Strides for Equality Equestrians and the United States Eventing Association Foundation are proud to announce the first recipient of the Ever So Sweet Scholarship. The scholarship, which is the first of its kind, provides a fully-funded opportunity for riders from diverse backgrounds to train with upper-level professionals. Helen Casteel of Maryland is the first recipient of the bi-annual scholarship.
Edy Rameika, Sara Kozumplik Murphy, and Brian Murphy are providing the sponsored internship for Helen and her horse, Unapproachable (barn name: Abel), to train with Sara and Brian at Overlook Farm Equestrian Center in Berryville, VA, for three months. The scholarship covers expenses for full board and training costs for Abel, several lessons per week, housing for Helen, a stipend to cover living expenses, competition fees, and coaching at competitions. Helen has been partnered with Abel, a 13-year-old OTTB, for seven years. He was a “young six” when she got him, and they have worked hard together to successfully event at the Novice level. Helen and Abel competed at the American Eventing Championships in 2019. Helen’s immediate goals include moving up to Training level, which she is hopeful will be attainable because of the ESS scholarship.
Helen will also have the unique opportunity to learn to manage and care for upper-level horses and will be participating as part of the team in all aspects of running a large, competitive barn. She said the horse care and management part of being in a high-performance program is one of the parts she is looking forward to the most. She is eager to learn about the therapies and maintenance the horses receive to keep them healthy and sound. Helen also wants to learn the art and science that goes into choosing a good horse - for example, what do top riders look for when they are shopping, and how does one choose the best equine partner for their level and circumstances?
Helen’s goals also include playing an active role in fostering a more inclusive environment within the sport. The scholarship will provide Helen 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. Helen is eager to promote inclusion and access and stated, “Though I personally have been fortunate in my circumstance, I still feel that as a Black woman, I can contribute to the conversation and the solution. The opportunities to improve diversity, equity, and inclusion in the equine world and sport can fall into two buckets -- exposure and opportunity.”
Helen will be an ambassador for the ESS scholarship, which is part of the Professional Pathways programs SEE is developing. “If we continue to actively prioritize inclusion and highlight participation of people of color and LGBTQ+ peoples, we will see the profile of not just Eventing, but all equestrian sports rise,” Helen wrote in her application essay. You can follow along for updates on our website at https://www.stridesforequality.org/ and our Facebook and Instagram pages.
For more information, please contact:
Erin Tomson, Ph.D.
Strides for Equality Equestrians
509.332.9486 / [email protected]
Strides for Equality Equestrians (SEE), founded in 2020 as an allyship program for the equestrian community, seeks to address the lack of racial and ethnic diversity in equestrian sports. SEE promotes a more inclusive culture by listening to and addressing the concerns of Black, Indigenous, and people of color within the community while educating equestrians about effective allyship. For more information, please visit www.stridesforequality.org.
With 24 USEA Young Event Horse (YEH) Program competitions on the 2014 calendar, young event horses all across the country had the opportunity to shine and qualify for the 2014 USEA YEH Championships. The YEH West Coast Championships were held at Galway Downs in Temecula, California, while the YEH East Coast Championships took place at Fair Hill International in Elkton, Maryland. Following 2014’s YEH finale, many of the graduating class of the 2014 USEA Young Event Horse Championships have gone on to make their mark on the upper levels of eventing.
Following the cancellation of the Jersey Fresh International Three-Day Event for 2022, US Equestrian will open a one-week bid process to fill the date on the 2022 U.S. Eventing Calendar. Per the 2022 U.S. FEI Eventing Calendar Policies and Procedures, applications to host the CCI4*-L level during the 2022 competition season are accepted by invitation only.
The addition of a new event to the competition calendar is always exciting, but the Event at TerraNova in Myakka City, Florida aims to really wow their first-time competitors at their inaugural event with top-notch competition facilities, stunning course design, exceptional amenities, and a horse show experience unlike any other. With a roster of 142 entries altogether from Starter to the in their CCI4*-S level, the Event at TerraNova is off to a great start!
Are you following along with the action from home this weekend? Or maybe you're competing at an event and need information fast. Either way, we’ve got you covered! Check out the USEA’s Weekend Quick Links for links to information including the prize list, ride times, live scores, and more for all the events running this weekend.