Category Archives: Equestrian Assistance

Patrick McNamara Shines for a Cause in Kevin Babington Benefit Classic

Patrick McNamara (IRL) and Billy Onslow soar over the Dalman Jump Co.-designed “Jump for Kevin” wall en route to winning the $5,000 Kevin Babington Benefit Classic at the Silver Oak Jumper Tournament. Photo by Andrew Ryback Photography.

September 7, 2020 — For one memorable evening at the Silver Oak Jumper Tournament in Traverse City, MI (USA), a tremendous group of supporters rallied to honor international show jumper Kevin Babington (IRL) with the Kevin Babington Benefit Classic. The charitable competition, in which the entirety of the $5,000 purse was donated to the Kevin Babington Family Trust, resulted in a meaningful win for fellow Irishman Patrick McNamara and Billy Onslow.

Babington, an Olympic veteran and team gold medalist from the 2001 European Championships, suffered a life-altering injury at the 2019 Hampton Classic. More than $1 million has been raised in the year since to support Babington and his family with the high costs associated with his ongoing rehabilitation. Jeff Papows, Founder of the Silver Oak Jumper Tournament, has been a key contributor, setting up the “I Ride for Kevin” program, in which exhibitors can donate a percentage of their prize money to the cause at various competitions around the country.

“Because Kevin is so beloved [in the industry], every time I’ve raised my hand to do anything in his name, people sort of rush to help,” Papows said. “We wanted to do this, not just for the continued sort-of-financial reasons, but [also because] Kevin is still very invested in the sport, as is the whole family. That was the point of the class. Kevin taped an introduction for the class, and I think it’s a little bit of a morale boost for Kevin while he’s working so hard with his recovery.”

The Kevin Babington Benefit Classic featured 22 horse and rider combinations, all of which sported a green lapel pin to commemorate Babington. The field included international stalwarts Shane Sweetnam (IRL), David Blake (IRL), Alison Robitaille (USA), and Vasco Flores (PUR), along with Babington’s daughter Gwyneth and wife Dianna.

“It was important for us to show everyone that we’re here, and we appreciate [all the support],” Dianna said.

Ultimately, McNamara and Phoebe Backman’s Billy Onslow came away with a most memorable win. Jumping halfway through the class, McNamara and the 14-year-old chestnut gelding took nearly two seconds off the leading time and held on through the remainder of the competition.

“It was great to be involved in such a great cause for Kevin,” McNamara said. “I’m so happy that this class was in aid of him. Thankfully enough, it worked out [for me] — the plan and everything — [and] it was an Irish win!”

© 2020 Catie Staszak Media, Inc.

Hampton Classic & EQUUS Foundation Present a Day Devoted to Equine Adoption

Thanks to the Hampton Classic and the sponsor of this event, our EQUUStar, Georgina Bloomberg, this joyful, annual Hampton Classic tradition of celebrating and showcasing horses in need of their next chapter continues.

Because all horses are champions to us, and because all horses deserve safe and loving homes, we are excited to present just some wonderful equines that are waiting for their chance to go home.

The virtual format of our event this year gives us the opportunity to showcase adoptable horses from our Guardian charities both locally and across the country.

“While we are disappointed that we won’t see you in person again this year to meet adoptable horses at the beautiful Hampton Classic Horse Show,” said Valerie Angeli, EQUUS Foundation VP of Engagement, “our virtual equine adoption event on September 14th will showcase horses of all breeds, ages, sizes and disciplines throughout the country with one thing in common — they are all waiting for a loving forever home.”

The EQUUUS Foundation Next Chapters platform featuring adoptable equines of EQUUS Foundation Guardian charities located throughout the nation will serve as the backdrop. Please save the date and join us to learn about adoptable horses and our Guardian charities that rescue, rehabilitate, retrain, and re-home America’s horses to keep them safe and loved. Over 65,000 horses were transported across our borders for slaughter last year. Tens of thousands more abused and neglected horses are in need of rescue and re-homing each year. Even more horses are in need of transition once their sporting career is over. Most are young, healthy, and have untapped potential like Xin Xu Lin.

Meet Xin Xu Lin

Godolphin Racing had really high hopes for Xin Xu Lin when he was purchased in 2011, having been recognized as Brazil’s Horse of the Year in 2010.

Sadly, the racing career for the 2007 Thoroughbred did not work out, but misfortune turned to fortune when Xin Xu Lin was donated to EQUUS Foundation Guardian charity, Secretariat Center, in 2013 to be retrained and re-homed.

Xin Xu Lin found his forever home in Maryland where he competes in dressage and show jumping.

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.

US Equestrian & USET Foundation Join Giving Games Fundraising Effort Aimed to Support US Athletes

Lexington, KY – US Equestrian and the United States Equestrian Team (USET) Foundation have announced their joint participation in a collaborative and creative fundraising campaign launched by Olympic & Paralympic National Governing Bodies (NGB) titled the Giving Games. The Giving Games’ ultimate goal is to support and sustain U.S. athletes ahead of the Tokyo Olympic Games, which have been postponed to the summer of 2021.

U.S. athletes rely heavily on their NGB organizations to financially assist with training and preparation needs, and many athletes are facing financial hardships and challenging obstacles due to the significant number of domestic and international competition cancellations so far this year. Joining 20 other NGBs within the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic movement, US Equestrian and USET Foundation will partake in the multi-week fundraiser beginning Friday, July 24, and running through August 9, 2020, the original window of this summer’s now postponed Games.

The philanthropic effort is multi-faceted with varying donation opportunities, including pooled funds and direct giving opportunities to the USET Foundation. All funds raised will be received via direct donation or equally divided among participating organizations in order to support their athletes’ needs as they prepare for an additional year of training as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic postponement.

Fans and supporters of U.S. equestrian high performance athletes, US Equestrian, and USET Foundation can contribute to the Giving Games in the following ways beginning Friday, July 24:

  • Donate directly to the USET Foundation to help support our equestrian athletes. Every dollar raised up to $50,000 will be matched by a generous supporter of the Foundation, doubling the amount that our equestrians will receive in their quest for the podium in 2021. In addition, donors will have a chance to be entered into the “Medal of Giving” awards, recognizing the top three cumulative donors based on donations received by August 9, 2020.
  • Donate to the Giving Games pooled funds by participating in Giving Game promotions and events which will be launched throughout the promotion period and divided equally amongst participating NGBs.
  • Text ‘GIVINGGAMES’ to 243725.

The Giving Games effort has partnered with notable brands, corporations, and businesses including BuzzFeed and Omaze to create unique and exciting ways for fans and supporters to continue contributing to the Giving Games effort, which will be announced in the coming week.

To learn more about the Giving Games, please visit giving-games.com.

Learn more at www.uset.org.

Contact: Jennifer Wood
jennifer@jumpmediallc.com

Horse Businesses Need to Do a SWOT Analysis NOW

Webinar: How to Do a SWOT Analysis for Your Horse Business and Why You Need to Do It NOW

Date: August 17, 2020
Time: 5:30 PM Pacific, 7:30 PM Central, 8:30 PM Eastern
Place: Attend via Your Phone or Computer

With the Coronavirus came rapid change.  Not only are we operating our horse businesses with a global pandemic as the backdrop, the latest economic reports indicate that the economy (after plummeting drastically) is not likely to return to 2019 levels for 3-5 years. The quick bounce-back to normal simply is not happening.

Many of you have made quick changes to your businesses to adapt to the necessary conditions of the pandemic. Now, it is time to prepare your business for both the lasting effects of the pandemic and the economic forecast.

In our upcoming webinar we will take you through how to use a SWOT Analysis to assist you in starting a strategic plan for your business.  SWOT stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats.  This business tool is extremely useful when there are complex issues that need to be addressed quickly.

Utilizing a SWOT Analysis is the first step in a series of steps that we believe must be taken soon. We hope you’ll join us.

WEBINAR REPLAY: Rethinking the Horse Business 2020 – Special Summer Update

This Special Update of Rethinking the Horse Business provides vital information for horse professionals about the state of the horse industry, the social and economic climate, and how the equestrian marketplace has been affected by the Coronavirus. Listen to the replay here.

Equestrian Professional
https://www.equestrianprofessional.com/

My Horse Damaged Property at the Boarding Barn. Am I Responsible for Paying for It?

By Leone Equestrian Law

A. I board my horse at a local stable, and unfortunately, he damaged his stall door overnight. We don’t know exactly what happened, but thankfully he wasn’t injured. However, the door will need to be replaced. It will probably cost a few hundred dollars, but there is nothing included in my boarding contract about me having to cover any costs from damage from my horse. Am I responsible for paying the cost of replacing it?

B. As many of us know, horses can be accident-prone. Even though we’d like to keep our horses swaddled in bubble wrap for their own safety, that’s just not possible. An experienced barn owner or manager can do their best to help prevent accidents from occurring at their facility, but sometimes things happen beyond their control. Following safety protocols and keeping the stable and fences in good working order can go a long way in protecting the horses from potential accidents.

Fortunately, your horse was not injured during his ordeal, but now the main concern is who will cover the replacement costs of the damaged stall door. Since your stable owner did not include any provision in your boarding contract specifying that you as the horse’s owner would be responsible for any damage to the facility caused by your horse, you are not legally obliged to pay for the damages. Some boarding contracts do contain provisions like these, though they are more commonly found in self-care boarding agreements where the owner, not the stable, provides care to the horse on the stable’s property. In your case, because nothing was included in the contract about this scenario, the stable owner will be responsible for the repair costs.

For many boarding stable owners, repairing damage around the facility is the cost of doing business, and the stable usually pays for all damages when they occur, regardless of the amount. They might even factor in these potential expenses when they set their monthly boarding fee. Also, in some situations (such as a broken fence between two fields), it is not always obvious which horse is the culprit. So, to be fair, the stable owner will often cover the costs to mend the fence and avoid placing the blame on any particular horse in order to keep relations with the boarders harmonious.

However, since your horse obviously was the culprit in the damage to his door, it’s worth having a conversation with the stable owner about the situation. You could offer to chip in on the cost of the new door, which they would probably appreciate. You might also try and figure out the cause of the accident, if you can, to avoid any future problems. Maybe your horse is stabled next to another horse he dislikes, and he might need to be moved to a different stall to avoid any bickering.

In any case, being able to refer to your signed boarding contract in a situation like this is always useful. Carefully reviewing everything in your boarding contract, especially before you sign it, will help you be prepared to handle situations like this and can protect you from any unexpected financial obligations.

Visit www.equestriancounsel.com to learn more or email info@equestriancounsel.com with inquiries.

Dave Thind Method ‘Improve Your Riding from Home’ Series Begins June 8

Walpole, MA, USA (June 5, 2020) – Join equestrians around the world for group class with biomechanics specialist, Dave Thind. Learn signature DTM and Feldenkrais movement techniques that improve your riding, all from the comfort of your home or barn and for half the cost, for a limited time. So that Dave can adequately supervise and assist you, only 24 spots are available per session, and the last two sessions sold out. Riders from the USA, Canada, Brazil, and Australia have registered for this particular class, aiming to improve their flexibility, position, and strength in the saddle as well as reduce bad habits and chronic pain.

In the event that this class fills or doesn’t work for your time zone, check out www.DaveThindMethod.com for other availability, including the start of a similar series on June 16 in French.

This limited time, half-price offer is a special outreach event to help riders continue their education from home while social distancing or getting back into the groove after a period of not riding. Now into their 5th week, students in the two May groups are incredibly enthusiastic and are reporting tremendous results. The two sold out classes are filled with wonderful riders from across the world, from beginner to International Grand Prix riders.

“I’m enjoying the class and found that last week’s lesson was very helpful in re-setting my asymmetry — I had to adjust my stirrups during the prior week because I was so crooked. I needed to do that to function, but after the class was able to go back to even stirrups. Personally, I find it helpful that I have to ‘show up’ for the group class even if I don’t ask many questions or participate directly. I tend to procrastinate and not get around to watching recorded videos,” stated May student Liz Morton.

For only $17.50 per class ($140) you can join the global DTM community of riders in June and July for a fun, relaxing, and informative series of 8 classes. All 8 sessions will be taught live by equestrian biomechanics specialist and German FN Certified “Trainer A”, Dave Thind. The 50-minute classes are followed by Community Q&A to address any issues or concerns in the group of riders of all levels from the US, Canada, Europe, South America, Africa, Australia, New Zealand, and more.

When is it?
Class is held every Monday from June 8 through July 27, 5:00PM – 6:15PM EST*

REGISTRATION DEADLINE: June 7 at Midnight EST, or before if class fills. The session May sessions and overflow class both filled up with a waiting list, so book early to reserve your spot.

Riders that found themselves unable to ride as well as those who have been lucky enough to continue riding during this period have experienced outstanding results from Dave Thind Method’s series.

For more information on the Dave Thind Method, visit www.DaveThindMethod.com.

Media contact:
holly@equinium.com
www.equinium.com

America’s Horses Will Benefit from the COVID-19 Matching Campaign Underway

Horses across the country need us now more than ever and many are in dire need of a lifeline. Thanks to a generous challenge gift from an anonymous donor, every $1 you donate between now and June 30 becomes $2 — up to a maximum of $25,000 — to help feed and care for the horses of EQUUS Foundation Guardian charities affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

For horses to remain an important part of American life and have a viable future, we need to ensure that donor dollars are being spent on programs with the greatest impact – programs that not only increase adoptions of at-risk horses and provide a safe haven for aged horses, but also increase opportunities for all people to engage and partner with horses in new innovative ways.

Many more horses now are at risk of losing their homes – and their lives – due to this global crisis. The EQUUS Foundation helps America’s at-risk horses and we are asking for your help so that, together, we can offer a safety net for horses that now have no place to go.

With so many people facing hardships, our fear is that many more of our four-legged equine friends may be subjected to abuse and neglect and the number of horses heading to the slaughter pipeline will increase.

At the heart of the EQUUS Foundation’s mission is the EQUUS Foundation Guardians program. EQUUS Foundation Guardian charities undergo a rigorous vetting process annually to demonstrate that they are committed to the highest standards for horse care and are transparent and accountable by making their horse care practices and operations available to public scrutiny. Only EQUUS Foundation Guardian charities are eligible to receive financial support from the EQUUS Foundation.

Our rescues are reporting an increase in requests from owners who can no longer care for their horses — and our charities providing therapeutic services are finding it difficult to foresee when they will needing their full herds for a long time.

There’s no better way to give with confidence than to give to EQUUS Foundation Guardian charities — and there’s no better time to give than RIGHT NOW because every dollar you give will double between now and June 30th.

Will you lend a hand to America’s horses and help us reach our goal by June 30? Please make your gift here!

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.

FEI Publishes Return to Play Policy as Equestrian Adapts to “New Normal”

The FEI has published its Policy for Enhanced Competition Safety during the Covid-19 pandemic, aimed at assisting Organisers and National Federations with the safe resumption of international equestrian events in line with national and local restrictions.

The Policy will apply to all FEI Events held as of 1 July 2020 and has been put in place to limit the risk of transmission and further spread of Covid-19 until an effective treatment and/or vaccine as determined by the World Health Organization (WHO) are available.

Developed by FEI Medical Committee Chair Dr Mark Hart together with FEI Headquarters, the Policy requires National Federations and Organisers to carry out a Risk Assessment to evaluate whether it is safe to hold their Events. The Policy includes general best practice recommendations for Organisers and is to be implemented in conjunction with any requirements imposed by the domestic authorities. In addition, discipline-specific guidance will be issued shortly by the FEI.

It is mandatory for FEI Event Organisers to conduct the risk assessment together with their National Federation and domestic government and public health authorities. Events for which the FEI has not received the completed risk assessment and mitigation measures plan will be removed from the FEI Calendar.

“Covid-19 has caused massive disruption to the FEI Calendar and to national events, with a huge impact on all the various participants of equestrian sports,” Dr Mark Hart said. “We are all in this together and this pandemic will be with us for at least 12-24 months. We need to adapt to a ‘new normal’ as we move forward.

“The FEI is committed to assisting National Federations and FEI Event Organisers by providing resources to effectively assess the risks potentially posed by Events from the planning phase and mitigate such risks through relevant measures.

“As we anticipate the gradual return of competitions, we must do everything we can to mitigate the risk of transmission and further spread of Covid-19. This is a matter of public health, and it’s also how a sport can demonstrate to public authorities that it is ready to resume activity.”

Media contacts:

Grania Willis
Director, Communications
grania.willis@fei.org
+41 78 750 61 42

Vanessa Martin Randin
Senior Manager, Media Relations & Communications
vanessa.randin@fei.org
+41 78 750 61 73

Congress Must Pass Great American Outdoors Act

As the states move to re-open public lands, Congress has a major opportunity to pass important trails legislation that will get Americans outside while promoting the health of recreational riders and other outdoor enthusiasts.  Thanks in large part to continued advocacy from the horse industry, a bipartisan group of senators has sponsored the “Great American Outdoors Act of 2020” (S. 3422).  This important recreation bill will come up for a vote in June.   Please contact your senators today!

American Horse Council
www.horsecouncil.org

Equestrians Helping Equestrians: Relief Efforts in the Wake of COVID-19

Once a week, the American Saddlebred Horse Association (ASHA) shares a school-horse appreciation post on social media for what they’ve dubbed “Feed Your Favorite Lesson Horse Friday.” There’s also “Tip Your Groom Tuesday” and “Support a Horse Show Super Hero Sunday,” which are all designed to encourage equestrians to give money to support lesson programs and horse show support staff. While spring would typically be a busy time of year for the equine industry, this year is different, and people in the horse world have come up with creative ways to support each other.

“The Joint Leadership Council (JLC) comprises members from the leadership at the American Hackney Horse Society, American Morgan Horse Association, American Road Horse & Pony Association, American Saddlebred Horse Association, and United Professional Horsemen’s Association,” says Jessica Cushing, Marketing and Communications Manager for the ASHA. “The inspiration behind the JLC COVID-19 social media campaign was to be a voice and consistent promotional message for the difficulties many of our barns, professionals, and equine industry contractors in our community would be facing without the ability to give lessons and attend shows.”

The JLC’s social media campaign has been running for nine weeks, and Cushing says every post continues to receive positive engagement from the community.

“Our professionals are thankful for the recognition that business is still not back to normal, and there are a great many still in need,” says Cushing. “The ability to help spread the word that people are in need has seen countless success stories of lesson horses being sponsored, grooms getting extra support, and a great ‘pay it forward’ lunch program that emerged amongst barns.”

Other segments of the equine industry have launched similar initiatives during the pandemic shutdown. To help keep school horses fed during their furlough, the United States Hunter Jumper Association launched a Feed Aid Initiative to help USHJA members obtain free or discounted feed for lesson horses. Applications are being accepted now through June 1.

Monetary donations to the USHJA’s Feed Aid Initiative are tax-deductible and will be matched by the USHJA Foundation up to $300,000.

The PonyApp and Connolly’s Red Mills have also teamed up to give away feed to lesson barns this spring. Nominations of barns and programs in need are accepted now at ponygroceries.theponyapp.com.

Rescue Relief

In times of hardship, horse owners may find it increasingly difficult financially to maintain an ideal level of care for their horses. Fortunately, the equestrian community has built safety nets to help horses and their owners when hard times hit.

Equine rescue operations are often pushed to their limits in an economic downturn due to owners who can no longer afford to keep their horses and a market with more horses than potential buyers. Most equine rescues operate on a local basis, taking in horses and facilitating adoptions within a certain geographic area. National programs help support those organizations.

The EQUUS Foundation offers financial support to equine organizations that are part of its Guardians program. These organizations are put through a rigorous vetting process every year to ensure high standards of horse care and transparent and accountable operations.

“For horses to remain an important part of American life and have a viable future, we need to ensure that donor dollars are being spent on programs with the greatest impact,” says Lynn Coakley, President of the EQUUS Foundation.

EQUUS Foundation Guardian Charities include those that provide shelter and rehabilitation for abused, neglected, and at-risk horses; retraining and rehoming for horses in transition; peaceful and humane retirement options for aged equines; and/or are organizations that provide equine-assisted therapies and activities in a way that is beneficial for horses and humans.

Coakley says that many of their Guardian charities have had to cancel fundraising events and close their doors to volunteers, which creates an immediate need for resources.

“Instead of waiting until the end of our fiscal year in August, the Board of Directors approved the immediate allocation of $100,000 to help ease the stress of EQUUS Foundation Guardian charities,” says Coakley. “Each eligible charity will receive a $500 grant for horse-care costs upon approval of its 2020 EQUUS Foundation Guardian Seal. As of today, we have awarded grants to over 67 charities and expect to reach at least 150 charities by June.”

“Rescues have had to cancel or postpone fundraising events for the foreseeable future, and many of them have experienced a severe decline in online donations since COVID-19 [closures] started in March,” says Cheryl Jacobson, Deputy Director of Equine Protection for the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS). “While many rescues have hay, feed, and funds for several months, some rescues are not as fortunate and need help to feed their equines while they find additional avenues for fundraising.”

HSUS awards grants to non-profit rescue organizations across the country. In order to qualify for an HSUS grant, organizations must be accredited or verified by the Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries, be members of the Homes for Horses Coalition, or have been directly vetted by HSUS.

“HSUS contacted 440 Homes for Horses Coalition members in early March,” says Jacobson. “We collected information on whether they are open or closed to the public, how many equines they have on site and in foster homes, how long they have feed, hay, and meds for, and any other information they could provide us with. We noted which rescues mentioned that they were in dire need of emergency hay funds. As we were able to secure funding, we started providing grants to the rescues in dire need, and the amount was based on the number of equines in their care.”

Jacobson explains that grant applications are sent to rescues as more funding becomes available. As of this writing, HSUS’s Equine Protection Program and the Homes for Horses Coalition have awarded grant funds to 33 rescues. HSUS has provided additional grant money through its main COVID-19 grant budget.

US Equestrian has provided a USEF Disaster Relief Fund grant to support both the Equus Foundation Guardian Charities and HSUS’s Equine Protection Program to help horses in need due to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Help for Horse People

  • Equine safety-net programs offer direct financial support to owners who need short-term assistance to keep their animals, thereby helping to keep horses from entering the rescue system. The Homes for Horses Coalition maintains a searchable list of safety net programs by state that assist owners with emergency funds, feed, veterinary care, or other essential expenses. The United Horse Coalition also provides a comprehensive listing of local and national equine relief programs on its website.
  • The Equestrian Aid Foundation is currently assisting equestrian professionals and service providers through its Disaster Relief Fund. Individuals who make their living through the horse industry and have lost their income as a direct result of the pandemic can apply for a one-time emergency grant payment of $500 to assist with basic living expenses.
  • In addition to its ongoing social media campaigns, the JLC is providing funds to horse trainers, riding instructors, and horse show staff in the trotting breed industry who have lost income due to COVID-19 through its Horsemen’s Relief Fund. At jlccares.com, equine industry professionals can find resources for financial assistance and creative solutions for generating income during the shutdown.
  • The Show Jumping Relief Fund was created to provide immediate financial assistance to horse show staff, including ring crew, grooms, braiders, and officials, who have lost income as a result of COVID-19 closures. Information on how to apply for assistance or donate to the fund is available at wixsite.com/home.

Get Involved

For equestrians who are able to give back during this time, there are several ways to help.

If you have room in your barn, consider adopting or fostering a horse in need. This will help free up space and resources at a local rescue. One place to start is MyRightHorse.org, a search engine established by The Right Horse initiative that helps connect available horses of all ages, breeds, and types with prospective adopters across the country. Fostering an adoptable horse will not only help ease the burden on rescue organizations, but will give that horse more one-on-one attention and human interaction to improve their adoptability.

In addition to accepting direct donations for the Disaster Relief Fund, the Equestrian Aid Foundation has also partnered with other organizations that are donating partial proceeds from goods and services to the Fund. Find the current partnerships at www.equestrianaidfoundation.org/community-initiatives-ways-to-help.

If you are able, contributing financially to a reputable organization can help bring some immediate financial relief.

“Thanks to a generous challenge gift from an anonymous donor, every $1 you donate now becomes $2 — up to a maximum of $25,000 — to help feed and care for horses at our Guardian charities during the COVID-19 pandemic,” says EQUUS Foundation President Coakley. “Every gift goes directly to underwrite actual horse-care costs like feed, bedding, veterinary, dental, and farrier care.”

The matching donation challenge applies to donations made now through June 30. Visit www.equusfoundation.org/give to donate.

“In addition, while the many barns and equine organizations we support had to temporarily close their doors to volunteers due to social-distancing requirements, many are now beginning to reopen with precautions in place,” says Coakley. “Volunteers are the lifeblood of many equine organizations, and volunteering is a great way to learn about and be close to horses and nature while giving back, making friends, and staying in shape! Learn more about our Champions Volunteer Incentive Program sponsored by Ariat International at www.equusfoundation.org/champions.”

There are always opportunities to provide assistance and give back to the equestrian community, whether that’s by contributing to the barns and shows that would normally have your business at this time of year or by seeking out people in need in your extended network.

“From the first week [of the JLC’s social media campaigns], we had a very generous member of the show-horse community sponsor a whole program of 10+ horses for a month,” says Cushing. “Their barn does not have a lesson program, but they were inspired to help. The ‘Feed Your Favorite Lesson Horse’ campaign helped them find a barn in need and a way to support our community through these challenging times.

“Every day we were getting tagged in photos of barns whose clients, friends, and peers stepped up to send the whole barn lunch and help keep spirits up,” Cushing continues. “It has also been humbling to see barns and industry vendors find creative ways to give back to the JLC Horsemen’s Relief Fund through hosting fundraisers or donating part of their proceeds from sales to our grant program.”

by Leslie Potter/US Equestrian Communications Department