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2018 Scholarship Recipients

shannon burwash2

The Calgary Foundation is very pleased to announce three scholarships were awarded for 2018 from the Shannon Burwash Memorial Awards for Equine and Agricultural Studies. Qualified students from across Canada applied by June 1, 2018 for these scholarships, which were allocated as below:

Dr. Burwash said, "We were extremely impressed with all of the scholarship applicants this year, the fourth year that The Calgary Foundation has awarded the scholarships since Shannon's passing in 2013.

Since 2016 there have been two categories of scholarships. One is for first or second year students (2 - $1,000 awards). Visit this link for more information. The other is for students advancing past their second year of studies ($2,000 award). Visit this link for more information:

 $2,000 to Marthe Wildsmith

Marthe Wildsmith was born and raised in Edmonton, Alberta, and is currently completing rotations in her final year of the Doctor of Veterinary Medicine program at the University Marthe Wildsmith webphotoof Calgary. Growing up, Marthe had two passions - music and riding. These passions have been formative in her career choices, first as a musician, and now as an equine veterinarian. She started riding at a local stable when she was 7 and what started as a summer horse obsession has turned into a life-long passion for the horse industry. She has worked for numerous stables in Edmonton and surrounding area, taught riding lessons and summer camps, led trail rides in the Rocky Mountains, and traveled to Germany to pursue further study of dressage. Her interests lie in equine reproduction, lameness, and ambulatory medicine. She hopes to complete an internship in 2019 and own a small equine veterinary practice where she can provide compassionate care to both horses and owners. When she isn’t at a veterinary clinic learning, or at school studying, Marthe can be found hiking in the backcountry, playing her piano, spending time with her husband Kyle, or sitting on a horse with a smile on her face.

Olivia McDonald webphoto

$1,000 to Olivia McDonald

Olivia McDonaldI grew up in Lunenburg, Ontario and was introduced to the equine industry at a young age due to her maternal grandparents having showed Clydesdales for over 20 years. Being around horses so much led her to begin showing an interest in riding light horses and it drove her to a point in her life where she  believes a career in such area is best suited for her future. Her plan is to attend McGill University to obtain a bachelor’s degree in Agriculture and Environmental Science while specializing in Animal Biology. With such education, her ultimate goal is to operate an equine rehabilitation facility that would incorporate the use of some of the newer and less invasive therapeutic strategies such as hydrotherapy, Infra-Red (IR) treatments, photo-biomodulation, heat and laser technologies, and massage therapy. Such rehabilitation techniques can be used to improve muscle elasticity, increase blood circulation, accelerate recovery rates, reduce injuries, and keep many of our equine friends happy and active, while ultimately decreasing the amount that are retired early, sold or traded, or sent to auctions or slaughterhouses. The anatomical structure of the horse and their overall physiology has always been an interest of Olivia's, though was further enhanced when her own mare (shown in the picture) experienced muscle injuries to her shoulder and hind. Muscle, tendon and ligament injuries are so common in many horses, though preventative therapies are not readily available in her area and therefore, many cases are either left untreated or managed with the use of regular medication. She is currently in the process of becoming certified as a practitioner in both equine kinesiology taping and canine hydrotherapy and also plans to obtain a diploma in Equine Studies from the University of Guelph, become a registered equine massage therapist (REMT), and acquire qualifications to be an equine first-aid instructor. She has always enjoyed animals of all kinds and is certainly the type of person that will play with a dog or cat when at a party or visiting other people. Therefore, a career involving animals is what Olivia has always truly wanted to do, making her extremely excited and motivated towards making her dream of helping them reach their fullest potential and live long and healthy lives become a reality.

$Jourdyn Sammons webphoto1,000 to Jourdyn Sammons

Jourdyn Sammons was raised on a mixed farming operation southeast of Calgary. She was always actively involved in agriculture, whether that be through extensive involvement in 4-H (projects ranging from beef to sewing), or helping out with the day to day operations on the farm. She has have always loved animals, however horses hold a special place in mher heart. She was on the back of a horse before she was on top of a bike and was helping move and process cattle on top a horse before she had her driver's learner license. Moving away from the farm and into a city has made her realize and value western culture more than ever before. In the fall, Jourdyn will be continuing her studies at the University of Saskatchewan to pursue a Bachelor of Science in Animal Biosciences. After she finishes her degree, she plans on studying veterinary medicine, and becoming a large animal veterinarian. At the moment, she is unsure if she wants to specialize in a certain area, but some areas that interest her are animal nutrition, and performance horses. She is excited continue her education so that one day she may be able to help educate owners and producers on the most advantageous and humane methods of animal handling, nutrition and medication. A particular issue that Jourdyn feels passionately about is the debate as to whether or not it is acceptable to use animals for sport, such as rodeo. In today’s society, there are many individuals who are not exposed to agriculture or rodeo and believe that the use of animals violates their rights, and that it is wrong. She hopes to better defend the use of animals in sport and agriculture by continuing to learn about management practices, and animal welfare. She wants to one day be able to educate others about animal welfare and help them understand and appreciate performance animals. Hopefully by doing so, she can help ensure that the use of animals in agricultural practices and sports remains a valued part of Alberta’s western culture. When not studying or working with animals you can find Jourdyn spending time outdoors by either running, hiking or gardening. She has always enjoyed playing hockey, and now that she is in university you can either find her playing intramural hockey or coaching elementary school teams on the weekends. 

Shannon Burwash was a leader and a lover of the horse industry across Canada. To honour her legacy, these three scholarships will continue to be awarded to deserving students who are focused on getting a post-secondary education, and being involved in the horse industry in their future. 

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