Winner’s Circle Scholarship Program exceeds $1 million in support since inception

Twenty-five veterinary students preparing for a career in equine medicine have received a combined $104,000 in financial support through the Winner’s Circle Scholarship Program, co-sponsored by the American Association of Equine Practitioners’ (AAEP) Foundation, Platinum Performance and The Race for Education.

The Winner’s Circle scholarships are intended to help ease the financial burden of a veterinary education by offering fourth-year students at each of the AAEP’s 39 full or full-affiliate student chapters an opportunity to earn scholarships ranging from $1,500 to $5,000, depending on the needs of the individual student. Students are selected for scholarships based on their leadership roles and dedication to a future in equine healthcare.

Since its establishment in 2008, the Winner’s Circle Scholarship Program has provided $1,102,500 in scholarships to 280 veterinary students.

“The rising cost of veterinary school continues to present challenges to talented students who endeavor to enter the equine veterinary profession,” said Jeff Berk, VMD, chairman of the AAEP Foundation Advisory Council. “We are grateful to all of our donors and especially thank our partners Platinum Performance and The Race for Education for all their support. It’s hard to imagine we have been able to assist so many veterinary students with now more than $1 million in support since we started this program.”

Six students received $1,500 scholarships; 19 others received $5,000 scholarships, which included $4,000 in funds from a federal matching grant that The Race for Education received from the Assets for Independence program administered through The Race for Education’s Federal Grant program. Only U.S. students attending veterinary school in the U.S. were eligible for awards through the federal matching grant. An additional 11 applicants not selected for Winner’s Circle scholarships also received $4,000 awards through the federal matching grant.

Congratulations to the following 2016 recipients:

Hugo Almonte, Purdue University

Maia Aspe, University of Saskatchewan

Katelynn Basala, Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine

Rebecca Bishop, Tufts University

Caroline Brown, Tuskegee University

Jessica Dean, University of Missouri

Avery Gagnon, University of Guelph

Jessica Harvey, St. George’s University

Charlotte Hemstock, University of Calgary

Emily Johnson, Colorado State University

Nicole King, Michigan State University

Alaina Kringen, Iowa State University

Danielle Kurkowski, Washington State University

Courtney O’Connell, Cornell University

Lindsey Patton, North Carolina State University

Sarah Porter, University of Tennessee

Laura Sahlfeld, Oregon State University

Leah Sigmon, Ohio State University

Kile Townsend, University of Prince Edward Island

Sarah Varnell, University of California, Davis

Chelsea Walker, Oklahoma State University

Katie Weber, University of Wisconsin

Nicole Wettstein, University of Illinois

Sarah White, Texas A&M University

Jennifer Whitmore, Ross University

For additional information about The Race for Education, visit or call (859) 252-8648. For more information about Platinum Performance, visit

The AAEP Foundation, Inc., a 501(c)(3) organization, was created in 1994 to serve as the charitable arm of the AAEP to improve the welfare of the horse. Additional information about the Foundation is available at

Post Type

  • Press Release

Publish Date

May 24, 2016

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