The board of directors of the Race For Education voted to award $300,000 in scholarship money this year to young people in the equine industry, bringing the total amount the group has awarded since its inception in 2002 to $725,000.The national nonprofit organization offers two types of scholarships; the Thoroughbred Scholarship, and the Horsemen's Scholarship. The Horsemen's Scholarship is available to children of racing industry workers, including, but not limited to; foremen, grooms, hot walkers, trainers, riders, and maintenance workers, and is open to any field of study. The Thoroughbred Scholarship is available to students who wish to pursue a racing-related career, such as veterinary medicine, agricultural science, racetrack management, or equine business management. This scholarship is open to students from all walks of life. The RFE is hoping to stretch the $300,000 further than in the past by encouraging matching donations from the farms or organizations that employ scholarship recipients or their parents. "In today's world, where secondary education is so important, one of the most beneficial fringe benefits we can give our farm employees is to help fund the education of their children," said Herb Moelis, who has pledged to match the RFE scholarship amounts for two students whose parents work on his Candyland Farm. "The program established by RFE gives farm owners the vehicle to do this. I think it is incumbent upon us as farm owners to supplement the grants from RFE with matching donations." "Having had the chance to review the scholarship applications and interview some of the recipients, I have seen firsthand how important this program is," said Gay Fisher, director of marketing and communications with the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association and a member of TRE's scholarship recipient selection committee. "The equine and racing industries can only benefit from helping these kids with the cost of their education."
The RFE is accepting scholarship applications from high school seniors and college students until Feb 28. Scholarship applications and submission guidelines can be found at the RFE web site, www.racingscholarships.com.