News November  28, 2022

Scholarship Drawings to Take Place on LQHBA Louisiana Million Night

A total of $15,000 will be given to eligible Louisiana students on Saturday, December 15 at Evangeline Downs.

© Coady Photography

by Martha Claussen

OPELOUSAS, LA—NOVEMBER 27, 2018—Saturday, December 15 will be a memorable night at Evangeline Downs in Opelousas, Louisiana, not just for the finalists in the state's richest horse race, but for Louisiana students as well. In addition to a stakes-filled evening, highlighted by the running of the LQHBA Louisiana Million (RG1), the Louisiana Quarter Horse Breeders Association (LQHBA) will award a total of $15,000 in scholarships to high school students as well as graduates planning to further their education.

LQHBA has announced that a total of six scholarships will be awarded; one for $5,000 and five additional $2,000 scholarships, including the $2,000 Paul Ryder Memorial Scholarship. No application forms are required, but students must register in person at Evangeline Downs on Saturday, December 15. Scholarship entrants must be a Louisiana High School graduate or a Louisiana High School student graduating in 2019 planning to attend a higher education institution.

Those eligible may sign up at the LQHBA Scholarship Registration Table adjacent to the elevators on the main level of the grandstand, beginning at 5:00 pm. Registration will close at 6:45 pm and scholarships will be drawn live after race four in the winner's circle by LQHBA board members, local legislators and dignitaries. Students must be present to win.

While the primary goal of the LQHBA is to promote breeding and racing in the state, the association remains dedicated to furthering higher education for Louisiana youth. Last December, on LQHBA Louisiana Million Night at Evangeline Downs, live scholarship drawings took place in between races, with Louisiana Senator Gerald Boudreaux and Senator Gerald Long assisting with the presentations. Patti Thompson of Springfield, Louisiana, shares the impact on her life by winning the $5,000 scholarship.

"The night I won the scholarship, I was in total disbelief," recalled Thompson. "I attend Southeastern Louisiana University (SLU) and major in biology with the goal of getting my DVM. Earning the scholarship was something I never imagined! It truly was a blessing and I'm very grateful to all the people that, year after year, donate to the LQHBA scholarship fund. It really does help make dreams come true."

Since 2001, the Louisiana Quarter Horse Breeders Association (LQHBA) scholarship program has provided financial aid for students. The scholarship program was the vision of the late Jim Mitchell and Executive Director Emeritus Leverne Perry, and is supported strongly by the LQHBA, its board members and many generous sponsors. Over $550,000, has been earmarked for this program since its inception.

Tony Patterson, LQHBA executive director, is proud of the support shown by sponsors, including Hart Farms, Robicheaux Ranch and Knorpp Bloodstock Insurance Agency, LC. Hart Farms donated a breeding to stallion Freighttrain B in the 2018 LQHBA Fall Mixed Sale and Robicheaux Ranch generously offered a breeding to Jet Black Patriot during the 2018 LQHBA Yearling Sale. Other farms have always stepped up when asked.

"The LQHBA Scholarship program is a very important priority for our association," said Patterson. "It could not be successful without the continued support of our sponsors, and we are very grateful to each and everyone of them. Furthering the education of Louisiana students is something we all believe in!"

Pairing the LQHBA Scholarship drawings at Louisiana's major Quarter Horse racing events continues to be a success for the organization. The live racing program on December 15 will include the final of the richest race in Louisiana, the LQHBA Louisiana Million (RG1).

"It is always rewarding for the members of our association to see the gratitude from Louisiana students who win these scholarships" said Ryan Robicheaux, LQHBA president. "We look forward to continuing this tradition on Saturday, December 15 in what is sure to be an exceptional night of Quarter Horse racing and festivities at Evangeline Downs."

For more information on the LQHBA Scholarship Program, visit or call the LQHBA office in Alexandria at (318) 487-9506.

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Martha Claussen served as publicity director at Sam Houston Race Park for ten years. She continues to be active in writing, fan education and Quarter Horse racing publicity in Texas, Louisiana and other regions in North America.

Courtesy Ses