Category Archives: Equestrian Assistance

USEF Provides COVID-19 Facts and Resources as Pandemic Changes Equestrian Life

The COVID-19 pandemic is disrupting equestrians’ routines around the country as barns employ social distancing techniques and increased human biosecurity practices, and, in at least some areas to date, even close to all but essential staff by choice or by local restrictions.

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Congress, President Deliver $2 Trillion Relief Package, Address Many Horse Industry Concerns

Following a week of intense negotiations, on Friday, March 27 House lawmakers finally passed – and the President signed into law – the Coronavirus Aid Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, teeing up approximately $2 trillion in emergency aid to American taxpayers, small business, independent contractors, and non-profits and charities. Because most equine enterprises characterize themselves as small businesses and include many non-profits such as state associations and equine rescue operations, the package addresses many challenges facing the horse industry.

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Equine Non-Profits Granted More Than $100,000 by USA Equestrian Trust – Deadline for 2020 Submissions Is April 22

USA Equestrian Trust® has awarded more than $100,000 in grants to help fund equine-focused projects by more than a dozen non-profits. The organizations receiving funding all submitted applications as part of the Trust’s 2019 application period. Since the inception of its grants program, the Trust has awarded more than $2.2 million in grants.

The Trust is also pleased to announce it is now accepting proposals from IRS-registered equine non-profit organizations for its 2020 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 2020 grants program is 11:59 p.m. Pacific Time on Wednesday, April 22.

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Equestrian Aid Foundation Opens Disaster Relief Fund

Wellington, Fla. — Mar. 26, 2020 — The Equestrian Aid Foundation has opened its Disaster Relief Fund to assist equestrian professionals and industry service providers in unexpected financial crisis as a direct result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Foundation will prioritize assistance to industry professionals and service providers who have lost their primary or only income as a direct result of the pandemic. A one-time emergency grant payment of $500 is intended to assist qualified applicants with basic living expenses. The grant window for EAF’s COVID-19 relief program is open through April 15.

In light of the recent guidelines set by US Equestrian regarding the suspension of horse showing for an extended period of time, the equestrian community is facing critical need now more than ever.

Donations made to EAF’s Disaster Relief Fund at this time will be directed in full toward assistance for equestrian professionals and industry service providers in financial crisis directly due to the suspension and related cancellations caused by COVID-19.

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

A Message from the USET Foundation

Gladstone, NJ – As the world navigates through these uncertain times, the USET Foundation continues to focus on its mission and the support of our athletes as they move forward in preparation for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Now, more than ever, they need our support and we will continue doing the important work of fundraising to help our U.S. teams achieve their goals and dreams.

Per the United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee: “Despite the ever-changing nature of coronavirus, its global impact, and the hypothetical scenarios that have entered the conversation, the USOPC has not been given any information to suggest that the Tokyo 2020 Games will not go ahead as scheduled and as planned. We, like the athletes who are training to compete at their very best in Tokyo, are focused on being prepared to support our Olympic and Paralympic teams in Japan. It remains our great hope that Team USA athletes – having dedicated an incalculable amount of time and effort in hopes of representing the United States in the Olympic and Paralympic Games – will have the opportunity to live out their athletic dreams in Tokyo.”

As our athletes continue to prepare this spring and heading into the summer, their entire support network surrounding them remains engaged. We are resolute in continuing to do our part to support US Equestrian’s high performance sport and hope that you will join the team in “Raising the Bar” for our U.S. athletes.

USET Foundation has taken measures to address the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) on the team working in Gladstone. Aiming toward our fundraising goals, we remain open and are available by phone and e-mail. We encourage our friends and supporters to stay informed through the World Health Organization and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

We hope that you will join us in our support of America’s teams, not only in this championship year, but going forward, as we plan for future games and build the pipeline of young athletes moving up in equestrian sport. Our athletes are determined to make their mark on history, and we are committed to supporting them throughout their journeys by providing the necessary resources for their success.

Learn more at www.uset.org.

Contact: Emily Randolph
emily@jumpmediallc.com
www.jumpmediallc.com

Eagala Celebrated 20th Anniversary with Record-Breaking Attendance at 2020 Conference

Lexington, Ky. – March 16, 2020 – Eagala recently celebrated their 20th Anniversary with record-breaking attendance during their Vision 360 conference on February 26-29. Over 630 people, Eagala members and those passionate about equines from across the U.S., and twenty countries gathered in Lexington to network, learn, and celebrate the past 20 years, while creating clarity for the next 20 years in the rapidly growing Eagala Model approach. The Eagala Model combines licensed mental health professionals, qualified equine specialists, and horses to effectively work with clients addressing mental health issues.

As part of the conference, Eagala was proud to host the Congressional Horse Caucus on Saturday, Feb. 29th.  Eagala CEO, Lynn Thomas, with the support of the American Horse Council, and members of the Congressional Horse Caucus attended a live, hands-on demonstration with horses and a panel discussion at the Lexington Convention Center.

Thousands of pounds of dirt were brought in to transform the basement of the Lexington Convention Center into a working indoor arena. Following the demonstration, the panel met about the impact of incorporating horses in mental health services for Veterans with PTSD and re-entry transitions, suicide prevention, substance abuse recovery, rural mental health issues, and other mental health needs in which horses can have a positive impact on treatment outcomes.

In attendance was Horse Caucus Co-chairman Congressman Andy Barr (R-KY 6), a member of the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, who prior to the Caucus participated in an Eagala session with Kentucky-based veterans. Representative Barr has been a strong advocate for this method to improve the lives of veterans and horses, including retired racehorses.  He has led legislation funding equine-assisted services for mental health issues through the Veterans Administration Adaptive Sports Grant, and co-sponsored the IMPROVE Well Being for Veterans Act (H.R. 3495) – a veteran suicide prevention bill to provide grants to community organizations that interact with veterans who may not seek care at the VA, and includes access to equine-assisted services.

Invited to participate in the panel were members of the Congressional Horse Caucus, leaders in the horse and equine-assisted services industries, and veterans and others who have benefited from these services. The Caucus was moderated by Eagala Legislative Director, Ellen Stroud. To learn more about Eagala, please visit their website here.

Apply Now for the USPEA Jonathan Wentz Memorial Grants

The Jonathan Wentz Memorial (JWM) Competition Grants were established to continue the dream of Paralympian Jonathan Wentz; to advance Para Dressage in the USA by supporting and encouraging Para Dressage Youth, Adult & Veteran athletes to set the goal of National and International competition.

At age 13 Jonathan set the goal of riding for the USA in the Paralympics. At age 16 he established a plan and budget to achieve his dream. In 2012, at the age of 21, Jonathan was able to achieve his dream of riding for Team USA in the 2012 London Paralympics, earning the highest placing of all U.S. equestrians that competed in London.

Jonathan saw the need to develop a pathway for Para Dressage Emerging athletes in order to help grow and improve Para Dressage in the USA. The Jonathan Wentz Memorial Grants were developed to help offset the expense of participating in National and International competitions to encourage the growth of USA Para Dressage. Download the grant application here.

Grant #1 The JWM Emerging Athlete National Competition Grant

The JMW Emerging Athlete National Grant is intended for Emerging Para Dressage Youth, Adult & Veteran athletes, ages 12 within the competition year through adults who are actively competing in National Para Dressage competitions at USDF/USEF Licensed competitions.

The JMW Emerging Athlete National Grant is intended to be used to help offset the expense of participating in National competitions. Grant reimbursement may include entry and stabling fees, trainer fees, and/or horse transportation,

Grants of $250 may be awarded for up to two USDF/USEF competition per calendar year, showing in FEI Para Dressage Test of Choice classes. Grants are subject to the approval of the USPEA board and availability of funding.

Guidelines for Application of The JWM Emerging Athlete National Competition Grant:

  1. Athletes must be an active member of USPEA.
  2. Must have a current USEF National Classification with a confirmed Grade or Review Set Date Status.
  3. Athletes must be age 12 or older within the competition year.
  4. Grant is to offset expense of entering and competing in a USDF/USEF Licensed competition in FEI Para Dressage TEST OF CHOICE classes.
  5. Athletes must submit a Jonathan Wentz Memorial Competition Grant Application (page 1) with expenses itemized, along with a copy of completed entry forms, invoices, and/or receipts for consideration of grants. Grants are intended for direct payment of specific competition expenditures, entry fees, stabling, and/or horse transport only. Checks made out to athlete or immediate family for reimbursement will require a completed W-9 and will be subject to approval.
  6. Athlete may only apply for one grant at a time (maximum two (2) Grant #1 per calendar year, six grants maximum lifetime).

Note: Athletes may only receive this grant a maximum of six times. Athletes who have achieved a 62% or higher in the Team, Individual, or Freestyle test at a CPEDI3* are not eligible for Grant #1.

Grant #2 The JMW Young Athletes International Competition Grant

The JMW Young Athletes International Competition Grant is intended for assisting USA Para Dressage Young Athletes (ages 16-21 within the competition year), who are eligible to compete in CPEDI 1-3* International Para Dressage competitions and have not yet achieved a 62% or above in the Team or Individual FEI Para Dressage tests at a CPEDI3*.

The JWM Young Athletes International Competition Grant is intended to be used to help offset the expense of participating in International (CPEDI) competitions. Grant reimbursement may include entry and stabling fees, trainer fees, and/or horse transportation.

Grants may be awarded up to $1,000.00 for the athletes competing in a CPEDI competition. Grant amount will be based on horse transport mileage. (> 500 miles = $500.00; > 750 miles = $750.00; > 1,000 miles = $1,000.00 max. Miles noted are based on one way.)

Grants may be awarded for a maximum of one CPEDI event per competition year with a maximum of $1,000.00 awarded per competition. Grants are subject to the approval of the USPEA board and availability of funding.

Guidelines for Application of The JWM Young Athletes International Competition Grant:

  1. Athletes must be an active member of USPEA (membership at uspea.org).
  2. Athletes must be 16-21 years old within the competition year.
  3. Athletes must have a USEF National Classification or FEI International Classification with an assigned Grade with the status of Confirmed or Review Set Date. A FEI Classification is mandatory for participation in a FEI CPEDI.
  4. Athlete must have received a minimum score of 64% in the past 6 months at a USDF/USEF Licensed show or through USPEA Video Judging in the Novice A & B test for a CPEDI 1 & 2*; and in the Team, Individual, and Freestyle test for a CPEDI3*. Tests must be in the athlete’s classified grade.
  5. Grant is intended to offset the expense of entering and competing in an FEI CPEDI.
  6. Athletes must submit a Jonathan Wentz Memorial Competition Grant Application (page 1) with expenses itemized, along with a copy of completed entry forms, invoices, and/or receipts for consideration of grants. Grants are intended for direct payment of specific competition expenditures, entry fees, stabling, and/or horse transport only. Checks made out to athlete or immediate family for reimbursement will require a completed W-9 and will be subject to approval.
  7. Athlete may only apply for one grant at a time (maximum one (1) Grant #2 per calendar year, 2 grants maximum lifetime).

Note: Athletes may only receive this grant a maximum of two times. Athletes who have achieved a 62% or higher in the Team, Individual, or Freestyle test at a CPEDI3* are not eligible for Grant #2.

Both Grants are subject to the approval of the USPEA board and the availability of funds. Athletes may only apply for one Grant at a time.

Download the grant application here.

For more information about the USPEA, please visit www.USPEA.org.

Can a Minor Drive a Golf Cart at a Horse Show?

By Leone Equestrian Law

Q: We are planning to rent a golf cart during an upcoming horse show in Florida. What are some things we need to keep in mind? Can my 14-year-old daughter drive the cart, even though she doesn’t have a driver’s license yet?

Answer: The first thing to know is that each state has its own rules regarding the age requirements for driving a golf cart. As a result, what may be considered an acceptable age in one place could be illegal in another. This is why it is important to always check the rules and regulations if you are considering letting a minor drive a golf cart.

In most states (including Florida), a child has to be at least 14 years of age to be able to drive a golf cart. In other places such as Texas, the driver has to be around 16 years old. Then there are states such as California and South Carolina that allow children to drive golf carts at the age of 13.

It’s also important to know what Florida defines as a golf cart versus an LSV (low-speed vehicle). According to its statute, Florida defines an LSV as a four-wheeled electric vehicle whose top speed is greater than 20 mph, but less than 25 mph. The minute that golf cart exceeds speeds of 20 mph, it becomes an LSV and is subject to a different set of rules. In Florida, low-speed vehicles are considered motor vehicles and are required to be titled, registered, and insured with Personal Injury Protection and Property Damage Liability coverage in order to be operated on Florida streets and highways, while golf carts in Florida are not required to be insured (although insurance, even on golf carts, is highly recommended).

Also, any person operating an LSV must have a valid driver’s license in their immediate possession. Be aware that your daughter may be able to drive the golf cart, but not an LSV — make sure you know which one you’re renting!

So, even though a golf cart driver is not required by Florida law to be a licensed driver, it is nonetheless a good idea. In addition to being of age, drivers are also required to know the rules of the road and how to safely operate such a vehicle.

Now that you know your 14-year-old daughter can legally operate a golf cart in Florida, but not an LSV, you should also be aware of liability concerns and consider if it is worth the risk if she damages property or injures someone.

Click here to read more about this topic as well as safety tips when driving a golf cart.

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

Teamwork Saves Horses – From Hollywood to the East Coast

Helping horses in transition find their next chapter to be useful, protected, and loved is what the EQUUS Foundation is all about. That’s why actress Beth Behrs (“Two Broke Girls,” “The Neighborhood”), who is also an equine/animal advocate and rescue horse owner, contacted the EQUUS Foundation for help in finding a solution for some neglected Thoroughbreds on the East Coast.

All too often animals can become victims of unfortunate circumstances, even when their owners mean well – which was the situation with these unfortunate Thoroughbred horses who were owned by an elderly couple. When the husband passed way, the widow tried to continue to care for her horses, but with the arrival of winter, it became impossible.

“The horse community is unlike any community I’ve ever had the gift of being a part of,” said Behrs. “The way that horse lovers show up to support each other and the animals always makes me so emotional. I love the community of horse people I’ve made in real life and on social media. When my friend Caitlin of Rancho Relaxo Rescue desperately needed help, I had no doubt EQUUS Foundation would be up for the challenge. I’m so happy I was able to help connect two incredible horse warriors in order to save these beautiful four-legged souls in dire need of help.”

It was the best of social media at work. Caitlin Cimini at Rancho Relaxo Rescue had intervened, but they were at full capacity and could only take two. Valerie Angeli, VP, Engagement, EQUUS Foundation, immediately reached out to EQUUS Foundation Guardian Rising Starr and its founder, Kelly Stackpole. Just like that, in a major team effort, two more horses, Jonathon and Drew, got their freedom ride out of a freezing cold, tumbledown, makeshift barn to the safety and comfort of Rising Starr’s brand new facility in Wilton, Connecticut.

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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.

Robb Report’s Horsepower Gala Honors Frank McCourt, Georgina Bloomberg, and Jessica Springsteen

Left to right: Penske Media vice chairman Gerry Byrne, Penske Media board member Sophie Stenbeck, Georgina Bloomberg, Robb Report managing director David Arnold, Kelly Klein, Monica McCourt, Frank McCourt, and Robb Report editor in chief Paul Croughton.

The gala benefited the EQUUS Foundation’s vital work to stop equine abuse

Robb Report, the world’s leading authority on luxury lifestyle, held its inaugural Horsepower Gala on Sunday, December 8, at the Boca Raton Resort & Club, a Waldorf Astoria resort. The EQUUS Foundation, America’s foremost equine-welfare organization, was chosen by the prestigious publication as its charitable partner to raise funds and to increase awareness of horse abuse, neglect, and slaughter.

The power and magic of horses were the inspirations of the invitation-only event, which honored three champions of equine protection: Frank McCourt, Georgina Bloomberg, and Jessica Springsteen. More than 150 guests gathered with Robb Report and the EQUUS Foundation to celebrate the majesty of horses and all they bring to our lives and to honor the three special individuals who embody passion for horses and equestrian sport.

Frank McCourt received the Horsepower Leadership Award for his commitment to safeguarding the protection and dignity of America’s horses and was introduced by his wife, Monica McCourt.

Mr. and Mrs. McCourt are enthusiastic supporters of equestrian sports and own several amateur and competitive horses as well as the Miami Celtics, a world-class show-jumping team that competes in the Global Champions League.

Georgina Bloomberg received a Horsepower Rider of the Year Award and was introduced by Valerie Angeli, vice president of engagement at the EQUUS Foundation.

Jessica Springsteen received a Horsepower Rider of the Year Award and was introduced by Sophie Stenbeck, a gala co-chair, equine advocate, and Penske Media board member.

Bloomberg and Springsteen were recognized for their tireless work on behalf of the EQUUS Foundation and the protection of America’s horses throughout their lives. Both are leading competitive show-jumping athletes who have supported the EQUUS Foundation since its earliest days, motivating fellow equestrians and horse advocates to become horse protectors.

“We are thrilled and privileged to be part of this stunning and meaningful evening for those who ride, work with, care about and care for horses and to celebrate the accomplishments of our honorees — Frank, Georgina, and Jessie. Each is a champion of the equestrian sport and equine protection,” said Lynn Coakley, EQUUS Foundation president.

“The EQUUS Foundation is committed to not only increasing adoptions of at-risk horses and providing a safe haven for aged horses, but also increasing opportunities for all people to engage and partner with horses in new, innovative ways.”

“Horses bring joy to old and young alike. Evenings like this help us ensure a safe and sustainable environment for horses now and in the future.”

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.

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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Georgina Bloomberg Honored as 2019 EQUUS Foundation Humanitarian Award Recipient

Left to right: Lynn Coakley, EQUUS Foundation President, Georgina Bloomberg, and Murray Kessler, President, US Equestrian Federation. Photo by Adam Brennan – www.picturesbyab.com.

Georgina Bloomberg received the EQUUS Foundation Humanitarian Award at the Pegasus Awards Dinner on January 10, 2020 during the US Equestrian Annual Meeting in West Palm Beach, Florida. The EQUUS Foundation and the United States Equestrian Federation established the Humanitarian Award in 2009 to honor a member of the equestrian world who has devoted considerable personal time to making the quality of life of our equine partners paramount.

Bloomberg is not only an accomplished, world class equestrian, she is also a renowned, committed, and highly influential animal welfare advocate who is an inspiration and role model to her many thousands of friends, followers and fans who follow her lead in helping all animals.

In 2006, at the age of 23, in the midst of a budding career in equestrian sport, Bloomberg established The Rider’s Closet to provide equestrian clothing to individuals in need, as she wanted to give back to the sport that had given her so much. In 2019, the Rider’s Closet became an EQUUS Foundation program.

“We learned firsthand that tens of thousands of people of all ages all across the country have been able to pursue their horsemanship dreams thanks to Georgina’s efforts,” said Lynn Coakley, EQUUS Foundation President. “Equally fortunate are all of the horses whose futures might have been dramatically different without opportunities for them to partner with these tens of thousands of people who benefitted from The Rider’s Closet clothing.”

In accepting the award, Bloomberg said, “I have to say that of any award or prize that I have been lucky enough to receive while representing the USA, this has to be top of the list and most meaningful. It’s an amazing honor to have my name on this award, but this award is not a recognition of my work — my good intentions, yes — but much more than that — it is a recognition of how when people come together and work together as a team, what you can accomplish is limitless. I am incredibly lucky to have great people who have helped and continue to help make my dreams of accomplishments in the saddle and out become a reality.”

While Bloomberg’s crew of rescued pets includes a pig, a goat, numerous adopted and foster dogs, a cow and her calf, a rooster, and even a savvy pigeon named Steve, horses are Bloomberg’s first love, and they are at the center of her extensive and impactful animal protection efforts. Her rescued mother and son mini horses, Lola and Harley, Abe, the mule rescued from slaughter, a retired carriage horse named Sultan whom she adopted, and all the show horses she has retired at her farm that get to live out their days with loving care, all agree.

In 2017, Bloomberg became an EQUUS Foundation EQUUStar in addition to her already serving on the boards of prominent organizations like the Humane Society of the United States, the Hampton Classic Horse Show, the Lake Placid Horse Show, and the United States Equestrian Team Foundation.

As an EQUUStar, Bloomberg passionately advocates for horses at risk for abuse, neglect, and slaughter in both her words and actions, rallies other equestrians on behalf of horse welfare, and leverages her high-profile status, partnerships, and connections to drive home the message that all horses deserve happy lives and happy endings.

When Bloomberg wanted to pique her five-year-old son’s interest in learning to ride, it was no surprise that she made the choice to also make a difference in the life of an at-risk horse. Bloomberg adopted Teddy – a miniature horse rescued by Omega Horse Rescue from a kill buyer’s facility. Teddy and Jasper became a social media sensation, encouraging others to rescue and adopt.

“It was a thrill and a privilege to honor a member of the EQUUS Foundation family. Georgina’s passionate work and actions on behalf of the welfare of horses is extraordinary, exemplary, and powerfully inspirational,” said Coakley.

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.