By Diane R. Chodan
OBSERVER Lifestyles Editor
Emily Markham, in English riding habit and seated on her horse William, wiped a tear away from her eye. She had just received a welcome surprise.
It was fair week. Dave Wilson, who heads the scholarship committee for the Chautauqua County Fair Board of Directors, had heard some good news and wanted to pick an opportune time to announce it to Emily and her family. He chose a moment during the English riding competition.
Emily had received a $1,000 scholarship from the New York State Association of Agricultural Fairs and the New York State Showpeople’s Association. Up to 10 scholarships were being awarded this year.
This was an honor for Emily and for Chautauqua County, considering the number of fairs across the state. An applicant for the scholarship must be in his/her senior year of high school in New York state or be a state resident already attending college with plans to pursue a degree at an accreditied institution of higher learning. An application and essay were required.
Emily has participated in riding for eight years and said her favorite competition is dressage.The 2013 valedictorian of Forestville High School, she plans to attend Ohio State University where she will major in psychology and minor in forensics. She is the daughter of Jim and Carol Markham of Forestville.