Waredaca Eventing Education Foundation
Waredaca (Laytonsville, MD) is a full-service, year-round riding and recreational facility for all ages and has been providing quality riding opportunities since 1937. Waredaca has deep roots in educating area youth as it was founded as a boys and girls summer camp program. Over the years, this program has expanded to include the Waredaca Pony Club Center (WPC) as well as hosting popular eventing competitions and educational opportunities to riders of all ages including the Waredaca Classic Three-Day Event each October.
The Waredaca Eventing Education Foundation, Inc. (WEEF), was created to support eventing education at Waredaca and to ensure the continued viability of the Classic and the Pony Club Center.
We are seeking support to help grow three programs within WEEF: the Jimmy Wofford Legacy Fund Scholarship, the Waredaca Classic Three-Day Event, and the Waredaca Pony Club.
Jimmy Wofford Legacy Fund Scholarship
The Jimmy Wofford Legacy Fund Scholarship was created this year to honor the late Jimmy Wofford who was instrumental in creating the USEA Classic Three-Day series across the country. In addition to the Classic series, Wofford was a regular guest clinician as part of Waredaca’s monthly Expert Days. The Scholarship advances the passion for eventing education shared by Wofford and Waredaca.
The initial scholarships were awarded to two adult amateurs, participants of their Areas’ Adult Rider Programs, and one junior, a participant in the Areas YR program, who are working towards the Waredaca Classic Three-Day Event and wish to continue their eventing education. The application process was targeted to those in need of support due to lack of access, personal hardship (or other similar circumstances), and who have demonstrated their commitment and dedication to the sport by volunteering. Using limited funds from local donors, the inaugural scholarships were awarded to three riders from a pool of 19 applicants from the Mid-Atlantic as well as from as far away as the mid-West, the South, and New England.
The Adult Amateur and Young Rider scholarship winners each received one entry to the Waredaca Classic Three-Day event as well as four lessons with an expert of their choice from the list of advanced-level riders teaching at Waredaca this year. An additional $500 scholarship was awarded to one member from Area 1 to offset the costs associated with traveling to and entering this year’s Waredaca Classic Three-Day event. Area 1 has been a huge supporter of our Classic.
WEEF aspires to expand the Wofford Scholarship Fund in several ways, including increasing the number of scholarship recipients. In addition, WEEF would like to see the Wofford Scholarship expanded to include all Classic Three-Day events across the country with Scholarship winners able to select their choice of Classic competitions in any USEA area.
Waredaca Classic Three-Day Event
Waredaca has been hosting USEA horse trials for more than 40 years. The first event, then run through the U.S. Combined Training Association, was held in 1979 with Pre-training and Training levels only. Since then, Waredaca has expanded its horse trials to include three events a year offering Beginner Novice through Intermediate.
In 2004, the USCTA asked Waredaca to host the first Classic Three-Day in the country as part of a new pilot program. At a time when three-day events at the international level had dropped the long format, members were looking for long-format opportunities to continue their education. The first Waredaca Classic Three-Day event offered only the Training level and was classified as an “educational opportunity” through USCTA. Now, the Waredaca Classic Three-Day offers Beginner Novice through Preliminary levels.
Participants in the Classic not only compete but spend several days in various educational activities including lectures, démonstrations, and practicing in front of various experts in the industry. The entire Classic experience has been a huge educational boost for both riders and horses.
Additional financial support would enable WEEF to offset operating costs, including the building of additional jumps, hiring of additional experts and judges, as well as volunteer appreciation, banquets, and gifts to thank the enormous number of volunteers needed to put on such an event.
Waredaca Pony Club
Located in Montgomery County, Waredaca is home to an ethnically and economically diverse group of families. WPC was founded in 2007 as part of a nationwide pilot program within the U.S. Pony Club (USPC) to bring the USPC program to youth who do not have access to their own horse/pony. Our membership draws from the Baltimore/Washington metropolitan area and has been able to provide outdoor recreational and competition opportunities year-round.
WPC provides horses, instruction, and the opportunity to participate in USPC activities to children who do not own a horse. Our program follows USPC’s core values and focuses on education, safety, sportsmanship, and animal welfare. Our members learn not only how to ride a horse, but how to care for our horses as well as work as a team to build skills and character that translate to everyday life.
Over the past 16 years, WPC has grown from the founding 10 members who participated in two activities a year to 35 active members, ages 9 to 21, who participate in an average of 12 activities a year such as clinics, rallies, and other competitions. We have a waiting list of 26 people interested in joining our program. We currently cap our program at 35 members due to our limited horse numbers and limited transportation ability.
Our program currently has 10 horses for our members to take lessons on and compete. Most of these horses are owned by Waredaca with a few leased from private owners. All members share in the responsibility of caring for these horses and their equipment, as well as learning how to maintain a safe and clean barn environment. In 2020, Waredaca purchased/adopted four off-the-track Thoroughbreds that our members learned to retrain under the guidance of our instructors. This was one of the many rewarding educational activities we were able to expose our members to during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Our members participate in an average of six regional rallies a year with many members qualifying for the annual national USPC championships. In addition, our members compete at events and schooling competitions at Waredaca. Those few members who have access to a trailer have been able to compete at other locations throughout the metropolitan area and have also competed in the Carolinas, Kentucky, and other states. Some of our graduates have gone on to equine studies and veterinary programs both in the U.S. and abroad.
Because the bulk of our members do not own their own horses, they also do not own their own trailers, saddles, bridles, and other equipment needed for instruction and competition. Our member families fundraise throughout the year to help offset these costs; however, our fundraising efforts tend to raise just enough money to cover basic program operating costs such as equipment repairs and membership dues, not the purchase of new equipment and additional horses. WPC currently has no funds to cover personnel or other overhead costs.
Currently, WPC relies on a few friends and family to loan us trailers which greatly limits the opportunities we can offer our members.
With additional financial support, WPC would be able to offset the cost associated with purchasing and caring for additional horses for the program as well as purchasing a trailer dedicated for WPC use. This would allow us to not only accept more members but also take more members to off-property clinics, schooling, and competitions, thus exposing our members to greater opportunities within the horse industry. Participating in these off-property activities will also support other USPC clubs and facilities in our community.
How do I donate?
To donate online, the button below will take you to the PayPal WEEF Donation page. If you prefer to donate via check or have any questions, contact WEEF Support at [email protected] and we can give you information on where to send the check and who to make it payable to or answer any other questions you have.