The U.S. Equestrian Team Foundation has announced Mackenna Shea as recipient of the 2017 Amanda Pirie Warrington Grant.
The Amanda Pirie Warrington Grant is awarded through the USET Foundation’s Amanda Pirie Warrington Fund. This year’s winner, Shea, of Temecula, Calif., has demonstrated her talent at many of the nation’s top three- and four-star events.
As the recipient of the grant, Shea, who trains with Tamra Smith of Next Level Eventing, will receive up to $5,000 to help offset expenses associated with her training over the next year.
“I am planning to going out Florida in late February, and I hope to use the grant to help me get out there and pay for lessons,” said Shea. “That’s going to be a huge benefit for me, not having to worry about how I am going to make it work. I am going to use that as preparation for [the Land Rover] Kentucky [CCI****], hopefully.”
At just 23, Shea and her own Landioso, a 15-year-old Bavarian Warmblood gelding she has owned for 10 years, completed their first four-star during the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event in 2016, and they later went on to win the Event at Rebecca Farm CIC*** (Montana).
Earlier in 2017, Shea, now 25, was named a recipient of the Karen Stives Eventing Endowment Fund Grant, which allowed her the opportunity to compete in Europe for the first time and participate in the Karen E. Stives European Emerging Athlete Tour.
Under the mentorship of British Olympic gold medalist, Leslie Law, Shea spent the month of May in Great Britain furthering her education and gaining valuable competition experience representing the United States on the international stage. As a result, Shea and Landioso successfully completed the 2017 Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials CCI**** in September.
The Amanda Pirie Warrington Fund was established by Pirie’s family in her memory with the purpose of helping to provide financial assistance to an eventing rider who has been identified as an emerging athlete with great talent and ability to represent the United States in the future. The recipient of the grant is a person who will benefit from the opportunity of continuing their training with top coaches and competing against the world’s best horse-and-rider combinations in eventing, one of three Olympic equestrian disciplines.
“It’s a huge honor, and I was totally surprised,” said Shea. “I had a really good year, but I had a lot of support, and I have a really great horse. It’s very rewarding to be considered for something like this, and I hope next year is even better!”