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March 2, 2011 — Jump Canada is pleased to announce the young athletes who have been named recipients of the Jump Canada Bursary for 2010. 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.

Danielle Bozek, 19, of Calgary, AB, is currently enrolled at the University of Calgary with the goal of applying to a veterinary medicine program in two years time.  Bozek’s competitive career began on school horses in the cross-rail division at local schooling shows, and she quickly progressed through the ranks and started training her family’s young quarter horse pony.  Turning the trained pony over to her younger sister, Bozek then worked with a talented young jumper which she competed at heights up to 1.10m at various high-profile venues including the Manitoba Winter Fair, Spruce Meadows and the Rocky Mountain Show Jumping Tournaments. Bozek plans to one day ride in the international ring.

Elle Halladay, 18, of Smiths Falls, ON, began riding at the age of seven and started competing at the age of 12.  Riding a horse she purchased at a farmers’ auction, Halladay quickly moved up the provincial ranks and qualified for the Trillium Championships in her first year of Silver level 1.0m jumper competition.  The following year she was the Eastern Zone champion in the 1m and, in 2009, the pair competed at the 1.15m Trillium jumper level while also competing at the National Capital Show Jumping Tournaments in Ottawa.  Halladay, who is currently studying Equine Sport Science at Hartpury College, a division of Western University of England, would like to work in her field of education with elite level performance horses.

Tara Landsbergen, 19, of Sundre, AB, started her riding career under the tutelage of a German riding instructor in Walvis Bay, Namibia, when she was seven years old.  In 2005, Landsbergen was the winner of the Western Canadian FEI Children’s Final Qualifier.  She has also competed at Twin Oaks, Spruce Meadows and Northlands, jumping courses up to 1.20m in height, and her goal in 2011 is to show at the 1.30m level with her seven-year-old mare.  Landsbergen hopes to one day compete at the grand prix level with a horse that she raised and trained herself.  With her sights set on becoming a dentist, Landsbergen is attending the University of Alberta.

Kaitlyn McAleese, 18, is a first-year University of Toronto student from Mount Albert, ON.  Riding since she was five, McAleese was nine when she attended her first Gold show in 2002.  She subsequently qualified for the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair from 2005 to 2008.  In 2010, McAleese attended the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair with two mounts, her large pony named Maverick and her Children’s Hunter Winter Dance, and placed in both divisions.  With the short-term goal of continuing to move up in the jumper ranks, McAleese would like to represent Canada at the annual North American Junior and Young Riders’ Championship.

Jenna Williamson, 17, is from Turner Valley, AB.  Williamson, started in the 18” hunter divisions in 2007 and worked her way up to become the .90m Canadian Utilities Jumper Champion at the Spruce Meadows Harvest Classic in 2009 riding her father’s Paint/Arabian/ Quarter Horse-cross mare.  In 2010, Williamson started jumping her new five-year-old mare and, at the end of the season, earned an eighth place finish in their first .90m class at the Rocky Mountain Show Jumping Tournament III.  Williamson plans on attending the University of Calgary in September of 2011 with the goal of becoming a large animal veterinarian.

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.

About Jump Canada

Jump Canada is the committee of Equine Canada responsible for all hunter, equitation and jumper activities in Canada from the grass roots to the international level.  Jump Canada is governed by a board, the majority of whose members are elected by the stakeholders in the sport.  For more information regarding Jump Canada programs and activities, visit www.equinecanada.ca/jumpcanada.

About Equine Canada

Equine Canada is Canada’s national governing body for equestrianism.  A member-driven, charitable institution, it is the executive branch of the Canadian Equestrian Team, and the national authority for equestrian competition; the national voice for recreational riders; and the national association for equine welfare, breeding, and industry.  Equine Canada is recognised by the Government of Canada, the International Equestrian Federation (FEI), and the Canadian Olympic Committee as the national organisation representing equestrian sport and equine interests.  For more information about Equine Canada, please visit www.equinecanada.ca.