The annual USEA Worth the Trust Educational Scholarships aim to reward up-and-coming amateur eventers by helping to fund training opportunities like clinics, working student positions and private or group instruction. The deadline for applications for the 2017 USEA Worth the Trust Educational Scholarships is October 3, 2016. We checked in with last year's Young Adult recipient, Nita Sanfilippo, to see how she put her scholarship to use.
As the recipient of the 2016 USEA Worth the Trust Scholarship for Young Adults, I urge everyone eligible to apply. If you haven’t followed through because you are feeling a little unsure of your worthiness, please, believe in yourself! Being prompted to write an essay about something which we eventers are so deeply passionate about is a rewarding thing to do.
I am so thankful that such a scholarship exists; it has been such a wonderful opportunity for me, and I am amazed at the impact it has had on me in more ways than just my riding.
So far this year, I have been able to use some of the scholarship funds to take more regular lessons with my coach at home, which has been helpful. I would say I have gained the most from being able to ride with high profile riders, which are the experiences I could not have afforded without being awarded the scholarship.
This spring I spent over a week in Southern Pines, NC, taking lessons with Denny Emerson. To be able to work with such an accomplished horseman who also has coached countless riders to the top levels of eventing was a dream come true. This fall I have been able to work with local hero/four-star rider Allie Knowles and attend a clinic with the legendary Buck Davidson, which was an excellent experience and one I would love to repeat. I am excited to still be planning out the use of the remainder of the scholarship.
To be so well received by everyone we’ve worked with, to be told that “You and your horse have what it takes,” and to be so strongly encouraged to pursue my dreams really changed my mindset. (Thank you most especially to Denny for this.) I knew I wanted to see how far Bully and I could go when I applied for the Worth the Trust Scholarship, and even though we had been successful, I just didn’t imagine myself being able to do the kinds of things that the athletes at the top of our sport do. They were in some kind of category that simply wasn’t a possibility for me.
Then, Bully and I got this great opportunity to be able to work with these athletes, and their encouragement has changed my perspective. You can’t put a value on that!
Competition-wise, this fall Bully and I got to make our AEC debut at the amazing Tryon International Equestrian Center (and be one of the top finishers in the Preliminary Amateur division!). This past weekend, we made our move-up to the Intermediate level at the Surefire Horse Trials. We got to compete with/against some really big names, and I am so proud that we held our own! Boyd Martin watched our stadium round at the gate on one of his own mounts, and as we exited the ring he gave Bully several compliments. His kind words really made me feel a sense of belonging in an extraordinary league of competitors. Thanks Boyd! I am still riding the high from the whole experience.
Someday I hope to be able to offer the same kind of encouragement to others as that which I have received over the course of this year, and have it make the kind of impact on the recipient as it has had on me. In the meantime, I encourage everyone to dream bigger!
HOW TO APPLY
There are two scholarships available: a $3,000 Amateur Young Adult Scholarship for riders between the ages of 16 and 25, and a $2,000 Adult Amateur Scholarship for eventers 26 and up. Both can be applied toward a variety of training opportunities including clinics, working student positions, private or group instruction or even learning to officiate or working with a course designer, Technical Delegate, judge, veterinarian, etc. with approval from the scholarship panel.
Applicants must be members of the USEA as well as their local eventing club or association, and contribute at least six hours of volunteer work to a national or local charitable organization, any minority/disadvantaged group, a local eventing association or horse trials, etc.
The deadline for applications is October 3, 2016.
Contact Nancy Knight for more information at (703) 669-9997 or [email protected]