The U.S. Hunter Jumper Association has announced the launch of the “Making A Dream” Scholarship Program. Elizabeth Traband, 13, was born without a left hand but has worked to pursue her riding dreams regardless of the disability, and she inspired the philanthropic effort. The scholarship seeks to offer opportunities “to individuals with unique circumstances who seek a special experience in the sport of hunters and jumpers.”
“It means a lot too that I helped to inspire this scholarship because there are more kids out there in the same situation,” Traband, Centre Hall, Pa., said. “They have the talent and motivation and really want to get the support to do it.”
Traband, who is the scholarship’s first recipient, caught the eye of USHJA representatives at the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games (Ky.) as she performed a bridleless exhibition. Upon an invitation from the USHJA, Traband helped to lay the foundation for the “Making A Dream” program, which will be “custom-designed” annually to meet the needs and riding goals of each scholarship recipient.
Already an active equestrian, competing on local Pennsylvania circuits, performing with Tommie Turvey’s “Night Of Amazing Horses” and teaching horsemanship clinics for children, Traband’s scholarship funds will allow her to expand her riding knowledge.
She will spend two weeks this month in Wellington, Fla., training with the likes of Louise Serio, Lynn Jayne and Liza Towell Boyd and showing at the FTI Winter Equestrian Festival circuit.
The “Making A Dream” Scholarship is open to any USHJA member. Fellow members, parents, friends or medical professionals are encouraged to nominate individuals who they feel are faced “with physical or other special challenges, as well as, extreme financial or resource limitations.”
Nomination forms are available on the USHJA Foundation website (www.ushjafoundation.org).