Standing Ovation by Ovation Riding: The Give Back to Go Scholarship

A paid trainer application fee for the Retired Racehorse Project’s Thoroughbred Makeover… with a pay-it-forward twist. Learn more about the Give Back to Go Scholarship here!

Photo courtesy of Give Back to Go Scholarship

When the Retired Racehorse Project raised the trainer application fee for the 2019 Thoroughbred Makeover, not everyone took the changes in stride — there’s no way around the fact that horses and horse shows are expensive for both competitors and show producers, and the raised fees caught some by surprise. Debates raged on social media, and it was here that Emily Daignault-Salvaggio decided to step in.

“Paying it forward has always been huge for me,” she describes. “We were the kind of family where our parents took us to soup kitchens at the holidays and taught us that it was our responsibility to help. My parents led with a really good example.”

Describing herself as “lucky in life and lucky in horses,” Daignault-Salvaggio has always made it a point to give back, selecting charities including CANTER Pennsylvania as an annual recipient of funds from her family’s foundation. As a horsewoman, Daignault-Salvaggio has enjoyed great success in the show ring, including winning the field hunter division at the Thoroughbred Makeover in 2015. “I’ve done the Makeover — I know it’s tough, and I know it’s expensive. I got sucked into what was basically a battle on a Facebook thread about the raised RRP entry fee,” she details, “and it got the ball rolling for a scholarship idea.”

To that effect, Daignault-Salvaggio launched the Give Back to Go Scholarship, which will refund the Thoroughbred Makeover trainer application fee for one deserving individual. There’s a bit of a twist, however: as part of the scholarship application process, the applicant must make a donation to a horse-related charity to keep paying it forward. “I hope that by encouraging others to pay it forward, I can help people realize how awesome it can be to help change the world positively,” she shares.

Full details for the scholarship and application process can be found at the scholarship’s website, but here are the bullet-point details:

  • Scholarship applicants should apply to the Thoroughbred Makeover first. RRP will refund the entry fee of the winning scholarship applicant
  • The scholarship should be applied to separately from the Thoroughbred Makeover — there is no automatic application process
  • Scholarship applications must include either a written description or a two-minute video of what it would mean to the applicant to receive the scholarship, plus proof that the applicant has made a donation to a horse-related charity

Finalists will be selected by a panel of judges consisting of other 2015 Thoroughbred Makeover division winners, with one winner selected by a group of well-known Thoroughbred-related individuals.

For more information and to apply, please visit the Give Back to Go Scholarship’s website. We salute Emily Daignault-Salvaggio and this unique initiative.

Many thanks thanks to Ovation Riding for their support of both Horse Nation and individuals and organizations that are doing good work in the horse world. If you know someone who deserves a Standing Ovation, we would love to recognize them in a future post. Email the name of the person or organization along with a message about the good work they do to [email protected]. Photos/videos are always welcome, and include a link to their website if applicable.

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