Awarded $25,0000 from the grants, both riders will participate at the Houghton Hall CIC on May 24-27, before going to compete at the Bramham CCI3* in the U25 section from June 7-10. The riders will further their education in between the two events by visiting the stables of legendary coaches and Olympians Carl Hester and William Fox-Pitt.
Coon and Martin will also visit steeplechasing training facilities and continue to practice and learn under the mentorship of Emerging Athlete Coach and British Olympic Gold Medalist, Leslie Law, who will also be coaching them at both competitions.
Coon said, “I’m so surprised and thrilled. I never thought I would have this opportunity, but we’re so lucky to have this funding and it was so generous for Karen to have left this for us. It’s just a great opportunity to have as Under-25 riders. I don’t think we’ve really had this much support in the past and I’m just really lucky to be doing this at the time I am. I’m really looking forward to it. I’m taking Celien. She’s my 3* mare and she’s great because she really handles the atmosphere well. She’s always cool and collected, so she’ll travel quite well. I’m very excited.”
The other recipient, Caroline Martin, also received this grant last year. She said, “It’s been a really great season so far. I had really good luck last year with two of my horses, Pebbly Maximus and Danger Mouse. Being able to win this and represent my country is just incredible,” Martin, of Ocala, Florida, continued. “I’m really proud to represent Karen Stives on the international stage and to be able to keep getting support from my country and the education competing overseas is unreal. It’s great to spend the month over there with a horse. Being able to be trained by Leslie Law for the entire time is really a great honour.”
The Karen Stives European Emerging Athlete Tour’s mission is to help event riders in the USEF’s Emerging Athlete program to prepare to represent the United States on an international stage in the future, strengthening the pipeline of qualified riders to create medal-winning teams. Stives is an Olympic Gold and Silver medalist who established this program with a benevolent gift of $1 million dollars to help talented up-and-coming evening riders.