FAST, Inc., Foundation for the Advancement and Support of the Tennessee Walking Show Horse presented their first scholarships at the Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration held Aug. 25 thru Sept. 4, 2010. FAST participated with several other groups to raise money and fund youth scholarships. In total FAST presented 22 scholarships totaling $12,500. The FAST Scholarships committee looked at each application and used the following criteria to choose scholarship recipients. Each applicant was scored on their academic performance (30%), need (30%), equine involvement (TWH) (30%), and extracurricular activities (10%). Scholarship recipients are eligible to use the award for undergraduate, graduate educational expenses at the College, Junior College, University, Technical or Trade School of their choice. There is no age limit and for adults practical experience and involvement in the industry was looked at to determine eligibility. The eligibility requirements were that the applicant must have been a member of a Tennessee Walking Horse Association for at least 18 months before the application deadline of June 1, 2010, they must have been at least a junior in high school at time of application (no age limit), all applications and all supplemental information (i.e. transcripts, references) must have been postmarked by June 1. Applications and materials that contained a later postmark were not considered. The number and amount of scholarships awarded is based strictly on donations made to the scholarship fund each year.

2010 Walking Horse Report-FAST Scholarships

The Walking Horse Report generously donated $100 for every ad in the Amateur-Youth edition of the Report in March, to FAST’s 2010 Scholarship Program. Due to this generosity, FAST was able to give 10 scholarships of $500. The FAST scholarship committee consisted of Jo Anne Dempsey, Kathy Zeis and chairperson, Brenda Carlon. FAST received 17 applications and 10 students were chosen to receive this year’s Walking Horse Report-FAST Scholarships. The recipients are:

Blake Beam, son of Steve and Sherry Beam, is from Arab Ala. Blake is attending Wallace State College in Hanceville, Ala. Blake has been involved in the Walking Horse Trainer’ Association Youth Council, the Alabama Walking Horse Association, 4-H, FFA and FCA. Blake played varsity football winning many awards for his prowess on the field. Blake plans to graduate with a degree in Biosystems Engineering.

Kaitlyn Beaty, daughter of Scott and Sherry Beaty, is from Byrdstown, Tenn. Kaitlyn is attending Tennessee Technical University. Kaitlyn has been involved in FFA and has participated in horse judging activities. She played basketball all four years of high school and was co-captain of the Pickett County Lady Bobcats basketball team. She has been involved with the Upper Cumberland Walking Horse Association and TWHYA. Kaitlyn is planning on majoring in Social Work.

Paige Bennett, daughter of Leigh and Kim Bennett, is from Alvaton, Ky. Paige is attending the University of Louisville in Louisville, Ky. Paige has served on the TWHYA board and the WHOA Youth Board. She won her first World Championship in 2001 and has won seven titles since then. She was voted the Best Equitation Rider in the Walking Horse Report and the Voice magazine. Paige has shared her knowledge by serving as an assistant instructor and counselor at the WHOA Youth Camp in Montverde, Fla.

Leslie Birk, daughter of Rob and Debbie Birk, is from Gordonville, Mo. Lesley is attending Southeast Missouri University. Leslie has been a member and participated in TWHYA and in the WHOA Youth Board. She has taken three different Tennessee Walking Horses to a Youth Versatility Championship and has won TWHBEA’s Youth Ambassador Award. She represented TWHBEA as a clinician in Wemding, Germany. Leslie seeks a career in Speech Pathology.

Summer Brooks, daughter of Malcolm and Lisa Brooks, is from Rogersville, Tenn. Summer is attending the University of Tennessee. Summer has been a member of FFA Parliamentary Procedure Team, WHOA and TWHBEA. She has competed with her Tennessee Walking Horses since she was eight-years-old. Her most memorable experience was winning a World Championship at the Celebration. Summer is majoring in Political Science and plans on being a criminal or civil lawyer.

Kaitlin Esters, daughter of Charles and Maria Esters, is from Trussville, Ala. Katie is attending Auburn University in Auburn, Ala. Katie has been active in showing and competing since she was very young. She is a member of the youth groups at WHOA and TWHBEA. She has volunteered at Trussville Animal Hospital and found her future vocation. Kaitlin is planning on being an Equine Veterinarian.

Samantha Green, daughter of Jeff and Joyce Marie Green, is from Shelbyville, Tenn. Samantha is attending Middle Tennessee State University. Samantha is another young woman who has been an active participant in the TWHBEA Youth programs (TWHYA) and in the Walking Horse Trainers’ Association Youth program (WHTAYC). She served on WHTAYC as President and Vice President. She has also participated in helping the Walking Horse Trainers’ Auxiliary with the Celebration Dog Show and served on the board of TWHYA. Samantha is a senior at MTSU and is majoring in Interdisciplinary Studies K-6.

Blaise Broccard, daughter of Scott Dietz, Pia Broccard and John Herder, is from Cedar Hill, Mo. Blaise participated in many school clubs and on the athletic teams. She volunteered in an Alzheimer’s Unit at a nearby nursing home. Blaise has been a member of TWHBEA, WHOA
WHYA and 4-H Dreamcatchers. She has given many walking horse presentations promoting the Tennessee Walking Horse. To continue her involvement with TWH’s while in school, she is working for David Landrum Stables in Franklin, Tenn. She is majoring in Business Administration and Music. She wants to continue being an advocate for the Tennessee Walking Horse.

Bobby E. (B.J.) Richards, III, son of Bobby and Stacey Richards, is from Franklin, Tenn. B.J. is attending MTSU. B.J. has been active in the FFA and has participated in youth judging competitions. He has been a member of TWHBEA and WHOA and has shown walking horses under saddle in the trail and lite-shod divisions as well as successfully at halter, winning eight World Championships. B.J. is majoring in Agriculture and plans to continue the family business, training and showing Tennessee Walking Horses.

Kolby Wyant, daughter of Mark and Deborah Wyant, is from Milton, W.Va. Kolby is attending Middle Tennessee State University. Kolby has been very active in FFA, 4-H and on TWHYA board of directors. She has been active in many equestrian groups and has earned hours in the TWHBEA Distance Award Program. Kolby graduated from Potomac State College of West Virginia earning two Associate degrees one in Equine Production and Management and one in Animal Science. Kolby is now attending MTSU to earn her degree in Equine Science and is considering seeking a Master of Science degree in Equine Reproductive Physiology.

2010 Wink Groover Memorial Scholarships

FAST presented five $500 scholarships in memory of Wink Groover. These five scholarships were made possible by donations in memory of Wink Groover. Groover loved the Tennessee Walking Horse and served in many capacities within the industry to promote the TWH. He was a trainer, a clinician, an owner and a breeder. He served on the board of the Walking Horse Trainers’ Association as President and other positions. Groover wanted the children of the trainers in the Walking Horse Industry to be able to continue their educations. To honor his wishes his widow, Nancy Groover requested these scholarships be presented in honor of Wink Groover. The following young people received the 2010 Wink Groover Memorial Scholarships. Each student received $500. The recipients were Blake Beam, Kaitlyn Beaty, Paige Bennett, Samantha Green and Bobby E. Richards, III. See their bios above.

The WHTA-FAST Scholarships

The Walking Horse Trainers’ Association, and FAST gave seven scholarships of $714.29. Spencer Benedict, scholarship chairperson, choose the following students to receive the 2010 WHTA-FAST Scholarships made possible by the Andrew Waites family. Blake Beam, Kaitlyn Beaty, Paige Bennett, Webster Lindial Burch, III, Chelsea Cook, Jayme Morgan Dean, Bobby E. (B.J.) Richards, III.

FAST congratulates all the 2010 Scholarship recipients and would like to remind everyone that the 2011 Scholarships will need your donations to make the scholarships possible. FAST is a 501 C 3 charitable organization and all donations are tax deductible to the full extent of the current tax laws. See your tax consultant for any questions.