The Stony Hill Stables Foundation’s fund-raiser Saturday exceeded its $20,000 goal, Maureen Bluedorn was happy to report Tuesday morning before children’s pony and horse camps began.
Thus the foundation is on its way toward awarding eight riding scholarships — apparently a “first” here — to promising applicants with a desire to improve their skills.
The first scholarship award, worth about $5,000 when instruction and leasing are taken into account, was announced at the fund-raiser. It went to 10-year-old Lara Lowlicht, an East Hampton fifth grader, “who met all of our criteria,” said Bluedorn. “She’s a straight-A student, plays lacrosse, sings in the school choir, has some riding ability, and has the desire and the need.”
Thus Lara, who had been taking one lesson a week during the past month, is now to be taught every day throughout the summer on her “favorite pony,” Wizard, whom the scholarship enables her to lease.
Moreover, the Tack Shop in Amagansett has, according to Bluedorn, donated “a complete outfit for her when she shows.”
During a brief conversation Tuesday morning before taking Wizard out of the stable into the short-stirrup ring for an evaluation by Stony Hill’s office manager, Roiya Doyle, Lara said she’d “like to be an equestrian, like Wick,” referring to Stony Hill’s owner, Wick Hotchkiss, a dressage silver and bronze medalist, who is happy to have her and her mother’s dream of offering riding scholarships realized.
To fully fund eight scholarships — two each in the stables’ four levels, ranging from short stirrup to dressage — around $100,000 will be needed, said Bluedorn, though the initial fund-raising success, she added, has spurred the foundation board’s hopes.
Aisha Ali-Duyck, a full-time trainer at Stony Hill who also shows in dressage competitions, and who as a former working student at Stony Hill knows how valuable these scholarships can be, said in an article on these pages last week, “I’m hoping the children who get involved with the foundation have that same experience I had.”