The San Juan Capistrano Equestrian Coalition is again hosting a “Horsemen Strong” contest in which grant money could be awarded to those who propose ways to enhance equestrian culture in San Juan.
The organization first hosted a “100 Horsemen Strong” contest last year and has branded this year’s event “200 Horsemen Strong” since it wants to encourage more participation. The contest is intended to solicit financial donations from the community to raise funding for local equestrian uses.
Individuals, groups or organizations interested in participating can explain how they would use the grant by filling out an application form at sanjuanequestrian.org/200-horsemen-strong by Nov. 8.
“The grant request should illustrate a program that positively affects our San Juan-based community with the horse being an integral part of the program,” a new release said. “The proposal should include the impact on the local community, key measurements and a timeline.”
On Nov. 9, five finalists will be chosen. The finalists will be asked to submit a three-minute proposal video. Winners will be selected by contest donors and variously granted a grand prize of $10,000; 2nd place of $5,000; 3rd place of $3,000; and 4th and 5th place $1,000 each.
“We have increased the challenge of 2021’s 100 horsemen and women to 200 horsemen & women for 2022,” the news release said. “The donation is $100 (or increments of a hundred dollars). The donation is tax deductible and is restricted to supporting a grant. Each donation of $100 will garner one vote for the donor to help select the winner of the grant.”
The Equestrian Coalition further said horses are the “hidden treasure” of San Juan Capistrano.
“While many citizens are familiar with the Rancho Mission Viejo Rodeo and the Swallow’s Day Parade, this quiet but mighty industry brings over $100 million dollars a year into our city,” the news release continued. “The horses are also the backbone of many mental health and physical rehabilitation programs. They inspire our artists, are a living depiction of our heritage and provide our youth with organized activities such as lessons, summer camps and shows.”