We are humbled to share that Stable View Farm has pledged to match NM’s original Diversity Scholarship award amount of $1,000, bringing the total to $2,000.
Thanks to the generosity of Barry and Cyndy Olliff, we will now be able to award the 1st place winner $1,000 and two runners-up a sum of $500. The Scholarship calls for contributions to the discussion about diversity and inclusion in equestrian sport from minority equestrians — you can view full details here.
“We built Stable View to be a Gathering Place,” Barry says, yet notes that there is an imbalance in the racial profile of those who gather there. He says he is troubled when he looks around and sees majority white competitors and spectators knowing that Aiken demographic is 33% African American. He also recognizes that educating oneself is a first step toward building an equestrian community that is diverse and inclusive of all races and ethnicities, and sees the Scholarship as an opportunity to listen and learn.
“We’d like to learn,” he says. “You can’t instruct — this is all about learning. It’s about trying to work out what it is we’re missing.”
Financial support is one small step toward dismantling the systemic disadvantages of being non-white, particularly in a sport as expensive as equestrian. “We have to ask how we can make it affordable for those who want to be part of it,” Barry says.
“White youngsters have got many opportunities if they want to work hard,” he says. “Minority youth can work just as hard but not have access to the opportunities.”
It is our sincere hope that this Scholarship gives some deserving equestrians a leg-up while encouraging, elevating and giving a platform to minority voices. We thank Stable View for its continued support of the equestrian community.