A new memorial endowment through the American Paint Horse Foundation has been established by longtime APHA member Meredith Landy to honor her niece, the late Suzanna Nelson of Vista, California. Upon its funding completion, the endowment—“Suzanna Smiles”—will fund one $1,000 renewable academic scholarship annually, joining the APHF’s 53 existing academic endowments. In addition to the memorial endowment, additional Youth World Show scholarship funds will be awarded annually in Suzanna’s name, beginning in 2017.
Suzanna began showing Paint Horses as a 13 & Under Youth exhibitor in 2004 under the guidance of trainer Karen Qualls. During her show career, Suzanna exhibited some of the industry’s most decorated horses, including Real Me In, Ultimate Bonanza, Heathen Machine, and Nickys Dun Sizzlin. With Ultimate Bonanza, Suzanna was the 2006 world champion in Youth Hunter Under Saddle 14–18, besting a field of more than 90 exhibitors. Following high school, Suzanna attended Baylor University and was a member of Baylor’s NCAA equestrian team from 2008–2012. Graduating from Baylor with honors in 2012, Suzanna earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism, with a minor in business administration. She passed away on March 28, 2013, at the age of 22.
“The APHF academic scholarship is the ideal vehicle to honor Suzanna,” Meredith said. “Suzanna’s time showing Paint Horses was easily the happiest in her life. She depended upon academic scholarships throughout her career at Baylor and valued them tremendously. Suzanna would be happy knowing the funds are going to someone, like herself, who needs and appreciates the financial support a college scholarship provides.”
The endowment requires a minimum of $25,000 in collected donations before it can begin generating scholarship funds. To make a donation, visit the APHF online donation form at apha.com/foundation/aphf-donation-form. Browse down to the Honorarium or Memorial Endowment section and type in the name “Suzanna Smiles” and the amount you would like to give. The Landy and Nelson families will receive notification of your gift.
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The American Paint Horse Association is the world’s second-largest international equine breed association, registering more than a million horses in 59 nations and territories since it was founded. APHA creates and maintains programs that increase the value of American Paint Horses and enriches members’ experiences with their horses.