Category Archives: EQUUS Foundation

Cheers to Horses and Summer – From Where It All Began for the EQUUS Foundation

Ella Kraut aboard Nakia, winner of the $10,000 Fairfield Welcome Jumper Stake @Sarah Latterner Anderson, SEL Photography.

Horse lovers and equestrians showed their support for the EQUUS Foundation and its work to protect America’s horses from peril on Thursday, June 23rd at the Fairfield June Horse Show in Westport, Connecticut for the EQUUS Foundation’s Champagne and Ice Cream Social. Over 160 guests enjoyed complimentary champagne and ice cream sundaes, hosted by Fairfield Equine Associates, while watching the $10,000 Fairfield Welcome Jumper Stake.

“This beautiful horse show, now in its 99th year, is not only in my back yard, literally, but it is where the EQUUS Foundation got its start with a charity luncheon in 2003 to benefit local equine charities,” said EQUUS Foundation Founder and President, Lynn Coakley. “We have grown into a renowned, national equine welfare charity that supports hundreds of equine welfare organizations across the United States that are dedicated to keeping America’s horses safe throughout their lifetimes. We will be celebrating our 20th Anniversary next year.”

It was a perfect, sunny day for a parade and for guests to meet and hear the stories of some of the rescues from EQUUS Foundation Guardian charity, Rising Starr Horse Rescue. The staff and volunteers at Rising Starr turned out in their iconic red shirts to show off Army and Navy, two rescued Miniature horses who have a permanent home at Rising Starr to serve as Rescue and Adoption Ambassadors.

Also featured were Sierra and Panda, who are both seeking loving homes. Sierra is a sound, fancy, 16-year-old, bay, off-track Thoroughbred mare who could excel in many disciplines. Panda is a 12-year-old uniquely marked black and white paint mare rescued from a neglect situation in Louisiana. She is easy going, healthy and stunningly beautiful. Rising Starr Horse Rescue welcomes scheduled visits to meet these adoptable horses and more at their farm in Wilton, Connecticut.

“These horses are here today to represent the thousands of adoptable horses that are available across the country who need new homes and new careers,” said Valerie Angeli, EQUUS Foundation VP.

“For horses to stay safe, we must give them opportunities to thrive throughout their lives – that’s what the EQUUS Foundation is all about.”

The Rider’s Closet, an EQUUS Foundation program, founded by top international rider and EQUUS Foundation EQUUStar, Georgina Bloomberg, had its iconic donation tack trunk on site to receive donations of gently used and new riding apparel which will be donated to riders in need so that everyone can pursue their equestrian dreams.

The EQUUS Foundation was also thrilled to announce the launch of the EQUUS Foundation charitable partnership with Prixview. Prixview’s Fantasy Games provide an exciting and free on-line opportunity for show jumping fans to follow the competition and project the winning teams.

“We are incredibly excited and proud to be working with the EQUUS Foundation. I personally hope this partnership can connect the fans of our platform and sport with more ways to give back to the animals that make it all possible,” said Lucy Davis, Prixview’s founder.

Players earn cash by picking which horse/rider combination in the matchup will place higher in the class and can also donate all or a portion of their winnings to the EQUUS Foundation. The option to donate was available for the first time for the Fairfield Welcome Jumper Stake on Thursday, June 23, and the Fairfield Grand Prix on Saturday, June 25, and it will continue to be a feature permanently.

The EQUUS Foundation wishes to express its thanks to the Fairfield County Hunt Club for selecting the EQUUS Foundation as the charitable partner of the Fairfield June Horse Show.

To learn more about the EQUUS Foundation and their mission, please visit www.equusfoundation.org.

2022 Horse Stars Hall of Fame Inductees Announced Including the First Mule

Photo: Elmer the therapy mule.

The Horse Stars Hall of Fame honors the contributions of amazing horses by sharing the stories of their athletic and humanitarian feats. It was established by the EQUUS Foundation and the United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) in 2013 to celebrate the extraordinary talent of horses and their magical and powerful bond with people.

The USEF inducts the horses recognized annually as “Horses of Honor” for their stellar athletic performances. The EQUUS Foundation inducts horses who have had an inspirational impact on the public as companions, teachers, and healers.

The 2022 Horse Stars Hall of Fame inductees are Aupollo’s Midnight Marquee, Balou du Reventon, Big Shot, Elmer, Happy Thoughts, HS Daydream’s Heads Up, Suppenkasper, and TDO Blackburn Hop. For the first time, the inductees included Elmer, the mule, to share the story about how all equines – not just horses – are stars and have a great impact on people.

“On behalf of the EQUUS Foundation and the United States Equestrian Federation, we wish to recognize the contributions of Jessica Lash in authoring the profiles of the 2022 inductees and to the many authors and photographers who have contributed over the years,” said Lynn Coakley, EQUUS Foundation President.

“The Horse Stars Hall of Fame is a wonderful way to demonstrate the staying power of horses — as athletes, companions, teachers and healers — and their unique abilities to move us through a spectrum of experiences from thrill and exhilaration to pure joy. By sharing the stories of these amazing horses, we hope to build a more informed and compassionate America that values the impact of horses in our lives.”

Visit the Horse Stars Hall of Fame here.

To learn more about the EQUUS Foundation and their mission, please visit www.equusfoundation.org.

March 30th Live Screening – The Mustangs – America’s Wild Horses

Join the EQUUS Foundation for the live screening of “The Mustangs” on March 30 in Wellington, Florida at 5 pm, presented by the Robb Report. The screening will feature a “Meet & Greet” with the film’s producer and co-director, Steven Latham, and a live Q & A with others involved with the film’s production.

Executive produced by Robert Redford, Patti Scialfa Springsteen, and Jessica Springsteen, “The Mustangs” explores the complicated history and challenges currently facing America’s Wild Horses but also highlights some hopeful solutions and features people who are helping these icons. There are more than 80,000 wild horses on our public lands and more than 50,000 in government corrals.

Wednesday, March 30, at 5:00 pm
Movies at Wellington
Wellington, FL 33414
$25 per person
Complimentary to Stepping Out Registrants
Meet & Greet & Live Q&A with Film Producer & Co-Director Steven Latham
Mask Recommended for Admittance

RSVP by Tuesday, March 29, here!

“America’s wild horses represent freedom, strength, and resilience. This film takes audiences on an exciting journey throughout the country to understand their plight,” said Latham in first announcing the film at an EQUUS Foundation event in 2019. The EQUUS Foundation is matching the first $25,000 raised during the EQUUS Foundation Stepping Out campaign, which has been extended to run through June 15, to benefit America’s Wild Horses. Learn more and register here.

To learn more about the EQUUS Foundation and their mission, please visit www.equusfoundation.org.

Jane DaCosta Selected as the 2021 WIHS Honor & Service Award Recipient

Jane competing at the Hampton Classic @ Rebekah Masiakos Photography.

This year, the Washington International Horse Show Honor & Service Award, sponsored by the EQUUS Foundation, is being presented to Jane DaCosta, the Executive Director and Founder of Metropolitan Equestrian Team (MET).

Jane founded MET to cultivate young, aspiring athletes in grades 3 through 12 by developing their talents through horseback riding. They also provide resources to help the kids curate their college experience by giving them access to educational resources that allow students to expand their way of thinking about academics.

Jane grew up participating in equestrian sports, learning not only horsemanship and athleticism, but also leadership skills, the value of teamwork, and responsibility from the sport. As a competitor, Jane was an undergraduate rider for Long Island University/C. W. Post Intercollegiate Horse Show Association (IHSA) Equestrian Team. Jane has competed and shown successfully in United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) Horse Shows ranging from “C” to “AA” rated shows for over 30 years in Equitation, Hunters, and Jumpers.

Jane is a graduate of St. Leo University and an Electronic Warfare Technician Third Class Veteran of the United States Navy. Jane is also a Graduate student at New York University Stern School of Business enrolled in the Executive MBA Program.

Through her experiences, Jane was inspired to create the MET program. During practices, students learn horsemanship, sportsmanship, and agricultural skills, similar to Jane’s experiences in the sport. MET helps students with college preparation through various education programs. They also provide access to representatives from colleges and universities, and highlight scholarship opportunities. Through its academic programs over the years, MET students have received over $1,600,000 in college scholarship opportunities.

Jane and her team have created a supportive, encouraging environment at MET that instills a sense of belonging. Many MET Team members are kids who, prior to joining the MET Team, had never set foot on a farm. MET helps open their eyes to a new world, then teaches them how to contribute to and care for it.

At MET, Jane brings horseback riding to kids of all backgrounds – and helps educate the next generation of leaders. Jane has helped MET grow to a national organization, providing programs throughout the country in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Wisconsin, Utah, Texas, Georgia, Mississippi, and Tennessee.

Jane will be recognized by WIHS and EQUUS Foundation during a virtual awards ceremony in October. As the recipient, the Metropolitan Equestrian Team will receive a $1,500 grant from the EQUUS Foundation.

The WIHS Honor and Service Award was created in 2013 following the induction of Klinger into the Horse Stars Hall of Fame in 2013. Klinger, a member of the Caisson platoon of the 3d United States Infantry (The Old Guard), was the inspiration for the award and its first recipient. The Honor & Service Award recognizes a horse, individual, or organization that best demonstrates the values of honor and service as embodied by Klinger.

To learn more about the EQUUS Foundation and their mission, please visit www.equusfoundation.org.

For more information about the Washington International Horse Show, please visit www.wihs.org.

EQUUS Foundation Awards over $631,000 in Grants in 2021

The EQUUS Foundation announced the award of over $631,000 in grants, including awards of new and gently used riding apparel, valued at $313,864, to individual riders in need, scholastic riding programs, pony clubs, equestrian camp programs, and equine charities through The Rider’s Closet program.

Primary support is awarded to equine charities nationwide that save and re-home increasing numbers of horses from abuse, neglect, and slaughter and charities that partner with horses to improve the well-being of people through the Foundation’s Transparency Awards program. The EQUUS Foundation awarded small grants ranging from $500 to $5,000 to 142 charities that earned the EQUUS Foundation Guardian Seal of Transparency by completing the EQUUS Foundation’s comprehensive and unique verification process.

EQUUS Foundation Horse Whisperers are a select group of individuals and organizations who are committed to ensuring that America’s horses are safe and live with dignity throughout their lives and are recognized by the EQUUS Foundation for their extraordinary kinship with horses by the establishment of an award in their names to honor deserving equine charities.

The EQUUS Foundation Board of Directors honors those charities from among the grant recipients that best align with the interests of the Horse Whisperers with a Horse Whisperer Award.

“The work of the EQUUS Foundation begins each time the career of a horse comes to an end. It is only through engaging passionate supporters and collaboration that we are able to identify and invest in effective programs that are finding homes for at-risk horses and horses in transition, providing a safe haven for aged horses, and increasing opportunities for more people to benefit from the magic and power of horses,” said Lynn Coakley, EQUUS Foundation President.

To learn more about the EQUUS Foundation and their mission, please visit www.equusfoundation.org.

EQUUS Foundation Announces 2021 Platinum Performance Horse Welfare Award Recipients

The EQUUS Foundation is pleased to announce the recipients of the 2021 Platinum Performance Horse Welfare Awards. Five EQUUS Foundation Guardian charities received a $500 cash award and a $500 gift card for Platinum Performance products to be used by the charity for the care of one of their horses. In addition, another five horses received $250 gift cards for Platinum Performance Equine, and 26 horses received gift cards for a bucket of Platinum Performance Equine.

“We are truly honored to support the EQUUS Foundation and the incredible work that they do to keep America’s horses safe with purposeful lives and loving homes. Congratulations to the recipients of the 2020 Platinum Performance Horse Welfare Awards. We celebrate all the deserving applicants for their complete transparency and wonderful effort in protecting horses and appreciating the impact they have on each of us,” said Emily Smith, MS, Platinum Performance.

“We are so proud to be associated with Platinum Performance,” said Lynn Coakley, EQUUS Foundation President. “The Platinum Performance Awards program is really special because it benefits specific horses. It’s wonderful to be able to provide comfort to horses being rehabilitated by charities that are making them ready for their next homes and charities that are partnering with horses to improve the well-being of people.”

Only those charities that undergo the EQUUS Foundation’s comprehensive and unique verification process and receive the EQUUS Foundation Guardian designation are eligible to receive financial support from the EQUUS Foundation.

View all the Platinum Performance Horse Welfare Award Recipients here.

To learn more about the EQUUS Foundation and their mission, please visit www.equusfoundation.org.

Success for Adoptable Horses Spotlighted at Hampton Classic Horse Show

Adoptable equines and volunteers from EQUUS Foundation Guardian Charity, Rising Starr Horse Rescue, with Brianne Goutal-Marteau, Valerie Angeli, Georgina Bloomberg, and Jill Rappaport @ Geoff Tischman Photography.

The sun was shining in full force for the opening Grand Prix at the 2021 Hampton Classic on Sunday, August 29, when adoptable equines paraded before spectators prior to the start of the competition. The parade previewed the equines who would be featured the next day at the Equine Adoption Meet & Greet presented by the EQUUS Foundation.

Leading the parade was EQUUS Foundation EQUUStar, top International rider, and sponsor of the Hampton Classic Animal Adoption Day, Georgina Bloomberg. Bloomberg was joined by renown animal welfare advocate, media personality, and best-selling author, Jill Rappaport, and Valerie Angeli, EQUUS Foundation VP, with a special appearance by super model and horse advocate, Christie Brinkley.

Top equestrian and EQUUS Foundation EQUUStar, Brianne Goutal-Marteau, joined Bloomberg and Rappaport to meet and greet spectators at the Equine Adoption event.

“We are so grateful to the Hampton Classic Horse Show to have this opportunity to showcase adoptable equines and to raise awareness on how horses become at risk and how everyone can help, and to Georgina Bloomberg for making this event possible,” said Angeli.

“The 2021 event was especially rewarding because seven equines from EQUUS Foundation Guardian charity, Rising Starr Horse Rescue in Wilton, CT, found forever homes directly as a result of the event. We can’t say enough about how much we love our partnership with Georgina and the Hampton Classic Horse Show and would like to give a shout out to Shanette Cohen, Executive Director of the Hampton Classic Horse Show, and her staff.”

“It just goes to show that awareness and visibility is everything,” said Kelly Stackpole, Executive Director and Founder of Rising Starr.

Bunny and Turtle are 10-year-old mini donkeys who arrived at Rising Starr when a vet convinced the owner to surrender them instead of euthanizing them. They will live now out the rest of their lives at a private farm in North Salem, NY.

Rising Starr became aware of two black three-year-old Falabella Pony/Mini Horse cross mares, Daphne and Velma, from a Craig’s List ad and acquired them to keep them from winding up at auction and the threat of slaughter as many horses do when sold this way. They were adopted by Laurel Crown Farm, a Long Island show barn, where they will be their much-loved mascots.

Xander, a 13-year-old chestnut Quarter Horse, had been purchased at an auction in Texas, and was transferred to Rising Starr. When Xander’s new owners came to Rising Starr to take him home, they also fell in love with rescues Gunner and Odin, and adopted them as well. So Xander, Gunner, and Odin went to their new home together as pleasure and trail horses at a beautiful, private farm in the New York Catskills.

There was also interest in Violet, a Thoroughbred/Quarter cross from Rising Starr Rescue. Learn more about Violet here.

In addition to Rising Starr, the Retired Racehorse Project participated with a demonstration by Erica E. Rossner aboard the talented Mr. October (“Toby”), a chestnut gelding and son of famous Thoroughbred, Smarty Jones, who won the Kentucky Derby and The Preakness in 2004. With his career as a racehorse having come to an end, Toby, now seven years old, is showing major promise as a hunter/jumper/eventing prospect and is representative of the many off track Thoroughbreds who excel at their second careers and depend on opportunities to be all they can be.

Trainer Rob West from the Mustang Heritage Foundation was also on hand to enlighten spectators on how wild Mustangs are at risk and currently their lives and quality of their lives sadly depend on adoption and second careers as mascots and riding horses. West demonstrated the versatility and bravery of the Mustang with Mocha, only two months out of the wild and who will be available for adoption at the upcoming Mustang Makeover event, and two of his own Mustangs, Lori Darlin and Moonshine Lady.

The close of the 2021 Hampton Classic Horse Show also marked the conclusion of a matching campaign for the EQUUS Foundation, where donations made from August 16 through September 5 would be matched by prize money won by EQUUS Foundation Equine Ambassador, Lafitte De Muze, and donated by his owner, Cheryl Olsten, up to $30,000.

“We are thrilled to announce that Cheryl increased the match to $35,000 on learning that we received $35,000 in donations during the campaign to directly benefit EQUUS Foundation Guardian charities involved with the rescue and re-homing of horses in need of next chapters,” said Lynn Coakley, EQUUS Foundation President. “We are deeply grateful to Cheryl Olsten, Lafitte De Muze, his rider, Amanda Steege, and our donors for helping to make wishes come true for America’s horses in need of help.”

View more photos of Hampton Classic Equine Adoption Day here.

Contact the Hampton Classic at PO Box 3013, Bridgehampton, NY 11932, Tele: (631) 537-3177, E-Mail: Info@HamptonClassic.com, Website: www.hamptonclassic.com.

To learn more about the EQUUS Foundation and their mission, please visit www.equusfoundation.org.

Hampton Classic’s Adoption Day on Aug. 30 Offers Hope for America’s Horses in Need of Homes

The EQUUS Foundation will once again partner with the Hampton Classic Horse Show to present adoptable horses at the Hampton Classic’s Animal Adoption Day on Monday, August 30, to promote the welfare of all of America’s horses at all stages of their lives. The gathering will showcase rescued and adoptable horses – from off-track Thoroughbreds to mini horses.

EQUUS Foundation EQUUStar, top international equestrian, and event sponsor, Georgina Bloomberg, will be meeting and greeting horse lovers who attend. Bloomberg will be joined by Jill Rappaport, renown animal advocate and award-winning author and media personality, Valerie Angeli, EQUUS Foundation VP of Engagement, Lynn Coakley, EQUUS Foundation President, and other EQUUS Foundation EQUUStars, including top world-class equestrian, Brianne Goutal-Marteau.

“I am thrilled to sponsor and appear at this important day for animal welfare and adoption at the Hampton Classic once again this year,” said Bloomberg. “I love how the Hampton Classic has embraced the message of responsibility for all horses and the animals we love and has provided this day for us to spread the message and find more animals hope and homes.”

The adoptable horse demos and meet and greet will take place in Hunter Ring 2 from 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM and will also feature the HEART Horse Ambulance which will be open to visitors for tours. Parking and admission are free on Monday, August 30th.

Joining the EQUUS Foundation with adoptable horses this year at Hampton Classic Adoption Day will be Rising Starr Horse Rescue, Wilton, CT; Storeybrook Farm, Waterbury, VT; Hidden Pond Farm, Brentwood, NH; and the Retired Racehorse Project, Edgewater, MD. The live event will also have a virtual component featuring the adoptable horses of EQUUS Foundation Guardian charities nationwide on the EQUUS Foundation Next Chapters platform.

“We are so grateful to be back (after COVID) and to have the opportunity to inspire Olympic and world class equestrians and horse lovers of all sorts who are excited to learn how we can all help at risk horses and to meet some rescued/adoptable horses,” said Angeli. “As a community of people who love horses, we need to step up and take care of them – all of them – and make sure they always have a safe and happy place to go.” Social media is encouraged to help spread the word about horses that need homes.

Contact the Hampton Classic at PO Box 3013, Bridgehampton, NY 11932, Tele: (631) 537-3177, E-Mail: Info@HamptonClassic.com, Website: www.hamptonclassic.com.

To learn more about the EQUUS Foundation and their mission, please visit www.equusfoundation.org.

Recognizing Greatness: Announcing the 2021 Horse Stars Hall of Fame Inductees

The Horse Stars Hall of Fame honors the contributions of amazing horses by sharing the stories of their athletic and humanitarian feats. It was established by the EQUUS Foundation and the United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) in 2013 to celebrate the extraordinary talent of horses and their magical and powerful bond with people.

The USEF inducts the horses recognized annually as “Horses of Honor” for their stellar athletic performances. The EQUUS Foundation inducts horses who have had an inspirational impact on the public as companions, teachers, and healers.

The 2021 Horse Stars Hall of Fame inductees are Dolton, FWF Undercover, Gazelle, Kiss Me Quick, Pritchard Hill, Sir Gus, Tango, and Vivaldi De Besilu.

“The Horse Stars Hall of Fame is a wonderful way to demonstrate the staying power of horses — as athletes, companions, teachers, and healers — and their unique abilities to move us through a spectrum of experiences from thrill and exhilaration to pure joy. By sharing the stories of these amazing horses, we hope to build a more informed and compassionate America that values the impact of horses in our lives,” said Lynn Coakley, EQUUS Foundation President.

Visit the Horse Stars Hall of Fame here.

To learn more about the EQUUS Foundation and their mission, please visit www.equusfoundation.org.

EQUUS Foundation Announces Recipients of 2021 Champion of Equine Service Scholarships

Emilie McCann with Drew, a rescue horse at Rising Starr Horse Rescue awaiting his next chapter.

The Champions program, sponsored by Ariat International, rewards volunteerism on behalf of horse welfare with scholarships for volunteers to help further their undergraduate and graduate education and to assist those pursuing certification as a therapeutic horsemanship instructor.

Emilie McCann and Lily Stidham will receive the 2021 EQUUS Foundation Champion of Equine Service Academic Scholarship to further their academic education at an institution of higher learning. Emily Jones will receive the 2021 Champion of Equine Service PATH Certification Scholarship presented by Lessons in TR to cover the certification exam fee.

Despite the significant restrictions on volunteer opportunities resulting from COVID-19, these individuals made it a priority to continue to volunteer and overcome these new barriers. “Access to horses has become more challenging – never mind when there is a pandemic keeping us at home,” said Lynn Coakley, EQUUS Foundation President. “The dedication of incredible volunteers all over the country speaks to the importance of the horse-human bond in people’s lives. During this time of continued uncertainty, I am thrilled that so many volunteers like this year’s recipients were able to find joy and purpose in working with horses.”

Emily McCann
Champion of Equine Service Academic Scholarship Recipient

Emilie found Rising Starr Horse Rescue (RSHR) during a college gap year, and her time spent there quickly became the highlight of her days. Through her volunteer work, she gained invaluable experience and learned about the handling, care, training, and rehabilitation of rescue horses. At RSHR, Emilie was given the opportunity to work with Drew, one of two Thoroughbreds rescued in January 2020. Under the guidance of RSHR’s trainers, her work with Drew became one of the most rewarding experiences of her life, and rekindled her dream of someday becoming a horse trainer.

“Working with rescues is one of the most rewarding experiences I have ever had, and it has given me confidence and direction. I want to do this for the rest of my life, and I could not be more grateful to Rising Starr for providing me with the opportunity to learn and grow.”

Lily Stidham
Champion of Equine Service Academic Scholarship Recipient

No matter if Lily Stidham is on the ground or in the saddle, being around horses always makes her smile. Lily, a senior at the University of Florida (UF) pursuing a Bachelor of Science Degree in Animal Sciences specializing in Equines, plans to graduate this December. At UF, she has had the opportunity to participate in the Equestrian Club, as an undergraduate teaching assistant, in equine research, and in training a weanling and yearling.

Outside of school, she spends her time volunteering at Stirrups n’ Strides Therapeutic Riding Center, where she is able to apply her equestrian knowledge and skills through working as a barn hand, and riding. Lily began volunteering at Stirrups n’ Strides in 2017. In addition to getting the horses ready and interacting with riders in both the veterans and special needs programs, she has also had the opportunity to ride some of the horses and mentor new volunteers. After Lily graduates, she hopes to work in the horse industry. Being able to help others as they work and care for horses is one of the most rewarding parts of her volunteer work, and she hopes to be able to carry that into her future career.

Emily Jones
Champion of Equine Service PATH Certification Scholarship Recipient

Emily Jones has wanted to become a therapeutic riding instructor since she was seven years old. As a child, she loved horses. Her first introduction to the Camelot Center Therapeutic Riding Program came when she started taking lessons there. Years later, when a stall became available, she donated her own horse, Cash, to Camelot to become a therapy horse.

“I have been a volunteer [at Camelot] for over a decade and I have loved every second of it,” said Emily. “Horses have helped me through a lot of hard times, being bullied in school and struggling with serious anxiety. I am eager to become a Certified Therapeutic Riding Instructor (CTRI) – this is something I have dreamt about since my childhood. I am so thankful for this opportunity, because of this I will be able to change and impact many lives.”

To learn more about the EQUUS Foundation and their mission, please visit www.equusfoundation.org.