Scholarships To Youth For Education Toward Career Horse Endeavors

Young people looking to futures involving horses have received financial boost for their equine objectives.

“The Kansas Horse Council Foundation (KHCF) has awarded 15 youth scholarships to encourage education in the equine industry,” according to Theresa Peddicord, KHCF scholarship committee chairperson.

Founded by the Kansas Horse Council (KHC) in 2004, the KHCF, a non-profit group, has awarded $121,450 to assist youth interested in horses since formation.

Available to members of the KHC looking to further their college education, scholarship selection is based on involvement, academics, community service and equine objectives.

Kansas Horse Council Foundation Scholarships were recently presented to MaRyka Smith, Hoyt; Jade Edwards, Hamilton; Caroline Gatschet, Topeka; Isabella Hubbell, Topeka; Alyssa Leslie, Inman; Natalie Vesta, Clay Center; Samantha Guy, Walnut; Rachel Brown, Topeka; Sidney Murray, Topeka; and Madison Hetherington, Valley Falls. Recipients not shown include Emily Brightbill, Manhattan; Collin Champagne, Perry; Kinsey Griffith, Wakeeney; Alan Hinds, Lawrence; and Jacob Grinstead, Hutchinson.

The Kansas Horse Council Foundation is a 501c3 charitable organization whose mission is to provide educational opportunities to horse owners in Kansas.

Scholarships are awarded annually and are funded through private donors and fundraising efforts hosted at Equifest of Kansas as well as the Weary Family Foundation guided by Mrs. Dale Ann (Weary) Clore.

Equifest fundraiser activities include a silent auction, a raffle, and an art sale.

“The amount of scholarships relates directly to how much is raised,” Peddicord said. “We greatly appreciate all donations and are always looking for auction items and additional assistance.”

This year’s recipients include Emily Brightbill, Manhattan; Rachel Brown, Topeka; Collin Champagne, Perry; Jade Edwards, Hamilton; Caroline Gatschet, Topeka; Kinsey Griffith, Wakeeney; Alan Hinds, Lawrence; Isabella Hubbell, Topeka; Alyssa Leslie, Inman; Jacob Grinstead, Hutchinson; Samantha Guy, Walnut; Madison Hetherington, Valley Falls; Sidney Murray, Topeka; MaRyka Smith, Hoyt; and Natalie Vesta, Clay Center.

Presentations were made at a recent banquet in Wamego. Rachel Zenger, secretary of the Kansas Cowboy Dressage Association, spoke concerning that group while inspiring the evening’s honorees about involvement in the horse industry.

“We would like to extend a heartfelt thanks to the late Bob Clore and Mrs. Dale Ann Clore of Manhattan for their continued support of the scholarship program through their fourth Weary Family Trust contribution,” said Justine Staten, executive director of the Kansas Horse Council headquartered in Manhattan.

“Bob Clore was the original artistic creator of the Bud Newell award for outstanding service, given at the Kansas Horse Council annual meeting and banquet, since 1995,” Staten said. “Bob’s involvement with the Kansas Horse Council and the equine industry was long and vast, and he will be missed.”

Theresa Peddicord has served as the KHC Foundation leader since 2012 and mentored her replacements through the 2018 scholarship awards banquet, Staten credited. Peddicord was presented a token of thanks for her seven years of service.

Theresa Peddicord (center) has served as the Kansas Horse Council Foundation leader since 2012. New leaders are Liz Wine (left) of Wichita and Paula Williams-Lamb (right) of Basehor. Not shown, Susan Jaax of Wichita is the Kansas Horse Council adjunct director for the foundation.

New leaders of the foundation are Liz Wine, Wichita, and Paula Williams-Lamb, Basehor, while Staten serves as treasurer.

Susan Jaax of Wichita is the Kansas Horse Council adjunct director for the foundation. Pam Davis and Diane Taylor serve on the selection committee.

“The new ‘team’ will soon begin making plans for the Equifest of Kansas 2019 Foundation silent auction and art sale,” Staten pointed out.

Two incoming KHC collegiate liaison representatives were introduced during the banquet, Megan Irick, Olathe, and Emily Elfers, St. Francis, are students at Kansas State University and will serve for the next two years.

“The collegiate liaison of the Kansas Horse Council has a non-voting seat on the board to assist the executive director with social media, to connect the board members with ideas and information influencing younger equestrians, and to promote the Kansas Horse Council among peers,” Staten said.

“MaRyka Smith served as our first collegiate liaison for two-and-a-half years and is stepping down to concentrate on dual doctorate degrees in veterinary medicine,” Staten related.

MaRyka Smith from Hoyt (center) has served as the collegiate liaison for the Kansas Horse Council and is stepping down to concentrate on her Veterinary Medicine studies. Emily Elfers (left) from St. Francis and Megan Irick (right) from Olathe will now serve as the KHC collegiate liaisons.

“A sophomore, Emily Elfers is pursuing a degree in animal science with a production management option and an equine science certificate. Megan Irick is currently a junior also pursuing an animal science degree with the production management option plus an equine science certificate.

“Both will take an active role in representing the Kansas Horse Council beginning in August,” Staten noted.

Mission Statement of the Kansas Horses Council is to “provide the Kansas equine industry with leadership and direction through education, promotion, and public policy advocacy.”

Set goals include:

Create and identify educational opportunities that will enhance the abilities of horsemen/women to further their skills and knowledge of the equine industry.

Create and identify opportunities that will promote the Kansas equine industry. Support development and tourism within the state as related to the equine industry.

Create an atmosphere in Kansas, through public policy advocacy, whereby the equine industry has the ability to grow and prosper.

Officers of the Kansas Horse Council in addition to Staten are Dennis Goodwin, Leavenworth, president; Marty Bloomquist, Tecumseh, vice president; Cheryl Thomas, Lyndon, secretary; and Rodney Schwatken, treasurer.