Blenheim Joins West Palms for Nyuis Scholarship

By September 9, 2015

Ariel Black,22, is an inaugural recipient of the Michael Nyuis Scholarship.

Blenheim EquiSports has joined forces with West Palms Events for the $10,000 Michael Nyuis Scholarship,  created by West Palms earlier this year.

The Michael Nyuis Scholarship offers dedicated up-and-coming riders $10,000 dollars in horse show credit, to be used at West Palms Events’ horse shows (excluding the Del Mar National and the LA Masters), and Blenheim EquiSports events (with exception of the Las Vegas National).

“We welcome the opportunity to work with Blenhiem EquiSports and are so happy to partner with them for such a great cause,” Dale Harvey of West Palms Events said. “It means so much to me to be able to give back to this sport, and this scholarship has great personal meaning to me as well. I look forward to working with Blenheim this year and in the future to promote our sport and support younger riders. These young riders are the professionals of tomorrow, and we are pleased and proud to help them along in their equestrian journey.”

Melissa Brandes, Vice President of Marketing for Blenheim Equisports, commented, “We are thrilled to partner with West Palms Events in support of the Michael Nyuis Scholarship. Having the opportunity to contribute to the up and coming riders in the sport is wonderful. We can’t wait to see these three deserving recipients excel in the show ring this season, and we are excited to see where their equestrian careers take them.”

The Michael Nyuis Scholarship was created by West Palms Events and announce earlier this year, to honor company founder Harvey’s nephew, an avid outdoor sportsman and music aficionado who with his wife and some friends recently opened the Alexander Gastown pub in Vancouver, B.C.  Nyuis’ particular passion was mountain climbing. He collapsed and died suddenly in April while hiking in the North Shore mountains with his wife. At a community memorial he was remembered with Mark Twain’s observation: “The fear of death follows from the fear of life. A man who lives fully is prepared to die at any time.”


Self-portrait by Michael Nyuis, for whom the scholarship is named.

Nyuis lived a full life, and now thanks to him, three young riders will get to develop their potential and more fully experience their passion for horse sport.  “He worked on the Thunderbird ring crew as a teenager, and loved the sport because I loved it,” Harvey said. “This scholarship is a wonderful way to remember his giving nature and what an amazing man he was to everyone he met.”

The Michael Nyuis Scholarship offers recipients the resources to further their training and equestrian education through showing. It annually will give three younger riders the opportunity to attend a variety of high-level equestrian competitions throughout the show seasons. The riders are chosen by the West Palms Events selection committee based on their commitment to, love for and dedication to the sport. The scholarships are intended for riders who have the passion and drive to compete, but lack the financial resources to do so consistently throughout the year and show dedication to becoming a professional in the equestrian industry.

This inaugural year’s recipients of the $10,000 Michael Nyuis Scholarship are Payton Smith, Ariel Black and Ian McFarlane.

Riders must fall under the following criteria:

  • Age 25 or younger at the time of application
  • Must show commitment to the sport
  • Must show interest in potentially pursuing a career as a professional in the equestrian industry

Black commented, “To be part of such a generous program, and to get to show at these shows is much more than I could have ever asked for, and I appreciate the great opportunity!”

Criteria for evaluating recipients is:

  • Age 25 or younger at the time of application
  • Must show commitment to the sport
  • Must show interest in potentially pursuing a career as a professional in the equestrian industry

For more information about applying for the 2016 scholarship, check the West Palms website, under Special Programs.


On April 9, Michael Nyuis was remembered by those whose lives he’d touched in a memorial service at the Sutton Place Hotel. (Photo: Mark Goodwin)

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