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Equine Scholarship Winners Announced

Published: January 13, 2022 4:22 pm ET

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Equine Guelph announced the recipients of its 2021 tuition awards on Thursday, Jan. 13.

Katelynn Rourke is the recipient of the Roger L’Heureux Memorial Equine Award and Vanessa MacDonald has received the Stuart Stocks Memorial Equine Award.

Selected for their love of horses, commitment to their welfare and desire to learn, both winners will receive two online courses through Equine Guelph valued at $549 each (Certificates are available in Equine Science, Equine Welfare and Equine Business – six courses complete the certificate).

Rourke comes from a non-horsey family and caught the horse bug at age six when she started riding lessons. Following her dreams to own and train horses, the path has been one of always trying to understand what makes horses tick. Rourke has worked with equine nutritionists, massage therapists, and became a race office administrator. As a certified trainer, she saw success right off the gate with her first green training project. Together they ended up winning their first start!

Already a student of Equine Guelph’s short courses on, Rourke believes in continuously researching how to better herself as a trainer and caretaker, so her horses can feel and perform at their best. She is now ready to dive into the 12-week courses awarded.

"This is a great opportunity to learn all the latest innovations and improve my skills as a horse person!" said Rourke. “I am so excited to get started in these courses. I would love to take the Equine Nutrition and Equine Behavior courses!”

MacDonald plans to apply what she learns in the two online courses to giving horses in her care, including her best friend 'Bumble,' optimal care.

MacDonald first met After Market while grooming at Rideau Carleton Raceway during the summer of 2016 and she knew right away how special this horse was. They bonded and MacDonald enjoyed watching his confidence grow as she tended to him with the utmost attention. They were separated when he was sold and resold to different trainers across North America, but he was never forgotten.

Five years later, MacDonald jumped at the chance to purchase him and bring him home when he turned up for sale in Ohio. Overcoming injuries and all the exchanges, 'Bumble' won his first start for MacDonald, who says he has more than earned his forever home.

“Standardbreds are bred to race a mile, but anyone who has the opportunity to work around them knows they go so much farther than that for us,” said MacDonald. “I am elated to be given the chance to go an extra mile for them in return. They are well worth every effort.”

The Roger L’Heureux Memorial Equine Award was established in loving memory of Standardbred driver, trainer and groom, Roger L’Heureux, by David L’Heureux and Crystal Fountains Inc.

The Stuart Stocks Memorial Equine Award has been created by the Stocks family in memory of their beloved brother, son and uncle, and avid follower of top Thoroughbred racehorses, Stuart Stocks.

Submissions will be accepted for this year’s applicants until November 30, 2022.

(With files from Equine Guelph)

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