Up-and-coming eventing athlete Meg Pellegrini of Wayne, Pennsylvania, was named the recipient of the United States Equestrian Team (USET) Foundation’s Amanda Pirie Warrington Grant for 2023. A current competitor in the Under 25 (U25) division, Pellegrini is progressing along the US Equestrian (USEF) High Performance Pathway with aspirations of representing the United States internationally.
The Amanda Pirie Warrington Grant is awarded annually through the USET Foundation’s Amanda Pirie Warrington Fund. Pirie’s family established the fund in her memory to provide financial assistance to an eventing athlete identified as having the talent and ability to represent the United States in the future. It is intended for a recipient that will benefit most from the opportunity to continue their training with top coaches and to compete against the world’s best in eventing, one of three Olympic equestrian disciplines. As the recipient of the grant, Pellegrini will receive up to $5,000 to help offset expenses associated with her training throughout 2023.
“I definitely want to thank the USET Foundation, my coaches at home, my family, and everyone who keeps my career running,” said Pellegrini, 19. “I feel very fortunate to be chosen for the Amanda Pirie Warrington Grant this year. I think that it’s vital for younger riders to be given an extra boost and level of support through the grant. I’m very, very thankful.”
Pellegrini grew up eventing in California before relocating to Pennsylvania with her family in 2020. In Pellegrini’s eyes, the move was a critical component to further her training.
“Once we arrived in Pennsylvania, I got started with my coach Lillian Heard and she polished me up immediately,” Pellegrini explained. “She helped me find my next couple of horses and has really been my guiding hand during the past few years.
“The initial move was overwhelming, with all of the big events on the East Coast and competing with people I’d only watched from afar,” she continued. “I knew I wanted to compete at the highest levels, so I had to push myself to get better and keep learning. All of the opportunities since the move have been incredible, and I’m very lucky to be here.”
Pellegrini has made the most of her recent opportunities, earning a number of top placings in Fédération Équestre Internationale (FEI) two- and three-star competitions in 2022. Competing in the CCI3*-L division at Rebecca Farm in Kalispell, Montana, in July of 2022, she placed second riding RF Eloquence, her 18-year-old Holsteiner gelding. In October of 2022, she won the CCIYJ2*-L division at Tryon International Equestrian Center in Mill Spring, North Carolina, with Global Naxos, her 11-year-old Holsteiner gelding.
In addition to the support she has received since moving to Pennsylvania, Pellegrini also credits her experiences along the USEF High Performance Pathway for preparing her to one day compete at an elite level.
“Being a part of the U25 Pathway Program has acted like a jump start to my career,” she explained. “Being able to work closely with [USEF’s Eventing Emerging and Developing Athlete Coach] Leslie Law and other coaches that USEF has introduced me to has been huge for my riding. I definitely have the long view in mind in terms of competing on the big international stages.”
Thanks to the Amanda Pirie Warrington Grant, Pellegrini can continue to focus on her training to help reach her goal of representing the United States around the world.