By Anna Stanek
Starting this year, the Missouri Horse Shows Association (MHSA) now offers a scholarship each year to a junior exhibitor rider who is either a junior or senior in high school. The winner of the scholarship is chosen based off MHSA participation, demonstration of leadership, and scholastic achievement. After careful consideration, Kynsee Fennel of Columbia, Missouri, was selected as this year’s winner, receiving a $1,000 scholarship to the college of her choice. Fennel stood out because of her success with horses in MHSA, her impressive scholastic achievements, and her invaluable leadership skills.
Fennel began riding at the age of ten and joined MHSA that year. She rides with Kris Wallace at Columbia Equestrian Center, where she instantly fell in love with horses. She has been a great asset to Columbia Equestrian Center. Fennel has helped at horse camps, birthday parties, grooming horses at shows, and volunteers working around the barn. Fennel has competed in all four divisions of MHSA (hunter/jumper, eventing. dressage, and show horse and pony).
Since joining MHSA in 2010, Fennel has been an active member. She has also nominated her horses, Andy’s Toy Story (Andy) and Exalted Event SFG (Ringer). She has competed in numerous MHSA shows and has garnered many top ribbons, including year-end awards. In addition to showing with MHSA, Fennel has also volunteered giving pony rides at the Time to Ride event and has helped run the MHSA booth at various shows. Fennel also competed in a Horse Bowl Competition hosted by MHSA. Fennel credits MHSA for giving her a reason to ride horses throughout the years, thanks to all the memories and friends she has made through it.
“MHSA has made me feel proud to be an equestrian and has built me a family that lets me know that this is where I belong,” states Fennel.
In addition to horses, Fennel is also very involved with her school. She is enrolled in several honors and AP classes at her high school. She is also involved in many clubs, including Rock Bridge Reaches Out, Key Club, National Honor Society, Future Farmers of America, track and field, and cross country. Fennel works at the University of Missouri Veterinary Hospital in the food animals’ department. Her goal is to become an equine veterinarian.
Those close to Fennel know she excels in leadership. At Columbia Equestrian Center, she is known for always being willing to help younger students and stepping up when help is needed around the barn. For several years, Fennel has volunteered at their summer horse camp, helping children learn to ride and aiding in various camp activities. She is dedicated to using her leadership skills to benefit others, both in school and at the barn.
“I know now that I will continue riding horses for the rest of my life, and this is all thanks to the wonderful organization of MHSA,” exclaims Fennel.
Fennel has a bright future thanks to her hard work and dedication. She is a skilled horsewoman who represents all that MHSA stands for. She is an outstanding young lady, whose strong leadership skills have enabled her to succeed both at school and at the barn. Fennel has a lot to look forward to in her equestrian and academic careers.
For more information on our scholarship program, please see our website at https://missourihorseshowsassociation.org/scholarships/.