Jump Canada is pleased to announce the young athletes who have been named recipients of the Jump Canada Bursary for 2013.
In recognition of the difficulty that young athletes face as they strive to continue their education while also competing at high levels of equestrian sport, Jump Canada developed the Bursary program for athletes aged 14-21 in the hunter, jumper and equitation divisions. Since its inception in 2002, the Jump Canada Bursary Program has been made possible by a leadership donation of $5,000 from the Samuel Group of Companies. Jump Canada matches that donation to offer a total of $10,000 in bursary monies.
“The Jump Canada Bursary has become an important program in that it both identifies developing talent across our nation and rewards the passion and commitment of those athletes selected,” stated Mark Samuel, JC Bursary Founder and past Chair of Jump Canada. “Congratulations to this year’s worthy recipients.”
The following young athletes were awarded Jump Canada Bursaries in the amount of $2,000 each.
Eighteen year-old Natasha Sukorokoff of New Westminster, BC began her love affair with the sport when at two years-old she was popped up onto a horse during her first trip to the Masters at Spruce Meadows. Her passion grew from there resulting in her asking for lessons when she was six years-old. By the age of 10, she had convinced her family to buy her a horse, Bravo, a three-year-old Thoroughbred mare. In their first year together they started hunter classes at Maple Ridge Equi-Sport Complex and Thunderbird Show Park, taking Reserve Champion by the end of the season in the Baby Green Hunters at MREC. She’s since moved onto other horses that could move her into the Jumper ring where she has competed and placed very well in numerous Gold and Platinum rated shows.
Her riding career has not been without its bumps. Sukorokoff has suffered major injuries including one that saw the loss of her horse. The accident should have ended her career but against her families wishes she refused to stop riding and has persevered, coming back into the ring overcoming the fear with help and support from her family and trainer. During recovery she could be found in the stables supporting her friends, grooming and offering to help where needed. She just needed to be around horses. In 2012, another serious fall which saw a serious concussion causing a temporary loss of her memory, kept her from competing and missing a great deal of grade 11. Despite this Sukorokoff finished her year with a B+ average, and was later back in the barn doing what she loved. Coming from behind in school she graduated high school with Honours while taking on part-time jobs to help with the expenses of maintaining her horse and showing. In 2013, her achievements include 1.15m Champion Milner Downs Summer Classic, second place in CET Medal Class, August Thunderbird, named to Team BC for the Canadian Inter-provincial Equestrian Championships (CIEC), placed third overall in the BC Region for 1.15m Open Jumpers and 4th in the region for 1.15m Junior Jumpers. She is currently earning her Bachelor Degree in Elementary Education online so she can show in Florida this winter.
Alex Jameal, 16, of Mactaquac, NB grew up on the family horse farm where his mother and step-father were active competitors in the hunter jumper division. Jameal started his career at the tender age of five and has never looked back. Lucky enough to have family vested in the sport, he was able to show a variety of family owned and developed horses in different disciplines and levels. He has achieved his C2 Level in the Canadian Pony Club and has been showing in hunter jumper and medal classes. For the past two years he has participated in the NBEA Long Term Equestrian Development Program for Hunter Jumper, currently at Level 3 – Training to Win, and is training under Dressage coaches Erin MacQuarrie and Michelle Degarie, and with Jumper coaches Deanna and Val Phelan.
Although only sixteen, he is remarkable young man and accomplished equestrian, winning numerous championships in hunter and jumper classes at shows in the Maritimes and Vermont. Perhaps more importantly, he has shown a tremendous work ethic. He maintains good grades in school and has started his own successful jump building company; Jump Start Design, not only to raise money for himself to support his riding, but also to provide a necessary service to the local industry, and has raised funds for Just World International by providing a portion of the his prize money. He has completed his Instructor of Beginners, coaches young riders, has given lessons at the local pony club and in 2012, took the Jump Builders course offered by Equine Canada in Frederick, NB demonstrating his commitment to the standards and safety needs of the sport. Jameal hopes to qualify for the Royal Winter Fair Junior Jumper division next year and the North American Young Riders Championships in 2015. He is committed to those goals and will continue to take lessons, work hard and to show through-out the Maritimes, Quebec and Ontario. As to school, his business has him taking classes now that will allow for him to pursue a business degree with the possibility of a law degree.
Bronte Walker-Moores is 17 years-old and hails from Hastings ON. Moores has been riding her whole life; since she was old enough to sit on a pony. She started showing on the A circuit when she was just eight years-old. She is a full-time grade 12 student and is heavily involved in the Gold Level hunter jumper world. This season she competed in the Junior/Amateur 1.2m division on her horse Obelix R, her own 17-year-old Dutch Warmblood, as well as catch riding hunters. She spent all last season showing and competing for Gryphon Farm to qualify for The Royal. To offset her costs Moores gives riding lessons, groomed all summer for Triple C Stables and Gimcrack Stables, as well as started her own nightcheck business. She trains daily at the family maintained farm where to keep costs down; they grow their own hay, do their own grooming and transport to support Moores in her equestrian goals.
When she isn’t riding she is studying. She has a love for History, English and Sociology. She has plans to attend University while continuing to pursue her riding and training. Once she has achieved her academic goals she is considering going professional one day as well.
Jenna Macoun, 17 of Calgary AB, is already an accomplished rider in her own right. This year alone her achievements include; 2013 Royal Manitoba Winter Fair Champion 1.15m, 1.20m Reserve Champion [Cartini], Champion – Spruce Meadows Canada One 1.20M [Cartini], Western Canadian Championships 1.20m [Finvarra] — Champions, Winner Darwin Orr Hi-point 1.20 Jr. Rider [Cartini] and 1st place Jump Alberta year-end standings in the 1.20m Open Jumper division [Finvarra]. After spending the summer grooming for a top rider during the Spruce Meadows Summer Series she has her sights set on doing more Medal classes and Derbies.
Macoun started her equestrian experience by sharing a pony with her sister. Eventually getting her own pony [Affair Share] she learned a great deal aboard him dealing with his being young and somewhat “naughty” attitude. Her real improvement happened when she began riding ponies for other owners. Her first horse was a palomino and was a great teacher at the .9m to 1.1m level. In 2010, she moved onto Sprite [Jordana Bannerman’s nine-year-old Holstein mare] winning many classes at Anderson Ranch and Spruce Meadows, including later in the year being the top Canadian finisher in the FEI Children’s International Qualifier. In 2011, she took her horse My Fair Lady [18-year-old Canadian bred Irish Sport Horse mare] through to the 1.2m classes. This year she was lucky to ride Cartini [eight-year-old Holstein], belonging to her trainer Trish Mrakawa. She’ll finish her year aboard Cartini and move up a level to 1.3m next season. For now she is focused on working hard in Grade 11 and hopes to graduate with Honours. University is in her future, but is still a bit unsure in what direction she’ll head. All she knows is she wants a great job at the end of the day that will put her into a position of having a few high level horses to compete on.
Twenty-one year-old Justine Tainsh of Calgary, AB will do whatever it takes to be an accomplished successful equestrian. She works multiple part-time jobs, spent the past year working as a groom and is credited by the owner as one of the main factors of her daughter’s success on the summer circuit, all while in full time studies at Calgary University completing her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Psychology where she carries a 3.75 GPA. She hopes to spend one of the five remaining semesters on a foreign exchange where she can ride and compete overseas as well. Upon completion of her first degree, she hopes to be accepted in Law School should finances allow.
Finances have always been a factor for Tainsh. She has self-funded her riding and education, showing a tireless work ethic in pursuit of her dreams. She’s been a dedicated driven equestrian since she was eight years-old. She’s moved up through the children and junior hunters, medals and 1.15m jumpers. She has spent the last five years developing, training and showing young sale horses with impressive results. While enjoying many successes this past year, her most noted accomplishment was finally being financially capable of competing south of the border. Taking her horse Christina they went on to win the Adult Amateur Classic at the High Desert Classic in Bend, Oregon. Apart from her riding achievements, Tainish is recognized both among peers, and equestrian leaders in the area, as passionate, dedicated, giving, and a positive role model for all riders in her association. There is no doubt in Tainish’s mind, being an equestrian and working on honing her skills so she can represent Canada on an international level, is without question, one of her highest goals and priorities.
Each year, Jump Canada selects worthy recipients of its 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 Jump Canada Youth Bursary Program, please visit the Jump Canada website at www.equinecanada.ca/jumpcanada.