New Scholarship Named in Memory of Ellen DiBella to Support Equine Veterinary Students

University of Florida’s Hannah Quail Named Inaugural Ellen DiBella Memorial Scholarship Recipient

The Foundation for the Horse has announced the establishment of a new $50,000 scholarship to be awarded to an exemplary third-year equine veterinary student attending one of four veterinary colleges: Auburn University, University of Florida, Louisiana State University or Purdue University. The award will be paid over a five-year period to the recipient as long as they remain active in equine veterinary medicine.

This scholarship comes to The Foundation thanks to Drs. Karen and Frank Wolfsheimer of Micanopy, Fla. Karen, who received her veterinary degree in 1978 from Auburn University, is a former professor and longtime member of the American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP) who currently serves as a consultant internist and endocrinologist. Her husband, Frank, is a retired physician turned farmer and “horse husband.”

The inaugural recipient of this scholarship is Hannah Quail from the University of Florida. Quail, is interested in pursuing a career in academia, practicing equine emergency and internal medicine. The Foundation for the Horse will present Quail with her award on Nov. 30 during the AAEP’s 69th Annual Convention in San Diego, Calif.

“The large animal emergency and critical care specialty is relatively new, but I believe it could revolutionize what it means to be an equine veterinarian,” said Quail. “Many general practitioners burn out or leave the field from the 24/7 on-call lifestyle. Establishing more emergency hospitals and having designated emergency clinicians at colleges will help ease the burden on general practitioners and specialists alike.”

The Wolfsheimers wanted to encourage veterinary students with a passion for horses to pursue the practice of equine medicine and surgery. This scholarship is intended to financially support those individuals during the transition from school into practice.

“Our hope is to see young equine practitioners’ passion strengthened as they learn of other passionate equestrians like Ellen DiBella, who felt that all horses should be valued and cherished,” said Dr. Karen Wolfsheimer. “We also hope that this award, in its design, will keep recipients engaged in the wonderful world of equine medicine.”

Ellen DiBella’s influence on equestrian sport and the Morgan horse industry cannot be understated. She devoted her life to inspiring others and creating opportunities for equestrians and their horses.

DiBella, who passed away in August 2023, served on the governing boards of the United States Equestrian Federation, the American Morgan Horse Association, and the Colorado Horse Park. She was the founding president of the Western Dressage Association of America and, in 2019, received the USEF Lifetime Achievement Award.

In her acceptance of the USEF Lifetime Achievement Award, DiBella said, “I would say to everyone, love your horses. Listen to your horses. Be partners with your horses. Share your horses with as many people as you can, because those horses will make you better and make everyone else better.”

“Veterinarians were very special people to Ellen, and she had close relationships with several veterinarians with whom she worked on her beloved horses and German Shepherds,” said Dr. Karen Wolfsheimer. “She would be very pleased to her name memory providing assistance and motivation to aspiring equine veterinarians!”

If you are interested in establishing a scholarship endowment or supporting The Foundation’s scholarship efforts with a gift commitment, please contact The Foundation for the Horse Development team at (859) 233-0147, email, or visit

About The Foundation for the Horse
Established in 1994, The Foundation for the Horse is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization dedicated to improving the welfare of the horse through Education, Research, and programs impacting Horses at Risk. Governed and stewarded by world-renowned equine veterinarians and equine stakeholders, The Foundation annually awards over $1 million annually in scholarships and grants to impact equine health and well-being throughout the U.S. and developing countries. To learn more, visit

Contact: Allison Chick
(913) 238-8379

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