Help Ensure the Future of the Liz Cochran Memorial Groom’s Award

Kendal Tracy, second from right, won the 2016 Liz Cochran Memorial Groom’s Award. Pictured with Allison Springer, Max Corcoran and Lynn Symansky. Photo by Leslie Threlkeld.

Will you be in Florida for the Ocala Jockey Club International Horse Trials next week and need a final prep? Maybe you’re just looking to get in the show jumping ring for stress-free practice. You’re in luck! Mardanza Farms in Ocala is hosting a jumper schooling show and it’s for a good cause: to ensure the future of the Liz Cochran Memorial Groom’s Award.

The Liz Cochran Memorial Groom’s Award is given annually to an eventing groom, nominated by riders and peers, who has gone above and beyond caring for the horses in his or her charge and positively impacted a rider’s career as a result.

Since the start of the award in 2011, a $5,000 cash gift has been given to the recipient. These are the individuals who have so far been honored with this award:

2011: Lindsey Taylor, groom for Boyd Martin

2012: Emma Ford, groom for Phillip Dutton

2013: Kathleen Blauth, groom for Buck Davidson

2014: Stacey Driscoll, groom for Ryan Wood

2015: Shannon Kinsley, groom for Lauren Kieffer

2016: Kendal Tracy, groom for Lynn Symansky

The Event Riders Association of North America has a chance to ensure that this award will live on, but they need help. Liz Cochran groomed for Abigail Lufkin, and the Lufkin family has pledged to give $50,000 to endow the award if ERAofNA can match that amount. With $100,000 in the bank, the award will support itself through interest gained each year.

Efforts to raise the money have already begun, but there is still a long way to go. There are many ways to help!

  • Practice show jumping in a fun schooling environment this Monday, November 13 at the gorgeous Mardanza Farms in Ocala, FL. It’s the perfect final prep for the Ocala Jockey Club International or valuable practice for next season. Chris Barnard will be designing courses on Wordley-Martin footing for three-star all the way down to Beginner Novice level. Register on arrival (but organizer Sara Kozumplik Murphy wouldn’t mind a heads up for how many horses you plan to bring for each level). 8:00 a.m. start beginning with three-star and working their way down. $50 first ride, $30 for each additional ride and special prizes for anyone who donates $250 or more. All proceeds go to the endowment of the Groom’s Award. Click here for more information.
  • ERAofNA is asking for donations to a silent auction. You can donate art, lessons, entries, vacations, tack, riding apparel. “Think outside the box!” says Sara, an ERAofNA Founding Riders Advisory Board Member. Contact her on Facebook for more information. Here is the link to the auction! Start bidding!
  • If you’d like to make a direct, tax-deductible donation to the USEA Foundation, there will be a link available soon (we’ll add it here) to make a donation online. Or, you can write a check with “Liz Cochran Memorial Groom’s Award Donation” in the memo, and mail to the address below:

USEA Foundation
525 Old Waterford Rd. NW
Leesburg, VA 20176

“Grooms are the backbone of our sport. There is absolutely no way there would be any success without them,” Sara says.

We agree. Let’s show our appreciation!