Category Archives: Equestrian Assistance

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.

Misdee and James Miller, Steve Wilson, Laura Lee Brown Continue USET Foundation Gift-Matching Initiative

Dr. Jennifer Thompson is one driving athlete who has seen the benefits of the Developing Athlete Program. Photo by Pics of You.

Gladstone, NJ – Misdee and James Miller, Steve Wilson, and Laura Lee Brown initiated the United States Equestrian Team (USET) Foundation Driving Challenge in 2017 with a goal of raising $1,200,000 for the U.S. Equestrian High Performance Driving program, and today, the loyal supporters and active drivers remain committed to closing in on that goal.

Through the Driving Challenge, multi-year gift commitments of $20,000 or more are matched dollar for dollar, up to $500,000, by the Millers, Wilson, and Brown, who encourage fellow drivers, owners, and enthusiasts to help create a legacy for the High Performance Driving program by rising to the Driving Challenge.

“We created the Challenge because driving, historically, is such a small discipline, and it hasn’t been able to be very well-funded,” said Misdee Miller. “Early on, we recognized that we not only needed to raise funds for our athletes traveling abroad, but most importantly, fund programs and drivers at home.”

The Driving Challenge created a source of funding that can be drawn upon each year and has provided increased support for the Developing Athlete Program (DAP), which has been instrumental in the careers of up-and-coming drivers. A large percentage of the funds are allocated to hiring coaches running educational clinics across the country. There are also plans to develop an international working student program so that drivers can gain valuable first-hand experience competing in Europe.

“So far, the program has thrived and blossomed and has helped a lot of drivers,” continued Misdee Miller. “We’ve taken them from Preliminary all the way to becoming national champions. That’s the best way to recognize if a program has been successful or not.”

Dr. Jennifer Thompson is one such athlete who has seen the benefits of the program first-hand, after coming up through ranks from the Preliminary level all the way to being named the 2019 USEF Advanced Single Horse Combined Driving National Champion.

“I look back to where my horse and I were and to where we are now, and I just think, ‘Wow, we’ve come a long way!’ I have to attribute the vast majority of my success to the opportunities I’ve gotten through the DAP,” said Thompson, who works as a full-time equine veterinarian in Wisconsin. “I’m so thankful to those who have contributed to this program because it has helped me get to where I am today.”

Nifty Hamilton, who was the highest placed U.S. Combined Driver at 2018 FEI World Driving Championships for Singles, also credits the program with her success.

“The High Performance Program has been the cornerstone to my development as a driver and the training of [my horse] Makari Design up through the levels,” said Hamilton. “The quality and variety of the clinicians, in both training and lectures, that the USEF has offered, continue to move me forward toward my goals.”

“We’re really hoping we can get people excited about funding new drivers,” concluded Misdee Miller. “It’s training and developing and supporting drivers on their pathways from the grassroots all the way to ‘pre-podium.’ If we realize our goals, we would raise over a million dollars for driving. That would be quite historic.”

Learn more about being a part of history and making a donation to the Driving Challenge by contacting Bonnie B. Jenkins at bjenkins@uset.org or by phone at 908-234-1251.

For more information on the USET Foundation, visit www.uset.org.

USET Foundation Announces Leadership Gift for U.S. Equestrian Dressage Development Program

Photo by Cealy Tetley.

Lexington, Ky. – The U.S. Equestrian High Performance Dressage Development Program will continue to provide strategic guidance and resources to dressage athletes, thanks to the generous support of Fritz and Claudine Kundrun through the U.S. Equestrian Team (USET) Foundation.

Newly named the Kundrun Dressage Development Program, the U.S. Equestrian initiative was created to provide support to selected athletes with the perceived ability to make it to the podium or to contribute to program scores.

“This program allows us to provide more support to those athletes that are identified as potential future team athletes and horses,” said Hallye Griffin, U.S. Equestrian’s Managing Director of Dressage. “We’re setting our eyes on Los Angeles 2028, with it being a home Olympics that year. This program should be producing horses and athletes for those Games, as well as Games and World Championships preceding them.”

The Kundruns have been long-time supporters of U.S. dressage programs and have owned top horses for the U.S., including Flim Flam, who partnered with Sue Blinks to win a team bronze medal at the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games and a team silver medal at the 2002 World Equestrian Games, and Rosevelt, Ali Brock’s mount who helped clinch a team bronze medal at the 2016 Rio Olympics.

“My wife and I have a passion for dressage,” said Fritz Kundrun, who is supporting the Dressage Development Program through the USET Foundation, the non-profit organization that works to provide the necessary resources to make equestrian competitive excellence possible, both now and in the future. “Hopefully, we can make a difference for the next Olympics and World Championships. We are in this for the love of the sport and for the love of the animals.”

The Kundrun Dressage Development Program is overseen by the U.S. Equestrian Development Coach, Charlotte Bredahl, with the assistance of the U.S. Equestrian Dressage Youth and Young Horse Coaches, as well as the U.S. Equestrian Dressage Technical Advisor.

“With this gift from the Kundruns, the program will expand, and we will be able to give even more support to upcoming athlete and horse combinations and offer more educational opportunities and grants,” said Bredahl. “Our goal is to find and help develop the next generation of top international and Olympic combinations.”

Athletes are selected for membership to the program through Evaluation Sessions held throughout the year. Once named to the program, competition and training targets are agreed upon with each athlete. Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) are monitored by the Development Coach and used to measure progress.

Athletes in the program will have access to grants for national and international events, and there will be an emphasis on the U25 divisions.

“The Kundruns have been instrumental in supporting our programs for many years. Their commitment and contribution will open doors for more combinations and provide access to crucial developmental opportunities that will strengthen our program for the future,” said U.S. Dressage Team Technical Advisor Debbie McDonald, who served as the Development Coach for 10 years.

Applications are now open for the 2020 Kundrun Dressage Development Program evaluation sessions and can be found online here.

Learn more about the Kundrun Dressage Development Program by visiting www.usef.org/compete/disciplines/dressage/development-program.

For more information on the USET Foundation, visit www.uset.org.

Magic the Sugar Plum Fairy

Therapy horse Magic celebrated the holidays with her ballet dancer friends on stage for The Magic of the Nutcracker! at the Curtis M. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts in Gainesville, Florida.

The special performance by the Dance Alive National Ballet was for children from the Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind. They experienced the all-time family favorite by sitting right on the stage, feeling vibrations through the floor and speakers, and touching the costumes and dancers to see the art through their fingertips.

Magic’s costumes, including the sugar plum fairy and Santa’s elf, were made by a Dance Alive National Ballet costume designer.  Magic was an equine professional both on and off the stage.

Gentle Carousel Miniature Therapy Horses
www.gentlecarouseltherapyhorses.com

Our Worst Nightmare…

We have all witnessed some of the most devastating and emotional news coverage of disasters in modern history – impacting not only people but also our horses. Heartbreaking images of horses frantic from the dense smoke of massive raging wildfires filled our screens. As horse lovers and horse protectors, this is our worst nightmare – horses that are terrified, confused, and unable to find their way home.

“With limited funds available, many of our EQUUS Foundation Guardian charities must choose critical essentials like food, farrier care, and vet care over microchipping,” said Lynn Coakley, EQUUS Foundation President. “With your help, we can make sure that these horses will find their way home after disaster strikes and help alleviate the fear felt by the organizations entrusted with their care.”

The EQUUS Foundation is raising $50,000 to microchip 1,000 horses. Just $50* covers the cost of the purchase of one chip and the implantation by a veterinarian. Microchipping is regarded as a humane, ethical, and reliable form of identification. While the United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) now requires all competition horses to be microchipped, less than 20% of the horses at equine charities across the United States are microchipped.

Your donation, in any amount, will support our microchipping effort and protect these majestic animals from harm. The gift horses share with us is immeasurable. Please help keep them safe!

Thanksgiving through Giving Tuesday
November 28 – December 3
https://www.equusfoundation.org/microchip

All gifts of $2,500 or more are recognized in our Winner’s Circle.

*The price of a chip, plus the veterinary fees, can range from $40-$120, depending on the veterinarian and the cost of the original chip. Inserting a microchip is not an invasive process, and it is very unlikely that a horse will have a reaction.

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.

California Fire Season Prompts Grant from EAF’s Disaster Relief Fund

Photo by Matt Howard.

Wellington, Fla. – Nov. 25, 2019 – The Equestrian Aid Foundation provided a grant to the Fleet of Angels’ Emergency Horse Hay Bank program this week to support the organization’s ongoing work of providing horse owners with essential forage in the aftermath of natural disaster. The donation was prompted by recent wildfires in California.

“While we have been told the California equestrian community has fared slightly better than expected, the grave accounts we’ve heard from horsemen who evacuated compelled us to take action,” said EAF board member R. Scot Evans. “Given the increasing frequency and severity of these fires and natural disasters, our donation to the Hay Bank will ensure immediate funds for whatever the equestrian community faces next.”

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), 2019 is the fifth consecutive year in which 10 or more billion-dollar weather and climate disaster events have impacted the United States(1). Elaine Nash, founder of Fleet of Angels and director of its Emergency Horse Hay Bank program, sees firsthand the toll these disasters have taken on equestrian communities. “For well over a year, we’ve had continual natural disaster work to do,” she said. “As horse owners and first responders are learning all too frequently these days, providing evacuation and post-disaster services for large animals like horses is a great and costly challenge.”

The Equestrian Aid Foundation established its Disaster Relief Fund in early 2019 to assist equestrian communities devastated by natural disaster. True to EAF’s motto of “horsemen helping horsemen,” the fund was met with enthusiastic community support, thus enabling outreach such as this week’s donation to the Fleet of Angels’ Emergency Horse Hay Bank. EAF thanks its donors and supporters who made this assistance possible.

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

The Fate of America’s Horses

The photo by Kristin Gray of a Mustang displaying the BLM freeze brand was taken at the Hampton Classic/EQUUS Foundation Equine Adoption Day 2019.

It’s not just the fate of America’s Wild Horses in jeopardy.

Today, horses serve the public as athletes, teachers, companions, and healers. The bond with horses exists with children, adolescents, adults, and seniors because horses make us feel everything from excitement to joy to tranquility.

However, today, America’s horses are also confronted with a disturbing reality and their future may be in jeopardy. Tens of thousands of young healthy horses are being transported across our borders to be slaughtered. Instead, they could be sharing their magic and power with people.

Your gift to the EQUUS Foundation will help end the inhumane and unnecessary abuse of these majestic animals by increasing opportunities for horses to partner with people in new, innovative ways.

We need your help to ensure a safe and sustainable environment for horses now and in the future. As one of the most American of holidays approaches, let’s give thanks to our American treasures and protect our icons of freedom.

For the Love of Horses!
www.equusfoundation.org/love

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.

Book Release of Mercury & Sirius

Just because we are different doesn’t mean we can’t be friends. We just need to care about each other. That is the magical message of real-life best friends Mercury and Sirius, a miniature therapy horse and his canine companion.

Therapy horse Mercury works with Gentle Carousel Miniature Therapy Horses, one of the largest equine therapy programs in the world. The therapy horses were called in to comfort 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. They helped the tornado survivors of Moore, OK, victims of the fires in Gatlinburg, TN, families in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma, and they visit thousands of patients in children’s and veterans’ hospitals across the country each year.  A multiple award winning, 501(c)(3), the charity is celebrating over 20 years of service and brings love to more than 25,000 adults and children a year.

The therapy horses also “bring books to life” for thousands of children each year inside schools, libraries, mentoring programs, at literacy events, and at education resource centers in high crime neighborhoods. Gentle Carousel’s literacy program has a special focus on at-risk readers.

The heartwarming friendship between Mercury and Sirius has been featured in national magazines and on television programs. Now they have a beautiful children’s book scheduled for release on November 15, 2019.  Mercury & Sirius is currently available for pre-order on Amazon (Prime), Barnes and Noble, and other top booksellers.

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

Second Edition of EAF Resources Guide Now Available

Wellington, Fla. — Sept. 30, 2019 — EAF is proud to announce the publication of its Equestrian Aid Foundation Resources Guide, 2019 Edition. The guide is a comprehensive yet succinct handbook of agencies and organizations that provide support to individuals facing times of crisis.

The updated guide includes the addition of the following materials and resources:

  • Disaster prep checklist for people with disabilities
  • Disaster assistance resources
  • Accessible parking resources
  • Caregiver resources
  • Keys to successful self-advocacy
  • Homeownership Preservation Foundation contact information
  • Service Dog resources
  • Advocacy and legal resources

All members of the equestrian community are invited to use the resources guide as a tool, regardless of their status as an EAF grant recipient. The guide is available both as a hard copy and online.

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

2019 Lindsay Maxwell Charitable Fund WIHS Equitation Scholarship Recipients Named

Avery Glynn. Photo by McCool Photography.

Washington, D.C. – The Lindsay Maxwell Charitable Fund will honor Avery Glynn, 17, of Chilmark, CA; Emma Fletcher, 17, of Buzzards Bay, MA; and Taylor Griffiths, 17, of Wellington, FL with the prestigious 2019 Lindsay Maxwell Charitable Fund Washington International Horse Show Equitation Scholarship. The Washington International Horse Show (WIHS) runs October 22-27, 2019, at Capital One Arena in Washington, D.C.

The Lindsay Maxwell Charitable Fund (LMCF) is returning for its third year as the title sponsor of the WIHS Equitation Finals. In 2017 LMCF developed the WIHS Equitation Scholarship to recognize the talent, dedication, and hard work of junior riders who compete throughout the year in the hopes of qualifying to participate in the WIHS Equitation Finals.

“It is a pleasure to recognize the incredible riders who have both applied for and received the WIHS Equitation Scholarship. Last year, we expanded the number of scholarship recipients and this year we will continue that growth by honoring three recipients,” said Lindsay Maxwell, founder of the Lindsay Maxwell Charitable Fund. “The selection committee was impressed by the caliber of applicants this year, and we are thrilled to honor these three young women at the WIHS Equitation Finals.”

Maxwell continued, “The future of our sport depends on young riders like Avery, Emma, and Taylor, who have continually displayed their dedication to our sport, animal welfare, and their local communities.”

“In the third year of the LMCF WIHS Equitation Finals Scholarship program, the WIHS team is beyond impressed by the quality of the applications and the remarkable talent and commitment of these three young competitors,” said WIHS President Victoria Lowell. “We are ever grateful for the increasing generosity and expanded commitment of the Lindsay Maxwell Charitable Fund to this special, one-of-a-kind program.”

In addition to the honors attendant to this accolade, the scholarship will cover expenses such as travel and lodging for the rider and parent, the show’s entry and application fees, equine transportation and stall fees, and special VIP hospitality access. Now in its 28th year, the LMCF WIHS Equitation Finals is a rigorous three-phase competition held over two days. A panel of three judges test and evaluate the riders in hunter, jumper, and work-off rounds to determine the best of the best.

Former Lindsay Maxwell Charitable Fund WIHS Equitation Finals champions include former world No. 1 ranked rider Kent Farrington and two-time Olympic gold medalist McLain Ward.

Invitations to compete in the annual Lindsay Maxwell Charitable Fund WIHS Equitation Finals are sent to the top 40 junior riders based on points earned during the year-long qualifying period.

For more information on WIHS, please visit www.wihs.org.

For more information on event schedule and special ticket offers and discounts, visit WIHS.org/tickets.

Contact: Jennifer Wood
jwood@jumpmediallc.com