Category Archives: Equestrian Assistance

USA Equestrian Trust Opens 2019 Grants Program for Equine Non-Profits

Skye Anna Nye-Smith teaches Tale of the Heart to dance at the Harmony Horsemanship clinic organized by Second Chance Thoroughbreds. Photo by Collette Duddy, Second Chance Thoroughbreds.

Applications due Wednesday, April 24

March 6, 2019 — Lexington, KY — USA Equestrian Trust® is pleased to announce it is now accepting proposals from IRS-registered equine non-profit organizations for its 2019 grants program.

To submit an application, visit trusthorses.org and complete the online form. Any organization applying must submit copies of its IRS non-profit determination letter and most recent Form 990, as well as a proposed budget for its project. The deadline to submit applications for the foundation’s 2019 grants program is 11:59 p.m. Pacific Time on Wednesday, April 24.

The Trust’s financial support has been dedicated largely but not exclusively for initiatives that are productive across several national-level discipline and/or breed boundaries. The Trust welcomes applications for need-based projects and encourages applicants to detail those in their applications. Among the past recipients of Trust funding are:

Second Chance Thoroughbreds: $1,200 was awarded in 2017 to fund an educational workshop on retraining Thoroughbreds. “Without the grant from USA Equestrian Trust, Second Chance Thoroughbreds would not have been able to bring expert trainers Steuart Pittman or Lindsey Partridge to our rural area location in Spencer, NY,” said Executive Director Collette Duddy.

The Livestock Conservancy: $10,500 was awarded in 2017 to support a summit on endangered breeds. “The greatest accomplishment of the gathering was to bring together a wide diversity of breed groups, scientists, and horse industry leaders in one place to unify their efforts, learn from each other’s expertise, and collectively work toward common goals,” said Senior Program Manager Jeannette Beranger. “A year later, the ripple effects are still being felt throughout this community, opening doors to new markets and reproductive technologies previously underutilized or even unknown by most rare breed owners. The effect of the grant money was more than any of us could have imagined, giving all involved a solid sense of direction and the tools to accomplish meaningful breed conservation across the country and beyond.”

Funding available for USA Equestrian Trust grants includes more than $28,000 reserved for Hunter and Jumper non-profit programs and activities in California and Nevada. Applicants for this fund should make clear their intention to apply for grants available from this specific reserve.

If you have any questions about applying, please e-mail grants@trusthorses.org.

About USA Equestrian Trust

USA Equestrian Trust’s mission is to assist in preserving and/or enhancing the quality of equestrian sport in the United States of America. Its objects and purposes are exclusively charitable, educational, and dedicated to the fostering of equestrian sports. The Trust is a private foundation pursuant to the United States Internal Revenue Code.

dderosa1@optonline.net
516-848-4867

Therapy Horse Mercury to Be in Live Oak International Parade of Nations and Breeds

Therapy horse Mercury will be in the Live Oak International Parade of Nations and Breeds on Thursday, March 7, 2019 at the Ocala Downtown Square. He will be one of the horses available for a photo opportunity.

Look for Mercury at the beginning of the parade right behind title sponsor and Grand Marshal, Chester Weber, with the Grandview Clydesdales.  Mercury is in Position #1 and will be just a little smaller than his Clydesdale friends.

There will be lots of music, food, and family fun and over 25 different horse breeds.

Debbie Garcia-Bengochea
Gentle Carousel Miniature Therapy Horses
www.gentlecarouseltherapyhorses.com
www.facebook.com/TherapyHorses
www.instagram.com/gentlecarousel
352-226-9009

Chesapeake International Draft Horse Show to Benefit EQUUS Foundation

The EQUUS Foundation is pleased to announce that it will be a beneficiary of the inaugural Chesapeake International Draft Horse Show, on February 8-10 in Wellington, Florida. Hosted by Victoria McCullough, the show will be held at Crab Orchard Farm, generously donated by Frank and Monica McCourt. Entry is free to the public, with proceeds benefiting the EQUUS Foundation and the Young Singers of the Palm Beaches.

“The EQUUS Foundation is honored and thrilled to have been chosen as a beneficiary of the inaugural Chesapeake International Draft Horse Show by renowned equine advocate, Victoria McCullough. Victoria is not only a lifelong, expert horsewoman, and now owner of world champion competition Clydesdales, but there is no one more committed to the welfare and rescue of America’s horses,” says EQUUS Foundation VP of Engagement, Valerie Angeli.

“It is our hope that this show will inspire and amaze those who are unfamiliar with these giant and powerful, yet gentle and versatile draft horses. As Victoria says, they are not only beautiful, they are surprisingly quiet, grateful, stoic, and easy to sustain. Often overlooked for adoption because of their massive size, they give their might and their heart in sport and also as pleasure, trail and driving horses, companions, and therapy horses. As the only charity in the US focused 100 percent on protecting America’s horses and fostering the horse-human bond, we are excited to have the opportunity to raise awareness of these very special animals through the Chesapeake International Draft Horse Show.”

About EQUUS Foundation: The EQUUS Foundation, a 501(c)(3) public charity established in 2002, also known as Horse Charities of America, the only national animal welfare charity in the United States 100% dedicated to protecting America’s horses and strengthening the bond between people and horses. Donations are tax-deductible to the full extent of the law. Contact the EQUUS Foundation, Inc., at 168 Long Lots Road, Westport, CT 06880, Tele: (203) 259-1550, E-Mail: mail@equusfoundation.org, Website: www.equusfoundation.org.

Spread the Love This Holiday Season

Need a good gift idea? Make a tribute donation to the Equestrian Aid Foundation in honor or memory of the special equestrian in your life.

When you do, we’ll send a special notification of your gift to the person you designate.

For your tribute of $25 or more, we’ll also send you an EAF eco bag to fill with horse treats or people treats or whatever your big heart desires.

Click here to get started, or email us to set up your tribute gift.

For more information about Equestrian Aid Foundation, please visit EquestrianAidFoundation.org.

The California Fires: Four Ways to Help

Horses and humans seek refuge in Zuma Beach (Brittny Mejia / Los Angeles Times)

Wellington, Florida — Nov. 14, 2018 — It’s heartbreaking to watch the images coming out of California this week, especially those involving fellow horsemen. For those who feel compelled to help, it can be hard to know where donations will have the most impact. While many credible efforts to raise funds for California’s wildfire victims exist, here are four direct and effective ways you can help members of the equestrian community in crisis:

  1. Donate to the Los Angeles Fire Department Foundation

This foundation provides vital private funding for the Los Angeles Fire Department when city funds run out. Tax-deductible donations go directly to the firefighters, securing the equipment and supplies they need for their courageous effort on the front lines.

  1. Donate to Woosley Fire Horse Relief

This Facebook fundraiser initiated by California horsewoman Sami Gros is grassroots-meets-digital-age mobilization at its finest. Sami and others are working around the clock to locate, transport, and care for horses and horse people in devastated areas. She knows what these horsemen need because she’s beside them in the thick of disaster, and she pledges that every dime raised will be put toward the immediate needs of these animals and their caretakers who have lost everything.

  1. Donate to Horse Relocation and Support Costs

Devon Maitozo, WEG team coach and the most decorated vaulter in U.S. history, is working to help other horsemen even as the safety of his renowned vaulting center in Thousand Oaks remains in question. Donations to Devon’s Facebook fundraiser will help provide feed to displaced horses and veterinary care to those injured by fire and smoke.

  1. Donate to the USEF Equine Disaster Relief Fund

One hundred percent of your tax-deductible donation will go to the North Valley Animal Disaster Group, U.C. Davis Veterinary Emergency Response Team, and the Humane Society of Ventura County. US Equestrian will be working through the USEF Disaster Relief Fund with these organizations and others over the coming weeks to support the ongoing rescue and rehabilitation efforts throughout the state of California.

No donation is too small. Together, we can make a difference.

#HorsemenHelpingHorsemen

For more information, please visit EquestrianAidFoundation.org.

Ten Years of Magic

When a real horse walks into a child’s hospital room it is always a magical experience.

Therapy horse Magic is celebrating ten years of bringing her special magic to adults and children who need it most.

Magic has comforted survivors and first responders of the mass shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT, the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, SC, and the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, FL. She worked with the tornado survivors of Moore, OK, victims of the fires in Gatlinburg, TN, child trafficking victims in Washington, D.C., families in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma, and thousands of patients in children’s and veterans’ hospitals across the country.

Magic works with medical professionals in oncology units, the ICU, and with occupational, speech and physical therapists as part of the treatment teams for patients who have suffered strokes, traumatic brain and spinal cord injuries, amputations, and burns. She brings her love to Gold Star families, is an honorary Sheriff’s Deputy for her years of work with first responders, and even helped teach a class at Columbia Medical School in NYC.

Working indoors would be a challenge for any horse but with her years of experience, she makes it look easy, even in high rise hospital buildings. Magic walks up and down steps, rides in elevators, walks on unusual floor surfaces, carefully moves around hospital and television studio equipment, works in small patient rooms, and stays calm around unexpected sounds like ambulances, alarms, and hospital helicopters… and yes, she is house trained.

Magic also works inside schools and libraries, with mentoring programs, at literacy events, and at education resource centers in high crime neighborhoods. Her award winning literacy program Reading Is Magic “brings books to life” for young readers with a special focus on at risk readers.

Some video of Magic at work:

http://www.today.com/video/miniature-horse-makes-dying-womans-wish-come-true-573356611506

http://www.clickorlando.com/news/pulse-orlando-shooting/therapy-horses-provide-healing-to-medical-examiners-office#

http://www.click2houston.com/news/horse-named-magic-aims-to-lift-spirits-for-trauma-patients

Over the past ten years Magic received awards and honors including:

One of History’s 10 Most Courageous Animals – TIME Magazine
Selected to be a Breyer Portrait Model Horse.
Most Heroic Pet In America – AARP
A Reader’s Digest/Americantowns Power of One Hero
One of the 10 Most Heroic Animals of 2010 – Newsweek/The Daily Beast
2014 E. T. York Distinguished Service Award
One of Seven Most Notable Animal Heroes in the World – The Daily Mirror 2014
Featured in 125 Stories of Amazing Pets: Inspiring Tales of Animal Friendship and Four-legged Heroes by National Geographic – 2014
Autism Paws of Honor Award
Pet Hero of the Year 2016/Florida Veterinary Medical Association Hall of Fame
American Red Cross A Hero Among Us Outstanding Service Award – 2016
Featured in The Book of Heroes by National Geographic – 2017
Ronald McDonald House Caring and Sharing Award – 2017
United States Equestrian Federation/Equus Foundation Horse Stars Hall of Fame

Therapy horse Magic is a member of Gentle Carousel Miniature Therapy Horses, an award winning, all volunteer 501(c)(3) charity celebrating 20 years of service.  The teams of therapy horses bring love to over 25,000 adults and children each year inside hospitals, hospice programs, and with families who have experienced traumatic events.

We are looking forward to the next ten years with this amazing little horse.

Gentle Carousel Miniature Therapy Horses
www.gentlecarouseltherapyhorses.com
www.facebook.com/TherapyHorses
352-226-9009

Janise Gray Retires as EAF’s Director of Grant Recipient Services

Gray (right) with EAF grant recipient Debbie Atkinson, Mary Phelps, and a friend of the foundation in 2007. Photo courtesy of Phelps Photos.

Wellington, Fla. – Sept. 24, 2018 – The Equestrian Aid Foundation announced this week that Janise Gray has retired as the foundation’s Director of Grant Recipient Services. She had held the position for over 20 years.

“For two decades, Janise has been a compassionate advocate for each and every person our foundation has assisted,” said board treasurer Marilou Case. “While we wish her the very best in her new adventures, we will surely miss her presence amidst the day-to-day workings of the foundation.”

A professional equestrian with a background in dressage and eventing, Gray joined EAF’s Board of Directors in 1996 and served briefly as the organization’s Executive Director before taking over the role of Director of Grant Recipient Services. In addition to her service to the foundation’s grant recipients, she was also involved in fundraising and event planning.

The foundation’s grant recipients characterize Gray as a true friend. “So many times I fell down trying to make my legs work, and she would say, ‘Get back on the horse!’” said Joe McCloskey, a farrier who received aid from EAF after sustaining a crush injury. “She was the first person I called when I found a new way to move my legs.”

A resident of New Jersey, Gray’s immediate plans for retirement include focusing on her four-legged children — a trio of Cirneco dell’Etna sight hounds that are both pets and agility athletes. However, the friendships she has forged in the equestrian community will remain a central part of her life.

“I am so proud to have been an integral part of this organization,” said Gray of her years with the Equestrian Aid Foundation. “I have grieved for those we’ve lost and rejoice for all who we’ve helped. I will miss all we have accomplished together to assist our fellow equestrians.”

For more information, please visit EquestrianAidFoundation.org.

Letter from US Equestrian President and CEO Regarding Safe Sport

US Equestrian believes the safety and welfare of our members, especially our children, is of paramount importance and that all members must be kept safe from abuse of all kinds. Abuse has no place in our sport or in our lives. We are the guardians of our sport and it is our collective responsibility to raise awareness and educate each other on the behaviors associated with abuse, both sexual and non-sexual. This year, top equestrian athlete Anne Kursinski shared her powerful personal story of abuse by a person she trusted. To help ensure this abuse doesn’t happen to others, Anne has partnered with US Equestrian to raise awareness of the reporting, support and training resources available through US Equestrian and the U.S. Center for SafeSport. Please click here to view an important video message from Anne.

US Equestrian embarked on building a robust Safe Sport Program starting in 2013, years before Safe Sport became a household term in equestrian sport. During the process of expanding our program, the leadership and Board have been called upon many times to take the lead in creating awareness, reporting methods, education, survivor support, training and other resources. You will be proud to know that, recently, the Board once again took the reins and approved a requirement that, starting January 1, 2019, all adult members (18 years of age and older) who have a USEF Competing Membership must complete the Safe Sport training. This is a major milestone in our efforts to unite our equestrian community in preventing abuse. The core training consists of three modules which take approximately 90 minutes to complete.

Safe Sport education for all members and parents of our junior members is essential to protecting each other, understanding when and how to report, and recognizing the signs in order to prevent abuse before it occurs. US Equestrian provides numerous resources to further your education and participation in the Safe Sport movement. Here are some of the resources available to you at www.usef.org/safesport:

  • Safe Sport training – FREE to all US Equestrian members. Three modules take just under 90 minutes to complete initially, with a 30-minute refresher training annually;
  • A suspended and banned list that identifies the person by name and the reason for their suspension or ban;
  • The U.S. Center for SafeSport has partnered with RAINN to provide a 24-hour victim services hotline, reached at 1.866.200.0796;
  • The new USEF Safe Sport Directory is a searchable database to help individuals, parents, athletes, and others in our sport find the people within our industry who have completed the Safe Sport training and/or a criminal background check;
  • Safe Sport FAQs and Safe Sport training FAQs on our Safe Sport webpage;
  • Town Halls and Affiliate meetings to raise awareness, educate and field questions;
  • Expanding our recently launched #YouAreNotAlone campaign, including providing campaign materials to competition organizers to utilize at competitions;
  • Developing Learning Center educational video content and PSAs for use by USEF, Affiliates and competitions;
  • Expanding the monitoring of USEF and Affiliate Safe Sport compliance; and
  • Hiring additional support staff as needed for the Safe Sport Program.

Additionally, many of our members spend their weekends at competitions, and to make certain that we are providing you with the resources you need when you are attending shows, we have just launched the #YouAreNotAlone campaign. US Equestrian will be providing competition organizers with a Safe Sport Toolkit that includes posters with reporting resources, public address announcements, video PSAs and competitor information. Working with our competition organizers, US Equestrian will bring reporting, education and support resources directly to you at the competition. We want you to know that you are not alone, and we are here to help.

Clear communication on all things related to Safe Sport is important to achieving our mission to raise awareness, assist you with reporting, increase education and provide support. Recently, we sent a hard copy letter accompanied by our USEF Safe Sport Handbook to the parents of our junior members. We strongly believe parents are an integral part of our efforts to prevent abuse. While the U. S. Center for SafeSport’s parental awareness training is available at no cost, we encourage you to join US Equestrian by using the code Parents18 to become a free Fan Member. By providing us with your unique email address, you allow us to more efficiently communicate with you, and through your Fan Membership, you can gain access to all the Safe Sport resources, as well as numerous member benefits and discounts.

In addition to the resources offered by US Equestrian and the Center, it is extremely important that you are aware of this legislation: Protecting Young Victims from Sexual Abuse and Safe Sport Authorization Act of 2017. It requires amateur sports organizations and their members to report sex-abuse allegations involving minors to local or federal law enforcement, or to a child-welfare agency designated by the Justice Department, within 24 hours. Failure to do so is a crime.

Not only is reporting the right thing to do, it is critical to creating a safe environment for athletes and members. Sexual and non-sexual misconduct have two distinct reporting processes:

  1. All sexual misconduct should be reported directly to the U.S. Center for SafeSport by phone 720-524-5640 or online at safesport.org.
  2. All non-sexual misconduct or violations of the Safe Sport Policy should be reported directly to US Equestrian. Reports through US Equestrian can be submitted using the USEF Incident Report Form, or by email or phone to Teresa Roper, Safe Sport Program Coordinator, troper@usef.org, 859-225-6915, Sonja Keating, General Counsel, skeating@usef.org, 859-225-2045, or Emily Pratt, epratt@usef.org, 859-225-6956.

Both the U.S. Center for SafeSport and US Equestrian will accept anonymous reports, but please note that it can be very difficult to investigate anonymous complaints.

The safety of our members and the future of our sport are dependent on how all of us act. Together, we will make a difference and we will make our sport a place where safety is the norm and abuse finds no home. We hope you will embrace this call to action and join us in our efforts to eradicate abuse in our sport.

Please contact our legal department, which handles all Safe Sport inquiries, at skeating@usef.org, should you have any questions or need assistance.

Sincerely,

Murray S. Kessler
President

William J. Moroney
Chief Executive Officer

From the US Equestrian Communications Department

Safe Sport Training Frequently Asked Questions

Lexington, KY – The US Equestrian Federation (USEF) announced a rule change on Tuesday, August 28, 2018, requiring that, effective January 1, 2019, all USEF members 18 and over with an Adult Competing Membership must complete Safe Sport training in order to be eligible to participate in USEF activities, including competitions. Since that announcement, we are pleased to report that over 3,500 USEF members completed the Safe Sport training. To provide further guidance, below are a list of Frequently Asked Questions regarding the new rule change.

Where can I locate the required Safe Sport training? How long does it take?
The required Safe Sport Core Training is on the U.S. Center for SafeSport website. Instructions on how to set up an account and access the training are here. It will take approximately 90 minutes to complete and consists of three modules: Sexual Misconduct Awareness Education, Mandatory Reporting, and Emotional and Physical Misconduct. All three modules must be completed in order to satisfy the requirement.

Who is required to take the Safe Sport training?
Any USEF member who is 18 years old and above and who has a USEF Adult Competing Membership is required to take the Safe Sport training, including amateurs, professionals, and owners who have an annual, three-year, or lifetime membership. The Safe Sport training requirement does not include USEF Fan Members.

How long do I have to complete the requirement?
All USEF Adult Competing Members must complete the training within 30 days of joining or renewing their membership. USEF will provide members who renew or join on or after December 1, 2018 a 30-day grace period to complete the Safe Sport training. Members joining prior to December 1, 2018 will have until January 1, 2019 to complete the training.

What happens if I do not comply with the training requirement?
Those who do not complete the Safe Sport training will be ineligible to participate in USEF activities, including competitions.

How often do I need to complete the Safe Sport training?
The required Safe Sport Core Training (approximately 90 minutes) only needs to be completed once. A Safe Sport Refresher training course, which takes approximately 30 minutes, must be completed annually thereafter. US Equestrian is providing Adult Competing Members a 30-day grace period to complete the training.

What happens if I join or renew at a horse show?
If someone joins or renews at a horse show, he or she has 30 days to take the training.

If I have already taken the Safe Sport training, do I have to take it again?
If you have taken Safe Sport Core Training, approximately 90 minutes, after January 1, 2018, you will not need to take the Safe Sport Core Training again. If you have taken an older version of the Safe Sport Core Training prior to January 1, 2018, you will need to complete the new version to be eligible to participate in USEF activities, including competitions.

How long does it take for USEF to receive notification that someone has completed the Safe Sport training?
It can take up to 48 hours for USEF to receive notification and the system to reflect that someone has taken the training. At the end of completing all three training modules, you can print a certificate that says “SafeSport Trained” for verification purposes.

How will show secretaries and competition managers know if someone has taken the Safe Sport training?
Competition management and secretaries will have access to a combined Suspension and Ineligibility List in the same manner as the current Suspension List to identify those who are ineligible to compete. USEF Safe Sport Training records from the U.S. Center for SafeSport automatically update the USEF system every 24 to 48 hours. If a person appears on the Safe Sport Training Ineligibility list but has completed the training before the system updates, he or she can print and take a copy of the SafeSport Trained certificate to the show office to prove he or she is eligible to compete. Anyone who has passed the 30-day grace period without taking the training will show up as ineligible to compete.

Why is there not a Safe Sport training for US Equestrian junior members?
There is a Safe Sport Training module for youth in the works. This training will be available approximately in October 2018. Currently, there is a free Safe Sport training module for parents in addition to a Safe Sport Parent Toolkit, which has information for parents of preschool, middle school, and school-age children.

Why do I have to take the Safe Sport training when I have little or no interaction with those under the age of 18 years?
US Equestrian’s Safe Sport Policy and the rules that govern it have been created to protect all athletes from misconduct. Recognizing the signs and behaviors associated with abuse will help all of us to prevent it. In addition, the training covers information on reporting and under federal law, we all have a mandate to report any reasonable suspicion of sexual misconduct with a minor.

Do parents have to complete the Safe Sport training?
A parent signing an entry blank is not required to be a USEF member. We encourage all parents take the free Safe Sport Parent’s Training and to become USEF Members to stay informed.

Can entire barns take the training together?
Currently that option is not available.

If the owner of my horse has not taken the Safe Sport training, is the horse ineligible to compete?
Horses entered under owners who are on the Safe Sport Ineligibility List are ineligible to compete at USEF-sanctioned competitions.

Do Farm Members have to take Safe Sport training?
Farm entities are not required to take Safe Sport training.

How do I get in contact with Safe Sport for technical support?
Please call 720-676-6417 for technical support or email help.desk@safesport.org. For assistance setting up a Safe Sport account, please call 720-531-0344.

Additional information and resources on Safe Sport, how to report sexual and non-sexual misconduct, access to a free training module for parents of equestrian athletes, a Safe Sport FAQ, the Safe Sport Sanctions list, and more can be found here.

From the US Equestrian Communications Department

Equestrian Aid Foundation Is a Proud Partner of 43rd Annual Hampton Classic Horse Show

Wellington, Florida — August 24, 2018 — The Equestrian Aid Foundation is proud to return for the second year as an official partner of the Hampton Classic Horse Show.

The Hampton Classic Horse Show and its exhibitors hold special significance to the Equestrian Aid Foundation. “Since our inception in 1996, the Hamptons equestrian community has been an integral force in the work we do,” said foundation board member and co-founder Scot Evans. “The Hampton Classic itself is characterized by a unique international-yet-local energy. Its organizers and exhibitors are truly committed to the equestrian community and never hesitate to turn their conviction into action.”

The Equestrian Aid Foundation is one of ten charities that will participate in the horse show’s signature Jump for Charity presented by Sea Shore Stables. The event will be held during Friday’s $75,000 Douglas Elliman Grand Prix Qualifier, where riders will compete to raise money for ten designated charities with connections to the Hamptons community. Catherine Tyree will captain the Equestrian Aid Foundation’s team.

Funds for the Jump for Charity are generated through the sale of team ball caps and a raffle to win a course walk with a Grand Prix rider. Click here to make your purchases to support your favorite team, or visit the Hampton Classic’s information booths or souvenir stand.

Last year, a Jump for Charity win by Daniel Bluman earned $12,000 for Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research. Joining Tyree as team captains in this year’s competition are Georgina Bloomberg, Daniel Bluman, Beezie Madden, Callan Solem, Adrienne Sternlicht, Shane Sweetnam, Jimmy Torano, McLain Ward and Andrew Welles.

For more information, please visit EquestrianAidFoundation.org.