Equuvation Inc.

2017 Spark* Scholarships

Thanks to generous donor support, we are able to award ONE Full Scholarship and THREE Partial Scholarships for the upcoming year. Any new donations made to the Equuvation Inc. Spark* Scholarship fund throughout 2017 will be in support of our Top 10 riders.

Ellie B. + "Larry" ••• Concord NC

2017 Full Scholarship Recipient • OTTB

Jordan A. + "Saucy" ••• Rustburg VA

2017 Partial Scholarship Recipient • Rescue

Madison L. + "Joey" ••• Coto de Caza CA

2017 Partial Scholarship Recipient • OTTB

Savannah H. + "Willie Wonka" ••• Vinton VA

2017 Partial Scholarship Recipient • Rescue


**APPLICATIONS ARE NOW CLOSED FOR 2017!**

THANK YOU to everyone who submitted an application for our 2017 Spark* Scholarships! We closed out our final day having received more applications this year than any previous year! From as close as our neighboring town, to as far as California and Canada, we have been blown away by the next generation of talented and thoughtful equestrians who we have had the chance to "meet" through this process. Recipients of Spark* Scholarships are chosen by an independent committee who are passionate about giving a “leg up” to today’s youth. All scholarships are to be applied towards clinics or competitions in the 2017 calendar year, unless special arrangements have been made. Check back in the Fall for the 2018 Spark* Scholarship Application!

Spark* Scholarships are available for riders, age 21 and under, to support their equestrian endeavors. We are looking for individuals who: Are known as kind, dedicated and passionate “role models” by their peers, family and teachers/trainers ••• Adopted, own or lease an OTTB or rescued/rehabilitated equine and present a desire to pursue learning and/or competition with this partner {competition goals do not need to be at a rated level - we love supporting local and schooling shows!} ••• Exhibit quality horsemanship and sportsmanship in the equestrian field ••• May represent a financial need in order to pursue his/her goals ••• Will allow his/her representation in photos and words to be shared via social media, web sites and print media as a way to *spark* awareness for Equuvation and its programs in any field leveraging the horse-human connection

Those awarded a Spark* Scholarship may receive: A financial scholarship to participate in up to 3 clinics or competitions within the assigned calendar year ••• Embroidered saddle pad and other cool swag ••• Opportunity to participate in other sponsored Equuvation events ••• Promotional {and emotional :)} support from Equuvation

Follow along on Facebook: www.facebook.com/sparkscholarships

Spark* courage. potential. confidence. progress. connection.  |  © 2016-2017 Spark Scholarship Program


Sparking Opportunity for Junior Riders – A History of The Scholarship Program

In late 2012, a local NC nonprofit organization who specialized in the rescue, rehabilitation and retraining of OTTBs, wanted to increase their impact, and try a creative approach on pursuing second careers for their horses. As a result, the Love.Lease.Ride.Show [L.L.R.S.] program was launched.

Through this program, the organization offered a sponsored lease of an OTTB to a junior rider (age 21 and under) who exemplifies kindness, a desire to learn, hard work and stewardship in our local equestrian community. Via an application process and mounted auditions, two rescued OTTB mares were placed with junior riders in that first year.

Maranda Schill and Rocket Zone, an OTTB gelding originally rehabbed from the track by Race2Ring. "Rocky" was placed with Maranda in 2014 through Race2Ring's Love.Lease.Ride.Show program and now has a successful jumper career and lifetime home.

Over the course of the next three years, a total of six rescued or rehabilitated equines were placed with young riders to fuel the equine's second career, and the rider's desire to connect with a horse. And in 2016, L.L.R.S. introduced a new level of the program, offering scholarships to young riders who were already partnered with an OTTB or rehabilitated rescue mount of their own.

Through these varied levels of sponsorship, L.L.R.S. riders were supported in any discipline they choose, for a total of TEN junior equestrians since Spring of 2013.

Having the opportunity to meet, and be motivated by, these young riders was one of the most rewarding aspects of the L.L.R.S. program. Many stories emerged along the way, including: the placement of a shy, chestnut OTTB mare with a talented and compassionate Wake Forest student; a young lady from Hendersonville who was awarded a sweet OTTB gelding, and later convinced her mom to adopt a rehabilitated performance horse from the same organization; an aspiring eventer taking her sensitive OTTB mare through the levels with grace. And, a dedicated young lady from Marion who took a gangly and spicy OTTB gelding from rehab to ribbons in the jumper ring, setting an example of true sportsmanship and horsemanship every time she sets foot in the arena. This same pair finished their 2016 competition season as Tryon International Equestrian Fall 1.10M Children's Jumper Circuit Champions.

Sadly, at the end of 2016, the founding nonprofit organization was forced to close their doors due to the instability of the equine rescue nonprofit landscape, and their desire to remain responsible to their donors and animals. In the wake of the dissolution, another local North Carolina 501c3 nonprofit organization – Equuvation Incorporated – stepped up and launched the Spark* Scholarships program to continue L.L.R.S.'s passion and legacy of fueling the horse-human connection in the minds and hearts of our young equestrian generation.

Now, Equuvation has some big shoes to fill. Staying true to the history of the L.L.R.S. program, Spark* Scholarships will award a junior rider, who is partnered with an OTTB or rescue horse, financial support to pursue their equestrian endeavors in 2017.

In this first year of the program's transition to Spark*, thirty two applications were received, as of the closing date of January 8th, and two dozen of them moved on to the judging phase. The majority of the candidates are based in North Carolina, but this year the reach was felt as far as California and Canada.

As we got to know the candidates better, we learned the stories behind them, including: a local NC teen who never gives up despite the health challengers of her OTTB gelding; a 14yr old from Tennessee who looks out for the safety of others in every situation, and has the patience to bring her OTTB through tough times; a young lady who took the initiative to create and install a memorial for a special pony owned by her trainer; and two riders who were accepted as Junior Trainers in the Retired Racehorse Project 2017. Countless other inspiring stories continue to emerge as the 2017 applications are reviewed, reminding us that the support of our young equestrians is vital to the reputation and continuation of this rewarding sport.

Recipients of Spark* Scholarships are chosen by an independent Selection Committee of judges who are passionate about giving a “leg up” to today’s youth. As they review each application, which includes a series of short answer essay questions, photographs, video and at least 3 reference letters, judges are looking for candidates who:

  • Stand out as kind, dedicated and passionate “role models” by their peers, family and trainers
  • Exhibit quality horsemanship and sportsmanship in the equestrian field and beyond
  • May represent a financial need in order to pursue his/her goals
  • Adopted, own or lease an OTTB or rescued/rehabilitated equine partner 

After completing the challenge of reviewing and selecting the final recipient for the Spark* Scholarships program, the public announcement is made by February 1 of each calendar year.

For more information on Spark* Scholarships, visit:
www.equuvation.org/spark
http://www.facebook.com/sparkscholarships

Equuvation Inc. is a 501c3 nonprofit organization. Donations made to Equuvation may be earmarked for the Spark* Scholarships.
Please contact equuvationinc@gmail.com with questions.