Show Jumping New Zealand is thrilled to announce the South Canterbury North Otago Area recipient of the newly formed ESNZ and NZPH Star Spotters Scholarship. This is first of twenty Star Spotters scholarships to be awarded this season. Every area throughout New Zealand has been given the opportunity to select one up and coming young rider under the age of twenty five as their recipient.

The first of these scholarships has been awarded to Emma-Lee Kelly. Fourteen year old Emma-Lee attends Waimate High School and is a member of the Waimate Pony Club. She grew up living next to the Southern Canterbury A&P Showgrounds and her mother Amanda has written at the SCNO shows for a number of years so Emma-Lee has attended a lot of these shows as a spectator and volunteer. She can often be found assisting the ring crew and gate stewards or helping out friends with their horses. Emma-Lee was very excited to accept this scholarship. “I was surprised when the call came through that my area had chosen me as the recipient”. She is planning on competing at all three of the SCNO shows this season. “My aim is to compete in both show hunter and show jumping on my ponies Tess and Jack”.    

SCNO Area delegate Tim Douglass says “Emma-Lee stood out to us as a clear recipient of this award and it was a unanimous decision from our committee to select her. Emma-Lees contribution to our shows over the years has always been noted and she is a dedicated and promising young rider who is ready to make the step up into registered competition”.

The Star Spotters scholarship is sponsored by the Hawkes Bay based New Zealand Performance Horses and Brigit Kirk of NZPH offered their best wishes to Emma-Lee. “Congratulations to Emma-Lee on Winning the Star Spotters scholarship for the SCNO area. We wish Emma-Lee all the best and the team at NZPH look forward to watching her progress over the coming years.”

This scholarship aims to encourage riders to make the step up into ESNZ registered Show Jumping and Show Hunter by offering a free full year of ESNZ membership for the rider, and one year registration for their horse or pony.  Each area also provides a mentor and Emma-Lee will be mentored by local Show Jumping rider and SCNO Committee member Harriet Gardner. Both Emma-Lee and the SCNO area wished to express their thanks to NZPH and ESNZ for this opportunity. 

All areas have until the 15th of October to nominate their recipients.