2021 Racing Industry Scholarship Winners Announced
Guelph, ON Jan, 13, 2022 - Equine Guelph has announced the recipients of its 2021 tuition awards. Katelynn Rourke is the recipient of the Roger L’Heureux Memorial Equine Award and Vanessa MacDonald has received the Stuart Stocks Memorial Equine Award.  

Selected for their love of horses, commitment to their welfare and desire to learn, both winners will receive two online courses through Equine Guelph valued at $549 each (Certificates are available in Equine Science, Equine Welfare and Equine Business – six courses complete the certificate).
2021 Tuition Award Winner - K Rourke
Katelynn Rourke receives the 2021 Roger L’Heureux Memorial Equine Award
Rourke comes from a non-horsey family and caught the horse bug at age 6 when she started riding lessons. Following her dreams to own and train horses, the path has been one of always trying to understand what makes horses tick. Rourke has worked with equine nutritionists, massage therapists, became a race office administrator. As a certified trainer, she saw success right off the gate with her first green training project. Together they ended up winning their first start!

Already a student of Equine Guelph’s short courses on, Rourke believes in continuously researching how to better herself as a trainer and caretaker, so her horses can feel and perform at their best. She is now ready to dive into the 12-week courses awarded.

"This is a great opportunity to learn all the latest innovations and improve my skills as a horse person!" says Rourke.  “I am so excited to get started in these courses. I would love to take the Equine Nutrition and Equine Behavior courses!”
2021 Tuition award winner V MacDonald
Vanessa MacDonald receives the 2021 Stuart Stocks Memorial Equine Award
MacDonald plans to apply what she learns in the two online courses to giving horses in her care, including her best friend Bumble, optimal care. 

MacDonald first met After Market while grooming at Rideau Carleton Raceway during the summer of 2016 and she knew right away how special this horse was. They bonded and MacDonald enjoyed watching his confidence grow as she tended to him with the utmost attention. They were separated when he was sold and resold to different trainers across North America, but he was never forgotten. 

Five years later MacDonald jumped at the chance to purchase him and bring him home when he turned up for sale in Ohio. Overcoming injuries and all the exchanges, Bumble won his first start for MacDonald, who says he has more than earned his forever home.

“Standardbreds are bred to race a mile, but anyone who has the opportunity to work around them knows they go so much farther than that for us,” says MacDonald. “I am elated to be given the chance to go an extra mile for them in return. They are well worth every effort.” 

The Roger L’Heureux Memorial Equine Award was established in loving memory of Standardbred driver, trainer and groom, Roger L’Heureux by David L’Heureux and Crystal Fountains Inc.

The Stuart Stocks Memorial Equine Award has been created by the Stocks family in memory of their beloved brother, son and uncle, and avid follower of top thoroughbred racehorses, Mr. Stuart Stocks.

Submissions will be accepted for this year’s applicants until November 30, 2022.    

Notes to Editor:
Equine Guelph is the horse owners' and care givers' Centre at the University of Guelph in Canada. It is a unique partnership dedicated to the health and well-being of horses, supported and overseen by equine industry groups. Equine Guelph is the epicentre for academia, industry and government - for the good of the equine industry as a whole. For further information, visit

Story by: Jackie Bellamy-Zions

Photo:  Vanessa MacDonald in racing attire, 
Photo credit: Frankie L.

Photo: Katelynn Rourke with Dawn. 
Photo kindly provided by Katelynn Rourke.
Photo Captions: Katelynn Rourke, 2021 Roger L’Heureux Memorial Equine Award winner.
Vanessa MacDonald, 2021 Stuart Stocks Memorial Equine Award winner

Web Link(s):

Other web links:
Submissions for 2022 Tuition awards:

Media Contact:

Jackie Bellamy-Zions
Equine Guelph
Guelph, ON  N1G 2W1
519.824.4120 ext. 54756