Friday, August 11, 2017

The Claire Mawdsley Scholarship and Rider Recognition Program

The Horse Show World does take care of its own, and sometimes a tragedy can be turned around so that something good comes out of it.  That is certainly the case with the Claire Mawdsley Scholarship and Rider Recognition Program. Let's start with the background:

In September 2011, Claire was killed in an automobile accident.  She was only 21 years old, a Senior at Virginia Intermont College in Bristol, Virginia.  She was an Equine Studies major and she was returning to school after attending a horse show in Northern Virginia.  She worked for Winter Hill Farm that week at a horse show.  Her performance in the classroom was recognized by Virginia Intermont when Claire received the college’s first posthumous degree.  The Scholarship and Rider Recognition program is named after Claire because she would have been the perfect candidate for the program. She was a focused and talented young lady who did not have extensive opportunities to ride and show full time, but she had ambition. She was the embodiment of the values we hope to instill and promote through this program for junior exhibitors: you do not have to make a choice between being competitive and being well-rounded. You can have it both ways.

 (Claire is on the far left with her classmates)

Eligible riders for scholarship consideration will include the 3'3" Junior Hunter division as well as the regular four Junior Divisions – Small Younger, Small Older, Large Younger and Large Older.
The program rewards exhibitors in the Junior Hunter Divisions who attend a traditional "brick & mortar" high school on a full-time basis who meet certain criteria.

  You can learn more about this program here

Let me finish by saying that I did not know Claire, I never met her but from what I have read, she was a remarkable young woman who would have gone very far in this world. I love these passages, words from which she tried to live I am told......

“Talent is less important than perseverance.”
“Pursue excellence, not perfection.”
“Winners always have a plan; losers have excuses.”

Claire was, without doubt, a winner with a plan.

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