The board of directors of The Race For Education voted Friday to allocate just under $300,000 for scholarships for the 2004 school year. Another $40,000 has been slotted for educational programs such as English as Second Language and literacy classes.
Approximately 75% of the scholarship money will go toward Horsemen's Scholarships, available to children of racetrack backside and farm employees whose household income does not exceed $50,000 per year. The remaining 25% has been allocated for Thoroughbred Scholarships, for students of any background who wish to pursue a career in veterinary medicine, agricultural science, racetrack management, or equine business management. The same financial criterion applies. The deadline to apply is March 1, 2004. Applications for each scholarship can be found at www.racingscholarships.com.
In only its first full year of operation, The Race For Education has raised almost $500,000 through fundraisers such as the annual Horsemen of All Ages Sale, the Louisville premiere of the motion picture "Seabiscuit," and the Thoroughbred Charities of America Stallion Season Auction. The primary fundraising program allows horse owners to nominate their runners to The Race For Education, thereby agreeing to contribute a percentage of their winnings to the foundation. Major donors in 2003 included the Keeneland Foundation, Team Valor Racing, Gainsborough Farm, Michael Cooper and Cee's Stables, Carol and Tracy Farmer, James Keogh, Trackside Farm, Overbrook Farm, Taylor Made Farm, WinStar Farm and Sal's Restaurant.
"It's amazing for such a young program to touch so many lives," said Stacy Bearse, Race For Education board member and publisher of The Blood-Horse
. "All of us in racing admire the participants in this program, their generosity, their vision of the future and their sense of responsibility."
The Race For Education is a national education scholarship foundation funded by various parties related to, or with an interest in the Thoroughbred racing industry. It is a nonprofit 501(c) (3) organization established to improve the quality of life for young people through education, attract younger and better-educated individuals to the careers in the Thoroughbred industry, and establish the racing industry as a good citizen in the community. 100% of donations go directly to scholarships and educational programs.