Equestrian Canada (EC) is pleased to announce Lindsay Cooper-Kelly of Ottawa, ON, as the recipient of the 2016 Dressage Youth Bursary.

In recognition of the challenges young riders face as they strive to continue their education while also competing at high levels of equestrian sport, EC developed the Dressage Bursary Program for young riders to help ease the financial burden of pursuing equestrian excellence.

A first year psychology student at Carleton University in her hometown, Cooper-Kelly, 18, has risen up the ranks of dressage at a lightning fast pace. First stepping into the stirrups at age 12, she progressed from competing at the training and first level in 2015 to succeeding at the FEI Junior level less than eight months later. Her outstanding scores even earned her a spot at the North American Junior and Young Rider Championships (NJYRC) in Parker, CO in July 2016.

With the goal of returning to NAJYRC next season, and moving up to the FEI Under 25 division following that, Cooper-Kelly has worked hard to balance academics with her equestrian education. In addition to her full-time studies, she also works two part-time jobs to support her intense training schedule. Somehow, she even finds time to volunteer at Queenswood Stables, where she has trained for the past six years. She is in the process of completing her Equestrian Canada Rider Levels before attaining her coaching certification.

Ultimately, Cooper-Kelly hopes to continue on the road to becoming one of Canada’s next high performance dressage athletes, while also putting her psychology degree to work assisting children with mental illness, and first responders and veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

“I am honoured to have been chosen for the Equestrian Canada Dressage Bursary for Youth,” said Cooper-Kelly. “I will be using the funds for training and showing to further my goal of competing at the FEI Young Rider level.”

Each year, EC selects worthy recipients of its Dressage Youth 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 the 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 more information on EC’s athlete development programs, please visit www.equestrian.ca.