Thousand Oaks, CA - Just one year ago, on September 3, 2012, Jonathan Wentz had his final ride aboard NTEC Richter Scale at the London Paralympics. The United States Equestrian Team including Jonathan Wentz, Rebecca Hart, Donna Ponessa, and Dale Dedrick earned top team accolades among the best in Para Dressage. Individually, Wentz was points away from standing on the Paralympic award podium that final day when he earned the Individual 4th place ribbon in Grade Ib Freestyle with horse NTEC Richter Scale. Tragedy would strike at the end of September when Jonathan Wentz, 21, passed away from an uncommon heart condition which occurs in young athletes. Wentz was not only a role-model in the ring but he was an ambassador for the Para Dressage sport. One of Wentz's goals in life was to grow the Para-Equestrian discipline through encouraging young disabled athlete's to participate in the sport he loved.
In 2013, the Jonathan Wentz Memorial Scholarship Fund was created so young Para Equestrians may continue to fulfill their own dreams in the equestrian sport. Scholarship funds awarded will help offset competition expenses up to $1,000.00 per competition to help cover entry and other fees including stabling and/or shipping (must be greater than 500 miles one way) costs for competition. To apply for the Jonathan Wentz Memorial Scholarship Fund please download the application here. CLICK HERE.
The Jonathan Wentz Memorial Trophy was established to honor Jonathan's achievements in his sport and inspire Para-Equestrians in dressage, driving, reining, vaulting or jumping. The trophy recipient will be a Para Equestrian athlete who has competed and excelled in multiple international competitions and received scores that contributed to the Individual and/or Team ranking on the FEI ranking list during the competition year. This individual has also served as a role model in advancing the sport in the U.S. and educating the public on the discipline. The trophy will be awarded each year at the USEF Annual Convention.
"There could not be a better way to commemorate Jonathan than to establish a scholarship fund in his name," noted Tina Wentz. "His desire was to have a Para Equestrian Young Rider Program that worked to grow and improve the current U.S. program. Creating a perpetual trophy gives Para Equestrian athlete's a high goal to aspire to and will serve to honor; as well as keep Para Equestrian sport in the public eye. Our goal in establishing the trophy and the scholarship is to continue Jonathan's legacy of hard-work, dedication and love for his sport. It will honor his Paralympic and International athletic achievements to "ride on" and hopefully inspire others toward achieving their goals of being world class para equestrian athletes. We are so proud of the athlete, ambassador, young man he was and that he achieved his dream of being a Paralympian."
She continued, "I would like to thank everyone involved with creating the scholarship fund and memorial trophy including the USPEA. Thank you to Martha McKibben of Martha Designs (www.marthamck.com) for her contributions in finalizing the logo "Jonathan Rides On" fund and trophy. I also want to thank Olva Stewart Pharo for donating her time and artistic talents in creating this beautiful trophy."
To make a tax-deductible donation to the USPEA Jonathan Wentz Scholarship Fund or Memorial Trophy:
Mail donations to:
USPEA, c/o Tina Wentz, 701 N. Waterview Dr., Richardson, TX 75080
Make your checks payable to:
USPEA and designate: "JW Trophy" in the memo
Use your Credit Card or PayPal by going to uspea.org
Click on the "Donate Now" button and designate "JW Trophy" in the message section.
Receive a free "JONATHAN RIDES ON" bracelet with a donation of $25 of more!
Jonathan Wentz Memorial Scholarship Fund
The Jonathan Wentz Scholarship Fund was established to continue the dream of Paralympian Jonathan Wentz; to advance High Performance Para Dressage in the USA by supporting and encouraging Para Dressage Young Riders to set the goal of International competition.
At age 13, Jonathan set the goal of riding for the USA in the Paralympics. At age 16, he
established a plan and budget to achieve his dream. At the age of 21, Jonathan was able to achieve his dream of riding for Team USA in the 2012 London Paralympics earning the highest placing of all USA equestrians that competed in London. Another goal of Jonathan's was to develop a Para Dressage Young Rider program to help grow and improve Para Dressage in the USA. His scholarship fund will be used to offset the cost of YR Championships and International competition for Para Dressage Young Rider's and to encourage their participation enabling them to excel in their sport.
Scholarship funds will go toward assisting Para Dressage High Performance Young Riders
(ages 16-25 within the competition year), who are actively competing in 3* and above
International Para Dressage competitions, and have qualified for the YR Para Championships.
Funds shall be awarded to help offset competition expenses up to $1,000.00 per competition to help cover entry and other fees including stabling and/or shipping (must be greater than 500 miles one way) costs for competition.
Guidelines for Application of Jonathan Wentz Scholarship fund:
Athletes must submit a Jonathan Wentz Memorial Scholarship Application with expenses itemized, along with a copy of completed entry forms, invoices and/or receipts for consideration of scholarship funds, along with a list of their competition highlights, competition goals and competition plan/schedule for the current and future 2 years. (Example; 2013-2014, 2015-2016)
Scholarship funds are intended for direct payment of specific competition expenditures, entry fees, stabling, and/or shipping only. Checks made out to athlete or immediate family for reimbursement will require a completed W-9, and will be subject to approval. Scholarship funds may be awarded for a maximum of two CPEDI3* events per competition year or the YR Para Championships & one CPEDI3* with a maximum of $1,000.00 awarded per competition. Grants are subject to the approval of the USPEA board. Funds will be awarded based on "own horse" (according to FEI Para definition), distance to competition, number of competitions athlete is planning to attend in 2-year competition period, competition record, number of applicants and/or funds available.
Jonathan Wentz Memorial Perpetual Trophy
This trophy was established in memory of Paralympian Jonathan Wentz, to recognize a Para Equestrian ATHLETE (includes Para Dressage, Para Driving, Para Vaulting, Para Jumping, and Para Reining) who has competed and excelled in multiple international competitions and received scores that contributed to the Individual and/or Team ranking on the FEI ranking list during the competition year. This individual has also served as a role model in advancing the sport in the US and educating the public on the discipline.
Paralympian Jonathan Wentz, at the age of sixteen, established a plan to achieve his goal of representing his country at the Paralympics. Toward that goal he tirelessly trained and competed as a high performance Para Dressage athlete. He tenaciously pursued his goal while working to improve his sport through serving on USEF committees, giving riding demonstrations, public speaking and mentoring new riders. Jonathan felt it was extremely important for the growth of the sport for Para Equestrian High Performance athletes, to be recognized as athletes without regard to their disability, to be viewed parallel to Olympians. To achieve this level a Para Equestrian must be committed to training & competing consistently at the highest level, like their Olympic counterparts. It also requires a commitment to improving the sport and educating the public on all Para Equestrian disciplines.
The Jonathan Wentz Memorial Perpetual Trophy recognizes the Athlete's excellence in competitive Para Equestrian sport at the International level. This award honors athletes who serve as a role model for their sport and it commends those equestrians who help to advance Para Equestrian sport in the United States.
(This trophy was established by the USPEA to be given annually** at the USEF annual convention. There will be a perpetual trophy created for the names of the recipients. Disciplines not yet established are listed looking toward future growth in Para Equestrian High Performance disciplines. **The award will be given annually, if there is an athlete that meets the criteria.)