Strides for Equality Equestrians and the USEA Foundation are proud to announce the recipient of the Ever So Sweet Scholarship for winter 2022. The scholarship, which is the first of its kind, is fully funded by Edy Rameika and provides an opportunity for riders from diverse backgrounds to train with Sara Kozumplik-Murphy for two months in Florida. Sierra Lesny is the second recipient of the bi-annual scholarship.
The scholarship covers expenses for full board and training costs for Lesny’s horse, several lessons per week, housing for Lesny, a stipend to cover living expenses, competition fees, and coaching at competitions. Lesny got her start riding at her grandmother’s lesson barn when she was two years old. She has spent most of her life catch riding any horse that was available at the time, which has taught her a lot about patience and flexibility.
“This opportunity will allow me to grow as a rider. I have been riding since before I could walk and horses have always been a part of my life, but since I financially have not always been able to go full force into the horses, I have worked really hard and been a groom and a working student. I have loved it and it’s taught me so much and definitely made me a better horse person, but I haven’t had as much time to devote to just my riding skills.”
Lesny is excited that she will be able to dedicate two months entirely to her riding and development as an up and coming professional. Lesny is eager to get her foot in the door and find her place as a trainer. She said, “this is definitely an opportunity that anyone in my position dreams of, and I have dreamed many times about going down to Florida and getting to work with an amazing trainer in the hub of the horse network during the winter… being able to be a part of that is absolutely incredible!”
Lesny will be an ambassador for the ESS scholarship, which is part of the Professional Pathways programs SEE is developing. She will play an essential role in fostering a more inclusive environment within equestrian sports. “For all of us in this world with a darker skin tone, it can be scary and lonely at times. But the only way to change that is to take up space. Be here, be proud, and support one another.” The scholarship will provide Lesny with the opportunity to make professional connections, which will not only help her as an individual, but will contribute to improving access and opportunities for other BIPOC riders.
“For me growing up, not seeing many people that look like me in the horse world was disheartening. Putting people in this space so that younger kids grow up seeing someone that looks like them, doing the things that they want to do is the most important.”
You can follow along for updates on the SEE website at https://www.stridesforequality.org/
For more information please contact Erin Tomson, Ph.D., Strides for Equality Equestrians at 509.332.9486 / [email protected]
The Holekamp/Turner Grant was founded in 2015 by Timothy and Cheryl Holekamp of New Spring Farm and Christine and T.J. Turner of Indian Creek Farm. This grant gives a USEA Young Event Horse (YEH) Championship competitor the opportunity to represent the United States at the FEI Eventing World Breeding Championships in the 7-year-old Championship (a CCIYH3*-L) at Mondial du Lion in Le Lion d’Angers, France. The intention of the grant is to further develop an upward pathway for U.S. team horses in the sport of eventing. Grant recipients who are North American bred will be awarded the full cash grant of $17,500. If the winner is an imported horse, he will be awarded $8,000.
The United States Eventing Association (USEA) is thrilled to welcome back World Equestrian Brands as the Title Sponsor of the USEA Rider of the Year Leaderboard for 2021 and 2022. This year’s USEA Rider of the Year will be honored at the 2021 USEA Year-End Awards Ceremony held during the USEA Annual Meeting & Convention on Saturday, Dec. 11 at the Hyatt Regency Albuquerque in Albuquerque, New Mexico. World Equestrian Brands will generously provide the winner with a prize of $500 in value. Next year, the USEA Rider of the Year will be recognized during the 2022 USEA Annual Meeting & Convention which will take place in Savannah, Georgia on Dec. 7-11, 2022.
What better way to draw the competition season to a close than with a win in a USEA Classic Series division? Three competitors did just that on the weekend of November 17-18 at the Fresno Horse Park in Fresno, California.
The United States Eventing Association (USEA) is pleased to announce the renewed partnership with Rebecca Farm. Rebecca Farm will return as a Gold Level Sponsor of the 2021 USEA Annual Meeting & Convention and will be the exclusive sponsor for the Annual Meeting continental breakfast. This year’s Annual Meeting & Convention will take place at the Hyatt Regency Albuquerque in Albuquerque, New Mexico on December 9-12, 2021.