The Maryland Racing Media Association will award $32,750 in scholarships at its annual crab feast Oct. 27 in the Carriage Room at Laurel Park. This brings the total distribution of the MRMA scholarship program over the past three years to $100,000."We are extremely proud to have reached such an impressive milestone in a relatively short time," said MRMA president David Richardson. "The scope of the program continues to grow, along with the quality of applicants. The caliber of students applying for aid this year was by far the highest in the history of the program."Laura Watson, in her final year at the University of Florida's College of Veterinary Medicine, will receive $6,250 as winner of the Eddie McMullen Memorial Scholarship, given to an outstanding applicant. Fourteen other students will receive checks from $500 to $4,000.
It is the fourth McMullen Scholarship and sixth overall for Watson, who ranks within the top 10% of her class with a 3.86 grade point average. In May, Watson won election to the Society of Phi Zeta, an honor society for veterinary medicine.The MRMA backstretch scholarship program has grown substantially in recent years through contributions from individuals and organizations. Major supporters, in addition to MRMA, are the Maryland Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association, Maryland Horsemen's Assistance Fund, and owner/breeder Milton P. Higgins III. The program distributed a record $35,250 last year and $32,000 in 2004.Scholarship recipients must be employed at least part-time at a Maryland Thoroughbred stable or farm, and enrolled in college.