Applications Open for the USHJA Foundation $25,000 Hamel Family Scholarship for Further Education and Gochman Family Grant for USEF Pony Finals

Lexington, Ky.—Jan. 14, 2020—As the New Year kicks off so do the opportunities available to USHJA members. Applications are now open for the USHJA Foundation $25,000 Hamel Family Scholarship for Further Education and the Gochman Family Grant, which helps riders attend USEF Pony Finals each year.

The Foundation selects up to three individuals each year, who exemplify sportsmanship, tenacity, and horsemanship, to receive the Gochman Grant. The grant aims to inspire young riders to embrace this sport at the earliest age and encourage them to continue growing as equestrians by providing them the opportunity to compete at USEF Pony Finals presented by Collecting Gaits Farm. Pony Finals takes place August 3-9, 2020, in Lexington, Kentucky, and Gochman Grant applications must be received by March 13, 2020, to be considered.

"I see myself in the position of a lot of these riders," said Rob Jacobs, who volunteers his time to facilitate the grant in partnership with Robin Greenwood. "I really had to work hard at it and want it to try and get a leg up, and that's what I'm seeing through all of the recipients we've had the pleasure of working with."

"When I first looked into [the Gochman Grant] I thought they just give you a pony and you show, but it's so much more than that," Eddyn Molden says of her experience as a 2019 recipient of the Grant. "We got to tour Spy Coast Farm, we got to see a live surgery at Rood & Riddle, and we got to attend a modeling clinic, which was really helpful. We've all really clicked and have become really close through this experience. We've all learned a lot together."

Since its inception, the grant has been awarded to 13 individuals: Sofia McCoy (2019), Eddyn Molden (2019), Lexi Van Der Woude (2019), Olivia Elmore (2018), Sydney Spevak (2018), Ryder Richardson (2018), Logan Blake Crouser (2017), Olivia deStanley (2017), Ella Doerr (2017), Judy Dettore (2016), Riley Hogan (2016), Cecillia Machado (2016) and Matthew Bravo (2015). Individuals may receive the grant only once. 

Beyond supporting competitive opportunities, the USHJA is committed to education, and through a generous donation from the Kristen and James Hamel Family Foundation, the USHJA Foundation awards up to $25,000 to one USHJA member each year to be used for college, graduate, trade, or professional school.

Current USHJA members who have been members for at least three consecutive years are eligible for the Hamel Scholarship for Further Education. Applicants must be accepted to a college, graduate, professional, or trade school and be entering the 2019 fall semester as a freshman, sophomore, junior, senior, trade or graduate student, and meet the other requirements outlined in the application. Interested applicants must apply by May 15, 2020.

The 2019 recipient of the Hamel Scholarship was Lindsay Seewald, who is using the scholarship funds to pursue a career as an equine veterinarian at Cornell University's College of Veterinary Medicine, marrying her love for horses and the drive to give back to the hunter/jumper community that has supported her educational goals.

"Thank you also to the hunter/jumper community as a whole," Seewald said. "I would not be where I am today without their generous support of both my riding and my education and I look forward to being able to give back to this community throughout my life."

The Hamel Scholarship for Further Education is made possible by a generous donation from the Kristen and James Hamel Family Foundation. The Gochman Grant for USEF Pony Finals presented by Collecting Gaits Farm is made possible by the generosity of Becky and David Gochman and their family.

The USHJA Foundation provides financial support for an important set of educational, humanitarian, and competitive programs designed to strengthen the hunter/jumper community. Valuing education as a priority, the Foundation offer grants, scholarships, and funding for programs that empower talented hunter/jumper equestrians to pursue their personal and professional goals. 

The support the Foundation receives from donors generates a pathway of opportunity for deserving USHJA members by providing access to riding clinics, horsemanship education, competition experience, and education outside the arena. At the same time, the Foundation believes that protecting the welfare of the Hunter/Jumper community is essential and responds with relief for USHJA members in times of crisis.

Photo provided.