Hailey Johns competing in the 2017 ASPCA Maclay Equitation Finals. PC: Shawn McMillan Photography.
Lexington, KY – March 21, 2018 – The National Horse Show is pleased to announce 17-year-old Hailey Johns as the new Junior Ambassador for the Leo Conroy Maclay Grant (LCMG). Johns was a recipient of the important grant in 2017 and used it to compete at the National Horse Show in the ASPCA Maclay Equitation Championship.
Johns, who currently trains with Katie Kappler of Katie Kappler LLC, has been an avid equestrian since she was four years old. After a brief introductory phase at a western facility, Johns was introduced to the hunter and jumper disciplines. She competed in the pony divisions and junior hunter classes before making the transition to the equitation ring at age 12.
“I’d wanted to compete in the Maclay Finals for so long and I was so excited to have qualified but the first thing that I asked myself was ‘how am I going to make this possible?’” remarked Johns. “My parents had already completely expended our budget to get me to the regionals so I felt like I needed to cover as much of the expenses as possible.”
That’s when Johns says she and Kappler saw a poster advertising the grant at the regionals facility. “I researched it and I knew that was the best route to go. It seemed like an exceptional opportunity and perfect for me so I applied as soon as I could,” said Johns.
The Leo Conroy Maclay Grant was established in 2015 after the passing of rider and trainer, Leo Conroy. Conroy was an avid supporter of the National Horse Show and especially of the ASPCA Maclay Finals. He spent many years as the co-manager of the National Horse Show and acted as Chairman of the National Horse Show Equitation Committee. To commemorate his dedication and love for the show, the grant is awarded to up to 5 Maclay competitors and 3 Hamel Foundation NHS 3’3″ Equitation Championship competitors each year that demonstrate a need for financial support to participate in their divisions.
The ASPCA Maclay Final championship is considered one of the most prestigious equitation events in the country and hosts many young athletes from across the country.
All riders must qualify through regional competitions in order to compete at the Maclay finals. Those seeking assistance through the LCMG to support their journey are asked to detail an essay on the importance of the show to them and why they are a good choice as a recipient of the grant. The grant accommodates recipients by covering expenses associated with entry fees and stabling as well as a $1,000 stipend to cover additional show-related costs required to compete in the Maclay Final or Hamel Foundation NHS 3’3″ Equitation Championship.
“We are thrilled to have Hailey Johns represent the Leo Conroy Maclay Grant this year,” said Jennifer Burger, President of the National Horse Show. “Hailey is the perfect representation of the type of young person that we strive to help through the LCMG and we are looking forward to utilizing her to get the word out for the 2018 edition of the National Horse Show.”
To learn more about the Leo Conroy Maclay Grant, click here.
To learn more about the National Horse Show, click here.