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Sat, 2017-09-30 10:40

Worth the Trust: Where Are They Now? Young Adult Edition

Alexander Makowski and Without Grace at Plantation Field. Steve Berkowitz Photo.

Applications for the 2018 Worth the Trust Educational and Sports Psychology Scholarships are due this coming Monday, October 2, 2017. Past recipients of the Educational Scholarship have used the funds to further their riding education and expand their opportunities to work with instructors in lessons and clinics.

We’ve collected stories from past recipients about their experiences since they received the scholarship and how it affected their riding. Before you submit your application, take some time to read their stories! Click here to read the stories of past Adult Amateur winners.

Alexander Makowski, 2013 Worth the Trust Young Adult recipient

“After my scholarship period ended, I continued to work and do whatever possible to continue to immerse myself in my riding education. I spent my first winter post-scholarship managing a hunt barn in the middle of Cheshire Hunt country and riding with Sally Lofting to try and get more proficient at the Preliminary level. I spent the following winter in Aiken helping at Sporting Days Farm and continuing to more fully understand the event management process from start to finish. I also began riding with an incredible dressage trainer on the Eastern Shore of Maryland by the name of Becky Langwost-Barlow.

I have spent the last few years working full time as a bartender and part time as a waiter to try and fund my goal of making it to the FEI level, and I finally accomplished that goal in Virginia over the Memorial Day Weekend. I am aiming to do a CIC* and CCI* this fall with both of my horses in addition to moving up to Intermediate.

For a few years I also galloped racehorse part-time, which lead to the acquisition of an off-the-track Thoroughbred to attempt the Young Event Horse series. In less than nine months post-track, I managed to miss qualifying him for YEH Championships by a few tenths of a point.

One of the most exciting opportunities I’ve had in recent years was being able to ride with Kim Severson and Matt Brown. Kim is an absolute inspiration and I am so grateful for the time she has given in teaching me. Since I work about 60 hours a week, I sometimes only see her once every few months. However, each time I climb into the saddle, her words are always in my head. Matt Brown is an easier commute for me (about 2.5 hours) and he was monumental in helping me prepare for my first one-star. 

The experience with the scholarship was fundamental in helping me understand the importance of quality lesson work, especially dressage.”

Nina Klimova, 2011 Worth the Trust Young Adult recipient


Nina Kilmova and Sam. Photo courtesy of Nina Klimova.

“[Receiving the Worth the Trust Educational Scholarship] was such a wonderful experience. At the time I was a college student majoring in Biochemistry and struggling to make time for school and horses as well as have the funds to keep doing what I love and actually excel at it.

Receiving the scholarship allowed me to take more lessons with my core group of trainers which at the time consisted of Colleen Rutledge, Allison Kavey, Vanessa Swartz, and the occasional lessons from Jimmy Wofford. I learned so much from these great teachers. But most importantly these funds helped me shift my perspective from focusing on what event was coming up next to actually enjoying the training process with my horse. And this lesson I still hold on to very dearly. I started focusing on getting that extra spring in our trot, working on my eye to fences, my position and slowly shows and that pressure drifted away and I was left with the desire to work just for me and my horse.

Fast forward to 2017 I'm currently finishing up my PhD in Neuroscience at the University of Maryland, Baltimore and my partner in crime that I won the scholarship with (Sam) has passed . . . I got Sam in high school and he stayed with me up until graduate school. I had plans for him to start giving pony rides all my friends’ kids. Even still now I miss him so much. But it makes me so proud that this little Thoroughbred came off the track and in his 10 years with me we started from nothing and built up to riding 2nd level dressage, perfecting flying lead changes, schooling Preliminary cross-country fences, hacking for hours and hours, teaching my mom how to ride, and so much more. And we did all this because of my amazing trainers and teachers we encountered along the way. Receiving this scholarship helped allowed this.

Right now I'm horseless because graduate school eats away my time and energy. But all my riding stuff/trailer/truck sits calmly at my parents’ house awaiting my return. My close friend still has a horse and I'm her go-to when she travels and I cherish those moments. Being at the barn and riding has and will always be something I'm passionate about. I count down the days when I'll graduate and get a real person job and that'll be the day I start looking at Canter Thoroughbred ads. And when I get my next horse it won't be about what shows we'll go to or anything like that . . . it'll be about the training and getting that perfect leg yield.”

The 2018 Worth the Trust Educational and Sports Psychology Scholarships

The Worth the Trust Educational Scholarships, one for Adult Amateurs and one for Young Adults, aim to reward up-and-coming amateur eventers by helping to fund training opportunities like clinics, working student positions and private or group instruction. The $3,000 Amateur Young Adult Scholarship is available for riders aged 16-25, while the $2,000 Adult Amateur Scholarship is available for eventers 26 and up. 

The Worth the Trust Sports Psychology Scholarships are new for 2018 and were created to provide event riders with the opportunity to work with a qualified sports psychologist/therapist to develop insight and desire to identify and implement more productive attitudes and behaviors in a process that can illuminate and enhance the eventer both as a person and as a rider. The Scholarships include a $500 fund to be awarded annually to Adult Amateur aged 26 and up and a $700 fun to be awarded annually to a Young Adult Amateur aged 16-25.

The Worth the Trust Educational and Sports Psychology Scholarship will be awarded at the 2017 USEA Annual Meeting and Convention, December 5-10, 2017 in Long Beach, Calif. The deadline for applications for the scholarships for Young Adults and Adult Amateurs is October 2, 2017.

Educational Scholarship Applications: Young Adult Amateur | Adult Amateur 

Sports Psychology Scholarship Applications: Young Adult Amateur | Adult Amateur

About the Worth the Trust Scholarship

Now in its 17th year, the Worth the Trust Scholarship continues to provide financial assistance for young adult amateurs and adult amateurs for the purpose of pursuing continued education in eventing. This scholarship is provided by Joan Iversen Goswell in honor of her horse, Worth the Trust, a 15.3 hand Thoroughbred gelding (Wind and Wuthering x Stop Over Station), who competed successfully for many years, including winning the Kentucky Three-Day Event in 1997 with Karen O'Connor. 

Worth the Trust and Karen O'Connor at the 1997 Kentucky Three-Day Event. USEA Archives Photo. 

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