Congratulations to Sydney Collier for Earning the Jonathan Wentz Memorial Scholarship Fund
Tuesday, June 3, 2014
She continued, "I was so incredibly honored to be the first recipient of the Jonathan Wentz Memorial Scholarship Fund for Junior/Young Riders who are both actively competing at the International level and actively promoting Para-Dressage through speaking engagements and by volunteering at events in the community. In 2010 I met Jonathan Wentz at the World Equestrian Games and even though he was showing at a top level and was part of the USPEA, Jonathan was an invaluable mentor and friend showing me the ropes of training and competition while also sharing many laughs along the way. I learned from Jonathan that to be competitive and recognized as an athlete you need to be consistently training, competing and improving as well as an ambassador for your sport. As this was my goal I followed his lead, training my first year to the National level competitions and then to International CPEDI3* competitions. Although I am young I have competed in six CPEDI3* competitions and over 20 USDF/USEF recognized shows over the last three years in preparation for the upcoming World Equestrian Games U.S. Para-Dressage Selection Trials. I hope that as the sport of Para-Dressage continues to grow in the USA that I can continue Jonathan's dreams of growing a strong and thriving Junior/Young Rider Para Dressage Program and also be as great a friend to other athletes and competitor as he was to me. The Jonathan Wentz Scholarship was absolutely invaluable to me as it helped me be able to travel to the Florida CPEDI3* this year by covering part of the shipping costs across the country."
About the 2014 USEF Para-Equestrian Dressage National Championship and Para-Dressage Selection Trials:
The 2014 calendar year has been one of the most competitive years in history for U.S. Para-Dressage. The 2014 USEF Para-Equestrian Dressage National Championship and Para-Dressage Selection Trials for the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™ (WEG) will show case that. The Trials/ National Championship will be held June 2-5, 2014, at the USET Foundation Headquarters in Gladstone, NJ. Twenty-four horse and rider combinations were recently invited from Grades Ia, Ib. II, III, and IV. Riders had through May 31, 2014, to qualify. Athletes will be vying for not only a spot on the U.S. WEG Para-Dressage Team but the championship titles of the year. Riders have through the end of May to continue to qualify for this event. The ground jury includes President Kristi Wysocki (4*) USA, Adrienne Pot (3*) USA, and David Schmutz (4*) USA. The 2014 USEF Para-Equestrian Dressage National Championship and Para-Dressage Selection Trials is managed by Connie Davenport.
About the 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 USA Para Dressage Young Riders to set the goal of International competition.
Scholarship funds will go toward assisting USA 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 U.S. 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:
USA 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.
This trophy was established in memory of Paralympian Jonathan Wentz, to recognize a USA 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 USA 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 USA, 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 for the USA. 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 USA Athlete's excellence in competitive Para Equestrian sport at the International level. This award honors USA 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.
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