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2022 UPHA Maria Knight Scholarship Recipients Announced



UPHA is proud to announce the 2022 recipients of Maria Knight Scholarships. The roster includes participants from the Morgan, Saddlebred, Arabian, and Hackney breeds. All seven applicants are so deserving, and it is a thrill to be able to present Alayna Applegate, Griffin Day,  Kayla Harger, Abigail Tate, Emily Torrez, Matthew C. Schuckert, and Rex White with Maria Knight scholarships. Maria wanted to help children of UPHA professional horsemen and women attend college and she would be happy to know each of the seven were granted funds.

Alayna Applegate
Ewing, KY

The daughter of trainer Brooke Applegate, Alayna is a dedicated and passionate young woman who reached her goal of becoming the Saddle Seat Equitation Triple Crown winner in 2021. While dedicated to being a high-achieving equestrian, Alayna is also a top student, with a 3.7 GPA. She is involved in many extracurricular activities such as the Beta Club, FFA, Future Business Leaders of America, and the National Honors Society. She has served on the US Young Rider and US World Cup teams. Alayna has a bright future ahead in the horse industry.

Griffin Day
Versailles, KY

Griffin Day, the son of trainers Bret and Susi Day, is an active member in the show horse community. He began riding with Blue Willow Farm Riding Academy and quickly moved on to showing Hackney roadster ponies at Majestic Oaks Hackney Farm. Griffin won the World’s Champion of Champions Junior Exhibitor Roadster Pony ages 14-17 from 2018 through 2021. Griffin is involved in many extracurricular activities including playing basketball and is a junior series player on the Bluegrass Golf Tour. He also volunteers at both Legacy Reserve Memory Care and Sayre Christian Village Assisted Living. This extraordinary young man is planning to pursue his education at the University of Tampa to major in Business and Sports Management with the goal of pursuing a career in promotion and marketing within the horse industry.

Kayla Harger
Simpsonville, KY

The daughter of professionals Keith and Lisa Harger, Kayla Harger has been helping her parents with regular barn duties ever since she was young. She has enjoyed grooming and preparing horses for their daily exercise. Kayla loves to show her own horses and she was thrilled to place third in the equitation division at the World’s Championship Horse Show! She is a great student at Henry County High School where she holds a 4.00 GPA. When not focusing on her academics or on horses, Kayla is a part of many extracurricular activities such as cross country, track and field, and tennis, and is a member of the Beta Club, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, and the National Honors Society. Kayla looks to have a successful future in the field of medicine.

Matthew C. Schuckert
Upton, KY

Matthew is the son of trainers Matt and Alicia Schuckert. Matthew was a leader and counselor for many years at Julianne Wilson’s Road Pony Camp, mentoring and working with the campers. He competes in several Hackney pony divisions and was honored to catch drive, Shut Up and Dance, to a World’s title in the Youth Roadster Horse division. He is an excellent student, taking many high-level classes and while maintaining a 3.8 GPA. Matthew is a member of the Health Occupation Students of America Club. Competing in state competitions, he has received second place in the Medical Math Division. He hopes to pursue a career in the medical field. 

Abigail Tate
Newbury, MA



Abigail Tate is the daughter of UPHA professional Deana Tate. She is a Sophomore at Plymouth State University, pursuing a degree in Business Administration with a minor in Criminal Justice. Abigail currently works alongside her aunt Darla Wright at High Tail Acres LLC helping with summer camps and lessons, as well as grooming and working her own horses. She has received her Massachusetts Instructors License. She loves working with the lesson horses and helping with the academy students. On top of being a full-time student, she is working to obtain her real estate license, with hopes of owning her own real estate business in the future.

Emily Torrez
Lebanon, OH



Emily Torrez is the daughter of Morgan trainers Selvin and Gina Torrez. She has been riding and showing world-class Morgans since she was young and has received world champion and reserve world champion titles in the junior exhibitor divisions. She is a 2021 graduate of Lebanon High School, where she played on the tennis team and was a member of the National Society of High School Scholars. Emily will continue her education at Ohio State University, pursuing a degree in Zoology. Outside of her academics, Emily works as an Adventure Guide at the Cincinnati Zoo. She is certainly on the right track for a career as a zoologist.

Rex White
Woodstock, IL



Rex White, the son of trainers Lisa Jo and the late John White, has been showing Arabians, Half-Arabians, and Saddlebreds since he was age six. Rex was awarded the ARPAHA Youth English Rider of the Year in 2017 and 2019. He is also the winner of the UPHA Arabian Breed Saddle Seat Equitation Championship in multiple age divisions - Walk/Trot 10 & under, 13 & Under, and 14-17. Rex won Player of the Year for basketball at the Kishwaukee River A Conference and was recognized as the Selected M.V.P and Male Athlete of the year at Woodstock North High School. With a great athletic career behind him, Rex has considered becoming a horse trainer in the future. He will be continuing his academic career at DePaul University with a major in Business and Entrepreneurship.

These scholarships are made possible by our generous donors. If you would like to support the UPHA Maria Knight scholarship program please consider making a donation here.

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