Ottawa, ON - Equestrian Canada (EC) is pleased to announce the hard-working young athletes who were chosen by the EC Jumping Committee to receive Jumping Youth Bursary funds for 2016.
In recognition of the challenges young riders face as they strive to continue their education while competing at high levels of the jumping sport, the Jumping Youth Bursary program was developed for athletes between the ages 14-21 who compete in hunter, jumper and equitation divisions.
The following athletes have been awarded $2,000 each through the 2016 Jumping Youth Bursary in recognition of their hard work and dedication:
Kassidy Keith, 19, from Nanaimo, BC began riding at the age of three and has progressed through the hunter and jumper levels from the Short Stirrup all the way to grand prix. A strong equitation rider, Kassidy won the National Finals for both the JC Medal and the CET Medal in 2015. That same year, she won the Thunderbird Good Hands & Seat Medal Final, plus qualified and competed at the prestigious ASPCA Maclay Medal Finals in Lexington, KY. In 2016, she picked up multiple provincial championship titles, plus made her debut at the grand prix level, earning a top-10 finish in the JC Anderson Memorial Grand Prix at Rocky Mountain Show Jumping (RMSH) in Alberta. For the 2017 season, Kassidy’s goals include moving up to the 1.50m level and pursuing EC/NCCP certified coaching credentials. A hardworking student, Kassidy was accepted to the University of Fresno in 2016, but deferred her entrance into a business program to the fall of 2017 in order to concentrate on her working student position with Equimark Stables.
Alex Jamael, 19, of Mactaquac, NB, grew up around horses and started lessons at the age of six. Honing his riding skills through the Canadian Pony Club and the EC Learn to Ride program, Alex grew a passion for jumping. Already achieving so much in his jumping career, after finishing third overall in the Junior Jumper division at the Royal Horse Show in Toronto, ON in 2015, he moved up to the Grand Prix level, winning the Coveside Classic Grand Prix in 2016 in Chester, NS. Also working hard on his education and career, Alex spends time training and competing in Florida while working toward a Business degree through online courses at New Brunswick University. In partnership with his brother, Alex also runs Fox and Foal Equestrian, creating custom jumps and tack boxes, and through the business, is devoted to giving back to the equestrian community through horse show sponsorships.
Campbell Legere, 15, of Hammond Plaines, NS, has been riding for over 10 years, accomplishing a great deal in that time, while showing compassion and generosity. Campbell has progressed from the Pony divisions to Children’s and Junior Hunter, earning Zone Championships each year and qualifying and competing at the Royal Horse Show six years in a row. She has also entered the jumper ranks, competing at the 1.20m level and plans to move up to 1.30m in 2017, as well as making her debut in the CET Medal and JC Medal series. Her overall goal is to represent Canada at the FEI North American Junior and Young Rider Championships (NAJYRC). A current high school student, Campbell plans to attend medical school in the future and focus on neurology and surgery in order to help those with brain injuries.
Erica Forgeron, 19, of Quispamsis, NB, has loved horses all her life, and after succeeding as a gymnast, decided to take up riding lessons at the age of 11. A hard-working athlete, Erica has competed in the Maritimes and Quebec circuits, starting in the Short Stirrups division and working her way up to the 1.10m jumper division, accumulating many division championships and sportsmanship awards along the way. Erica’s highlights to date include qualifying and competing in the Large Pony Hunter at the Royal Horse Show in 2012, representing New Brunswick at the 2014 and 2015 Canadian Interprovincial Equestrian Championships, and finishing first overall in CET Medal Atlantic region in 2016. Having completed one year of university with a double major in Biology and Kinesiology, Erica made the Dean’s List in 2015. In the fall of 2016, she transferred to the University of Calgary to pursue a double major in Science and Kinesiology with the ultimate goal of attending medical school to become a Cardiologist.
Katrina Kosmitsch, 16, of Calgary, AB, has been hooked on horses since attending a Christmas riding camp at the age of six. Having progressed through the ranks of ponies, junior hunter divisions, Katrina entered the equitation ranks and claimed first place in the 2015 CET Prairie Medal Finals, plus finished second in the 2016 JC Medal National Finals at the Royal Horse Show. She also had the opportunity to represent Canada at the 2014 Friendship Games in Panama, where she won Junior Equitation and Sportsmanship awards. Impressively, in 2016 Katrina made the leap all the way from the CET Medal to the 1.45m grand prix level. After graduating high school, she plans to continue competing with the ultimate goal of representing Canada at the Olympics, while also pursuing a veterinary degree with a specialization in holistic medicine in order to enhance the health and performance of show horses.
Megan Champoux, 17, of Aldergrove, BC, has been competing since the age of five, and has experience competing all around North America, including Florida, California, Washington, British Columbia and Alberta. Her accomplishments to date include being a Thunderbird Legacy Scholar recipient and winner of the Thunderbird Good Hands & Seat finals, winning three international/Canadian hunter derbies, the Milner Downs six-bar and many year-end and championship titles. Known for her strong equitation skills, Megan won the 2016 CET Medal National Final and finished fourth in the renowned 2016 ASPCA Maclay Medal Finals in Lexington, KY. Megan’s goal for the future is to further her riding experience and knowledge and represent Team Canada. A dedicated student, Megan has been studying hard for her SAT and ACT exams with the goal of attending an NCAA Division 1 university in the US.
Samantha Cowan, 20, of North Bay, ON, love of horses started at the age of nine and has worked her way up from the Short Stirrup level all the way to the 1.30m junior jumper division. Having discovered her passion for jumping while competing at the Trillium level in Ontario, Samantha competed successfully in the 0.90m and 1.0m Trillium Jumper divisions, qualifying and competing at the Trillium Championships. From there, she moved up to the national level and also traveled to Ocala, FL, earning consistent results in the Medium and High Child/Adult Jumper divisions and claiming a Reserve Championship title. Samantha’s short-term goals include competing in the Under 25 series in Canada and Wellington, FL, with the long-term goal of consistently competing at the grand prix level. Currently a student at the University of Guelph, majoring in Psychology, she intends to pursue a graduate degree and a career as a Sports Psychologist and Mental Performance Coach.
About the Jumping Youth Bursary
Each year, the Jumping Committee selects recipients of the Jumping Youth Bursary program based on the strength of applications received. Elements considered in the application process include a transcript of grades and outline of academic curriculum; future educational plans; equestrian experience; commitment and dedication to their sport; a positive image within the sport; achievement of notable competition results, whether at the local, regional or national level; goals within the equestrian industry; and financial need. For additional details regarding the Jumping Youth Bursary Program, please visit www.equestrian.ca/programs-services/athlete-development.