The quality of applications in this round of the Delivering Dreams Scholarship was nothing short of amazing! But we can now introduce you to not one, but two recipients!
When one life-changing scholarship meets two equally deserving recipients, the magic doubles. For these young equestrians, the Delivering Dreams Scholarship has made this turbulent year memorable, but for all the right reasons.
After shortlisting 11 exceptional finalists from 270 applicants, Jamie Hocking (SA) and Luke Purtill (NT) were selected as joint recipients of the 2020 Delivering Dreams Scholarship. Both incredibly dedicated and driven, it is easy to see why the judges had a tough time making their decision.
Jamie Hocking, a 23-year-old equestrian vaulter, spends his time between Australia and Denmark. He’s the current Australian National Vaulting Champion and has been for the past three years. He is also ranked 17th in the world. Around his intense vaulting training program, Jamie raises money selling wool and sheep from his flock on the family sheep farm. When in Denmark, he makes ends meet by living in the stable with his horse and doing the barn work.
“I was really honoured to be selected, especially as joint winner alongside fellow Aussie equestrian athlete, Luke Purtill. I really appreciate every bit of help I can get. I don’t have a sponsor and sometimes it’s a challenge to support myself, so winning something like this is a real leg up,” shares Jamie.
Darwin-based Luke Purtill is a 20-year-old dressage rider. He also has a disability and has had many health problems, but he doesn’t let that hold him back. Riding in Prelim, Luke usually scores in the low to mid-60s. Besides competing in mainstream dressage, Luke has joined the Special Olympics in Queensland and has to fly to Brisbane to train and compete.
“I like to show everyone that having a disability doesn’t have to stop you from reaching for your dreams and doing amazing things,” explains Luke.
In response to being awarded the Delivering Dreams Scholarship, Luke says: “I was shocked and didn’t know what to say. Mum cried! I am just so excited and want to say a huge thank you to HorseVibes and all the wonderful sponsors for allowing this opportunity. I’d also like to say a massive congratulations to Jamie Hocking for sharing this scholarship with me. I can only hope I can be as amazing as him!”
Far from a standard one-size-fits-all deal, the Delivering Dreams Scholarship caters to the personal goals of the recipients, helping them to break through the barriers holding them back. For Jamie, this is about gaining exposure, marketing his personal brand, and gathering support for his journey to the World Vaulting Championships, scheduled for Sweden next year. Luke’s goal is selection on the Australian team for the 2023 World Special Olympics in Berlin. To make the team, he will need to qualify at State level followed by National level, which will require a lot of interstate travel for competitions.
Fiona Todd, editor of HorseVibes magazine and the driving force behind the Delivering Dreams Scholarship, is delighted: “This particular scholarship round has been outstanding, and I would personally like to thank everyone who has made it so very special – our applicants, our very generous sponsors, our panel of expert judges, my family, and my many friends who have helped in so many ways.”
Don’t miss out on this amazing opportunity! The next round closes on 30th April 2021 and all the info you need is right here