Horse Farm Workers Education Assistance Fund awards 23 scholarships

Twenty-three children of full-time equestrian workers are pursuing higher education this year with the help of the Equestrian Workers Education Relief Fund. To date, 707 annual scholarships totaling $1,554,150 have been awarded since the Fund was created.

Scholarships are awarded for education or vocational training after high school and are based on financial need, merit, biographical essays, and personal interviews. Scholarships are also available for full-time workers at Central Kentucky horse farms who want to take horse-related training or courses to help them be more proficient and efficient when working with thoroughbred horses.

Three recipients also stand out as Pollard Scholars at the University of Kentucky: Sarah Farrell, Lupe Macias, and Miguel Macias.

STUDENTS AND SCHOOLS:

Riley Alexander – Eastern KY U
Marissa Bowman – BCTC*
Olivia Bryant – University of Kentucky
Caleb Carr – Transylvania University
Jacob Compton – University of Kentucky
Karime Dominguez – Eastern KY U.
Ciara Farrell – Georgetown College
Sarah Farrell – University of Kentucky
Dylan Gilbert – Murray State University
Trenton Gilbert – University of Kentucky
Jayden Hamilton – University of Campbellsville
Ruth Hughes – Notre Dame University
Enrique Macias – BCTC*
Lupe Macias – University of Kentucky
Miguel Macias – University of Kentucky
Saorise McEntee – University of Kentucky
Claire Nickell – Asbury University
Richard Osborn – Bellarmine University
Alondra Perez-Islas – JCTC**
Caleb Rames – Asbury U
Morgan Snellings – Western KY U
Reagan Toothaker – Thomas More U.
Kenzie Trent – ​​Asbury University
* Bluegrass Community and Technical College ** Jefferson Community and Technical College

Eligible parents of this year’s scholarship recipients are employed full-time by one of the following Central Kentucky Thoroughbred farms: Airdrie Stud, Ashview Farm, Betz Thoroughbreds (2), Denali Stud, Endeavor Farm, Far Cry Farm, Glennview Farm , Godolphin USA (3), Hermitage, Indian Creek Farm, Miacomet Farm, Rosemont Farm (2), Shadwell Farm, Silver Fern Farm, Solstice Farm, Spendthrift Farm (2), Walmac Farm, Watercress Farm (2) and Westbrook Farm.

The Fund was founded in 1996 by Rob Whiteley of Liberation Farm, Tom Evans of Trackside Farm and Fred Seitz of Brookdale Farm. Says Evans, “In pursuit of their dreams, many of our fellows work 20 or more hours per week at one or two jobs while completing a full course load. Our main goal is to allocate enough money so that they can focus on their studies and make school their number one priority without incurring a huge burden of long-term student debt.

“Investing in these young people is also an investment in the industry,” continued Evans. “Many of our scholarship recipients after successfully completing their studies have returned to pursue careers in the Thoroughbred industry. Several have already distinguished themselves (including a race director at a major North American circuit). Many of those who have chosen careers outside of industry have made their mark as professionals in nursing, education, social work, theology and business.

Evans said the organization is grateful to all the contributors who have so generously supported and appreciated this remarkable group of young scholars. “Over the years, we have received significant contributions from the Carl Pollard Foundation, the Kentucky Thoroughbred Farm Managers Club, Kentucky Thoroughbred owners and breeders, KTA, Fasig-Tipton, Keeneland, Darley and from Godolphin, Hill ‘n’ Dale Farm, Thoroughbred Charities of America, William Marquard, WT Young, Race for Education, Crafty Prospector Union and many other individual donors.

Whiteley said: “These academics and parents are an industry treasure. Farm workers are the backbone of the ranching industry and therefore the foundation of the entire thoroughbred industry. The parents of these scholars instilled an incredible work ethic in their children. Year after year, these exceptional young people impress the Commission with their abilities, motivation, energy, enthusiasm and accomplishments. In many cases, our scholars are the first in their families to pursue secondary education; and some could not continue their studies without our financial assistance.

Board members include: President Tom Evans of Trackside Farm; Vice President Dan Pride of Godolphin; Secretary Judge Wilson of Berea College; Treasurer Mary Ryan, educator and rider; Rob Whiteley of Liberation Farm; Stu Pollard, educator and filmmaker; and Chet Blackey, DVM. Carl Pollard is an active Board Advisor and Muffy Stuart serves as the Fund’s Coordinator and provides personal communication, advice and support to Fellows throughout the year.

The fund welcomes tax-deductible contributions, which can be sent to HFWEAF, 2938 Four Pines Drive, Lexington, KY 40502. The fund is operated on a voluntary basis, and over 90% of donor funds go to scholarship recipients. Applications are available in March with a July 1 deadline, followed by personal interviews with the Board of Directors. Inquiries can be made at 859-269-1719 or for more information please visit the website www.horsefarmworkerseducationfund.com.

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