Just over a year after the tragic passing of event rider Annie Goodwin, an extraordinary legacy program is set to carry her dreams on to fruition via other young, aspiring competitors. The Annie Goodwin Rising Star Grant is the joint brainchild of Annie’s parents, Putter and Tina Goodwin, and the staff at the Aiken Horse Park Foundation, and will seek to reward a rider with a drive, passion, and work ethic that matched that of Annie. En route to that end goal, the Goodwins and AHPF have formed a committee, which was announced this week.
The committee will work together to decide each year’s grant recipient, with a broad array of perspectives brought to the table through their shared and varied experience. Beyond that, “each member… had a strong connection to Annie that transcended sport, friendship, and family,” says the committee in a press release. The committee will be made up of:
- Daniel Geitner – Aiken Horse Park Foundation board member and hunter/jumper professional
- Putter Goodwin – Annie’s father
- Gene ‘Tiger’ Kneece – Polo professional
- Boyd Martin – Eventing pro, of course, and the current rider of Annie’s top horse Fedarman
- Catherine Stumberg – Amateur hunter/jumper rider
- Caitlin Silliman – Eventing pro
- Bobby Stevenson – Eventing pro
The Annie Goodwin Rising Star Fund currently sits at $122,274 after an initial round of donations from Annie’s friends and family, and this will serve as the jumping-off point for the annual grand program. Donations remain open for anyone who wants to contribute to the fund. Though there’s no firm date yet for applications opening, it’s looking like it’ll happen at the end of 2022, with a selection announcement set for the Grand Prix Eventing Festival at Bruce’s Field in March.