Equestrian Grants & Scholarships Every Rider Should Know About

Photo © Lauren Mauldin

BY JORDAN ANDERSON

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. 

The $25,000 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

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.

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.

The 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. *Applications for 2021 have closed

Photo © Lauren Mauldin

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. 

The 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. 

The 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.

Photo © Lauren Mauldin

The 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. 

The 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.

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.

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 nondisciple 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.

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.

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.

USHJA Horsemanship Quiz Challange

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.

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