The Leigh Plunkett Foundation Board has great pleasure in announcing that the winner of the 2014 Leigh Plunkett Scholarship is ELLEN TORMEY from Victoria.
The Leigh Plunkett Foundation was inaugurated in 2013 as a harness racing charity that would raise money for charitable organisations as well as providing an international scholarship for a young participant. In Year 1 the charitable organisation selected was the Leukaemia Foundation and once all the donations have been finalized the Leukaemia Foundation will be presented with the proceeds from the year’s fundraising activities.
The Leigh Plunkett Foundation received many quality applications for the scholarship, with the Board narrowing down the entrants to four finalists:
- Aaron Bain (SA)
- Narissa McMullen (QLD)
- Ashleigh Stewart (Vic)
- Ellen Tormey (Vic)
A rigorous selection process was undertaken to narrow down the winner with Media Personalities: Chris Barsby, Adam Hamilton and Amanda Rando joining Board members John Coffey, Wendy Kennedy and Rob Merola, along with HRA CEO Andrew Kelly in selecting the overall victor. Ellen was a narrow victor with Aaron Bain finishing second and Narissa McMullen third.
Ellen has had a fantastic start to her career to with her biggest win coming in the 2009 Tatlow Stakes for 2YO Trotters steering dashing trotter Mister Castleton to victory. Overall, Ellen has had 2,422 drives for 279 wins and 607 placings with her drives earning $1.47M in stakesmoney since beginning her career in the 2006/07 season. Amazingly, Ellen has represented Victoria three times in the Australasian Young Drivers Championship beginning with the New Zealand series in 2011. She went on to win the title in Western Australia in 2012 before finishing third last year in NSW.
Ellen, who is still only 23 years old, will receive an international educational trip to the value of $20,000 to further her skills in some of the world’s leading racing precincts. This is an outstanding opportunity for a dedicated young participant and the Leigh Plunkett Foundation urges interested individuals to look out for scholarship details later this year.
The foundation would like to take this opportunity to thank the many donors and sponsors who provided funds and auction items during the year, the harness world is a very generous place and it has been an absolute pleasure for the board members to set up this charity and we look forward to raising the profile further in 2014.