Payton Smith and Cancun. Photo By: Totem Photographics.
Hard Work and Dedication to Show Jumping Lead Payton Smith to Apply for the Scholarship
We want to share with you a behind the scenes look at the 2015 Michael Nyuis Scholarship winners through a series of profiles. We hope you enjoy and congratulate these riders as they work their way through the show season!
Payton Smith is a fifteen-year-old rider from Woodinville, WA and she projects a friendly personality full of enthusiasm for her equestrian passion. It’s evident from speaking with her that she has real goals and the determination to succeed. When faced with a challenge she seems to apply good old-fashioned practicality and hard work to meet the goals. It was this practicality and determination that led her to apply for the West Palms Events’ 2015 Michael Nyuis Scholarship. Winning the scholarship meant an opportunity to open doors for her beyond the resources available to her now.
The scholarship is named in remembrance of the late Michael Nyuis, nephew to West Palms Events’ Dale Harvey. Michael affected others through his positive, friendly personality and an I Can Help You attitude. He was always happy to help and support others whenever he could. He would be proud to have been part of the scholarship to help riders accomplish their goals with financial assistance at the shows. He will be greatly missed, but his memory will live on through the annual Michael Nyuis Scholarship program.
“I am very happy to support riders in their journeys in becoming professionals in the Equestrian industry,” says Dale Harvey. “Naming the scholarship in in remembrance of Michael was natural because he was always going out of his way to help others and positively affect friends and family. He will always be missed.”
Payton began riding at the age of four on her family farm, Archway Stables. Her mother, Corene Smith, and grandmother, Clare Warren, have always been her trainers. Payton competes on her horse Skyline, a Hanoverian mare, owned by Archway Stables. Earlier this year, she planned to attend HITS horse shows at Thermal. But when the stables weren’t able to provide the funds necessary to travel that didn’t stop Payton at all.
“I was really looking forward to it. Skyline was just coming back from an injury and it was going to be our first show back together,” explains Smith. No stranger to body clipping at the family farm, she devised a plan to clip all the horses stabled there and raise the money herself. Just in the nick of time she was able to earn the money and get her and her horse to Thermal!
Though she has competed in Hunters and Jumpers she focuses her efforts on the 3’6″ medal classes. While she does well in Washington State, what Payton really wants to do is test herself against top equitation riders in California.
Smith said, “I want to learn what it takes to succeed in the higher ranks of the 3’6″ medals. It’s really going to put my riding and skills to the test. I’m sure it will form an even better bond with me and my horse as well.” As an aspiring professional, Payton believes this will provide an invaluable learning experience for her and Skyline too.
Payton has never competed at a West Palms Events show but she said, “I’ve heard a lot of great reviews about West Palms’ shows. They are well run and the staff is really nice to work with. That stands out in the horse show world.”
When she was 5 she attended the Del Mar International Horse Show as a spectator and it must have made an impression. Payton says the 2 week Del Mar International in October is the West Palms Events show she most wants to attend with her scholarship funds. When she learned that she had won the scholarship she was in total disbelief. She said, “I thought my mom was pulling a joke on me. I was beyond ecstatic. I was so grateful and blown away!”
West Palms Events congratulates Payton Smith as a recipient of the 2015 Michael Nyuis Scholarship. We look forward to supporting her growth as a rider. Please help us congratulate her and wish her well on her future success.
West Palms Event Management