Jayven Kilgore Selected for Equine Opportunity Program

BY Devyn Trethewey

November 10, 2021, New York, NY – Jayven Kilgore has been selected for the Metropolitan Equestrian Team’s Equine Opportunity Program. 

The Equine Opportunity Program allows riders across the country to become as creative as they want through our educational and equestrian programs. Students have the ability to ride in any discipline and work towards their goal no matter their riding level or location in the country. The EOP riders have the drive and ambition to make their dreams a reality.

Jayven Kilgore is from Memphis, Tennessee where he is coached by Ashlee Pigford and Taylor Hiatt of the Memphis Youth Equestrian team. 

“Getting this MET EOP scholarship would help me to continue riding and learning so that I can keep improving so that I can work with difficult horses like Gus and help them learn how to become happier horses who enjoy being around people and working.” said Jayven Kilgore, in his application for the EOP.  “I would like to be able to afford to go to more shows, like local schooling shows with my Coach Ashlee Pigford. I would also like to attend Memphis Youth Equestrian IEA team shows. Many are out of town and expensive to travel to.”

The program is geared towards educational advancement with multiple grant and scholarship programs that give students the opportunity to ride in programs nationwide. Applicants must have a drive to discover and learn more about careers and pathways. In order to maintain financial sustainability to continue in our disposable income sport as an adult, we strive to give students an understanding of finances and money management. The program is designed to help selected applicants get to the level in which they desire to achieve. 

“It is important for us to be able to partner with organizations that believe in our mission of providing horseback riding opportunities and education.” said Jane DaCosta, executive director of MET. “We are not an organization that drives on socio-economic status, we are a program that promotes passion and creativity within students, which provides the leg up for them to accomplish their dreams.” 

The program has awarded students with over $1.6 million dollars in college scholarships to participate in Equestrian sports across the country. MET is grateful to have partnerships with over 400 colleges that participate in the Intercollegiate Horse Show alAssociation for students to show and actively participate in.

“I want to figure out what college to go to because I want to be a horseback riding Instructor. I think being an instructor would be fun, and I’d enjoy teaching other people how to ride horses.” said Jayven Kilgore. “Horses have helped me learn more patience. Getting the horse to do what you ask them to do even when they mess up has shown me how to keep trying even when riding is tough.”

We want to highlight that both Jayven’s parents, Jennifer and Ron Kilgore are both service members of the US Army Reserves. We want to thank you for their service and for encouraging Jayven to apply to this program. 

Take a look at what the MET has done in the past:

About The Plaid Horse 

The Plaid Horse is a woman-owned small business dedicated to education in the horse show industry. We publish 10-12 magazine issues per year as well as a series of novels and select non-fiction, run a daily website, and produce a weekly podcast. A frequent horse show sponsor, we are committed to inspiring young riders to take a more active role in the industry.

About Piper Klemm 

Dr. Piper Klemm is the owner and publisher of The Plaid Horse. Her mission is to educate young equestrians in every facet of our industry and to empower young women in particular to find their voices and stories—and to share them.

She has spent her entire career focusing on education through various channels, including The Plaidcast, North America’s most listened-to horse show podcast; as a professor at Clarkson University; co-authoring the Show Strides book series; and by providing educational articles, grants, and experiential learning opportunities for riders of all ages and levels. She earned her Ph.D. in Chemistry at the University of California, Berkeley.

Piper lives in Canton, New York, with her husband, Adam Hill. Adam is a Chemistry Professor at St. Lawrence University and the Faculty Mentor to the national champion IHSA Riding Team. She owns a fleet of lease ponies, and competes in the Amateur Hunter divisions with MTM Sandwich

About Show Strides 

Show Strides is a middle grade novel series about riding, showing, horsemanship, and the special friendships we form with our animals and fellow horse lovers. Set on the sprawling grounds of a large hunter jumper barn, the series features a diverse range of characters, from the lesson kid to the A-rated show regular, and everyone in between. While the reading level is appropriate for young riders, the series has fans of all ages! Read more about our books, including excerpts from all four novels, at www.theplaidhorse.com/show-strides/.