Young U.S. Pony Club Riders Awarded Canter-PA Grants

Feb 20, 2013 - 5:39 AM

CANTER-Pennsylvania named eight U.S. Pony Club (USPC) members residing in Pennsylvania who own or lease and ride an Off-Track-Thoroughbred (OTTB) as recipients of its unprecedented educational scholarship grant offering.  Three educational grants of $500 and five grants of $75 were awarded based on each child’s desire to develop and highlight the potential of ex-racehorses for secondary careers in numerous sport horse disciplines.

Initial scholarship funds were made available through a USA Equestrian Trust grant of $1,500 awarded to CANTER-Pennsylvania and earmarked for USPC members for lessons, clinics, camps and other approved equine activities that provide training for the OTTB and focus on second career transition.  An additional $375 grant was made by an anonymous donor to offer five additional young riders a $75 grant to assist with their education and training.

“Our objective is to encourage young riders to consider retired racehorses as viable prospects and to elevate horse and rider partnerships through the assistance of professional trainers and other educational opportunities,” said Sue Smith, executive director, CANTER Pennsylvania.  “This program is designed to encourage kids to consider track horses as versatile mounts and to help provide education to build a safe and mutually beneficial relationship between horse and rider.”

The 2012 CANTER-Pennsylvania Off-Track Thoroughbred Training & Educational Scholarship Recipients:


$500 Scholarships:

Karissa Dreese, (18)

Horse:  Dance on the Double, 2004 gelding, 7 starts, $7,640 earnings


Colleen Mauro, (15)

Horse:  Kingsdreamofdreams, 2004 gelding, never raced

Hannah Simmons, (20)

Horse:  Cubanero, 2000 gelding, 29 starts, $56,065 earnings


$75 Scholarships:

Cayla Hammaker, (16)

Horse: Copper Socks, Jr., 2007 gelding, 3 starts, $300 earnings


Jill Johnson, (17)

Horse: Kaz Silver, 2004 gelding, no starts


Victoria Kager, (16)

Horse: Elwood Blaze, 2006 gelding, 1 start, $0 earnings


Haley Rudicille, (20)

Horse: Long Island Duck, 2008 gelding, no starts


Courtney Sarson, (18)

Horse:  Editor’s Column, 2005 gelding, 49 starts, $106,260 earnings

“I am thrilled that CANTER-Pennsylvania is involved with Pony Club,” said District Commissioner of Manada Creek Pony Club, Joan M. Light.  “I understand the importance of a great mount for our members and CANTER offers a unique service to the public; to help transition ex-racehorses into non-racing careers.  We in Pony Club look forward to our members having the opportunity to receive a scholarship that not only encourages members to purchase or lease an OTTB but will also offset the cost of a professional training program.”

Pennsylvania U.S. Pony Clubs interested in learning about the track life of a Thoroughbred and horse shopping tips should contact Sue Smith ( to arrange for a lecture and candid discussion on ex-racehorses.

To find an ex-racehorse, volunteer, or to make a donation, visit

CANTER (The Communication Alliance to Network Thoroughbred Ex-Racehorses) Pennsylvania is a free service offered to Pennsylvania racing trainers and owners to help them find non-race homes for their retiring racehorses. CANTER Pennsylvania is incorporated in Pennsylvania and is approved to operate as a 501(c)(3) organization by the IRS. Your Donations are tax deductible.

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