West Palms Events Introduces the 2022 Michael Nyuis Foundation Grant Recipients

Edited Press Release

West Palms Events has announced the winners of our 2022 Michael Nyuis Foundation Grant. Receiving a record number of applications, committee members worked hard to review nearly 90 applications.

In 2015, West Palms Events established the Michael Nyuis Grant Program to provide young riders with financial support to lessen the burden of entry and show fees. Applicants submit a brief application with a summary of their equestrian experience and two videos, one explaining why they should receive the grant and one showing their best riding skills. The 2022 judging committee included Jill Hamilton, Karrie Rufer, Mavis Spencer, and West Palms Events CEO Dale Harvey.

“We had an incredible group of candidates,” Dale said. “There were so many passionate and inspirational young people. We believe that the recipients we selected are very deserving riders with the potential to contribute to our sport in many ways – not just in the show ring but throughout the equestrian community.” 

“I grew up in the northern part of Canada, and there weren’t many opportunities available to me,” Dale added. “I could not have done it without all the people who were willing to help me. It’s truly an honor to be able to pay it forward and help these hardworking young riders achieve their goals.”

Professional rider Mavis Spencer was equally impressed with the candidates. “I realized how much potential the future of the sport has, and I was so moved watching every one of them talk about what the grant would mean to them,” Mavis noted. “It was extremely tough to narrow it down to the group we ended up with as it was such a strong group of candidates. I look forward to watching each one of them grow and benefit from this incredible opportunity.”

The panel of judges worked hard to narrow down the applicants. “I have been so honored to be on this panel and grateful to be a part of this process,” commented hunter/jumper professional Jill Hamilton. “The nearly 90 candidates we had were so stellar and choosing between them was challenging as they were all deserving. We worked diligently to choose candidates we believe will represent our sport well, give back, and embody the ideals of these grants.”

International show jumper Karrie Rufer agreed with her fellow judges, Mavis, Jill, and Dale. “It was really impressive to see all the exceptional equestrians who applied for this grant,” she commented. “I think the group of riders we chose truly exhibits the spirit of the program.”

The foundation honors Dale Harvey’s nephew, Michael Nyuis. While he was not a participant in equestrian sports, Michael was a true sportsman, and as a young man worked on the ring crew at Thunderbird Showpark in British Columbia.

“Michael was a giant in his community,” said Dale. “He influenced and helped thousands of people in his life, many of them young people. He lived his life giving back and helping others. We named this in his honor for that reason.”  

To learn more about the Michael Nyuis Foundation Grant Program, visit our website at www.westpalmsevents.com.

Tobi Benedict

Hometown: Las Vegas, NV
Age: 18
Goals for 2022: My horse-related goals for 2022 are to gain more experience in the show ring and be successful in the 1.10-1.15m jumpers. I also hope to compete in a 1.20m class by the end of the year.

Adrina Player

Hometown: Compton, CA 
Age: 15
Goals for 2022: My goals for 2022 are to get to the 1.10m level, own a horse, learn a new skill, be the best I can be, and find a sponsor.

Kassidy Keith

Hometown: Aldergrove, BC, Canada
Age: 23
Goals for 2022: My goals for 2022 are to start competing in more FEI events with my mare and to make the developing Canadian nations cup team. I also hope to step my young stallion up to the 1.40m and show him in the u25 divisions in Canada this year.

Amanda Gomez

Hometown: Norco, CA
Age: 18
Goals for 2022: I hope to be competitive in the U25 and grand prix classes. I also want to keep developing my young horses throughout the year.

Sophia Verebian

Hometown: Las Vegas, NV
Age: 17
Goals for 2022: My biggest horse related goals for 2022 are to move up and get consistent in the junior divisions while I also get stronger in my position.

Daniella Sternberg

Hometown: Yorba Linda, CA
Age: 21
Goals for 2022: I am excited to move my 9 year old into the 1.40/1.45m classes this year and bring my other young horses along. I hope to compete in some USHJA National and International Hunter Derbies as well!

Eniko Barber

Hometown: Temecula, CA
Age: 14
Goals for 2022: My goals are to make it to the 1.20m by the end of the year and to make it to young rider trials. 

Lauren Kolbe

Hometown: Hidden Hills, CA
Age: 17
Goals for 2022: My big goals for 2022 are to qualify for the North American Young Rider Championships (NAYC) and the Prix De States. I also hope to compete in a few grand prix classes at West Palms and qualify for the indoor medal finals, such as the ASPCA Maclay, the Dover/USEF Hunt Seat, and other local medal finals.

Londyn Wright

Hometown: Norco, CA
Age: 15
Goals for 2022: My goals for 2022 are to get my young horses in the show ring to gain experience. I am also working toward competing at NAYC on my new horse and getting more confident on him in the show ring!

Mason Milo

Hometown: Rocklin, CA
Age: 14
Goals for 2022: My goals for 2022 are to start my new horse in the 1.20m and get to 1.30m by the end of the year. I would also like to qualify for the USHJA Zone Jumper Team Championship and the USHJA National Championships.

Molly Stewart

Hometown: Carlsbad, CA
Age: 18
Goals for 2022: My goals for 2022 are to continue getting mileage in the hunter and derby ring, to possibly bring along a young horse, and to begin my road to a professional career in the sport.

Morganne Craig

Hometown: Los Angeles, CA
Age: 14
Goals for 2022: My horse-related goals for this year are to successfully compete in the 1.10m jumpers and to become eligible for the USHJA Zone Jumper Team Championship.

Noah Nelson

Hometown: Santa Barbara, CA
Age: 16
Goals for 2022: My equestrian goals include qualifying for and participating in the Junior Hunter 3’6” National Championship as well as the Junior Championship (NAJC) at 1.40m. 

Skylar Wireman

Hometown: Bonsall, CA
Age: 16
Goals for 2022: My goals for 2022 include qualifying and competing at NAYC and Prix De States. Some of my other goals are to be competitive in the 1.50m classes and start competing in the 1.55m classes. I also plan to compete at all of the indoor medal finals. 

Tiffany Geere

Hometown: Las Vegas, NV
Age: 15
Goals for 2022: I look forward to being able to be in the show ring more this year to give my horse more experience. My goals for this year are to qualify for NHS finals, do at least two equitation finals, and to compete more consistently in the 3’6” equitation.

Zoie Brogdon

Hometown: Los Angeles, CA
Age: 16
Goals for 2022: want to become eligible for USHJA Zone Jumper Team Championships 1.10-1.25m and perfect my equitation.

Elyse Harris

Hometown: Palm Desert, CA
Age: 14
Goals for 2022: My horse-related goals for 2022 are to be able to compete in more upper level classes, medals, and derbies. I also aim to move into the 2’9”-3’ hunter and jumper rings. I would love to be able to show in more shows, especially ones outside of California! Leasing and owning my own horse for the first time is a dream of mine. I also want to learn more about the operations behind horse shows and equestrian facilities.

Internship Grants: Kayla & Rachel Long