News Youth News

2023 Shannon Burwash Memorial Awards  for Equine and Agricultural Studies

Shannon Burwash with "Oprah" (Lopin Foran Invite) Credit: Holy Nicole Photography

Apply by midnight, June 1st, 2023  

April 1, 2023 – (Calgary, AB) – In May of 2014, Dr. Wayne Burwash launched the Shannon Burwash Memorial Fund for Equine and Agricultural Studies at Calgary Foundation, to honor the legacy of his wife Shannon’s love for the horse and her contribution to the horse industry.  

To build this fund, Dr. Burwash offered to match all donations, dollar for dollar, until the fund reached the target goal of $125,000. It was thought that this size of investment should be enough to generate $4000 to $5000 annually to be awarded as scholarships. The Fund at the Calgary Foundation has reached nearly $140,000 and is generating enough to continue awarding $4000 per year. To date there has been $31,000 awarded from this fund to 23 students from coast to coast in Canada.

However, each year the number of very worthy scholarship applications received far exceeds funds available for distribution, and the cost of higher education continues to rise. One of the most impactful ways to address this challenge is funding student awards. Gifts to the scholarship fund are invested, not spent, to generate an income which is used to award scholarships. Your support is an investment in the future of our horse industry as deserving students develop into the leaders of tomorrow.

Awards Overview: For 2023 there will be three student awards:

  • one award of $2,000 for full-time students entering more advanced years of study (third year and beyond) in any field of study with emphasis on horses, agriculture, agribusiness, animal health technology, or equine veterinary medicine at an accredited Canadian post-secondary institution. Click here to learn more.
  • two awards of $1,000 for full-time students entering first or second year of study at an accredited Canadian post-secondary institution in any field of study with emphasis on horses, agriculture, agri-business, animal health technology or equine veterinary medicine. Click here to learn more.

To apply, all students must visit the Calgary Foundation website at either of the underlined “Click here” links indicated above.  

To view the prior years’ award recipients, visit the CQHA website:   


Help us continue to provide these awards into the future
with a donation to the  
Shannon Burwash Memorial Awards for  Equine and Agricultural Studies

Each year the number of very worthy scholarship applications received far exceeds funds available for distribution, and the cost of higher education continues to rise.

One of the most impactful ways to address this challenge is funding student awards. Gifts to the scholarship fund are invested, not spent, to generate an income which is used to award scholarships.

Your support is an investment in the future of our horse industry as deserving students develop into the leaders of tomorrow.           To Donate:  

  • By Phone: To donate by credit card over the phone, call 403-802-7700 during office hours 8:00 am – 4:00 pm MDT. Please do NOT leave your credit card number on voicemail. 
  • In Person: Calgary Foundation, #1180, 105 12 Avenue SE, Calgary during office hours. 
AQHA News Youth News Uncategorized

‘Our Time is Now’ is the AQHYA Theme for 2023

Upcoming AQHA Youth Dates & Deadlines

AQHYA challenges youth members to recognize Our Time is Now! Join us in 2023 as AQHYA encourages all members to influence, motivate and shape ourselves, the horse industry, and those around us.

Following a year of building for the future, youth are currently shaping the present.  By declaring “Our Time is Now”, AQHYA members invite everyone to be a part of the movement igniting a passion for the world they live in today.  Through varying backgrounds and unique experiences, each youth member brings a different perspective to the community surrounding them with a shared passion bringing them together – the love of the American Quarter Horse.  Joined together within one association, youth members can share their passion to influence the horse world and those involved, utilizing skills that produce industry leaders. 


Fostering an environment of inclusion, the 2023 theme, Our Time is Now, claims today as the day to be recognized.  With programming across multiple focus areas such as education, horsemanship, competition, and leadership, AQHYA members can activate this year’s theme in a variety of ways all while having fun and meeting new friends.


Youth are encouraged to tag @officialaqhya and #OurTimeIsNow in your social media posts to share how you are declaring Our Time Is Now with AQHYA and the horse industry.




News Youth News Uncategorized

Team Canada 2023 Announced

La version française suit

The Canadian Quarter Horse Association is pleased to announce the ten youth who will represent Canada at the 2023 American Quarter Horse Youth World Cup

Ottawa, January 9, 2023 — The Canadian Quarter Horse Association (CQHA), the Canadian affiliate of the American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA), and representative of the largest breed population within the Canadian herd, announced today the ten youth members who will represent Canada this summer at the American Quarter Horse Youth World Cup being hosted in Bryan/College Station, Texas, June 29th – July 8th, 2023!

This international event is hosted every two years by a different country and involves teams representing sixteen nations!  

Throughout this competition, each country will ride for gold medals in the equestrian events of cutting, reining, horsemanship, ranch riding, trail, hunt seat equitation, hunter under saddle, and showmanship. The American Quarter Horse Youth World Cup is a unique event because competing team members will only few days to get to know and develop relationships with the horses that they will compete on. The host country provides each of the team’s horses for participation in skill developing clinics and the international competition.

The CQHA appointed AQHA Professional Horsewoman Jodi Mallette as Team Coach and Jessica Mosley-Cairncross BSc. BEd. . as the Team Manager in November 2022. The pair worked over the December holidays to examine the applications of twenty-two accomplished youth riders representing the provinces of British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Ontario, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick.

“We were extremely impressed by the competencies of the riders who applied to be part of this national team” stated Team Manager Jodi Mallette, “all youth displayed strong horsemanship and interpersonal skills which are equally important when fielding a successful team to represent Canada on an international stage.”

Team Canada 2023 will be comprised of five riders, two alternate riders, and three horsemanship and leadership development members.

The Riders are named as follows: Brooklyn Shannon age 17, from Ontario; Emily Yates age 16, from Ontario; Ali Chernoff age 18, from Alberta; Taylor Carney age 18, from Ontario; and Hailey Olsen age 16, from Saskatchewan. Alternat Riders are named as follows: Abigail Dunlevy age 16, of Ontario, and Kaidyn Goodwin age 16, from Nova Scotia. Horsemanship and Leadership Development members have been named as: Lauren Irwin age 17, from Ontario; Tylar Randall Gray age 15, from Nova Scotia; and Emily Firth age 15, from British Columbia.

“Team Canada 2023 is representative of the talented youth equestrians that are created here in Canada,” said Team Manager Jessica Mosley-Cairncross “Jodi and I have been in contact with all members and they are excited to start team building activities virtually right away which will include everything from fun ice breakers to help the team get to know each other, to media and marketing training to improve their presentation skills as they begin to seek sponsorships to fund their way to Texas this summer.” The team is planning on meeting in the early spring to train together in person as well.

Canadian business and or individuals interested in contributing to Team Canada through corporate partnership or sponsorship support are welcomed to contact the CQHA at

L’équipe canadienne 2023 est annoncée

La Canadian Quarter Horse Association est heureuse d’annoncer les dix jeunes qui représenteront le Canada à la Coupe du monde des jeunes de l’American Quarter Horse en 2023.


Ottawa, le 9 janvier 2023 – La Canadian Quarter Horse Association (ACQH), l’affilié canadien de l’American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA), et représentant la plus grande population de la race au sein du troupeau canadien, a annoncé aujourd’hui les dix jeunes membres qui représenteront le Canada cet été à la Coupe du monde de la jeunesse du American Quarter Horse qui aura lieu à Bryan/College Station, au Texas, du 29 juin au 8 juillet 2023! Cet événement international est organisé tous les deux ans par un pays différent et implique des équipes représentant seize nations! 


Tout au long de cette compétition, chaque pays se disputera des médailles d’or dans les épreuves équestres de cutting, reining, horsemanship, ranch riding, trail, hunt seat equitation, hunter under saddle, et showmanship. La Coupe du monde de la jeunesse du American Quarter Horse est un événement unique car les membres de l’équipe ne disposent que de quelques jours pour apprendre à connaître et à développer des relations avec les chevaux sur lesquels ils vont concourir. Le pays hôte fournit les chevaux de chaque équipe pour qu’ils participent aux stages de développement des compétences et à la compétition internationale.


L’ACQH a nommé la cavalière professionnelle de l’AQHA Jodi Mallette au poste de l’entraîneur de l’équipe, et Jessica Mosley-Cairncross BSc. BEd.. au poste de gestionnaire de l’équipe en novembre 2022. Le duo a travaillé pendant les vacances de décembre pour examiner les candidatures de vingt-deux jeunes cavaliers accomplis représentant les provinces de la Colombie-Britannique, de l’Alberta, de la Saskatchewan, de l’Ontario, de la Nouvelle-Écosse et du Nouveau-Brunswick.


“Nous avons été extrêmement impressionnés par les compétences des cavaliers qui ont postulé pour faire partie de cette équipe nationale”, a déclaré l’entraîneur de l’équipe, Jodi Mallette. “Tous les jeunes ont fait preuve d’une grande maîtrise de l’équitation et de compétences interpersonnelles, qui sont tout aussi importantes lorsqu’il s’agit de former une équipe qui représente le Canada sur la scène internationale.”


L’Équipe Canada 2023 sera composée de cinq cavaliers, de deux cavaliers suppléants et de trois membres chargés du développement de l’équitation et du leadership. Les cavaliers sont nommés comme suit : Brooklyn Shannon, 17 ans, de l’Ontario ; Emily Yates, 16 ans, de l’Ontario ; Ali Chernoff, 18 ans, de l’Alberta ; Taylor Carney, 18 ans, de l’Ontario ; et Hailey Olsen, 16 ans, de la Saskatchewan. Les cavaliers alternatifs sont nommés comme suit : Abigail Dunlevy, 16 ans, de l’Ontario, et Kaidyn Goodwin, 16 ans, de la Nouvelle-Écosse. Les membres de la section Horsemanship and Leadership Development ont été nommés comme suit : Lauren Irwin, 17 ans, de l’Ontario ; Tylar Randall Gray, 15 ans, de la Nouvelle-Écosse ; et Emily Firth, 15 ans, de la Colombie-Britannique.


“Équipe Canada 2023 est représentative des jeunes cavaliers talentueux qui sont créés ici au Canada “, a déclaré la gestionnaire de l’équipe Jessica Mosley-Cairncross. ” Jodi et moi avons été en contact avec tous les membres et ils sont enthousiastes à l’idée de commencer les activités de renforcement de l’esprit d’équipe pratiquement dès maintenant, ce qui comprendra tout, des activités amusantes pour briser la glace afin d’aider l’équipe à se familiariser avec l’esprit d’équipe.


News Youth News

2022 Scholarship Recipients

Shannon Burwash Memorial Fund Selects Three Recipients for 2022

September 15, 2022 — Calgary, AB — The Calgary Foundation is very pleased to announce the following scholarships have been awarded from the Shannon Burwash Memorial Fund in 2022. There are two different categories of scholarships, one going to first or second-year students (two $1,000 awards) and the other going to students advancing past their second year of studies (one $2,000 award). Qualified students from across Canada applied for the three available scholarships this past June.      

$1,000 Awarded to Jalen Thurgood, BC

$1,000 Awarded to Aliera Chernoff, AB

$2,000 Awarded to Ashley Nixon, ON

“Once again we were extremely impressed with the scholarship applicants this year,” said Dr. Wayne Burwash. “This is the eighth year that The Calgary Foundation has awarded the scholarships in memory of Shannon and they have awarded a total of $31,000.  The scholarships are open to students from across Canada and are awarded to deserving students who are focused on getting a post-secondary education, and being involved in the horse industry in their future This year the recipients are from British Columbia, Alberta and Ontario.

Besides her family, the two most important things in Shannon’s life were horses and education.  She loved horses and had a very, very strong feeling that all young people should get some sort of post-secondary education.  Therefore, we think these awards are not only a very fitting tribute to her but hopefully would serve as an incentive for young people to get a horsey/agricultural type education which would lay the foundation for them to become leaders in the horse industry.”

ASHLEY NIXON - $2,000 Leadership Award
Ashley Nixon, ON - second year in the Doctor of Veterinary Medicine program at the Ontario Veterinary College

ASHLEY NIXON is entering her second year in the Doctor of Veterinary Medicine program at the Ontario Veterinary College (OVC). Prior to this, she completed a Bachelor’s degree in Animal Biology, and a Master’s degree in Animal Science at the University of Guelph. Leading up to her acceptance into veterinary school, she worked for several years in the equine veterinary industry at the OVC Large Animal Hospital and in private practice.

Outside of academic requirements, Ashley has worked on developing her understanding of veterinary medicine by attending symposiums, forums, and round tables. Ashley has also volunteered at events run by VetPD, Future Vets Club, College Royal, and has been involved in various OVC Clubs. Most notably, Ashley has been on the executive committee for the OVC Equine Club, where she has helped organize and run club events. In her first year of veterinary school, she helped organize the Equine Practitioner’s Forum, which allowed veterinary students to meet various equine practitioners from across Canada and the United States. More recently, Ashley was elected as OVC Equine Club’s Vice President/Junior AAEP Representative for the 2022-2023 academic year.

Aliera Chernoff - $1,000 Encouragement Award
ALIERA CHERNOFF, AB - Attending Old’s College to pursue a diploma in Agriculture Management and a Bachelor of Applied Science in Agribusiness

ALIERA CHERNOFF grew up in Alberta as a 4-H member where she was introduced to the sport of reining. She was recently selected to attend the Youth World Reining Cup in Brazil and tells us that “It was the most amazing experience, I was able to meet amazing people involved in the sport, and made friendships from across the world.”

Chernoff has been volunteering at Reining events for the past 2 years, and was a Western Canada Delegate for the National Reining Horse Youth Association; and has acted as the youth liaison for Reining Alberta’s South Branch. Chernoff says “horses have taught me so much and have made me into the leader I am today and I hope to carry that on and continue to help other youth who are just getting into horses. I am currently attending Old’s College to pursue a diploma in Agriculture Management and a Bachelor of Applied Science in Agribusiness. Which I will use in the future to run my own business in the agricultural field.” Her hope is to always have horses in her life.

Jalen Thurgood - $1,000 Encouragement Award
Jalen Thurgood, BC - Second year of her undergrad at the University of British Columbia Okanagan (UBCO) where she is obtaining prerequisites for application to the Western College of Veterinary Medicine.

JALEN THURGOOD is in her second year of her undergrad at the University of British Columbia Okanagan (UBCO) where she is obtaining prerequisites for application to the Western College of Veterinary Medicine Thurgood grew up on a small farm in Salmon Arm, BC. where both parents practiced large animal veterinary medicine. Haven ridden horses all her life she has been competing competitively with Icelandic horses since the age of eleven, thanks to her grandparents keen involvement with the breed. She is the youngest certified Class 1 Sports Judge in the world and was the first Canadian to participate in the International Icelandic Horse Youth Cup and the North American Icelandic Horse Youth Cup; she states “I love my sport and in the future, I hope to use my knowledge as an equine veterinarian to educate and help fellow equestrians succeed in their discipline.”

Thurgood has been an active member of 4-H for ten years, and has participated at several community fundraising events. Currently she is a 4-H BC Ambassador for the Kamloops-Okanagan Region; her role as an ambassador is to promote the 4-H program within the region and within the province, volunteer at 4-H events, and to act as a resource to members, leaders, and the public, she tells us “I love 4-H and am always looking for ways to give back to the program. Recently, I joined the executive team for the UBCO Pre-Vet Club as treasurer.”

News Youth News

CQHA Announces 2022 Team Canada Coach & Manager

The Canadian Quarter Horse Association is pleased to announce its selection for TEAM CANADA Coach and Manager for the American Quarter Horse Youth World Cup event in Bryan/College Station Texas June 29-July 8, 2023.

TEAM CANADA COACH – Jodi Mallette of Kincardine, Ontario

TEAM CANADA MANAGER – Jessica Mosley-Cairncross of Tiny, Ontario.

The American Quarter Horse Youth World Cup is an educational, leadership-based event showcasing Youth riders from up to 18 countries and 2023 marks the 22nd AQHA Youth World Cup to be held. This prestigious event began 45 years ago, in 1978, in Amarillo Texas and was a monumental success. Since that time, the event has traveled to Canada, Australia, Germany, Arizona, Texas, and Italy. 

Part of the experience is the challenge and opportunity to work with horses the Youth are unfamiliar with as the host country provides approximately 200 Quarter Horses for this event. The Youth have the chance to work with their equine team in the week leading up to the competition in a series of clinics hosted by AQHA Professional Horseman. The culmination of the event is a showcasing of skills learned in an atmosphere of friendly competition. As the first show day approaches the team is allowed to choose 3 riders to show in each of 8 classes: Showmanship at Halter, Ranch Riding, Western Horsemanship, Hunter Under Saddle, Hunt Seat Equitation, Trail, Cutting and Reining. Then an opportunity to compete on a second show day allows for more growth and development of these young riders. The combined scores from both competition days will determine the teams’ final standings.

It is a unique opportunity for Youth to learn in a “hands-on” setting with other International Youth. Friendships, skills, and life lessons are all part of the experience that will last a lifetime!

YWC Team Canada 2023 will comprise five competitive riders, two alternate riders, Team Coach and Team Manager. 

Rider selection is under way now! Watch for rider announcements early in the New Year.

JODI MALLETTE of Kincardine, Ontario

Jodi is an AQHA Professional Horseman and has been operating a successful coaching and training business for over 20 years. She has coached and trained multiple horses and riders from Small Fry Youth to Select Amateurs with top placings at the AQHA World, AQHA Congress and Provincial level. 

Jodi says “Giving back to the AQHA industry has always been a part of my professional career and achieving the position of coach for Team Canada at the AQHA Youth World Cup is both a highlight and an honour. “


Jessica is a grade 7/8 teacher with over 20 years of experience working with youth and organizing events. She has competed successfully on the AQHA circuit as an Amateur with many year end award accomplishments and AQHA Congress top 10.

Jessica says “This opportunity is a chance to give back to our industry and help encourage and develop our youth with an exciting and educational goal. I am honoured to have the opportunity to help support these talented young equestrians.”

Youth News

CQHA’s 2022 Youth Rising Stars

Cali Murphy and Berlin Oltean

Cali Murphy of Alberta joined the CQHA Awards Celebration virtually, where she was presented with her 2022 CQHA Rising Star Award.

Cali Murphy has always been in love with all things horses. She has two of her own quarter horses and would live in the barn with them if she could says her mom.

“Rain or shine she is always the first one down to take care of the horses and stays as long as she possibly can” Cali’s mom tells us. “She has shown interest in all disciplines and so far loves them all.”

Cali says she still has a few things on her list of things to try including bronc riding!

Murphy is a member of ther local Rodeo Club and participates in the Alberta Equestrian Federation ride and drive program. Unfortunately due to covid she wasn’t able to show as much as she would have liked but that didn’t stop her from working hard to improve her skills and make sure her horses stayed in the best possible shape.

Cali is the type who loves to help; she volunteers helping her riding instructor teach lessons by  demonstrating and encouraging confidence in other young riders. If there is someone struggling Cali is always the first one to stop what she’s doing and rush over to help. She has participated in local clinics and vet days at the barn where she assists in every way she can.

She has fun sharing horse knowledge with her peers who also have a passion for horses.  When she’s not with the horses she’s home reading training books or watching YouTube videos on how to advance her and her horses’ skills. 

In the last few years Cali has started making her own natural horse products and treats (Neigh by Cali) to raise awareness about different equine medical conditions including Cushings Disease. This entrepreneurial idea came about after her own horse had been diagnosed with Cushings Disease, as she understood that the medication and treatment would be an additional cost to her horse’s care.

Cali tells us that she wants to attend horse veterinary school when she graduates and train horses on the side. She has a true passion for horses, as well as helping and encouraging others. Her mom says  “It’s very inspiring to see how serious she is about her passion and love for the industry! To her it’s not just about the riding but everything in between as well.”

Berlin Oltean being presented her 2022 CQHA Rising Star award from CQHA President Gilles Seguin.

Berlin Oltean of Saskatchewan, is a bright, well-mannered, outgoing and enthusiastic young rider who is supported in her riding endeavors by her Mom, Meghan, and Grandmother and family in general as well as her coaches.

In 2019 she participated in the Manitoba Quarter Horse Association (MQHA) Ranch Horse Classic;  at just seven years of age she compeited in the Youth Flag Cutting Jackpot (and she won it!) riding her Mom’s mare against her older peers.  In 2021 she returned to the MQHA Ranch Horse Classic Show Pen and won the Open Youth High Point Award on a leased gelding from her coach/trainer. This meant she had to ride and place in reining, ranch riding, ranch trail, confirmation, cutting and/or working cow horse or boxing. A major accomplishment for a then nine year old at her first show back after Covid! 

Berlin has now gone on to purchase her own mare and is actively taking cutting/ranch/working cow horse lessons and she is also taking English riding lessons as a means to improve her overall riding skills. 

MQHA show manager Larry Clifford says “Her bubbly outgoing personality is contagious and she is able and willing to speak and engage with all ages from her peers to senior riders.  She is enthusiastic, wanting to learn and passionate about the horse.” Larry went on to tell us that he “looks forward to seeing her grow and compete in the horse world as she will become a major youth player in the show pen.”

When not in the saddle Oltean is actively involved in youth hockey and other sports in her city and at school.

Youth News

2022 Canadian AQHA Youth of the Year

Emma Vicente of Alberta

Fourteen Year-old Emma Vicente was named CQHA’s Canadian AQHA youth of the year for 2022 on the evening of March 26th, 2022. Emma joined the awards presentation virtually, as did the award’s presenter Miss Darcy Woods from Ontario, the 2021 All American Quarter Horse Congress Queen.

As the current Vice President of Alberta Youth Quarter Horse Association (AYQHA), Vicente volunteers her time to fundraising and making visual slide shows for the year end banquet celebrating everyone achievements.

Not only is Emma passionate about horses but she is very involved and takes school serious. For the 2020/2021 school year, grade 8 for Emma she received Honors with Distinction as well as Student of the Year. In 2020 Emma won 9th place in  AQHAchieve, a virtual hippology competition put on by American Quarter Horse Foundation.

The 2021 show season brought some major achievements for Miss Vicente, she was the 13 and under High Point youth at Quarter Horse Association of Alberta’s Summer Solstice show, Reserve High point youth at Saskatchewan Quarter Horse Association’s  Summer Show Down Show.

At the Canadian Nationals Quarter Horse Show Emma won Champion in 13 and under Western Pleasure, Level 1 Youth Trail and 13 & under youth Trail. She was reserve Champion in L1 youth Western Pleasure and 13 & under Horsemanship.

These accomplishments led her to year end championship titles in 13 & under Horsemanship, 13 & under Western Pleasure, 13 & under Trail and L1 youth Western Pleasure. Emma also won Reserve Champion in 13 & under Showmanship and L1 youth trail, resulting in her capturing the overall 2021 high point 13 and under youth title.

Emma has been a member of AQHYA for 7 years, AYQHA (Alberta Youth Quarter Horse Association) for 6 years, Alberta Equestrian Federation for 4 years and ApHC has just been added to the list.

“Emma takes showing seriously and puts in the long hours of late nights and early morning, but she also manages to have fun and make it a fun environment” says her coach Haylee Quick. She gwent on to say “I am very proud of Emma, last year she had lots of success in the ring and saw area’s for her own improvement aswell. Not only does she want to work on her western disciplines with her horse Shesa Hot Ginger, she also wants to try something new and add Hunter events to her plans.”

Emma’s friends tell us that she is fun to be around and a hard worker, she is kind and has great leadership skills always encouraging everyone to do their best.

News General News Affiliates News Youth News

Alberta Quarter Horse Launches New Youth Program for 2022

New Alberta Youth Quarter Horse Association  Initiative for 2022

Do you know an Alberta youth that has been wanting to try showing at QHAA shows that has never showed at them before?

Yes? Well the QHAA has the answer! They have developed a program just for them!

Alberta Youth Quarter Horse Association (AYQHA) and Quarter Horse Association of Alberta (QHAA) is offering a new program for youth that have never showed at QHAA shows but want to give it a try.

One selected youth per show in the 2022 show year will be selected to have show fees covered by QHAA and to be connected with a trainer (chosen by AYQHA and QHAA). The youth will get two lessons from that trainer and will get stalled with the trainer at the show. The trainer will help the youth out as much as they can at the show. The youth will be responsible for having own transportation, accommodations, tack and proper show clothes.

Interested youth can become eligible by submitting a video or written essay explaining what this opportunity means to them and what their goals are in the horse industry. The youth will also provide a video of them riding the horse they wish to show.

For more information please email .
Please note*

    • This is not open for any previous youth of AYQHA.
    • To show in AQHA classes the horse must be a registered quarter horse.
    • Youth must have a valid AQHA membership as well as a QHAA (AYQHA) membership this is at the expense of the youth.
    • To show in all breed classes no registration or AQHA membership is required, however QHAA membership is.

Selected youth will be told what show they get to attend, Canadian National Quarter Horse Show is not one of the options. Please understand that this is a one time opportunity, one a youth has been selected, they may not be considered again.

News Member News Youth News

2021 Shannon Burwash Memorial Fund Scholarship Recipients Announced

November 16, 2021 — Calgary, AB — The Calgary Foundation is very pleased to announce the following scholarships have been awarded from the 2021 Shannon Burwash Memorial Fund. Qualified students from across Canada applied for the three available scholarships this past June.

$2,000 Leadership Award to Melissa Gablehaus 

Melissa is in her fourth and final year in the Doctor of Veterinary Medicine program at the University of Calgary. She is very passionate about equine medicine and the equine industry. Melissa grew up being a very active member in 4-H, where she was the club and district president, as well as spending a significant amount of time volunteering, planning community events, and mentoring younger members. Melissa did her undergraduate studies at Mount Royal University in the Bachelor of Science program. Throughout veterinary school, she was the secretary of the UCVM Equine Club and the president of the UCVM Pathology Club, as well as the animal interaction representative. Outside of school, Melissa volunteered for several years with VetPD, which is a program that provides continuing education for veterinarians. This opportunity allowed Melissa to participate in a variety of topics within equine medicine and surgery and to take part in the hands-on portions of these conferences. Melissa also volunteered with Aggie Days and the Giddy Up program through the Calgary Stampede.

Outside of her academic commitments, Melissa enjoys riding and competing on her American Quarter Horse, Docs Stitch N Velvet. When she is not in school or spending time with Stitch, she spends the remainder of her time on her fiancé’s dairy farm. Upon graduation from veterinary school, she plans on working in a mixed animal clinic, with a special interest in equine medicine.

$2,000 Leadership Award to Melissa Gablehaus
$1,000 Encouragement Award to Jocelyn Leclaire

Jocelyn is a third-generation Clydesdale enthusiast and breeder from the Didsbury, Alberta. She grew up on her family’s “funny” farm northwest of town, where we owned cows, sheep, goats, a llama but best of all, horses. My two sisters and I were all expected to know the importance of all things horse from a very young age. My family foals approximately 10 Clydesdale mares a year, attends exhibitions and  preps the show string, all of which we were expected to and happy to help with. Horses have taught me the most important lessons I have ever learned, determination, compassion, respect, friendship, and trust, to name a few. The importance of horses in my life is immeasurable. I cannot imagine a career where I did not enjoy their presence, hence why I am pursuing veterinary medicine. After beginning my practice, I would like to specialize in equine reproduction. I am genuinely grateful for the Shannon Burwash Memorial award’s contribution to my education, as it is one step closer to pursuing my childhood dream.’

$1,000 Encouragement Award to Holly Frijters

Holly  will be attending the University of Alberta in the Fall of 2021 to start her undergraduate program of Bachelor of Science in Animal Health, with a Major in Companion and Performance Animals. Holly’s goal is to further study veterinary medicine at the University of Calgary or potentially abroad and eventually become an equine vet working with high performance horses. Ever since Holly was a young girl, horses have been her passion. She competitively show jumped for nearly thirteen years. Through her many years of working with these animals, Holly developed a strong appreciation for horses and the high standard of care they deserve. With her education, Holly wants to further her knowledge and give back to the animals and community that greatly influenced her life and career aspirations. Holly’s passion for horse and animal care is evident in her work experience. Holly’s work as a stable hand included caring for over 30 horses and meeting their individual daily needs. Holly also assisted in the training of young horses and developing their personal skills. Most recently Holly worked as a technician assistant at the Southern Alberta Veterinary Emergency (SAVE) hospital where she got to firsthand experience veterinarians doing their amazing work. All of these experiences have help to solidify Holly’s dream of becoming a vet herself.

$1,000 Encouragement Award to Holly Frijters

Since 2016, there have been two different categories of scholarship awards:  

  • The Leadership Award is for students advancing past their second year of studies ($2,000 award).
  • The Encouragement Award is for first- or second-year students (2 X $1,000 awards).

“Again this year, we were extremely impressed with all of the scholarship applicants,” said Dr. Wayne Burwash. “This is the seventh year that The Calgary Foundation has awarded the scholarships since Shannon’s passing in 2013, and we have now awarded $27,000 in scholarships. Congratulations to all the recipients and best wishes for rewarding careers involving the horse.” 

Shannon Burwash with "Oprah" (Lopin Foran Invite) Credit: Holy Nicole Photography

Shannon Burwash was a leader and a lover of the horse industry across Canada. These scholarships are awarded to deserving students who are focused on getting a post-secondary education and becoming involved in the horse industry in their future. 

Help CQHA expand scholarship support with a donation to the Shannon Burwash Memorial Fund for Equine and Agricultural Studies

Our overall goal was to raise $125,000 so the fund can keep generating annual awards to deserving students into the future. Dr. Burwash is most appreciative of all the generous donors who have enabled us to reach this important milestone.  As of 2019, the fund reached its target goal of $125,000, but welcomes further donations so that it may increase the number of scholarships awarded annually.

To Donate:   

  • Online:  Visit choose “Donate” at the top, right hand side of webpage, then click on the link for “Donate to an Existing Fund”, and then search the drop-down menu for “Shannon Burwash Memorial Fund for Equine for Equine and Agricultural Studies” (listed alphabetically). VISA and MasterCard are accepted.
  • By Phone:  To pay by credit card over the phone, call 403-802-7700 during office hours 8:00 am – 4:00 pm. Please do NOT leave your credit card number on voicemail.
  • In Person: The Calgary Foundation, Kananoff Centre, #1180,105 12th Ave., SE, Calgary during office hours.
  • By Mail: Make cheques payable to The Calgary Foundation, indicating “Shannon Burwash Memorial Award” in the memo section.  Mail to:The Calgary Foundation, 1180 – 105 12 Avenue SE., Calgary, AB T2G 1A1
  • Tax receipts for Donations: A Canadian tax receipt will be issued for donations over $25.


For more information, contact Ms.Jesica Zutz  Awards Program Advisor, The Calgary Foundation at T: 403-802-7711 or E: jzutz@calgaryfoundation.or

Youth News

Apply for American Quarter Horse Foundation Scholarships by January 15

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The deadline for 2022 American Quarter Horse Foundation scholarship applications is January 15, 2022.

Since its inception in 1976, the Foundation scholarship program has awarded more than $8.5 million in financial assistance to more than 1,500 young horse enthusiasts and industry members.

Scholarship applicants must be AQHYA or AQHA members. Become a member here.

Recipients are selected based on:


  • Academic achievement
  • Financial need
  • American Quarter Horse involvement
  • Leadership and communication skills

View scholarship program guidelines and criteria here.

Applicants can submit a nonspecific application, which will be evaluated against the criteria supplied within the scholarship program outline to determine eligibility.

For more information about Foundation scholarships, call 806-378-5029 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Central, Monday through Friday, or email