Hope Hand Awarded Pegasus Medal of Honor

Hope Hand (front center) receiving her Pegasus Medal of Honor. Photo by Adam Brennan.

Wellington, Florida – January 23, 2020 – On January 10, 2020, equestrians gathered at the U.S. Equestrian Federation Annual Meeting in West Palm Beach, Florida. Top athletes, owners, horses, and supporters were honored for their dedication to the equestrian sport. Hope Hand (Newtown Square, Penn.) was awarded the Pegasus Medal of Honor that evening in front of a large and grateful crowd. Hand was commended on her interminable push over the past 25 years for growing the Para-Equestrian discipline from the grassroots through the high-performance level. The Pegasus Medal of Honor was created as an annual award to recognize individuals who have exhibited outstanding service to horses and the sport through their dedication. The Pegasus Medal of Honor was earned by individuals who have excelled in attracting people to the sport and have contributed to horse sport by advancing its popularity. Hand’s contributions to the sport have extended from being a Paralympic athlete to President of the United States Para-Equestrian Association to numerous board and staff positions within the international sport. Hand’s efforts occur on a daily basis to support and grow the sport she loves for both the horses and disabled athletes. Hand wears many hats including being both ambassador and role model.

Hand has been a part of Para-Equestrian since it was a network of therapeutic linked shows, borrowed mounts as catch rides, the introduction of Paralympic Equestrian, joining USEF, the addition of Para-Driving, and the first World Equestrian Games with Para-Equestrian Dressage. Hand has been the wheels that made Para-Dressage a talked-about sport, but she rode to top medals in her equestrian career.

Hand was an alternate of the 1996 Atlanta Paralympic Team and competed at the British Invitational in 1997, earning gold and a bronze. In 1998, she was one of the four disabled riders competing at the Bradshaw Challenge of Champions. As a member of Team USA, she won a bronze medal at the 1999 World Dressage Championships in Denmark and competed at the 2000 Paralympics in Sydney, Australia. From riding to ambassador Hope has helped propel the sport to where it currently stands.

In 2018, Hand witnessed the U.S. Para-Equestrian Dressage team earn four medals at the FEI World Equestrian Games™ Tryon. For Hand, this was a pinnacle moment where every phone call, every plane flight, every clinic, and every ride down centerline was worth it all. With her cheerful personality and ability to accomplish any goal she sets forth, the Para-Equestrian sport continues to have a champion leader who gives it her all for the riders, coaches, sponsors, volunteers, show managers, and all involved.

Many of those riders, coaches, sponsors, volunteers, and show managers would say their first interaction with Para-Equestrian began with Hope Hand. Her words of encouragement and expertise are always welcome to newbies in the equestrian world.

Top international athlete Katie Jackson remembers that moment for her. “Hope was one of the first people I met when I began looking into para-dressage after my cancer.  I will always be grateful to her for how comfortable and welcome she made me feel as we sat together and she shared information with me.  Her enthusiasm and love for the sport were immediately apparent.  Hope has dedicated herself to furthering the para-equestrian sport and is someone I look to as a role model. She is generous in sharing her knowledge and experience and has devoted significant amounts of her time to para-sport on all levels.  From her involvement with USEF, USPEA, and her participation at the FEI level, to welcoming new riders at symposiums across the country and being ringside, always smiling and cheering on the riders, Hope is a true ambassador of our sport.  I cannot think of a person better suited to receive the Pegasus Medal of Honor.”

Tina Wentz, who served as a National Para equestrian classifier and later a FEI International classier and currently serves on the board of the USPEA, is a selector for the U.S. Team, and was mother to the late Paralympian Jonathan Wentz, joins Hand at many events and has been a part of the sport since 1998. Wentz said sincerely, “Sleep may be the only thing Hope Hand does not do well and it would be no wonder since she gives 110% of her boundless energy and time to Para-Equestrian Sport and Para-Dressage. Constantly promoting, recruiting, educating, and encouraging everyone she meets as she travels at her own expense to all US International and National Championship competitions and to numerous Para Dressage symposiums, clinics, and Centers of Excellence. Hope not only knows every US Para-Dressage athlete from emerging to elite but recruited many of them and is available 24/7 to all to advise, encourage, and educate them on their journey to be the best. Hope is well known in the Equestrian world for her tireless work in advancing Para-Equestrian sport and has served and is serving on numerous Boards and committees. All in the pursuit of bringing competition excellence to the US in Para-Dressage.”

Managing Director, USEF Licensed Officials Sally Ike, commented, “I hadn’t known that Hope was going to receive the Pegasus award until that evening when I saw her before dinner and congratulated her. Her acceptance speech brought back so many memories when she mentioned my name. I was first introduced to Hope about 25 years ago when I had a phone call from Jumper rider Debbie Stephens.  Debbie called to let me know that her friend Hope Hand was going to call me.  Most specifically, Debbie alerted me that Hope was in a wheelchair, and then clarified her statement by saying that there was nothing handicapped about her. Hope called, and brought some of her friends to help me with a clinic we were doing at the USET in Gladstone.  They did wheelies down the ramp to the USET’s Indoor.  The first Paralympic Games were a few years afterward.  An argument could be made that the Para-Equestrian movement in the United States began those November days at the USET. We have so much to thank Hope for; there is not a more deserving winner of this award.”

For more information about the USPEA, please visit www.USPEA.org or contact USPEA President: Hope Hand by e-mail: hope@uspea.org or by phone: (610) 356-6481.

Brian Moggre, Boyd Martin, and Abigail Wexner Awarded USET Foundation’s Highest Honors

(left to right) Leah Rogers Meirfeld of Hermès, Brian Moggre, USET Foundation Vice President William Weeks, and USET Foundation Chairman, President, and CEO James McNerney. Photo by Jump Media.

Wellington, FL – The United States Equestrian Team (USET) Foundation presented the organization’s three most prestigious awards to Brian Moggre, Boyd Martin, and Abigail Wexner on January 17 at the “Take Me to Tokyo” gala in Wellington, FL.

Brian Moggre Named Recipient of Lionel Guerrand-Hermès Trophy

Brian Moggre, 19, of Flower Mound, TX, was awarded the 2020 Lionel Guerrand-Hermès Trophy, presented annually to a junior/young rider in one of the Olympic disciplines who demonstrates the team’s values of sportsmanship and horsemanship.

Riders who are awarded the Lionel Guerrand-Hermès Trophy are identified as athletes with great potential, and the list of winners who have received the award is a “who’s who” of the U.S. Equestrian Team in the Olympic disciplines – to which Moggre now adds his name.

“I am awestruck to be receiving this award,” said Moggre, who has made a name for himself as a rising show jumping star to watch after winning the both the 2019 $100,000 Longines FEI Jumping World Cup Ocala CSI3*-W at Live Oak International and the $225,000 Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Lexington CSI4*-W at only 18 years of age.

“It takes a huge team to make all of this happen, and that’s really what I’m thankful for,” continued Moggre after having accepted the award. “I’m so thankful to Gianna Aycock, Mike McCormick, and Tracy Fenney and my current team of Emily Smith and Ken Smith as well as my parents and Lesley Leeman, who takes care of my horses.

“I’m very honored to now have my name on a trophy with the best riders in the entire world, and it means so much to me.”

Patrick Guerrand-Hermès established the Lionel Guerrand-Hermès Memorial Award in 1983 in memory of his son, Lionel, who was tragically killed in an automobile accident in 1981 at the age of 18. Lionel trained with the United States Equestrian Team and was talented enough to be considered an Olympic hopeful. Included on the list of past winners inscribed on the perpetual trophy are such notable names as Greg Best, Chris Kappler, McLain Ward, and Buck Davidson, among many others.

Boyd Martin Wins Whitney Stone Cup

The 2020 Whitney Stone Cup was awarded to Olympic eventer Boyd Martin, identifying him as an active competitor who displays consistent excellence in international competition, as well as exemplifying high standards of sportsmanlike conduct, while serving as an ambassador for the United States and equestrian sport.

“It’s an absolute privilege and honor to receive the Whitney Stone Cup this year,” said Martin, who operates his training business, Windurra LLC, out of Cochranville, PA alongside his wife Silva, a grand prix dressage rider. “Winning this award is one of my proudest achievements. To be recognized alongside some of the past winners is truly a humbling feeling. The USET Foundation has given me every chance and every opportunity to allow me to be the best I can be and to achieve all the success I had in 2019.”

Martin is one of today’s leading event riders, having enjoyed success at the highest level of the sport and every major eventing competition in the world. He has consistently been ranked top 10 in the world since leaving Australia in 2007 and has competed on every U.S. Championship team since changing his citizenship in 2010.

Martin has represented the U.S. at two Olympic Games, three FEI World Equestrian Games, and two Pan American Games.

He has twice been the highest-placed U.S. rider at the FEI World Equestrian Games and led the U.S. to team gold at both Pan American Games appearances.

At the 2019 Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event, Martin finished second with Tsetserleg, owned by Christine Turner, to win the USEF CCI5*-L National Championship. This result landed Martin and Tsetserleg on the Pan American Games team for Lima, where the team had to win gold or silver to qualify the U.S. for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games. Martin delivered under pressure to win individual gold – the first individual medal of his career – and secure team gold and Tokyo qualification.

“I really feel like I’m starting to hit top gear coming into 2020, and I’m so proud to be an American, representing the stars and stripes,” said Martin. “I can’t wait to get out there and see what this year brings.”

Abigail Wexner Awarded R. Bruce Duchossois Distinguished Trustee Award

The USET Foundation presented Abigail Wexner with the 2020 R. Bruce Duchossois Distinguished Trustee Award, recognizing her distinguished service to the USET Foundation Board of Trustees.

Wexner has been a member of the board for 12 years, and she has been one of the lead donors to the Campaign for Achieving Competitive Excellence, the Campaign for Continuing Our Competitive Excellence, and she is now chairing, along with Jim McNerney and Jacqueline B. Mars, the Raising the Bar Campaign. As part of the campaign, Wexner has established the Wexner Olympic Endowment as a source of support for U.S. athletes and teams in Olympic years.

Wexner is a long-time horse owner and has been partnered with top jumper rider Beezie Madden for more than 15 years. Madden has ridden Wexner’s horses on numerous Nations Cup teams, along with the 2004, 2008, 2012, and 2016 Olympic Games and the 2006, 2010, and 2014 FEI World Equestrian Games. This partnership has produced for the United States two gold, three silver, and three bronze medals in Olympic and World Championships, two World Cup Finals victories, and been a part of 18 winning Nations Cup teams.

A true ambassador of the sport, Wexner’s distinguished service through excellence in leadership, philanthropy, and character has positively impacted the Foundation’s mission of supporting athletes, promoting international excellence, and building for the future.

A true ambassador of the sport, Wexner’s distinguished service through excellence in leadership, philanthropy, and character has positively impacted the Foundation’s mission of supporting athletes, promoting international excellence, and building for the future.

The R. Bruce Duchossois Distinguished Trustee Award was established in 2015 in recognition and honor of Bruce Duchossois’s leadership, generosity, and outstanding character. Duchossois’s life was celebrated that year as the first recipient of the prestigious award, and now the legacy he created lives on in others through the award with the annual presentation to a USET Foundation Trustee who exemplifies the qualities he embodied.

The presentation of the USET Foundation’s three distinguished awards and this year’s Take Me to Tokyo gala, hosted by honorary chairmen Lou and Joan Jacobs and chairs Bruce Springsteen and Patti Scialfa, were made possible thanks to the USET Foundation’s generous donors and sponsors, including MARS Equestrian and the Take Me to Tokyo cocktail hour sponsor, NetJets.

The USET Foundation is a non-profit organization that supports the competition, training, coaching, travel, and educational needs of America’s elite and developing international, high performance horses and athletes in partnership with the United States Equestrian Federation. To learn more and to support the Raising the Bar campaign, please visit www.uset.org.

Palm Beach Young Elite Auction to Benefit Babington Recovery

Proceeds from a horse will be auctioned to benefit the Babington Family

There will be an exciting new auction that will debut during the CSIO4* Nations Cup week at Palm Beach Masters in Wellington, Florida and a special effort to support Kevin Babington as he continues to recover from the catastrophic fall he sustained in 2019.

The Palm Beach Auction will present 16 elite young jumpers for sale via live auction on February 13th at 7pm in the VIP tent at Deeridge Farm. The 16 horses are the result of a selection process that involved a wide search across Europe and the involvement of the sport’s best breeders, trainers, and selectors.

Kevin Babington’s journey to recover from life-changing injury became a touch point upon which the entire equestrian industry rallied around because Kevin himself is a sportsman who is held in the highest esteem both for his show jumping accomplishments and for his unselfish manner and help delivered to so very many of us. The Palm Beach Auction gratefully accepted his assistance in the selection process, and to give back, a 17th horse will be auctioned off on February 13th, with 100% of the sale proceeds going directly to Kevin and his family to help offset the costs of his recovery.

A stunning three-year-old Balou du Rouet x Clinton gelding named “Balou Son” was donated by friends of Kevin to be auctioned as the first horse of The Palm Beach Auction. All are invited to attend the auction on February 13th, and the official Presentation of horses on February 2nd, directly following the Longines FEI World Cup Jumping qualifier at Palm Beach Masters.

Register at www.thepalmbeachauction.com.

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Patch, 2017 Kentucky Derby Contender, Arrives at Old Friends

Patch with assistant farm manager Antonio Marin.

GEORGETOWN, KY – JANUARY 20, 2020 – Old Friends, the Thoroughbred Retirement facility based in Georgetown, KY, welcomed 2017 Kentucky Derby contender and graded-stakes-placed Patch.

The son of Union Rags out of the A. P. Indy mare Windyindy, Patch was donated to the non-profit organization by owner Calumet Farm following his three-season racing career. His last start was in the Birdstone Stakes at Saratoga this past August.

A 30-1 long shot in the 2017 Kentucky Derby, Patch became the season’s feel-good story after it was revealed that he had lost his left eye as a two-year-old but overcame his adversity to make it to the Churchill Downs starting gate on the First Saturday in May.

Trained by Todd Pletcher and ridden by Tyler Gaffalione, Patch eventually finished 14th in that race behind winner Always Dreaming.

“Patch is a great horse and he has a great story,” said Old Friends founder and President Michael Blowen. “He is beloved by fans, and we are so looking forward to welcoming them this year. Patch has already stolen the hearts of everyone at Park Equine, where he spent a week while we made paddock space available, and everyone here is really excited about him.

“Our gratitude goes out to Calumet for entrusting us with Patch,” Blowen added, “as well as to Park Equine, and to the people at Sallee Horse Vans for transportation.”

Old Friends is planning a “Welcome Home Patch” day at the farm sometime in the near future. Announcements will be made soon with date, time, and details.

For more information, please call (502) 863-1775 or visit the website at www.oldfriendsequine.org.

MEDIA CONTACT: Cynthia Grisolia, (347) 423-7322, cindy@oldfriendsequine.org; Michael Blowen (502) 863-1775, michael@oldfriendsequine.org

Kachelhoffer, Bluman, and Manship Top Turf Tour Week 2 Grand Prix

Johan Kachelhoffer & And Action.

Wellington, FL (January 21, 2020) – Turf Tour Week 2 at Jim Brandon Equestrian Center wrapped up Friday, where constant activity in both Ring 1 and Ring 2 gave proof of a diversity of levels competing. The day’s highlight event, the $15,000 1.40m Turf Tour Grand Prix saw 20 horses and riders race the timers over a course designed by Jaime Marillo of Ecuador. With great turn out the first few weeks, the Turf Tour is expecting a record number of riders and spectator attendance at week 3’s stunning venue Black Watch Farm.

An early ride from Israel’s Mark Bluman and Ferrari set the pace for the Grand Prix, and sat at the top of the leader board most of the day. Late in the class, rides from Johan Kachelhoffer and Stella Manship, however, bumped the standings. Bluman and Ferrari’s early double clear with a jump off time of 37.580 ended up being one of only 3 double clears for the day. Stella Manship and Colorado put in an impressive effort to trail behind Bluman, jumping off in 38.329. But Johan Kachelhoffer and And Action, as the last ride in the day, had the final say in the Grand Prix: the pair jumped off in 35.329 seconds, taking the win.

Another addition to Week 2’s roster of top riders was Olympic Medalist Phillip Dutton. With double Olympic Gold Medals to his name, along with multiple World Championship and International titles, the eventing icon brought a number of young and just back to competition horses to the Turf Tour as a first show of 2020. “We bring the young horses and horses going back into training after a rest to the Turf Tour because it is a nice alternative for them,” said Dutton. “The show is more focused on the horses, and allows myself and my riders to create the best training experience for them. It’s less stress and a fantastic first time back.”

For full results, visit www.HorseShowing.com.

For full schedules and prizelists, visit www.RidgeShowJumping.com.

BioStar US Sponsored Quadrille Team to Perform Exhibition at Challenge of the Americas

Tigger Montague coaching Lisa Lewis and Allison Kavey of the BioStar US Quadrille Team.

Wellington, Fla. – Jan. 20, 2020 – BioStar US, maker of top quality whole food supplements for horses and dogs, is excited to announce its very own Quadrille Team set to compete in this year’s Challenge of the Americas (COTA) in Wellington, Florida. For 16 years, Challenge of the Americas has been bringing the equestrian community together to fight against breast cancer in one fun, competitive event and gala to benefit the Breast Cancer Research Foundation and Play for P.I.N.K.

“BioStar believes in supporting causes and organizations who seek to unite us, not divide us,” said Tigger Montague, founder of BioStar US. “The Challenge of the Americas is important both for its mission of funding breast cancer research and also for its ability to bring all of us in the equine community together.”

The renowned event features a musical Grand Prix Quadrille Dressage Team Challenge with the teams vying for the judges’ top marks of their choreographed routine. This year, BioStar’s team coached by Montague includes riders Lauren Chumley, Becky Cowden, Lisa Lewis, Sarah Schmitt, and BioStar sponsored riders Allison Kavey, Jim Koford (technical advisor and rider), and reserve rider Liz Austin. The team will dance to a musical routine, choreographed by Montague, in coordinating costumes to compete for the top honors of the night, bringing awareness and support to the event’s beneficiaries. The team’s practices are now underway as they prepare for the event, hoping to claim the first place prize for the second year in a row.

Set to take place Friday, March 6, at the Adequan Global Dressage Festival, the Challenge will also host a gala immediately following the evening’s competition that will include a gourmet dinner and an awards presentation for the top teams. Carrying on the festivities long after the show is complete, the gala will give guests, riders, and judges the opportunity to mingle and raise more funds for the Breast Cancer Research Foundation and Play for P.I.N.K.

Be sure to secure your tickets to the season’s most exciting charitable event and support Team BioStar US in the Quadrille competition.

To learn more about the 2020 Challenge of the Americas, please click here.

Emily Ward Dominates Under 25 Competition at WEF

Emily Ward and Millioninmind. Photo © Sportfot.

Wellington, FL – January 19, 2020 – Great Britain’s Emily Ward, 20, made a splash in the Under 25 division at the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) by winning the $25,000 Hermès Under 25 Grand Prix CSI2* riding Millioninmind on Sunday, January 19, at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center in Wellington, FL.

Fifty-five horses challenged Oscar Soberon’s (USA) opening track with 19 returning for a deciding jump-off. After winning the Hermès Under 25 Welcome just a day earlier, Ward wasted no time in establishing herself as the one to beat this season. She and Millioninmind, owned by Steven Barnes, stopped the clock in a quick 35.99 seconds over second-place finisher Sydney Shulman’s (ISR), who finished in a time of 36.18 seconds riding Jill Shulman’s Azilis du Mesnil.

“I’ve actually never competed in America before, but I am off to a great start,” said Ward, 20, who rides for Canadian Tiffany Foster’s Little Creek Equestrian. “We’ve owned Millioninmind since he was six years old, so we’ve had him quite a long time. He took me on my first senior Nations Cup team, and won my first international grand prix with me. Now, he has come over here and flourished.”

Andrew Welles Scores FEI Victory

Andrew Welles rode Brindis Bogibo, a 14-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding, to best a field of 67 and win the $37,000 CaptiveOne Advisors 1.45m Classic CSI2* to close out the day in the International Arena at WEF.

Speed and strategy were in tall order as Welles guided his mount through a 13-horse jump-off to stop the timers at 36.58 seconds for owner Itasca Group LLC.

“This was my horse’s first week competing this year, and I wanted to make it a point to improve on jump-offs coming into the season,” said Welles. “My plan was to give it our best shot. He was really in tune with the course today and I give him a lot of credit, he felt great out there. Especially in the jump-off, he was fully engaged going from jumps two to three where I left out a stride and his focus continued throughout the rest of the course.

“He is actually a horse that has been in our lives for four and a half years,” continued Welles. “But he was recently sold and then, thanks to the Razbeck and Hogan families, we were able to buy him back for me to ride. It’s been really special to have him back in our lives.”

For full results, please visit www.PBIEC.com.

Lynch Books Las Vegas Ticket with Brilliant Win in Leipzig

Denis Lynch with GC Chopin’s Bushi. (FEI/Thomas Reiner)

Ireland’s Denis Lynch firmly secured his spot at the 2020 Longines Final when storming to victory with GC Chopin’s Bushi in the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ 2019/2020 Western European League qualifier in Leipzig, Germany where home-side superstars Christian Ahlmann and Marcus Ehning finished second and third.

Already lying tenth after solid recent results, his win lifts the Irishman to fourth on the League table from which the top 18 will earn a spot at the Final in Las Vegas, USA next April.

There were 17 German contenders in the starting field of 40, and seven of them made the cut into the 16-horse jump-off against the clock including 2011 series champion, Christian Ahlmann. For the last two years Ahlmann was unbeatable at the Leipzig leg, and when he took the lead with a superb run from his sensational young stallion Dominator 2000 Z in 33.77 seconds it seemed he was about to make it three in a row.

But course designer, Frank Rothenberger, had given them a tempting but testing short-cut option on his jump-off track and Ahlmann didn’t take it. Second to go, Sweden’s Douglas Lindelow and Casquo Blue did when turning inside the Longines oxer to get to the double, now the third fence on the course, only to hit the bogey penultimate oxer for four faults. Just three more would try the shorter route and Lynch was next, making it look very smooth and easy as he cruised into the lead in 33.16 seconds when ninth to go.

Switzerland’s Bryan Balsiger, winner of the opening WEL leg in Oslo (NOR) in October, also took his chance when third-last into the ring, but his mare, Twenty-two Des Biches, stopped at the first element of the double. And it was tough luck for Britain’s Robert Whitaker and Catwalk, winners at the second leg in Helsinki (FIN), when they took all the risks in the quickest time of 32.01 seconds only to leave the second-last on the floor to finish ninth.

Lynch was really pleased with his win, and with GC Chopin’s Bushi which he has been competing since last summer.

“I bought him untried, on the recommendation of Bertram Allen, and we’ve had our ups and downs. He’s thrown the toys out of the pram a few times on me, but we changed a few things and he was very good at La Coruna last month and in Basel last weekend. It’s incredible to bring him here and win. We needed to improve our relationship and to learn to trust each other more, and we did that today so I’m delighted!” — Denis Lynch (IRL)

Runner-up Ahlmann was also very happy with the eye-catching 10-year-old Dominator whose raw power drew gasps from the crowd in both rounds. “He was amazing! I didn’t take the inside turn to the double because he isn’t experienced enough yet and you had to do it today to win, but he is really developing and will be one to watch in the future. He was breeding a lot when he was young and that’s why he didn’t jump so much as a young horse. It’s too early to talk about the Olympics but we will see,” he said.

Lynch is thinking ahead to the Longines 2020 Final. “It’s always been on my agenda, I’ve been campaigning for a place at the Final since last year so I’m really looking forward to it now,” he said. And he believes the Thomas & Mack arena in Las Vegas will suit GC Chopin’s Bushi, so the gelding may well be his chosen ride.

“He likes to go like a big pony. I realise now that if I leave him in his rhythm he can jump anything. Today when I was walking the course for the first round, I walked that jump-off turn-back and I thought it was definitely on. And he did it easily.” — Denis Lynch (IRL)

There are now just three Western European League legs remaining, at Amsterdam (NED) next weekend where the Irishman also plans to compete, at Bordeaux (FRA) the following weekend and in Gothenburg (SWE) at the end of February following which the top-18 qualifying spot will be decided.

Watch highlights here.

FULL RESULTS

By Louise Parkes

Media contact:

Shannon Gibbons
Media Relations and Communications Manager
shannon.gibbons@fei.org
+41 78 750 61 46

Take Me to Tokyo Gala Raises $1.5M to Publicly Launch “Raising the Bar” Campaign

Patti Scialfa and Bruce Springsteen. Photo by Jump Media.

Wellington, FL – The United States Equestrian Team (USET) Foundation publicly launched its $40 million “Raising the Bar” campaign on Friday, January 17, at the organization’s Take Me to Tokyo gala at Deeridge Farm in Wellington, FL.

With more than 500 guests in attendance, the gala event, featuring chairs Bruce Springsteen and Patti Scialfa and hosted by honorary chairmen Lou and Joan Jacobs, raised more than $1.5 million to support U.S. equestrian athletes and the U.S. Equestrian Teams headed to the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Those funds help put the USET Foundation one step closer to the non-profit’s $40 million “Raising the Bar” campaign goal, and, thanks to the generous support of committed donors, it was announced on Friday night that that goal is now less than $9 million away.

Since 2017, the “Raising the Bar” campaign has privately raised more than $31 million that will allow the USET Foundation to ensure that U.S. equestrian athletes and teams have the financial resources needed to be competitive around the world.

“The USET is the not-for-profit entity that funds our teams in all international disciplines – the engine that enables our teams to represent us around the world,” said USET Foundation President James McNerney in Friday evening’s opening remarks. “The funds support our High Performance programs, including our senior teams – for their travel, logistics, coaches, veterinarians.

“We also support developing teams and our emerging level athletes – the [USEF] Talent Search, for example, and the North American Youth Championships,” continued McNerney. “As you can imagine, this is an ambitious agenda, and it requires hard work and significant funding. It takes a committed community to keep us at the top of the sport and ensure we have a pipeline of talent to stay there.”

Each and every campaign donor is critical to the campaign’s success. Included among the lead donors, whose gifts have and will continue to make a lasting impact, are:

  • Abigail Wexner who funded the Wexner Olympic Endowment
  • Fritz and Claudine Kundrun who funded the Development Dressage Program
  • Jane Forbes Clark for the establishment of the Clark Endowment Fund
  • Jacqueline B. Mars for the establishment of the Giltedge Endowment
  • Paul and Wendy Raether for the Raether Show Jumping Endowment

Springsteen and Scialfa were also among those instrumental in making a lasting impact in the success of the Take Me to Tokyo gala, thanks to their live auction donations of a Springsteen-signed Harley Davidson motorcycle and a signed FENDER guitar. Springsteen took the stage to help auction off the items, and, with Springsteen inciting higher bids by offering to start singing if the value reached a certain point, the two items raised more than $300,000 – enough for Springsteen to take over the stage and bring the full-house crowd to its feet and onto the dance floor.

Now, following the event and the “Raising the Bar” campaign’s public kick-off, the USET Foundation looks to others to help reach the final fundraising goal.

“In this public phase, we will need everyone’s help to reach our $40 million goal this year,” said McNerney. “We have a big year ahead with the [FEI] World Cup Finals in [the United States], and the Olympic and Paralympic Games in Tokyo. The money raised through this campaign will help fund development through senior programs, not only this year, but also into the next quadrennial.”

The USET Foundation is a non-profit organization that supports the competition, training, coaching, travel, and educational needs of America’s elite and developing international, high performance horses and athletes in partnership with the United States Equestrian Federation. To learn more and to support the Raising the Bar campaign, please visit www.uset.org.

Santiago Lambre Storms to NetJets Grand Prix CSI2* Win

Santiago Lambre and Cetano van Aspergem Z. Photo © Sportfot.

Wellington, FL – January 18, 2020 – Mexico’s Santiago Lambre rode Cetano van Aspergem Z to a speedy victory in the $73,000 NetJets Grand Prix CSI2* on Saturday, January 18, during “Saturday Night Lights” at the 2020 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) at Palm Beach International Equestrian Center in Wellington, FL.

Clears were hard to come by in the opening round set by course designer Oscar Soberon (MEX). A tight time allowed was first bested by Lillie Keenan (USA) riding Fasther, a mount that lived up to its name and led the way. Keenan was joined by five more riders, setting the stage for a six-horse speed duel over the second round’s short course.

Rails fell for both Keenan and fellow U.S. rider Todd Minikus, riding Calvalou, before U.S. team Olympic gold medalist McLain Ward set the pace on a clear round in 43.60 seconds aboard Jet Blue. His time, however, was quickly beat when Lambre and Cetano van Aspergem Z stopped the clock in 40.22 seconds.

“This horse is naturally fast,” said Lambre of the horse he has been competing internationally for almost three years. “I tried to not lose my mind, and I tried to keep a good, nice rhythm. The horse, at this level, can be very fast, and tonight it was.”

Becky Gochman and Last Man Darling Capture Championship in Equiline Amateur-Owner Hunter 3’3” 36 & Over

The Equiline Amateur-Owner Hunter 3’3” 36 & Over division came to an end on Saturday with Becky Gochman and Last Man Darling earning the title of champion. Gochman piloted Last Man Darling, owned by Gochman Sport Horses LLC, to two firsts, a third, a fifth, and a sixth-place ribbon.

This championship was an extra-special one for Gochman, of Wellington, FL. This season is the mare’s return to the show ring after an injury sidelined them for two years. This was the pair’s second week showing again. “Last week she was a little excited, and I was a little nervous; this week we both calmed down and took a breath,” Gochman described.

Last Man Darling has been in the Gochman family for close to five years. “She started off with my girls, Sophie and Mimi, in the junior hunters, and then I began to show her successfully in the 3’3” amateur-owners,” Gochman explained.

For full results, please visit www.PBIEC.com.

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