Apr 14, 2023

MARS Bromont Rising U25 Grant Program Returns to MARS Bromont CCI and Galway Downs International for 2023

By Michelle Dunn - Edited Press Release
MARS Bromont Rising Grant Recipients from the 2022 Galway Downs leg of the program. Mars Bromont Rising photo.

Bromont, QC - April 13, 2023 - The MARS Bromont Rising U25 scholarship program, administered by the USEA Foundation, is pleased to announce that up to 20 grants of $2,500 each will once again be available for talented young riders aged 25 and under aiming to compete in the MARS Bromont (Quebec, Canada) or Galway Downs (Temecula, California) CCIs in 2023. Highlighting this year’s program is the return of three-time German Olympic team member Bettina Hoy as a guest coach for 2023.

The brainchild of Bromont organizer Sue Ockendon and the late Steve Blauner, the scholarship program was first offered in 2019 for riders competing at Bromont and at the time Ocala, and was expanded to include Galway Downs in 2022. Event horse owner Blauner had the vision of supporting young eventers from the US.. and Canada who were not yet under the radar of national U25 training programs. Ockendon had long had the dream of offering financial support the youth of the sport, who are the future of eventing in North America.

2019 Grant Recipient Ema Klugman and Bronte Beach competing at Bromont. Cealy Tetley Photo

A complete training program was devised to help the riders prepare themselves and their horses for competition. The grants assist with travel and entry expenses, but the program also includes classroom sessions with course designers, high performance riders and a dressage test analysis by a 5* FEI judge. Coaching and course walks during the events are also available in conjunction with riders own coaches.

Program director, Olympian, and FEI judge Peter Gray acts as a clinician at each event, including his “centerline sessions” on how to make the most of your warm-up and exactly what the judges are looking for movement by movement.

“I’m thrilled the MARS Bromont Rising grants will be offered once again in Quebec and California this year,” he remarked. “Bromont is such a unique destination with its European charm and world-class courses, and having guest coaches like Bettina Hoy back on board is an incredible opportunity for the athletes.”

Three-time German Olympian and former international coach for the Netherlands, Hoy speaks highly of the program. While commitments in Australia meant Hoy was only able to participate at Galway Downs in 2022, she looks forward to being at both events this year.

“Programs like Bromont Rising, the USEF and USEA’s Developing Rider Programs, Australia’s Next GEN squads, and in Germany the Stiftung Deutscher Spitzensport-supported mentorship program are very valuable, particularly if students are willing to take them on in an immersive way,” Hoy remarked. “Education goes far beyond riding instruction. In future workshops, I would like to add seminars on horse management—how to plan your season, how to structure your fitness program, and proper aftercare to really complete the cycle of looking at the big picture. And of course we need to discuss social license and the use of social media today.”

American-based riders Ema Klugman (AUS) and Alexa Gartenberg received grants in 2019 and 2022 respectively, and benefited tremendously from the experience.

Klugman commented in particular on the non-riding components of the week, saying: “The Wildasin’s lecture on syndication and ownership—how to communicate and where you are likely to find funding—I had NO idea about anything like that before that lecture. It really changed things for me; I would go so far as to say it changed my life. I now have two fully syndicated horses! For me the whole experience was a big vote of confidence and really provided that ‘Team’ atmosphere.”

Gartenberg said, “Bromont is my favorite show; the horses always come off the cross-country course well and better educated. It’s a true fitness test—the hills, the terrain, the footing—it’s a complete test. The international atmosphere in dressage and show jumping are unlike anywhere else.

“Being part of the Bromont Rising experience in 2022 took that to the next level," she continued. "Being exposed to the perspective of the judges, walking as a team and working with people my own age with similar goals. It was a true training-camp format. They made everything and everyone available. I know the Bromont Rising experience has made a big impact on my future.”

Canadian and U.S. U25 riders competing at any level of FEI competition offered are eligible to apply. Grant applications are open now, and the following deadlines have been updated for 2023:

Grant application forms, hotel information, omnibus forms, etc. can be found on the respective websites.

MARS Bromont CCI June 8-11, 2023 CCI4*-L, CCI4*-S, CCI3*-L, CCI2*-L U25 sections in the 2* and 3*.



Galway Downs International 3-day Event November 1-5, 2023 CCI4*L, CCI3*L, CCI2*L



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