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Maria Knight Scholarship Awarded to Jessica Leech

Editor’s note: The following presentation was made during the 2006 Kentucky State Fair World’s Championship Horse Show.


The United Professional Horsemen’s Association has named Jessica Maria Leech as the recipient of the Maria Knight Scholarship. Daughter of horse trainers Jeffery and Kristy Leech, owners and trainers of Winsalot Stables, Guntersville, Ala., Jessica has shown her commitment and love for the breed over the years, as well as her character and work ethic.

Jessica’s equestrian career began in the academy division and quickly moved up to take responsibility at Winsalot Stables as a stable hand, caretaker and riding instructor, as well as assisting with the broodmares and foals raised on the farm.

Academically, Jessica has also proven her excellence and drive. Voted Student of the Month at Stevenson High School, Jessica has been an active member on the school’s basketball team, captain of the junior varsity team and helped the team become city champions in 2004. Jessica is also a triathlon award winner of Southeast Michigan schools in 2001 and 2002 and a member of the student council, the Spirit Club and the junior varsity softball team.

When not working diligently at school or in the barn, Jessica has volunteered for the “Housing The Homeless” program, worked as a volunteer tutor at her high school, was an assistant basketball coach for Emerson Middle School and an assistant coach and counselor for Stevenson High School’s Summer Youth Basketball Camp, a youth group member and youth eucharistic minister at St. Robert Bellarmine Church.

Supported by many members of the Saddlebred community, the UPHA is pleased to award Jessica with the Maria Knight Scholarship as she heads off to Western Michigan University to pursue degrees in child psychology and sociology.

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