discretion of the sponsor and eligible applications are reviewed by Scholarship America’s evaluation team. Click here for more information.

Teresa L McDonald IHSA Scholarship

The Teresa L McDonald IHSA Scholarship Challenge is offered to current Intercollegiate Horse Show Association members. The participants take a non discipline specific horsemanship test, with high scores from each region
moving on to compete at a national level. The top ten scores at the national level receive a scholarship.

Trip Hoffman Memorial Riding Scholarship

The Tryon Hounds presents the Trip Hoffman Memorial Riding Scholarship for foxhunting enthusiasts in Polk, Henderson, Rutherford, Spartanburg, and Greenville counties. The scholarship helps with the cost of membership in the Tryon Hounds for one season.

USEA Foundation Grants

The USEA Foundation is honored to administer a number of grants and scholarships, all designed to help USEA members reach their goals. Grants and scholarships are available to all members of the community from riders and coaches, to grooms. For more information click here.

USEF Higher Education Scholarship 

US Equestrian offers five $1,000 scholarships for high school seniors preparing to enter a college or university and who are interested in furthering their equestrian education throughout college. Scholarship funds can go toward college equestrian team or club participation, or enrollment in a degree program in to equine or equine-specific agricultural studies. The application involves three essays, references, and application forms. Find more information here.

USEF Youth Sportsman’s Award

The US Equestrian Youth Sportsman’s Award is meant to identify future leaders within the equine industry from across all breeds and disciplines, and distinguish outstanding youth for their achievements. USEF members in good standing who are under 17 years of age are eligible to apply. The prize rewards those with an ongoing commitment and dedication to equestrian sport who serve as positive role models and demonstrate characteristics aligned with positive sportsmanship principles. Applicants must also demonstrate involvement in equestrian activities and competition.

The overall winner of the US Equestrian Youth Sportsman Award receives a commemorative trophy, and a $1,000 grant payable to their educational program of choice. The reserve winner receives a $500 grant payable to their educational program of choice. *Due to economic uncertainty, the USEF Youth Sportsman’s Award was not offered for 2020.

USHJA Horsemanship Quiz Challenge

The USHJA Horsemanship Quiz Challenge is an online quiz at two different levels, open to all current members. Qualifying members move on to Horsemanship Quiz Challenge Nationals, an in-person competition with hands-on practicum and written test. The Horsemanship Quiz Challenge is offered for both junior riders and adults, with prizes awarded to top competitors.

USHJA Program Support

The USHJA Foundation contributes funds annually to supplement select USHJA programs as well as educational grants and scholarships awarded by the USHJA zones. With the Foundation and zones working together, zones are able to award more substantial grants to their members for programs such as Emerging Athletes Program, Horsemanship Quiz Challenge, Emerging Jumper/Rider Program & Gold Star Clinics, and other zone-specific grants, scholarships and programs offered.

USSHBA Breeder’s Grant

The United States Sport Horse Breeders Association offers available funding up to $500 to either one or two individuals for the advancement of education related to the business of breeding.