At White Oak Stables in Warrenton, Virginia, Greta "Jade" Krafsig is funding scholarship and diversity programs on her own.
“I'm hopeful that I can work to educate and promote diversity to other larger farms and increase the opportunities for minorities and underrepresented riders across the board,” she said.
Offering scholarships on a barn’s revenue is one place to start. Outside support can help a stable of any size have a greater impact by reaching more individuals.
Grants and Donations
Chamounix Equestrian Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, hosts a 501(c)(3) program called Work to Ride. The non-profit community-based prevention program works with disadvantaged urban youth through horsemanship, equine sports and education. As a non-profit, the organization is able to accept donations to fund the program and capital improvement projects.
In Detroit, Michigan, former elementary school teacher David Silver operates Detroit Horse Power on funding from foundation grants, individual donations and sponsorships. Silver invites donors to “Sponsor A Student,” by making a tax-deductible donation to cover a week of summer camp either for one or a group of students.
Grant and foundation funding are likely not specific to the horse industry, but an equestrian program designed to give opportunities to at-risk youth and underrepresented populations can fit numerous grants opportunities. Funding entities typically like to see involvement in diversity and inclusion activities.
This could include:
- Volunteering to speak at an urban school
- Donating equine related educational materials to a community center
- Establishing a youth program at your barn,
- Allowing educational tours from areas that don’t have easy access to horses.
Equine-specific scholarship opportunities are slowly beginning to emerge. In 2020, Eventing Nation created a Diversity Scholarship. The first annual Diversity Scholarship was awarded in July and provided $200 to 27 riders to use for tack, lessons and/or show entry fees, or any expense directly related to participating in the industry.
Centered Riding Inc. also offered a scholarship. The purpose of the Centered Riding Instructor Diversity Scholarship for 2021 is to increase opportunities for Black, Indigenous and people of color (BIPOC) who are currently under-represented in the horse world. Applications closed in November but offered up to $1,500 to attend a two- or three-day course.