The U.S. Equestrian Team Foundation announced Hallie Coon and Caroline Martin as recipients of the 2018 Karen Stives Endowment Fund Grants in the amount of $25,000 each.
Both riders will participate at the Houghton Hall CIC (England) on May 24-27, before going to compete at the Bramham CCI*** (England) in the Under 25 section June 7-10. Between the two events they will visit Carl Hester and William Fox-Pitt’s stables.
Coon and Martin will also visit steeplechase training facilities and continue to practice and learn under the mentorship of Emerging Athlete Coach and British Olympic gold medalist, Leslie Law, who will also be coaching them at both competitions.
“I’m so surprised and thrilled,” said Coon, Brunswick, Maine. “I never thought I would have this opportunity, but we’re so lucky to have this funding, and it was so generous for Karen to have left this for us. It’s just a great opportunity to have as Under-25 riders. I don’t think we’ve really had this much support in the past, and I’m just really lucky to be doing this at the time I am. I’m really looking forward to it.”
This will be Coon’s first trip overseas.
“I’ve done the standard trip up to Bromont (Canada), but that’s hardly outside the U.S. I’m floored that we get to compete against the best Under-25 riders in the world, as well as everyone else in the class and be able to compare yourself to them.
“I’m taking Celien,” Coon continued. “She’s my three-star mare, and she’s great because she really handles the atmosphere well. She’s always cool and collected, so she’ll travel quite well. I’m very excited.”
This is the second time Martin has received the grant.
“It’s been a really great season so far,” said Martin, of Ocala, Florida. “I had really good luck last year with two of my horses, Pebbly Maximus and Danger Mouse.
“Being able to win this and represent my country is just incredible,” Martin said. “I’m really proud to represent Karen Stives on the international stage and to be able to keep getting support from my country and the education competing overseas is unreal. It’s great to spend the month over there with a horse. Being able to be trained by Leslie Law for the entire time is really a great honor.”
The Karen Stives European Emerging Athlete Tour’s mission is to help event riders in the USEF’s Emerging Athlete program to prepare to represent the United States on an international stage in the future, strengthening the pipeline of qualified riders to create medal-winning teams. Stives is an Olympic Gold and Silver medalist who established this program with a benevolent gift of $1 million dollars to help talented up-and-coming evening riders.