Equestrian Canada (EC) is pleased to announce the hard-working young athletes who were chosen by the EC Jumping Committee to receive Jumping Youth Bursary funds for 2020.

In recognition of the challenges young riders face as they strive to continue their education while competing at high levels of the jumping sport, the Jumping Youth Bursary was developed for athletes between the ages 14-21 who compete in hunter, jumper and equitation divisions. The program is made possible through a generous matching donation by Mark Samuel, Kevin Sanford and the Samuel family.

The following athletes have been awarded $1,000 each through the 2020 Jumping Youth Bursary in recognition of their hard work and dedication:

Olivia Blaber, 16, of Ottawa, ON, has become recognizable as a top competitor on the Gold level circuit and for her admirable performance at the 2019 North American Youth Championships, where she helped the Canadian Children’s Team earn the bronze medal. But even given her considerable athletic talent, Olivia is perhaps more well-know for the incredible horsemanship she displays around the clock. Her attentiveness to horse care, commitment to improvement and endless support of her peers make Olivia a standout star – both in the ring and on her journey to become a veterinarian.

Courtney Catchpaugh, 22, of Rocky View County, AB, is a master of multitasking. She balances training and competing two horses at the 1.10-1.30m levels with her part-time job, all while enrolled full-time at the University of Calgary. There, Courtney is working towards a career in the cosmetic surgery industry. Through it all, she has maintained a sterling reputation as a positive, reliable and committed teammate.

Béatrice Daviault, 20, of Saint-Damase, QC, provides a shining example to fellow young riders of how to deftly balance success in the ring as well as the classroom. Training five to six times a week, she has realized her goal of competing at the 1.40m level. Béatrice has similarly advanced in the realization of her academic goals and attends the University of Montreal. There, she pursues career options in dermatology, psychiatry or geriatrics and is heavily involved in volunteerism.

Ellah Dubeau-Kielty, 17, of Burlington, ON, continually seeks opportunities for improvement, whether in the saddle or at her school desk. The incredible work ethic for which she is known has led her to incredible experiences, including serving on the Youth Ambassador Committee of the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair and being crowned Champion of the 2020 CABANACOAST Young Horse Series for five-year-old horses. Ellah is currently completing her Grade 12 education online to accommodate her riding schedule and plans to pursue post-secondary education in the field of psychology.

Aylen Ferguson, 22, of Carp, ON, is regarded as a role model by younger riders, her teammates at the barn and peers at the 1.20m level. With horse care as her primary motivation, she focuses mainly on developing young prospects and shows an intuitive knack for bonding with every horse, no matter its age, training or personality. Aylen studies mechanical engineering at the University of Ottawa where, in addition to her studies, she is captain of the uOttawa Equestrian Team. Aylen plans to merge her love of horses with her developing engineering skills by building state-of-the-art horse show facilities in the future.

Sasha Maniaci, 17, of Ottawa, ON, has swiftly and successfully progressed from the children’s equitation division to the national grand prix ring. While working towards her goal of competing at the 1.50m level, she volunteers at University of Ottawa equestrian events and as a show groom for young riders. Sasha’s academic accolades are equally as impressive as her equestrian achievements, with honour roll status achieved throughout her high school years. She hopes to continue her education in science or business at university.

Kieley McQuaker, 18, of Schomberg, ON, has bounced back from a 2018 knee surgery with style and sportsmanship. Through the challenges of recovering and returning to competition, Kieley managed to maintain commendable grades and work her way back up to top placings at the 1.40m level. She plans to pursue criminal law in university, as well as develop her equestrian career as a coach.

Mackenzey Nadeau, 22, of Carleton Place, ON, is extremely goal-oriented, which means that her success in both the saddle and classroom come as no surprise. In 2020, she began competing at the Under 25 (U25) grand prix level and has enjoyed several top-10 finishes, all due to countless hours spent training, problem-solving and analyzing performance. Mackenzey demonstrates this same commitment to theoretical knowledge and technical application through her studies in the Business Program at Algonquin College,

Lauren Schickler, 16, of Hamilton, ON, exudes her deep love of horses in everything she does. Partnered with three different mounts as she worked her way to the 1.0m level, she fostered a deep sense of trust and ability with each horse, all while maintaining an impeccably positive attitude. Lauren has maintained her honour roll status throughout her high school career and hopes to study business for its wide range of real-world applications.

Julia Wiggins, 18, of Kanata, ON, is described by many as a “well-rounded” individual, which accurately speaks to her desire for a comprehensive mastery of everything she sets her mind to. This characteristic manifests itself into the countless hours Julia spends training, caring for her horse and pursuing her EC Learn to Ride and Canadian Pony Club levels, all while working regular shifts at the barn. She recently embarked on her post-secondary journey at Carleton University, pursuing a degree in criminology and criminal justice.

About the Jumping Youth Bursary


Each year, the Jumping Committee selects recipients of the Jumping 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 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 Jumping Youth Bursary Program, please visit here.