By Sarah E Coleman
MSEDA sponsors two scholarship opportunities to members in good standing who wish to expand their equine education: The MSEDA General Education Grant and the Christine Brown Memorial Grant.
The MSEDA General Education Grant is $500 scholarship that can be used for anything related to equine education. The recipient for 2015 was Anastasia Curwood, who used the grant to go South and complete some dressage training. As a give-back, she will be bringing in Sandy Osborn for a MSEDA-sponsored clinic in November of this year. In 2014, Reese Koffler-Stanfield was the grant winner.
The Christine Brown Memorial Grant is a 2-year-old scholarship of $1,500 that can also be used for equine educational activities. The 2015 grant was awarded to Katie Hagerty, who is using it to be in Florida from January through mid-April with her trainer, Ali Knowles. Katie is trying to get one of her two horses qualified for the 2* North American Junior and Young Rider Championship in Colorado this summer! The 2014 Grant winner was Kaileigh Nida, who used her grant money to travel to Florida as a working student for 2 1/2 months and also worked with her event horse schoolmaster Houdini, who was given to her from Tracy Corey. Kaileigh also had weekly training from Pete Rodda, a Level 2 Parelli instructor. Kaileigh put her training to use and earned a top award in her 4-H horsemanship competition in 2015.
To be eligible, MSEDA members must complete 8 volunteer hours, and half of them must be completed by the person applying for the grant. The remainder of the hours can be donated.
MSEDA currently funds both of these grants. To apply, candidates must describe how they plan to “pay back” the equine community for their scholarship in a way that might benefit MSEDA or through a program related to the scholarship activity. The deadline for both scholarships is December 15. The application can be found here: https://mseda.org/resources/Documents/MSEDA_SCHOLARSHIP_APPLICATION%202015%20(5).pdf
Grant recipients are determined during an educational committee meeting and are awarded at the MSEDA Annual meeting. Recipients are notified before the banquet takes place.
Scholarship winners are asked to submit a report about their educational experience within three months of completion. These pieces are then used in the MSEDA newsletter and shared on the MSEDA Facebook page.