Reposted From the US Equestrian Communications Department
Lexington, Ky. — US Equestrian is pleased to announce the grant selections for the USEF Grant Program for the 2023 Adequan®/USEF Junior Hunter National Championship – East, generously supported by Debbie Smith.
This year’s grant East Coast recipients are Sean Mulleady in the 3’3” section and Ryley Kurau in the 3’6” section.
Thanks to Smith’s generosity, Mulleady and Kurau will each receive a $10,000 grant that they may use for hotels, shipping, transportation, training, braiding, and other expenses associated with competing at the championship.
“Junior Hunter Finals are always such a highlight for our members, and seeing these grants offered by Debbie Smith get awarded for the first time is thrilling for US Equestrian and the future of our sport,” US Equestrian CEO Bill Moroney said. “Sean and Ryley are incredibly deserving recipients, and we look forward to seeing them—and all of the competitors and members—this summer at the finals in Traverse City.”
Smith established the grant to help deserving riders pursue their dreams of competing at the Championship, regardless of their financial means. Smith’s motivation to create the grant is fueled by her desire to promote the sport that has given her so much purpose and joy in life.
With the belief that our sport grows from our youth, Smith wants to create opportunities for more junior athletes to compete at the highest levels.
“I showed as a junior and I know how hard it can be—I’ve been there done that—so I thought I’d help out,” Smith said. “I read 33 grant applications and was very impressed by all of them.”
Traverse City Horse Shows in Traverse City, Mich., will host the East Coast championship from June 27 through July 1, 2023.
About Debbie Smith
Debbie Smith has had an undeniable love for horses since childhood, that only grew stronger throughout her adult life. She has competed on both the East and West Coasts, and her successful junior career has continued to the present day, resulting in numerous USEF Horse of the Year Awards. While the thrill of competition drives her, Debbie’s true passion is for the sport. She loves the camaraderie of the competitors and has recently become infatuated with breeding future hunter and jumper winners. Debbie looks forward to attending the Adequan®/USEF Junior Hunter National Championships – East and West to cheer on all the riders. Her establishment of the Debbie Smith Grant, which provides opportunities for junior athletes to compete at the highest levels, exemplifies her dedication to the sport.