2023 Racing Industry Scholarship Winner Announced

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Equine Guelph has announced that Shelby Dennis is the recipient of the 2023 Roger L’Heureux Memorial Equine Award

Selected for her love of horses, commitment to their welfare and desire to learn, Dennis will receive two online courses through Equine Guelph valued at $625 each (Certificates are available in Equine Science, Equine Welfare and Equine Business – six courses complete the certificate).

Pictured with her horse Milo, Shelby Dennis receives the 2023 Roger L’Heureux Memorial Equine Award.  Photo by: Carleen Giesler
Pictured with her horse Milo, Shelby Dennis receives the 2023 Roger L’Heureux Memorial Equine Award. Photo by: Carleen Giesler

“I am passionate about improving horse welfare in the industry and hope to bring positive change in the competition world for horse welfare using scientific research as a template for where improvement is needed,” says Dennis.  “My studies at Guelph have been crucial in this aspect.”

Already on her way to accomplishing Equine Guelph’s Certificate of Equine Science through University of Guelph continuing education, Dennis did not hesitate to name the next course the award will enable her to take.  Management of The Equine Environment is the last course required for her to achieve the Science certificate. 

Dennis also has her eye on the Equine Genetics 12-week online course which examines how the genetics of a horse influences its potential to perform, or renders it susceptible to disease, unsoundness, or genetic disorder.

An avid rider since the age of four, Dennis has dedicated her life to horses, already having worked in several facets of the horse world, including the racing industry.  She currently works as a horse trainer and behaviour consultant and co-founded an equine welfare organization called the Alliance for Horse Welfare in Sport.  They are currently working to help improve equine welfare regulations leading up to the Paris 2024 Olympics which saw Dennis travelling to Paris last September to advocate for competition horse welfare improvements in front of FEI representatives.

“We are very grateful to the L’Heureux family for establishing this memorial award,” says Equine Guelph director, Gayle Ecker. “We have been administering this tuition award since 2016 and it is fantastic to see the future ambassadors of the equine industry keen to advance their knowledge and use that knowledge to advocate for the horse, becoming real change makers in equine welfare.”  

The Roger L’Heureux Memorial Equine Award was established in loving memory of Standardbred driver, trainer and groom, Roger L’Heureux by David L’Heureux and Crystal Fountains Inc.

Submissions will be accepted for this year’s applicants until November 30, 2024.    http://www.equineguelph.ca/education/tuition_awards.php