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US Equestrian Announces Continued Partnership with Debbie Smith to Provide 2024 Adequan®/USEF Junior Hunter National Championships Grants

These grants will help fund four deserving riders to compete at the 2024 Adequan®/USEF Junior Hunter National Championships.

by US Equestrian Communications Department | Feb 1, 2024, 8:30 AM

Lexington, Ky. - US Equestrian announces the renewal of the USEF Grant Program for the 2024 Adequan®/USEF Junior Hunter National Championships – East and West generously supported by Debbie Smith. Traverse City Horse Shows in Traverse City, Mich., will host the East Coast championship from June 24th through 29th, 2024, while Blenheim EquiSports in San Juan Capistrano, Calif., will host the West Coast championship from July 21 through 24, 2024.

Debbie Smith established this grant in 2023 to help deserving riders pursue their dreams of competing at the National Championships, regardless of their financial means. Smith’s motivation to create the grant was fueled by her desire to promote the sport that has given her so much purpose and joy in life.

“Supporting the grant last year and having the opportunity to meet each of the recipients was such a wonderful experience. Each recipient was so deserving, and it was a thrill to cheer them on throughout the week,” said Smith. “I am excited for this upcoming year and the opportunity to support four new athletes as they compete at the championships."

Two grant recipients from both the East and West Coast championships will each receive a $10,000 grant. Recipients may use the funds for hotels, shipping, transportation, training, braiding, and other expenses associated with competing at the championship. The selection committee will select one rider from the 3’6 section and one from the 3’3 section for each coast.

“Thanks to the generosity of Debbie Smith, US Equestrian is pleased to be able to offer these grants once again to deserving riders who aspire to compete at the 2024 Adequan/USEF Junior Hunter National Championships. said Bill Moroney, CEO of US Equestrian. “We are always looking for ways to provide opportunities for equestrians to compete at the highest levels. These grants are life-changers for the recipients, as the Junior Hunter Finals are a highlight of the show calendar for many of our members. We encourage all interested young equestrians to take advantage of this opportunity and submit a grant application, and we look forward to seeing all the junior hunter riders this summer at the finals in Traverse City and San Juan Capistrano.”

All riders who plan to compete on a horse that is qualified or will be qualified for the championship are eligible to apply. The recipients should exemplify the qualities most important in the sport: horsemanship, tenacity, and good sportsmanship. Grant recipients will be selected by a committee consisting of representatives from US Equestrian.

Important Details:

  • Grant Applications Open February 1, 2024
  • Grant Applications Close May 31, 2024
  • Recipients will be notified mid-June, 2024

How to Apply:

  • Applicants and guardians must fill out, sign, and return the Grant Application.
  • Applicants must complete the questionnaire on the application explaining their riding goals and how this grant would allow them to achieve those goals at the Championships.
  • Applicants must also submit three (3) letters of recommendation.

All applications and recommendations must be submitted together through the USEF Grant Portal available here: https://www.usef.org/forms/junior-hunter-grant

The deadline for applications is midnight Eastern on Friday, May 31st.

Please send questions to [email protected].


About Debbie Smith

Debbie Smith has had an undeniable love for horses since childhood, that only grew stronger throughout her adult life. She has competed on both the East and West Coasts, and her successful junior career has continued to the present day, resulting in numerous USEF Horse of the Year Awards. While the thrill of competition drives her, Debbie’s true passion is for the sport. In addition to her own riding, Debbie also supports U.S. Show Jumping at the highest levels and hopes to see her horse, Carissimo 25, ridden by Aaron Vale make the team for Olympics in Paris this summer. From Olympic aspirations to generously supporting the Grant Program for the USEF Junior Hunter National Championship, Debbie’s commitment to providing opportunities for U.S. athletes to chase their dreams, exemplifies her dedication and has make an incredible impact on the sport she loves.