Race For Education Awards $358,000 in Scholarships

Edited press release

The Race For Education is awarding nearly $358,000, and obtained another $43,000, in scholarships to 34 students for the 2006/2007 academic year. This year's recipients -- from 20 states around the country -- were chosen from a pool of more than 400 applicants.

The students were introduced at a picnic in their honor held at historic Calumet Farm near Lexington July 16 that featured special guest John Nicholson, the executive director of the Kentucky Horse Park.

This year the Race For Education expanded its scholarship offerings to four categories, designed to enable students under the age of 25 to afford a college education.

The Horsemen's Scholarship is available to children of racing industry workers, including, but not limited to, foremen, grooms, hot walkers, assistant trainers, and exercise riders. This scholarship is open to any field of study. Out of this year's 34 recipients, 13 are Horsemen's Scholars, studying a broad variety of majors, including petroleum engineering, psychology, and animal sciences.

The Thoroughbred Scholarship is available to students wishing to pursue a racing-related career, such as veterinary medicine (with an equine emphasis), equine science, racetrack management, or equine business management. The scholarship is open to students from all walks of life, but household income may not exceed $60,000 per year. Seventeen recipients this year are Thoroughbred Scholars.

The Ashado Scholarship, established by Jack and Laurie Wolf's Starlight Stables, Paul Saylor's PHS Racing, and Johns Martin, is available to a female college student studying an equine-related subject.

The National Turf Writers Assocation/Youbet.com Journalism Scholarship provides up to $10,000 per year to a student majoring or minoring in journalism.

Also for the first time, individual tracks could sponsor a student in their area. Keeneland Racecourse chose University of Kentucky pre-veterinary medicine student Katie Dunn, and the Washington Thoroughbred Association and Emerald Downs picked Cassandra Mundy, a second-year veterinary student at Washington State.

Scholarship recipients are as follows:

Ashado Scholarship Recipient:

Kristen Geary, Arizona - She will be entering the University of Arizona in the fall, majoring in equine sciences. She plans to become a veterinarian, specializing in equine reproduction. A straight 'A' student throughout high school, Kristen graduated third in her class of 67.

Emerald Downs Scholarship Recipient:

Cassandra Mundy, Washington - She is a second year veterinary student at Washington State. In addition to her studies, Cassandra has founded a program for veterinary students to visit and read to children in the hospital and also helps match veterinary students with mentors.

Keeneland Scholarship Recipient:

Katie Dunn, Kentucky - The daughter of a horse trainer and a groom, Katie plans to study animal sciences at the University of Kentucky, with the goal of going on to veterinary school.

NTWA/Youbet.com Journalism Scholarship Recipient:

Jennifer MacDonald, California - The daughter of a former horse trainer and an HRTV graphics operator, she will be studying journalism at California State University at Chico this fall.

Horsemen's Scholarship Recipients:

Nathan Cahill, Kentucky - The son of a trainer and a former jockey, he will be studying mechanical engineering at the University of Kentucky.

Jessica Carnes, Florida – She is the daughter of an exercise rider and trainer, who died after a riding accident at Mountaineer Park. Her mother, who also recently passed away, was a former trainer. Jessica is a junior at Emory University, majoring in psychology.

Carly Casey, Delaware - The daughter of a manager at Candyland Farm, she was first awarded an RFE scholarship in 2004. She is studying animal science at the University of Delaware.

Tiffany Davis, Colorado – She is the daughter of Thoroughbred trainers Chad and Tammy Hassenpflug, who were displaced by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. The Louisiana HBPA has made a contribution to cover her last year as an undergrad at Colorado State University, where she is studying equine science. If she decides to attend graduate school, she has been advised to reapply to the Race For Education.

Kacie Deines, New Mexico - The daughter of a former trainer and current breeder and owner, she will be attending New Mexico State University, where she will be studying veterinary medicine or horse farm management.

Melissa Dunlap, Kentucky – She is the daughter of Jeff Dunlap, who before he died was a broodmare manager at Taylor Made Farm and a trainer. Her mother recently passed away as well. Melissa is pursuing a business management degree at Sullivan University.

Karen Hancock, Kentucky - She is completing her first year at Auburn University's college of veterinary medicine. Karen was first awarded an RFE scholarship two years ago while an undergrad at the University of Kentucky.

Robert Jackson, Kentucky - The son of the maintenance foreman at a Lexington horse farm, he plans to study auto body repair at the Bluegrass Community and Technical College.

Loretta Rodriguez, Florida - The daughter of a farrier and horse trainer, she will be attending the University of Florida in the fall, where she will study animal sciences. While in high school, she formed a club that teaches pre-kindergarten through first grade students about pet care.

Vincent Ruiz, Texas - The son of Vicente Ruiz, a chaplain at Sam Houston Race Park, he is finishing his junior year at Texas Tech University, where he studies petroleum engineering.

Caitlin Tracy, Montana - The daughter of a Thoroughbred trainer and a Quarter Horse trainer, she plans to study kinesiology (the study of how the body reacts to situations) and hopes to set up a program for jockeys to help them stay healthy throughout their racing careers. She will be entering Boise State University in the fall.

Megan Tracy, Texas - The daughter of the manager of Oak Tree Ranch in Bandera, Texas, she is a freshman at Texas A & M, where she is studying biomedical sciences with the goal of becoming a horse veterinarian.

Jose Villanueva, Kentucky - He is the son of two Brookdale Farm employees who emigrated to the United States when Jose was 14. Despite the obvious language issues, he received all 'A's and 'B's throughout high school. He plans to study engineering at the University of Kentucky, with the goal of designing automobiles. With the help of the Race For Education, Jose is receiving a full scholarship from UK.

Thoroughbred Scholarship Recipients:

Daniel Davis, Idaho - He will be attending the Montana State University Horseshoeing School and is also attending the College of Southern Idaho with the help of an RFE scholarship.

Christina Dayton - Wall, Georgia - She is a third year veterinary student at the University of Georgia, and upon graduation, she'd like to become an equine surgeon.

Alexandra Guillou, Florida – She will be entering the University of Florida in the fall, where she plans to study animal sciences with a goal to become a veterinarian.

Elizabeth Hoxie, Michigan - She will be attending Michigan State University, where she plans to study equine sciences with plans to become an equine veterinarian.

Kristyn Kleeman, Colorado- She is transferring to Colorado State University in the fall to pursue a degree in equine nutrition. Active with showing draft horses, Quarter Horses, and even mules, she hopes to help neglected horses and offer equine programs for youth.

Katherine Koch, Nebraska - She will be entering the University of Nebraska at Lincoln in the fall, where she will be studying equine sciences. A lifelong horse lover, her goal is to get her doctorate in the same subject and eventually teach at the college level.

Jonathan LeClair, Colorado - He will be starting veterinary school at Colorado State University in the fall. Upon entering CSU as an undergrad, J.D. was accepted into the Vet Start Program, which takes only five students a year and not only provides them scholarship money, but also ensures their acceptance into vet school.

Luisa Manzanares, New Mexico - She is a freshman at Colorado State University, studying pre-veterinary medicine. She is one of only five Vet Start students who are guaranteed acceptance into CSU's veterinary school.

Marsha McDowell, North Carolina - She is a first year veterinary student at North Carolina State University and has already worked with Drs. Joe Yocum at Overbrook Farm and Fairfield Bain. She also has completed the Kentucky Equine Management Internship Program (KEMI).

Shannon Melliere, Illinois - She is a first-year veterinary student at the University of Illinois. She has trained, bred, and shown Quarter Horses and has worked as a vet tech for six years.

Grant Minnemeyer, Indiana - First awarded an RFE scholarship in 2004, Grant is now preparing to enter the veterinary medicine program at Purdue. He worked with Dr. Reed at Churchill Downs last summer and plans to become a racetrack veterinarian upon graduation.

Jenny Mudd, Kentucky - She is currently completing her freshman year at the University of Louisville, where she studies equine business management.

Antonia Natrigo, New York – She will be attending Morrisville State University in the fall, where she plans to study equine racing management. With no background in horse racing, Antonia taught herself about the sport by spending time on the back side of Finger Lakes Racetrack.

Jackie Owens, Oregon - She will be a pre-vet major at the University of Idaho. In high school, Jackie maintained a 3.85 GPA while participating in FFA, rodeo, volleyball, basketball, and helping her mother run the family ranch.

Jonathan Pigott, New York - He is a first-year veterinary student at Cornell University. While doing his undergraduate work at the University of Vermont, he served as the team manager and captain of the college equestrian team. He has competed in international collegiate equestrian competitions, winning the individual and team show jumping competitions in 2003.

Tiffany Snell, California - She will be starting veterinary school at the University of California at Davis this fall. She is especially interested in studying bone issues in young horses and how to avoid or remedy the problems incurred in racing juveniles.

Amy Thompson, Oklahoma - She is currently a freshman at West Texas A & M University studying agribusiness with an emphasis in equine industry. A former president of the Oklahoma Quarter Horse Youth Association, Amy would like to go to work at the American Quarter Horse Association upon graduation.