OYES: Optimum Youth Equestrian Scholarship

The mission of the Optimum Youth Equestrian Scholarship is to provide opportunities for youth aged 17-27 from marginalized communities to become involved or stay involved in horse sports through financial awards and mentorship focusing on not only horsemanship and equestrian pursuits, but also career planning and education. We believe that opportunities for riding, training, and showing are not easily attainable to individuals facing socioeconomic and accessibility hurdles as well as overt and passive discrimination based upon their race, sexual orientation, or gender identity. Together we seek to bridge this gap through the sharing of knowledge, opportunities, and solidarity.

Application Guidelines

All applicants will receive mentorship focused on not only equine pursuits, but also on career planning, higher education, overcoming obstacles to training and riding and solidarity in facing discrimination in and out of the horse world. One applicant will receive a $600 scholarship to be used for the awardee’s pursuit of equestrian activities.

All young equestrians aged 17-27 who are facing challenges in becoming involved or staying involved in horse sports are encouraged to apply. The application essay can be in typewritten or in video format and should include the following…

  1. Tell us about yourself! How did you get involved with riding? What are your current riding goals?
  2. What are your future dreams and plans? How far along are you in pursuing these goals?
  3. What challenges have you overcome to be involved with riding (i.e., financial, logistical, social challenges, difficulties with your physical or mental health, etc.)? 
  4.  Include a budget outline that includes, for instance, the cost of lessons, showing fees, etc. Be as detailed as possible, i.e., if you plan to use the funds for showing or training, where will you show, or who will you train with?
  5. To assist with matching you to a mentor and to potentially facilitate job or internship opportunities, please list:
    • your hometown or where you plan to be working, studying or riding
    • if applicable, where you are attending college or considering applying
    • your current or hopeful area of study
    • your current or hopeful profession
    • which areas of riding or horsemanship are you most interested in learning more about or seeking connections to

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