Category Archives: Equestrian Aid Found.

Tickets on Sale for Althea, Former Cavalia Artists, in an Evening of Enchantment

Sylvia Zerbini and her liberty stallions. Photo courtesy of Sylvia Zerbini.

Wellington, Fla. – Jan. 16, 2017 – Tickets are now on sale for “Althea,” an evening of enchantment as humans and horses discover the magical powers of healing through a breathtaking performance. Seating is limited for this captivating and entertaining event. “Althea” is scheduled for one night only, Feb. 12, at the Global Dressage Festival Stadium in Wellington.

This once-in-a-lifetime theatrical experience features former Cavalia artists Sylvia Zerbini, S. Caleb Carinci Asch, Kansas Carradine, other mounted cast members, and their magnificent horses. These performers have wowed fans across the country with their incredible feats with their beautiful horses. Equestrians and non-equestrians will marvel at the depth of the connection between the artists and their equine partners required for this performance.

The doors open at 6:30 p.m. and the show begins at 7:30 p.m. Seating options include VIP tickets and tables with cocktails and dinner or general admission seating for the performance. Highlights of the event’s live auction include a vintage Mercedes, a month of training with a Rio Olympic team member, a sunset yacht cruise and more.

“Althea” is a gala benefit for the Equestrian Aid Foundation, a 501(c)(3) organization that has raised over $2.6 million in its nearly 20-year history to assist individuals from all riding disciplines, equine professions, backgrounds and ages who are coping with serious injury or illness.

To purchase tickets, go to:

Althea is a gala benefit for the Equestrian Aid Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that assists people from all corners of the horse world who are coping with life-changing injury or illness and financial crisis. Since its inception 20 years ago, the Foundation has granted $2.7 million in direct financial aid to equestrians facing adversity. This needs-based support provides assistance for basic living and rehabilitative expenses to riders, trainers, farriers, grooms, horse farm owners and other equestrians who need a helping hand to get back on their feet. For more information, please visit

For more information:
Contact (908) 803-1535 or

Media Contact:
Jessica Greene
Sirota Public Relations
(917) 783-2334

You Can Keep Hope Alive

An equestrian’s life can change in an instant. Accidents happen, illness strikes. Even those with insurance can risk losing everything when things go wrong. This may happen to a friend or rider in your barn. Your trainer, groom or farrier. Any of us.

Thanks to your compassion, the Equestrian Aid Foundation® has been there in times of need for over 20 years. Your support has made it possible to help horse people in over 30 states across America to keep a roof over their heads, obtain medication, and receive therapeutic treatment to improve their lives.

Together, we have provided over $2.6 million in direct financial assistance to critically injured or ill horse people in need of a helping hand.

One of these equestrians is Laurietta, a determined para-equestrian who has beaten two different forms of cancer. Yet she still suffers from progressively debilitating auto-immune diseases that significantly affect her health. Today, Laurietta can only walk short distances using braces – otherwise, she relies on a motorized wheelchair. “I live life as good as I can,” she says. “If it wasn’t for Equestrian Aid helping me pay my rent, I would probably be on the streets. People have the option of helping people – and when they help, it is really meaningful.”

You have been with Equestrian Aid grant recipients like Laurietta every step of the way.  Thank you! But with healthcare costs and living expenses on the rise, fellow equestrians who are coping with medical and financial crises need you more than ever.

Please send a tax deductible gift of healing today to those in our equestrian community who need it most. Every contribution will make a difference in a suffering horse person’s life.

You are Equestrian Aid. Please help to keep hope alive.

To see firsthand how your generous gift helps, please visit

Equestrian Aid Foundation
11924 West Forest Hill Blvd
Suite 10A-377
Wellington, FL 33414

Equestrian Aid Foundation Celebrates Milestone 20th Anniversary

Photo: Nic Roldan.

Leading Non-Profit reflects on serving equestrians from all corners of the horse world

Wellington, FL. Aug. 23, 2016 – The Equestrian Aid Foundation is proud to announce its twentieth year as the leading nonprofit that assists individuals from all riding disciplines, equine professions, backgrounds and ages who are coping with catastrophic injury or illness.

Equestrian Aid was founded in 1996 by six-time Olympic dressage rider, Robert Dover, together with R. Scot Evans, Gene Mische, Mason Phelps, Jr., Robert Ross and Kim Tudor. Initially, the organization focused on providing financial support to those battling HIV/AIDS. Some ten years ago, the Foundation broadened its mission to provide needs-based assistance for basic living and rehabilitation expenses to any equestrian who is suffering from a severe or life-threatening illness or injury.

“The Equestrian Aid Foundation has made a difference in the lives of so many,” states Stephanie Bulger, Equestrian Aid Foundation Board President. “This milestone celebrates all of those who share our mission. Special appreciation goes to our donors, who have embraced the responsibility that we have as horse lovers and horse-sport participants to take care of our own. We join our grant recipients in sending heartfelt thanks to all of those who have supported Equestrian Aid throughout these 20 years.”

Since its inception, the Equestrian Aid Foundation has provided over $2.5 million in direct grant support to recipients in 30 states across America. As the Foundation’s reputation expands nationally, opportunities are also growing for Equestrian Aid to provide essentials such as food and housing, health insurance, transportation, physical therapy, and more to a greater number of equestrians in need.

To meet this challenge, Equestrian Aid has hired its first Executive Director, Louise Smith. “As a dressage rider and farm owner, I understand how quickly life can change for people involved with horses. When equestrians become seriously hurt or ill, they sometimes risk losing everything,” says Smith. “As more people understand our purpose, I believe that they will want to get involved and help.”

Steven Castillo was a leading dressage trainer and promising “l” judge for the United States Dressage Federation in 1997. When he was diagnosed with HIV/AIDS, Steven turned to Equestrian Aid to help pay for medical and housing expenses since his prognosis.

“After discovering the Equestrian Aid Foundation, my life truly changed,” states Steven. “The fear of not being about to put food on the table or pay medical expenses was wiped away. Equestrian Aid has been my biggest blessing.”

A more recent Equestrian Aid grantee is Linda Andrisani, one of the most well-respected hunter judges in the country. In March 2011, Linda was diagnosed with adenocarcinoma of the right parotid gland. As a result, she was unable to work for a period of time, but has since recovered.

“After my diagnosis, I didn’t know if my life would ever go back to normal,” Linda reflects. “The Equestrian Aid Foundation helped to provide a sense of security that created hope in spite of life’s circumstances.”

The Equestrian Aid Foundation is a 501(c)(3) organization that has raised over $2.5 million in its nearly twenty year history to assist individuals from all riding disciplines, equine professions, backgrounds and ages who are coping with serious injury or illness.

For more information about the Equestrian Aid Foundation, please visit or follow us on Facebook. You can make a difference in the lives of horse people in need.

Contact: Jessica Greene, Sirota Public Relations

20 Years of Equestrian Aid

“There but for the grace of God go I. If it were not for the Equestrian Aid Foundation, I would be on the other side of the table at the soup kitchen.” — Joe, Equestrian Aid grant recipient

It all began around a different table. One night 20 years ago, over dinner, five friends established a common goal: to make the world a better place for seriously ill equestrians.

Today, the Equestrian Aid Foundation continues to effect a world of good for catastrophically ill and injured equestrians facing financial crisis.

We’ve all heard that life can change in an instant. For Joe, it did. A talented farrier, he didn’t hesitate to shoe a horse that had the reputation for being challenging. Unfortunately, the horse fell on him. At first all seemed fine. Joe went to lunch with his assistant, but as they went to leave, he couldn’t stand up and knew something was horribly wrong.

Joe had suffered major spinal cord injuries. He underwent surgery but was told he would never walk again. But Joe has faith and determination. That, paired with financial assistance from the Equestrian Aid Foundation, has allowed him to literally put one foot in front of the other. Although Joe will never shoe horses again, he willed himself to walk and continues to rebuild his life each and every day.

Prior to his accident, Joe was the one who rescued others. He volunteered at his church’s soup kitchen every week and nurtured everything from dogs to doves. He still does. Through hardship, Joe and many other equestrians just like him have maintained the essence of their being while overcoming catastrophic injury or illness and financial crisis.

The Equestrian Aid Foundation marks its 20th Anniversary milestone this year.

For your donations, both small and large, our recipients thank you. For your belief that the equestrian community can and will take care of its own, we thank you.

Together, we can make a difference!

To see first-hand how your generous gift helps, please visit

If you have any questions or need more information, please contact us at or 1.800.792.6068.

Equestrian Aid Foundation Announces Wellington Charity Film Screening

Exclusive screening of Nantucket and Prescott Film Festival Winner Harry and Snowman

Wellington, FL. January 5, 2015 – As equestrians from around the world head to Wellington, Florida for the winter, the Equestrian Aid Foundation is offering an exclusive screening of award winning documentary, Harry and Snowman.

The Harry and Snowman advance movie screening will take place on Sunday, February 21st at the Global Dressage Stadium at 13500 South Shore Blvd. The Luminary Award, which yearly is bestowed upon an individual who is committed to the betterment of horse sports and the people within the community, will be presented to Harry de Leyer.

The money raised will go to support EAF’s mission to help equestrian professionals in their time of need. Guests will enjoy a variety of picnic style food trucks, popcorn, ice cream and cocktails while experiencing Harry de Leyer’s Cinderella story.

Harry and Snowman is a feature length documentary about international show jumping rider Harry de Leyer and his horse Snowman. Snowman was an old Amish plow horse that Harry rescued off a truck bound for a meat and glue factory. In less than two years after his rescue, the man and his horse were the national show jumping champions and had become national celebrities.

“We are excited to be hosting a fun, family friendly evening that we hope will bring together people from both the community and the equestrian world,” said President of the Equestrian Aid Foundation, Stephanie Riggio Bulger. “EAF would love to share with all of Wellington this remarkable story that has been able to touch the hearts of a nation.”

In additional to General Admission, VIP tickets and tables will be available for purchase to all attendees. For more information or to order tickets, please visit

About the Equestrian Aid Foundation: For 19 years, the EAF has delivered financial assistance to equestrians, horsemen and equine-related professionals who are suffering from catastrophic illnesses or injuries throughout their time of need. In September 2012, the EAF reached a milestone of distributing more than $2 million in funding to its recipients throughout its history. Funding for medical, rehabilitation and essential expenses – such as food and housing – enables recipients to cope through crisis and get back on their feet. The EAF is dedicated to helping people from all riding disciplines, equine professions, backgrounds and ages. The EAF is a 501 (c) 3 organization. Learn more at, or @ride4hope.

Erin Brown
Account Executive
Sirota Public Relations
250 West 57th Street, Suite 1311
New York, NY 10107
O: 212.486.3319
C: 917.783.2334

Equestrian Aid Foundation Honors Mark Bellissimo at “A Night of Legends”

Mark Bellissimo. Photo credit: Julie Unger.

Wellington, Florida. February 22, 2015 – The equestrian community and Palm Beach residents gathered together on Sunday, February 22, 2015 for the Equestrian Aid Foundation’s “A Night of Legends.” An evening of cocktails, dinner and unique entertainment, the event was held at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center and raised money to support horsemen and equine-related professionals suffering from illness or catastrophic injury.

White Horse Catering provided a delicious buffet with Mediterranean cuisine, assorted cheeses and dips, crab cakes and more available for VIP members, and local food trucks showcased their best offerings for purchase.

Coti Collins and Ted Brightwell brought smiles and joy to guests when they took the stage as Judy Garland, Reba McEntire, and Barbara Streisand for the surprise musical performance. They opened with a magnificent spotlight on the songs of Judy Garland by Collins that included a duet with Brightwell as Barbara Streisand. Then Brightwell dazzled during a Funny Girl blend of “I’m the Greatest Star” and “My Man.”

During intermission, EAF President Stephanie Riggio Bulger bestowed the 2015 Luminary Award upon Mark Bellissimo for all his positive efforts to enhance and enlighten the equestrian community, becoming the sixth person honored since 2012.

“It is an honor to receive such a prestigious award,” said Bellissimo. “The Equestrian Aid Foundation serves as a lifeline to horsemen in need, and with all the wonderful work that they do to support our community, it is humbling to be honored for my contributions.”

A live auction allowed patrons to bid on an exclusive list of packages, which included an African safari, a trip to a movie premiere, an all-inclusive yacht excursion for six, and more. One lucky Diamond Drop raffle ticket purchaser went home with a diamond donated by Jose Aman at Diamante Atelier.

Following the break, Collins and Brightwell returned to the stage for the second set, delighting the audience with some modern Barbara Streisand melodies and culminating with a Reba McEntire mix by Collins that brought down the house.

“For this year’s annual benefit during the Winter Equestrian Festival, we decided to focus on fun and allow our guests to relax in a rewarding, concert atmosphere,” said EAF President Stephanie Riggio Bulger. “The organization is incredibly grateful to Mark for the remarkable opportunities that he creates within the horse world, making it efficient and welcoming. Shining a light on his success and how he helps with the Equestrian Aid Foundation was our way of thanking him.”

Kimberly Van Kampen Boyer hosted the event along with co-chairs Robert Ross, Stephanie Riggio Bulger, Monique Huntington Ketiz and Missy Luczak Smith.

Guests headed to The Grill after the conclusion of the event for a private after party with a percentage of profits benefiting the Equestrian Aid Foundation.

About the Equestrian Aid Foundation: The mission of the Equestrian Aid Foundation is to provide grand-based assistance to horsemen and equine-related professionals suffering from illness or catastrophic injuries. The EAF is dedicated to helping people of all ages and from all backgrounds and disciplines, offering funding for medical, rehabilitation and essential expenses. The goal is to empower recipients and provide necessary tools to overcome adversity. Learn more at, or @ride4hope.

Sarit Schneider
Account Manager
Sirota Public Relations
261 Madison Avenue, 9th Fl.
New York, NY 10016
O: 917.525.4372
C: 917.783.2334

Equestrian Aid Foundation to Honor Mark Bellissimo at “A Night of Legends” during WEF

On Sunday, February 22nd, the Equestrian Aid Foundation invites you to “A Night of Legends” at the Global Dressage Arena at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center. Take a break from the Winter Equestrian Festival and relax for an evening of cocktails, dinner, and a unique show. White Horse Catering will provide a delectable dinner buffet during the VIP hour beginning at 6pm, and local food trucks will have a variety of offerings for purchase to general admission event goers beginning when doors open at 7:30.

One lucky guest will win a diamond during the diamond drop raffle, in which each participant will receive a glass of champagne with a stone on the bottom. A jeweler will be inspecting each stone to determine the authentic diamond for the winner. During the evening, the 2015 EAF Luminary Award will be bestowed upon Mark Bellissimo for all the positive work that he has done to enhance the equestrian community.

The highlight of the night — and sure to be the talk of the town for weeks after — is the surprise musical taking the stage at 8pm. Sip your cocktails and feel fancy as you are transported over the rainbow with performances of some of your favorite songs made popular by the legends of our time.

General admission tickets for “A Night of Legends” cost $25 each or 5 for $100 and can be purchased at VIP seating will include the catered dinner and open bar. For VIP ticket and table information, please contact Emily Cleland at

The proceeds from the evening will benefit the Equestrian Aid Foundation, which has been delivering financial assistance to equestrians, horsemen and equine-related professionals in need for over seventeen years. The EAF provides funding for medical, rehabilitation and essential expenses to those suffering from catastrophic illness or injury from all riding disciplines, equine professions, backgrounds and ages.

Sarit Schneider
Account Manager
Sirota Public Relations
261 Madison Avenue, 9th Fl.
New York, NY 10016
O: 917.525.4372
C: 917.783.2334

EAF President’s Blog: Blessings and Reflection

It’s that time of year again — the time when we are reminded to reflect upon the past year, to count our blessings, and to set our sights on the promise of the new year ahead. Personally, I relish the chance to look back over the highs and lows of the past year, to feel grateful for the good times as well as the wisdom gained from the hardships. Two things I never take for granted: the beauty and love of my equine companions who enrich my life in innumerable ways, and the health that blesses my family and me.

This inevitably leads me to reflect on those who are not so lucky. For some, the holidays are a stark reminder of what they don’t have, of the needs that surmount opportunity, of the necessities that must be forgone in order to survive. Sadly, this describes many people in our extended equestrian family who are coping with illnesses and injuries.

What amazes me and makes me love my job as EAF president is just how resilient our recipients are. One such individual, a 22-year-old named Allison, inspires me each year with her fortitude in the face of a tragic situation. When she was 16, Alison’s life as she knew it was changed in a moment, the moment her horse stumbled and they both fell. The years that followed that fall included 15 months in a coma and countless surgeries. Alison’s prognosis was initially grim but thanks to the additional support the EAF was able to provide, Allison’s family could afford innovative therapies. When I heard from Allison’s parents last Christmas, she was completing aqua-therapy. She signed her name to that card and included a bookmark that proclaims me a member of “Team Allison.” I keep both in my memory box.

Whenever they speak of Allison, her parents never talk of what Allison can’t do, what was taken from her. They are thankful for what she can do, for how often she has proven her doctors wrong, the strides she continues to make in her recovery. Though their goals are not the same as they once were, Allison is still progressing. That progress is just measured on a different scale.

Allison is why I fight to raise awareness for the Equestrian Aid Foundation. I chose to share her story today not only to highlight the accomplishments of this incredible young woman, but also to show that with support from generous donors, health, hope and healing are possible.

Let us all keep Allison and her story with us as we reflect upon the year and give thanks.

Stephanie Riggio Bulger
President, EAF

Equestrian Aid Foundation | 11924 W. Forest Hill Blvd. Ste. 10A-377 | Wellington | FL | 33414

Bruce Duchossois Remembered as Aiken Horse Park Foundation Celebrates Groundbreaking

Mr. Richard Duchossois and Jack Wetzel break ground for Bruce’s Field.

Aiken, SC – November 18, 2014 – On Saturday, November 8th the Aiken Horse Park Foundation unveiled its capital improvement plans for the Aiken Horse Park, holding a ceremonial groundbreaking at the Park. This event highlighted the Park as the future location of permanent, state of the art multi-purpose facilities capable of accommodating equestrian activities, including but not limited to educational clinics, training for amateur athletes, exhibitions, and competitions. The Park will also be available for use by various charitable organizations, reflecting the Aiken County equine industry’s range of positive impact upon the Aiken community.

This development will realize the vision of Mr. R. Bruce Duchossois, a prominent figure in the local and national equine communities, who purchased the 66-acre field and steeplechase track in August 2000 with the immediate goal of preserving it from residential development and the long-term goal of turning it into South Carolina’s premier horse park facility.

R. Scot Evans, the President of the Equestrian Aid Foundation, of which Duchossois was an important contributor, talked about his love of Aiken and of the equestrian community there. “Bruce meant a great deal to Aiken’s horse community in that he has supported all disciplines and embraced horsemen of all walks of life. Everybody that’s been touched by Bruce in the equestrian world, as well as his philanthropic efforts, remembers him as a giver and one of the most thoughtful people,” Evans said.

“The Aiken Horse Park is Bruce’s field of dreams come true,” he continued. “Most of all, Bruce’s intention is to bring horse lovers together to share in their passion as well as using the facility for charity and educational purposes. It’s his way of giving back. Bruce felt very strongly about bringing tradition back in every way.”

In June 2013, just over a year before his untimely passing, Mr. Duchossois formed the Aiken Horse Park Foundation, a recognized 501(c)(3) charity, with the mission of carrying out his dream for the park. To that effect, the Foundation has established the following mission statement: “The mission of the Aiken Horse Park Foundation is to promote Aiken’s equestrian way of life and to encourage the community’s civic, educational, and charitable endeavors.”

Following construction, to begin this winter, the Aiken Horse Park will feature the Aiken Steeplechase and the Aiken Charity Horse Show, as well as a multitude of other equestrian, charitable, and educational events. In memory of Bruce’s legacy and his incredible gift to the community that he loved, the park has been named “Bruce’s Field”.

Speakers at the ceremony included Mr. Jack Wetzel, President of the Aiken Horse Park Foundation Board of Trustees; Mr. R. L. Duchossois, father of Bruce Duchossois; Aiken County Council Chairman Ronnie Young; and Greater Aiken Chamber of Commerce President David Jameson. Though he was not able to attend, Senator Lindsey Graham penned a letter to Mr. Wetzel, which was read on the occasion. Other attendees included Martha Ruthven of Congressman Joe Wilson’s office, the Board of the Aiken Horse Park Foundation, four generations of the Duchossois Family, and numerous friends of Bruce, the Family, and the Aiken equine community.

“Bruce had a way of bringing people together and if you happened to be an animal lover, all the better. He loved to share his passion for animals and was known for rescuing every type of animal, two or four legged. Having had the good fortune to serve together on the board of the Equestrian Aid Foundation, I firsthand learned of his caring ways for equestrians in their time of need. He will always be remembered as a true gentleman and I’m honored to be part of the Aiken Horse Park Foundation as a member of the board of trustees, building Bruce’s dream,” Evans concluded.

Kenneth Kraus for Phelps Media Group, Inc. International

Phelps Media Group, Inc.
12012 South Shore Blvd #105
Wellington, FL 33414
561-753-3389 (phone)
561-753-3386 (fax)

Equestrian Aid Foundation Supporters “Cher the Love” at Dinner Party in New Jersey

Chad Michaels, one of the world’s leading Cher impersonators.

New York, NY. June 3, 2014 – Equestrian community members in the Northeast gathered on Saturday, May 31st for an Equestrian Aid Foundation fundraiser in Flemington, NJ. The event was held at Sand Hill Farm, the private residence of Scott Stewart and EAF board member Ken Berkley, who co-chaired the dinner party along with fellow board member Mimi Tashjian. The 200 guests in attendance enjoyed dinner, dancing, musical performances and a fireworks display.

“Scott and I were happy to open our home and our hearts for this event,” said Berkley. “The Equestrian Aid Foundation is an organization we have been supporting for a long time, a unique nonprofit that provides help for those in our community who have fallen on hard times. Hopefully this fun evening will translate into help for many of those in our midst.”

Singer Jacqueline Berkley and her band from Nashville, TN kicked off the evening with a musical performance as guests mingled and sipped cocktails. Then special guest Chad Michaels, one of the world’s premier Cher impersonators, wowed the crowd with a concert of the diva’s top hits.

Mark Drabich of the Metropolitan Seafood Company provided the catering, which was accompanied by cocktails from Tito’s Vodka. Wine and champagne for the evening was acquired from OneHope Wines, a philanthropic organization that donated $1 of each bottle purchased to charities that fight world hunger, fight cruelty to animals and support breast cancer research.

The evening raised money to support EAF programs that provide financial assistance to those in the equestrian community suffering from chronic illness and injury.

“The equestrian world is very close-knit, and it is imperative that we support one another, particularly those who are in need,” said co-chair Mimi Tashjian. “This event was a shining example of that support. As a result of the generosity of so many, we raised over $95,000, most of which will go directly to EAF recipients.”

About the Equestrian Aid Foundation: For 17 years, the Equestrian Aid Foundation has delivered financial assistance to equestrians, horsemen and equine-related professionals who are suffering from catastrophic illnesses or injuries throughout their time of need. Funding for medical, rehabilitation and essential expenses – such as food and housing – enables recipients to cope through crisis and get back on their feet. The EAF is dedicated to helping people from all riding disciplines, equine professions, backgrounds and ages. The EAF is a 501 (c) 3 organization.  Learn more at, or @ride4hope.