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'Gallo' Scholarship Winners Announced

Published: July 18, 2013 11:45 am ET

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The Harness Horse Youth Foundation’s scholarship selection committee was clearly in a New York State of mind when it named the winners of the 2013 Gallo Blue Chip Scholarship, sponsored by Martin Scharf.

Kayla Prentice of Vernon, New York has been awarded a $15,000 college stipend and Michelle Galligan of Cuddebackville (near Middletown), won a $5,000 scholarship.

Prentice will attend Syracuse University this fall, where she will study health and exercise science. The 17-year-old daughter of Jessica and Howard Okusko Jr., is an Honours Graduate of Vernon-Verona-Sherill High School with a 4.0 GPA. She ran track and cross-country, captaining both squads her senior year. Prentice has a wide-ranging record of community service including work on Relay for Life, on a number of community-based running events and volunteering with the K9 of Central New York Rescue. She also has experience working with standardbreds, often paddocking horses in the family’s stable.

Galligan, 18, plans to study equine science at New Jersey’s Centenary College. She has spent parts of the last four years working for the Mark Ford Stable as a caretaker, often paddocking racehorses. She also has experience riding and she has shadowed equine vets on their rounds and through surgeries. She graduated with an Advanced Regents Diploma from Pt. Jervis High School in June and spent her senior year taking several college-level courses offered by Orange County Community College and Syracuse University. Through her work with the Ford Stable, she has actually worked hands-on with the great pacer in whose honour the scholarship is named.

The pair of scholars will be recognized at the Meadowlands by Martin Scharf later this year. Through Scharf’s generosity, the Gallo Blue Chip Scholarship, one of several administered by HHYF, has awarded over $100,000 in scholarships. HHYF also maintains a complete listing of equine scholarships as a student resource on its website,


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