Young people looking to futures involving horses have received financial boost for their equine objectives.
“The Kansas Horse Council Foundation has awarded 15 youth scholarships totaling $14,000 to encourage education in the equine industry,” according to Theresa Peddicord, KHCF scholarship committee chairperson.
Founded by the Kansas Horse Council (KHC) in 2003, the KHCF, a non-profit group, has awarded $120,000 to assist youth interested in horses since formation.
Available to members of the KHC looking to further their education, scholarship selection is based on involvement, academics, community service and equine objectives.
Funding comes from an EquiFest of Kansas auction, the Weary Family Foundation guided by Bob and Dale (Weary) Clore and the KHC.
“The amount of scholarships relate directly to how much is raised,” Peddicord said. “We greatly appreciate all donations and are always looking for auction items and additional assistance.”
Dr. Elizabeth Davis, board member from the College of Veterinary Medicine at Kansas State University (KSU), presented the scholarships at a recent reception in Wamego.
KHC officers attending were Dr. Justin Janssen, president; Jim Thomas, vice president; and Cheryl Thomas, secretary.
Other KHCF scholarship committee members present included Susan Jaax, Pattie Stalder, Justine Staten and Laura Thiel.
“The committee was impressed by the quality of youth applying for scholarships,” Peddicord said. “They all have a passion for horses and are very impressive individuals.”
This year’s recipients are:
Katrina Bork, Topeka, graduate of Washburn Rural High School from Topeka, planning to attend Washburn University. With background in both Western and hunter disciplines, Bork wants to be an orthodontist, and become equine therapy certified.
Also a Washburn Rural graduate, Alyssa Botkin has been active with horseback riding since she was six-years-old. She plans to attend North Carolina State University majoring in animal science with minor studies in Ag business management and Spanish.
Additionally a Washburn Rural grad, Taylor Brown is undecided on her education direction, but intends to have a career with animals. Horses have always been a part of her life; she also rides both Western and English.
Majoring in Ag education and communication at KSU, Allyson Dorrell of Olathe will graduate next spring. As a member of the KSU Hunt Seat Team, she intends to be a vo-ag instructor and one day have her own riding program.
A KSU Rodeo Team member majoring in agribusiness, Jacob Grinstead, Hutchinson, serves as Kansas FFA State Reporter.While remaining part of a family cattle operation, he’s seeking a career incorporating equine/rodeo activities into sales, services and promotion.
Attending Labette Community College, Samantha Guy, Walnut, has been involved in with her family’s horse rescue. She intends to pursue a master’s degree in communication and work in equine public relations.
Majoring in nursing at the University of Tennessee, Kenna Hoffman, Bonner Springs, has signed to be a member of their university equestrian team. She then plans to study radiation therapy at Washburn University, with horse involvement, leadership throughout her life
A Rossville High School graduate, Sidney Murray, Topeka, will seek a business degree from Rockhurst University. A third generation rider, she shows American Saddlebreds throughout the Midwest, looking to furthering that endeavor.
Rachael Peterson, Leonardville, Riley High School graduate, is active in 4-H and the Blackjack Saddle Club. Riding since quite young, she participates in Western and English, looking to a career as a veterinarian or equine scientist.
Flint Rock Academy graduate, Bailey Pyle, Westmoreland, a Putnam Scholarship recipient at KSU, her undergraduate studies are directed to becoming a veterinarian. Active in the United State Pony Club, she intends to specialize in either equine or sports medicine.
Raegan Rast, Stilwell, will attend Texas Christian University majoring in business while riding on the equestrian team. Competing nationally for several years, she’s collected numerous yearend championships.
MaRyka Smith, Hoyt, is currently the KHC Collegiate/Youth Representative. A KSU veterinary medicine student, she received the Undergraduate Research Award in the Gamma Sigma Delta Agricultural Honor Society.
Grace Thiel, Easton, attends Baylor University majoring in biochemistry and is on the equestrian team. Recognized in several honor societies, she would like to become an orthopedic surgeon.
Natalie Vesta, Clay Center High School graduate, will study business at KSU. Involved with horses as a student, volunteer and competitor, she rides English and Western while also competing in 4-H horse judging events.
Taylor Wolken, Lawrence, attends Laramie County Community College, Cheyenne, Wyoming, majoring in physiology and is on the equestrian team. Involved in riding Paint Horses, she intends to complete a degree in health law and then operate a horse stable.