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. 

Blenheim EquiSports Emerging Pro Grant 

Blenheim EquiSports has awarded almost $40,000 in grants to emerging professionals since its inception in 2017. The #BES2021 Emerging Pro Grant awards show credit ($5000 to the winner; $3000 to the runner-up) to be used in one Blenheim EquiSports show season. Riders and trainers are both eligible. 

College Preparatory Invitational (CPI) Scholarships

The College Preparatory Invitational (CPI) offers a variety of scholarships for equestrians in grades 8-12 that are participants in its horse shows, which take place annually in both Florida and New Jersey.

Emerson Burr Horsemanship Grant 

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 for USEF 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

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.

Intercollegiate Equestrian Association

The Intercollegiate Equestrian Association (IEA) offers multiple opportunities for riders to earn scholarships, grants and monetary awards, among them:

  • Collegiate Partners Scholarships – Awarded to either Juniors or Seniors at National Finals based on their placings in individual classes. During the 2022 IEA National Finals, three colleges (St. Andrews University, University of Findlay, and Otterbein University) participated in the distribution of these merit-based tuition scholarships. These awards are applicable for every year the rider attends that college or university.
  • IEA Founders College Scholarship Awards — Each year at the IEA National Final competitions, the IEA awards upwards of $24,300 in scholarships to the top placing and second highest placing seniors in individual classes.
  • Muzzy Family/MZ Farms IEA National Finals Travel Grant — Created to assist qualified riders who demonstrate financial need, this grant offers up to $2,000 to assist with attending IEA National Finals. The grant will provide funding to support expenses related to one (1) rider plus a guardian and a coach to travel to IEA National Finals, in addition to related entry fees for any individual and team (if applicable) classes.
  • Zone Specific Scholarships — Each Zone within the IEA offers scholarships to their graduating seniors. 

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.

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/USHJA Emerging Athletes Program

The Lindsay Maxwell Charitable Fund/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.

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. 

Naomi Blumenthal Memorial Training Grant

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.

Photo © Lauren Mauldin

Teresa L. McDonald IHSA Scholarship Challenge

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 for the 2022-2023 hunt season. The scholarship helps with the cost of membership in Tryon Hounds for one season.

USEA Wilton Fair Fund Grants

The Wilton Fair Fund awards various grants for educational opportunities to young professionals under the age of 29 who have not ridden on a senior team. Up to $100,000 in grants is awarded.

USEA Worth the Trust Scholarship

The USEA Worth the Trust awards $4,000 to amateurs to pursue educational opportunities within the sport of eventing. Riders over the age of 16 how have declared amateur status are eligible and the scholarship can be used on clinics, lessons, working student positions, or learning from equine professionals including vets, course designers, and judges.

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.

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.

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