Horse Farm Workers' Educational Assisstance Fund Awards 40 Scholarships

Edited release from Horse Farm Workers' Educational Assistance Fund
The Horse Farm Workers' Educational Assistance Fund has awarded 40 annual scholarships for the 2004-2005 school year to children of full-time workers on central Kentucky Thoroughbred breeding farms. The scholarships are for education after high school and are based on need, merit, essays, and personal interviews. Most of the scholarships are for $2,500 each year. Altogether, 248 scholarships averaging nearly $2,000 each have been awarded since the fund's inception in 1996. To date, 21 Farm Workers' Scholars have graduated from college, including 2004 graduates Maria Maldonado (current Miss Kentucky) and Jeffrey Gaines (4.0 valedictorian from Campbellsville University).

The 2004-2005 Horse Farm Workers' Scholars and the schools they will be attending are as follows:

SAMANTHA BEATY, Eastern Kentucky University
CHARLES BRAIDICH, University of Louisville
STEPHANIE CLINES, Eastern Kentucky University
LAUREN COVERT, Transylvania University
CHARISSA DIBENEDITTO, University of Kentucky
JEANNIE DOI, College of William and Mary
MARIA DURICK, Georgetown College
JODI GARRISON, Transylvania University
KRISTEN GONCHAROFF, University of Kentucky
DIANA GUEORGUIEVA, Lexington Community College
KATHERINE ISHMAEL, Western Kentucky University
ANN KIRKLAND, Midway College
AMY KOCH, University of Kentucky
CECILIA KOCH, University of Kentucky
PATRICK LAYTON, Texas A & M University
MIREYA MARTINEZ, Lexington Beauty College
TARA POE, Centre College
MEGAN POWELL, University of Kentucky
PAUL PRYOR, Eastern Kentucky University
JAMES RANKIN, University of Kentucky
JAMES RAUCH, Lexington Community College
KYLE RECTOR, University of Kentucky
ASHLEY RONCA, International Academy of Design and Technology
AMINDA SHARTLE, Missouri Valley College
NICK SPALDING, Georgetown College
FELIX SPITTLER, University of Louisville
KATHRYN SPITTLER, Wittenberg University
LAURA TOADVINE, Eastern Kentucky University
SCOTT TOADVINE, Eastern Kentucky University
KELLY TURNEY, Winthrop University
SAMANTHA TRUE, Morehead State University
JENIKA WATKINS, Ringling School of Art & Design
KEVIN WILLIAMS, Central Kentucky Technical College
SARAH WINTERS, Lexington Community College
BRENDAN ZAHN, University of Kentucky
LINDSAY ZAHN, Eastern Kentucky University

Qualifying parents of these 2004 – 2005 scholars are employed full-time by the following farms: Adena Springs, Bel-mar, Claiborne, Considine, Darley at Jonabell, Eaglestone, EV Farm, Hermitage, Hidaway, Hopewell, Johnson & Johnson, Lane's End, Loch Lea, Lochness, Manchester, Margaux, Niknar, Overbrook, Shamrock Glen, Silver Springs, Six Winters, ugar Grove, Sunnyside, Raceland, and Terrapin Station.

Scholarships are also available for full-time horse farm workers who wish to take equine courses or training related to working more effectively with horses in their current farm job. One such scholarship has been granted for 2004-2005 to a full-time farm worker from Winter Quarter Farm for training to advance his equine knowledge and skills:

JAMES PURVIS, Auburn University

According to Rob Whiteley, president of the Fund, "These scholars are a truly amazing group of young people. They have internalized their parents' work ethic and often work many hours outside of school to pay their way and pursue their dreams. Our goal is to provide enough money to help these deserving children get to college or a vocational training program without having to work an excessive number of hours away from their studies. We want to make a difference in the quality of their education and we want to make it possible for them to succeed. In many instances, our scholars are the first member of their family to pursue post-secondary education, and, in some cases, the recipients would not even be able to enroll without our support."

"I wish to thank all of the contributors who have generously supported and valued this remarkable group of young people. Horse farm workers are the backbone of the horse business and these scholars are a source of pride to their parents and to those of us who care about the future of our industry," said Whiteley. "The scholarships are an investment in truly motivated young people who possess initiative and great potential. The best news of all is that many of them intend to return to careers in the horse industry. In fact, two of our first graduates, Steven Koch and Graham Wolfram, have already distinguished themselves working for Keeneland and trainer, Shug McGaughey, respectively."

In addition to Whiteley who is director of operations for Foxfield, members of the fund's board include Tom Evans of Trackside Farm, Fred Seitz of Brookdale Farm, Judge Wilson of Wyatt, Tarrant & Combs, D.G. Van Clief of Fasig-Tipton and Breeders' Cup Ltd., John Stuart of Bluegrass Thoroughbred Services, and Dr. Chet Blackey, DVM. Carl Pollard of Hermitage Farm serves as an informal advisor to the Board.

The fund is run on a volunteer basis and virtually all donated monies flow through to recipients.