The Jon Conyers Memorial Scholarship Committee, made up of IHSA coaches and Board of Directors who knew Jon well on a personal and professional level received many excellent nominees from IHSA coaches across the country. The committee is pleased to announce that the winner of the 2011 Jon Conyers Memorial Scholarship Award trophy and $2,000.00 from the Intercollegiate Equestrian Foundation is Madeleine Day from the University of the South. Madeleine is a sophomore from Berkeley, California and just completed her first year as a member of the varsity Sewanee Equestrian Team.
Here is an excerpt from Coach Taylor’s Nomination:
“Maddie is a sophomore and in her second year riding at Sewanee. During her freshman year she did not try out for the Equestrian Team, but did participate in the lessons for Physical Education credit each semester. As she became more confident around the barn, she became more confident on the back of a horse and seemed to thrive when assigned a more challenging horse.
I was pleased when she contacted me over the summer and expressed an interest in trying out for the Equestrian Team. What I didn’t know at the time was that her family was in the process of moving from Long Island to California because her father is very ill and her mother got a new job. Her father’s illness has meant that he can no longer work and requires a great deal of assistance on a daily basis. This has placed the family in a financial situation where money is very tight and what they have is spent wisely. I was afraid that this would keep Maddie from being able to participate in the Riding Program and make the Equestrian Team cost-prohibitive. Thankfully, Maddie was extremely resourceful and has been able to purchase her boots and show clothing during sales.
After the first day of the Sewanee Equestrian Team tryouts Maddie was one of six riders that met individually with me and the Assistant Coach. During this meeting we told Maddie that she did a good job in that portion of tryouts, but at this time we did not believe she was ready to show right away. She had the option to continue on to the second day of tryouts or walk away. I barely was able to finish explaining this when she confidently said that she wanted to be a part of the team even if she was never chosen to show. She spent the fall semester working diligently at each task given to her and often times offered to help outside of Equestrian Team responsibilities. Meanwhile, her riding improved so much that she earned a spot to compete this spring.
Maddie has limited experience in schooling shows and the opportunity to compete in the IHSA is one that is an honor for her and one that gives her an experience she would not have otherwise.
Thank you for the opportunity to nominate Maddie. She is a kind, hard-working young woman who loves horses and riding. Winning this scholarship would allow her to ride next year without the worry of her family’s finances.”