Ferris Allen Bootstraps Scholarship

Monday, June 3, 2024

It’s not too soon to begin thinking about becoming a candidate for the 2024 Ferris Allen Bootstraps Scholarship.

Qualified candidates include those who have been employed on the backstretch at Laurel Park or Pimlico Race Course or work in another support area of Maryland Thoroughbred racing in the last three years and have been part of our racing community. Candidates should also be enrolled in a four-year college or university in the fall of 2024 or planning such enrollment in the near future.

The Maryland Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association launched the new scholarship program in 2023. It is funded by Ferris Allen, the Laurel Park-based trainer who also serves on the MTHA Board of Directors. If a qualified candidate is identified after a review, the scholarship will reward that individual with important financial assistance to help pay for his or her education. 

Each year, $10,000 will be earmarked to one individual after all candidates are considered. Applications are due by Aug. 15 and can be completed at http://ferrisallenscholarship.com.

“I felt it vital our industry should do more to provide meaningful ongoing financial assistance for an individual who comes from our backstretch community,” Allen said. “This program identifies one worthy candidate each year and provides consequential support to further their goals and aspirations of achieving a quality education. We urge the members of our community to encourage qualified persons to apply.”

The winner of the inaugural Ferris Allen Bootstraps Scholarship was Alvaro Barajas, who has worked for trainer Damon Dilodovico at Laurel since the fall of 2022. He graduated from Prince George’s Community College this spring to earn his associate’s degree. He plans to enroll for classes soon at the University of Maryland to pursue a degree in clinical psychology.