Jump Canada is pleased to announce the young athletes who have been named recipients of the Jump Canada Bursary for 2014.

In recognition of the difficulty that young riders 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.

“I feel that supporting and empowering our youth is one of the most important things that Jump Canada can do,” said Mark Samuel, who helped found the Jump Canada Bursary Program and is a member of the Committee. “I am proud of the role that the bursary program plays in achieving that goal, and I congratulate this year’s worthy recipients.”

The following young athletes were awarded Jump Canada Bursaries in the amount of $2,000 each.

Kathryn Beunder, 14, of Calgary, Alta., first started riding at the age of eight. Competing in both the hunter and jumper divisions, Beunder has demonstrated her versatility as a rider by winning in both rings. From 2012-2014, Beunder has worked at Spruce Meadows in the Special Features Department as a Colour Guard Rider assisting with the ring presentations. In 2013, she was named as the HITS Thermal Rider of the Month for February for her consistent competition results. Also in 2013, Beunder represented Canada at the Sparkassen German Friendship Games held in Herford, GER, competing in the Team Jumping event. With the goal of competing in the CET Mini Medal and the CET Medal classes in the future with her young horse, Beunder progressed from the Childen’s Hunter division in 2013 to the Junior/Amateur Jumpers in 2014. With the long-term goal of participating in the North American Junior and Young Rider Championships, Beunder also has plans to pursue a university degree once she completes high school.

Richmond, P.E.I. resident Lexy Paynter, 16, capped off a very exciting season this year by finishing in seventh place overall in the Jump Canada Medal Finals at the Royal Horse Show in Toronto, Ont., riding Famous, Jennifer Sarsfield’s 12-year-old Warmblood gelding. In addition to a very competitive horse show season which started in Florida early in 2014, Paynter earned exceptionally high marks, in the 90s, in all subjects by correspondence in high school. In 2012, Paynter represented P.E.I. at the Canadian Interprovincial Equestrian Championships, in Bromont, Que., riding Roman K, her 12-year-old Canadian Warmblood gelding, where she was awarded the Junior bronze medal individually in jumping and was part of the bronze medal team. Paynter plans on attaining a university science degree as soon as she completes high school. As far as her riding plans go, Paynter would like to keep progressing up the Junior/Amateur jumper levels with Roman K.

At home in Halifax, N.S., Evan Phinney, 20, joined the Halifax Junior Bengal Lancers at the age of seven. Through the Lancers riding school program, Phinney became a very well rounded horseperson who is knowledgeable about all aspects of horse care, maintenance and riding. Competing at the Gold level since 2011, she has consistently placed in the 1.10m, 1.15m and 1.20m jumper divisions. In 2014, Phinney qualified for the CET National Medal Finals at the Royal West in Calgary, AB, finishing in eighth place in the Jumping Phase and 12th place overall riding Bling, her 12-year-old American Warmblood mare. With Bling, Phinney also won the 1.20m Mini Prix at the International Bromont Week 3. Currently enrolled in Acadia University, Phinney is in her third year studying business.

Already a veteran of international competition at 15 years of age, Samantha Starratt of Calgary, Alta., represented Canada at the 2013 FEI Children’s International Classic Final in Brazil where she finished in 11th place individual and was a member of the gold medal winning team all while riding a borrowed horse. Starratt first started riding at the age of two, went to a riding camp at five and first entered the ring at seven years old. Currently, she is competing at heights of up to 1.30m in the jumper ring while maintaining an average at school of 86%. Part of Starratt’s passion for riding involves bringing along young horses and helping riders at the barn. Recently, Starratt was selected at a member of Jump Alberta 1.20m Team competing in a Nations’ Cup style competition in Sacramento, Calif.. With the goal of becoming an equine or human chiropractor, Starratt’s riding goals include the North American Junior and Young Rider Championships and maybe one day becoming a member of Canada’s Olympic Show Jumping Team.

Justine Tainsh, 22, of Calgary, Alta., first started riding on her grandparents’ Standard breeding and training farm. For several years, she successfully developed her skills as a rider in a variety of hunter and jumper divisions on several different horses. Tainsh’s dream came true this year when she was finally able to purchase a horse this April after a five year hiatus as an owner. Christina 14, a nine-year-old Westphalian mare, and Tainsh have earned championships at the 1.20m division this season as well as moving up to the 1.30m level. With the goal of competing at a 1.40m, Tainsh also plans on becoming an environmental and energy lawyer once she completes her bachelor’s degree in psychology.

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.