SBOANJ awards scholarships to Fanning, McDermott

BY SARA WALLACH Correspondent

 Veronica Fanning Veronica Fanning Veronica Fanning of Jackson and Caitlin McDermott of Millstone Township, the daughters of two prominent horse trainers, were selected to receive the 2012 Standardbred Breeders and Owners Association of New Jersey college scholarships.

“I was relieved and happy when I found out,” Fanning said. “It was another step toward my education that I really needed.”

McDermott agreed.

“I need all the help I can get,” she said with a laugh, referring to the cost of college tuition.

The recipients of the scholarships will be honored in ceremonies in the Meadowlands winner’s circle later this month, and each young woman will receive $2,500.

“We are pleased to be helping two outstanding students who are continuing their education and are the daughters of two leading trainers in New Jersey,” SBOANJ President Tom Luchento said.

 Caitlin McDermott Caitlin McDermott Fanning, 19, is the daughter of Tom and Moira Fanning.

“I rode horses all my life and showed at the Horse Park of New Jersey a few times,” she said. “I always helped my dad.”

Fanning is a 2010 graduate of Jackson Memorial High School, where she competed on the Jaguars’ track and cross country teams. She also has a background in harness racing, she said.

She completed a two-year degree at Ocean County College, Toms River, and will continue her studies at Rowan University, Glassboro, in the fall. She hopes to pursue a career in teaching.

“I will apply the scholarship money toward my tuition at Rowan,” Fanning said. “It will certainly help me achieve my goals in becoming a teacher.” This year, Fanning also received a Dewey Degree Scholarship, funded by Ray Schnittker and Jeff Gural and administered by the Upstate New York Chapter of the United States Harness Writers Association.

McDermott, 17, is the daughter of Kevin and Sheri McDermott. She said she “always rode horses for fun.”

McDermott, a member of the Science National Honor Society for two years, was a varsity soccer player and held the discus record at Allentown High School. She also performed in the school’s musical theater productions up until her graduation in June.

An avid horseback rider and volunteer for the Standardbred Retirement Foundation, she will enter Florida Southern College, Lakeland, Fla., in the fall with plans for a career in physical therapy.

This schooling will take up to seven years, McDermott said, adding that she will use the scholarship money to help her with tuition, books or her meal plan.