Category Archives: Community/Charity

Old Friends Summer Twilight Tours

GEORGETOWN, KY – JUNE 3, 2019 – Cool down this summer with a series of special “Twilight Tours” at Old Friends, the Thoroughbred retirement farm in Georgetown, KY.

Beginning June 5th, 2019, Old Friends will feature evening tours, beginning at 6 pm, on Wednesday and Friday nights.

These Twilight Tours will be available through August, and will be the same 90-minute, guided outdoor walking tour the farm currently offers daily.

In addition, 6 pm Twilight Tours will be offered each night from Wednesday July 10th through Sunday July 14 to welcome visitors from BreyerFest 2019.

Reservations are required for Twilight Tours, and can be made online by visiting the Old Friends website at www.oldfriendsequine.org and clicking the Book Tour button, or by calling the farm at (502) 863-1775.

(Note: Online booking is 24 hours in advance. Interested visitors should call the farm for reservations if online booking is closed.)

For those looking for a creative tour experience, Old Friends is will also offer a private “Spotlight Photo Tour” with Old Friends photographer-in-residence Laura Battles.

Many fans and supporters of Old Friends are familiar with Battles’s work through social media pages and others. These private Spotlight tours will be customized, 90-plus minute tours in which Battles will share her techniques, showcase lesser seen areas of the farm, and give guests the opportunity to photograph many of the retired equines themselves.

The exclusive experience is $175 for a group of five or $35 per person and will include a commemorative digital photo album that tour guests will receive at a later date.

Private “Spotlight” tours are subject to availability, must be booked in advance by calling the farm at (502) 863-1775, and are limited to five (5) people.

Old Friends is a popular Central Kentucky tourist “Destination” attracting over 20,000 visitors annually. The non-profit organization offers up-close-and-personal walking tours to meet its Thoroughbred champions, including 1997 Kentucky Derby-Preakness winner Silver Charm, 2002 Kentucky Derby-Preakness winner War Emblem, Belmont Stakes winners Touch Gold and Sarava, Breeders’ Cup champ Alphabet Soup, and three-time Santa Anita Handicap star Game On Dude, among many other stars of the turf.

“We want everyone to be able to visit the farm and meet our champion Thoroughbreds,” said Old Friends founder and President Michael Blowen. “We know many people work during the day and can’t always make a morning or afternoon tour. So we hope these Twilight Tours will offer another option. Also, it’s a great time to enjoy the cooler evening temperatures,” Blowen added.

For more information visit the website at www.oldfriendsequine.org or call (502) 863-1775.

MEDIA CONTACT: Cynthia Grisolia, (502) 863-1775, cindy@oldfriendsequine.org; or Barbara Fossum, (502) 863-1775, barbara@oldfriendsequine.org

Tryon Spring 6/TR&HC Charity Horse Show

June 4th-9th
Tryon International Equestrian Center

The Tryon Riding & Hunt Club (TR&HC) Charity Horse Show is celebrating 91 years! Come celebrate the tradition and history as the nation’s third oldest show and enjoy Hunter, Jumper, and Equitation competition alongside dining and entertainment events.

Tryon Riding & Hunt Club’s 91-year-old horse show is making its debut this year as a “U.S. Equestrian Federation Heritage Show” – one of only 27 shows in the nation to earn that designation.

All Hunter classes this week will have “old style” courses with natural fences throughout.

On Sunday, division winners will be presented with TR&HC historic trophies like the Harry Brown trophy, on which their names will be engraved, plus a keepsake silver bowl to take home.

International Hunter Derby Course Walk with Liza Boyd & Jack Towell

Friday, June 7th at 3:30pm
George Morris Arena
Free and open to the public

On Friday June 7th, International Hunter/Jumper Rider Liza Boyd, and her father, Finally Farms Inc. Owner and Trainer Jack Towell, will lead a special course walk before the $50,000 International Hunter Derby. Spectators can join the walk and Liza and Jack will be miked for those in the stands to hear.

International Hunter Derby

Friday, June 7th at 4:30pm
George Morris Arena
Free and open to the public

$500 Daily “Trip of the Day” Prizes

As a special incentive for all Hunter competitors in the Tryon Spring 6/TR&HC Charity Horse Show, TIEC is awarding a daily $500 “Trip of the Day” prize.

One winner will be chosen daily on Wednesday, June 5th through Sunday, June 9th from all Hunter rings.

For more information, please visit www.Tryon.com.

Equestrian Aid Foundation Grant Helps California Trainer through Recovery Period

Lisa Avila schooling a young eventing prospect on the cross-country course. Photo by Carolyn Orndoff.

Wellington, Fla. – Apr. 29, 2019 – As the daughter of a cattle foreman, California native Lisa Avila grew up in the saddle. Horsemanship was second nature. While her passion for high performance horse sports eventually led her to experiences far beyond ranch life, a generations-old ability to train horses was coded into her DNA.

In 2008 she established Burgeon Training in California’s East Bay, where she has built her reputation within the equestrian community by starting young horses and retraining difficult ones. Her interests lie in dressage and eventing, but she is readily available to help horsemen of any discipline work more productively with their animals.

Last November, Lisa tore her ACL upon falling off a young horse, effectively bringing her business to a halt. It wasn’t a particularly bad fall, she remembers, just an unlucky landing. She underwent surgery to repair the tear, and doctors gave her a strict timeline for recovery and rehabilitation. “As horse people, we’re always getting hurt, but this was the first time I really had to put on the brakes and so I could heal,” said Lisa. “It scared me.”

With her business in limbo, Lisa and her husband faced the mounting pressure of their financial responsibilities. Their lifestyle was modest, yet with two young children, the family was dependent upon two incomes. Lisa reached out to the Equestrian Aid Foundation for assistance, and the grant she received helped pay the rent for the family’s home during her recovery period.

With the financial burden alleviated, Lisa spent the winter months in physical therapy and is now beginning to focus on her business again. While she isn’t strong enough to train or jump yet, she has been cleared to start legging herself back up on her quietest horses. “The answer’s not always ‘no’ from the doctors anymore,” she says optimistically.

Lisa first learned of the Equestrian Aid Foundation in a magazine ad several years ago, but it wasn’t until the unthinkable happened that she realized the depth of the foundation’s commitment to getting equestrians back on their feet. “EAF’s grant was a huge deal for me,” she said. “It was a real blessing.”

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

Old Friends 15th Annual Homecoming, Sunday May 5th, 2019

Photo: Laura Battles®.

GEORGETOWN, KY – APRIL 23, 2019 – Old Friends, the Thoroughbred Retirement Farm in Georgetown, KY, will host its 15th Annual Homecoming event, Presented Red Brand Fence and sponsored by Tribute Equine Nutrition, on Sunday May 5th, 2019 from 1 pm to 5 pm.

Tickets are $30 for the general public and $15 for Old Friends members (children 12 and under are free).

Reservations can be made online by visiting the Old Friends website at www.oldfriendsequine.org and clicking the “Book a Tour” button, by clicking here, or by calling (502) 863-1775.

The day will include a barbecue buffet by Proud Mary, farm tours, live Bluegrass music, and live and silent auctions of racing memorabilia, collectible stallion halters, photography, artwork, jewelry, books, and more.

Guest can also watch as renowned equine artist Robert Clark creates an original canvas of this year’s newly crowned Derby winner that will be auctioned at end of day and meet authors Rick Capone (“Celebrating Old Friends”) and Dagmar Galleithner-Steiner (“The Art of Old Friends”) who will be signing copies of their books.

Also on hand this year will be the hot pink Spotz Gelato truck. The ice-cream vendors, which recently opened shops in Georgetown and Versailles, KY, will be selling homemade, small-batch gelato in custom flavors.

For additional information or to reserve tickets by phone, For more information, please call (502) 863-1775 or visit the website at www.oldfriendsequine.org.

MEDIA CONTACT: Cynthia Grisolia, (347) 423-7322, cindy@oldfriendsequine.org; Michael Blowen (502) 863-1775, michael@oldfriendsequine.org

Old Friends Offering Special Twilight Tours in April

Cherono and Rail Trip at Old Friends (Photo: Laura Battles)

GEORGETOWN, KY – APRIL 17, 2019 – Old Friends, the Thoroughbred Retirement farm based in Georgetown, KY will offer special “Twilight Tours” on the evenings of Thursday April 25th and Friday April 26th.

The guided walking tours of the farm begin at 6 pm and are approximately 90 minutes. Tickets are $10 for adults, children 6-12 are $5, and kids 5 and under are free.

ADVANCE RESERVATIONS are required. Tours can be booked online by clicking here or by calling (502) 863-1775.

The special evening tours will coincide with the Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event, which takes place at the Kentucky Horse Park April 25-28.

On the tour guests will meet a number of Thoroughbred Champions now pensioned at Old Friends, including Kentucky Derby/Preakness winners Silver Charm and War Emblem, Breeders’ Cup Classic winner Alphabet Soup, and Belmont Stakes winners Touch Gold and Sarava, among others.

For more information visit the website at www.oldfriendsequine.org or call (502) 863-1775.

MEDIA CONTACT: Cynthia Grisolia, (502) 863-1775, cindy@oldfriendsequine.org; or Barbara Fossum, (502) 863-1775, barbara@oldfriendsequine.org

Six-time Olympian and American Dressage Icon Robert Dover to Visit Because of Horses April 19

Listen to Elise’s conversation with Robert Dover on the Because of Horses podcast, Friday, April 19

Robert Dover’s professional and competitive accolades have left a legacy unmatched by any other American dressage rider. A dressage specialist since the age of 19, Robert’s dedication, creativity, and commitment to excellence have proven influential in raising the standard within the sport in the U.S.

Robert made his first Olympic appearance at the 1984 Los Angeles Summer Games at the age of 28. He went on to represent the United States at the next five consecutive Olympic Games, earning four bronze medals along the way. In addition, Robert rode on four World Equestrian Games teams. In 1987, he made history by becoming the first American to win the Aachen Grand Prix since 1960, defeating six-time German Olympic gold medalist Reiner Klimke in the process.

After retiring from the competitive arena, Robert served as the technical advisor/chef d’Équipe for The Dutta Corp/U.S. Dressage Team from 2013 through the 2018 World Equestrian Games. Under his leadership, the team earned a gold medal at the 2015 Pan Am Games, a bronze at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games, and a silver at the 2018 World Equestrian Games. He has served on the U.S. Olympic committee Athlete Advisory Council and the U.S. Equestrian Team Dressage committee.

Robert is well-regarded as a coach to both established and up-and-coming international pairs. He played a critical role in fundraising for the high-performance competition and training program and has taught in several growth and development programs, seeking to increase the depth and skill of riders aiming for the international ring.

In 2007, Robert partnered with the Fox Reality Channel to create and promote a TV show called “The Search for America’s Next Equestrian Star: Dressage.” A field of 400 applicants was whittled down to just six who competed for the chance to become Robert’s second assistant trainer at his Romance Farm in Wellington, Florida, along with other prizes. He also is the creator, producer, and master of ceremonies for “American Equestrians Got Talent” that has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for high-performance equestrian sport.

But Robert’s impact on the equestrian community extends beyond just the dressage arena. In 1996, he founded the Equestrian Aid Foundation, an organization which financially assists equestrians suffering from life-threatening illness, catastrophic accident, or injury. He remains involved as the chairman emeritus.

Through his new Robert Squared, a line of luxury vegan leather tack and equipment, he gives a portion of all the proceeds to Equestrian Aid Foundation, Brooke USA, and Danny & Ron’s Rescue.

For his overall horsemanship and dedication to the sport, in 1994 Robert was named the U.S. Olympic Male Equestrian Athlete of the Year. He was inducted into the Roemer Foundation/U.S. Dressage Federation Hall of Fame in 2008.

For more information, go to BecauseofHorses.com.

Ken Berkley & Scott Stewart Team Up with Filmmaker Ron Davis to Tackle Opioid Crisis

Wellington, Fla. – April 3, 2019 – Ken Berkley & Scott Stewart of River’s Edge Farm are executive producers of a new documentary with HARRY & SNOWMAN and LIFE IN THE DOGHOUSE filmmaker, Ron Davis. The film, TO SERVE & PROTECT, will chronicle a paradigm shift in efforts by law enforcement through the Police Assisted Addiction Recovery Initiative (PAARI) to combat the national opioid epidemic in their local communities.

“We were inspired by what PAARI is doing so we decided that this program needed national attention,” said Berkley.  Filmmaker Ron Davis had just completed LIFE IN THE DOGHOUSE, about equestrians Danny Robertshaw and Ron Danta. “I was eager to sign on to this project,” said Davis. “This film will be about a solution to the growing opioid epidemic.”

Berkley, Stewart, and Davis intend to raise $1 million through tax-deductible donations to produce the film. “This is a crisis that has touched everyone in some way and incarceration is not working. Treatment is the only answer,” said Stewart.

The producing team is hopeful that people will not only donate, but can interest friends, family, and organizations to contribute.

Watch the Trailer Here.

For more information on the film: SERVE & PROTECT

To make an online donation: DONATION

To contact producers: info@docutainmentfilms.com

Paddock Master Pruning Funds Will Bring Relief to Horsemen in the Heartland

Roads and pasture land remain non-navigable for many horsemen in the Heartland, where Bomb Cyclone Ulmer wreaked havoc earlier this month. Photo submitted.

Wellington, Fla. – March 29, 2019 – Funds raised by the equestrian community during the WEF ingate staff’s Paddock Master Pruning are making an impact far and wide, as horsemen across the western states face the devastation of crippling flooding and blizzards. The Equestrian Aid Foundation is partnering with the nonprofit organization Fleet of Angels, where a portion of Pruning funds have been used to send a tractor trailer loaded with hay to a distribution center near the borders of Nebraska, Iowa, and South Dakota.

“The devastation from this storm ranges from northern New Mexico up to Michigan, with either snow or flooding in all states in between,” said Elaine Nash, executive director of Fleet of Angels and coordinator of its Hay Bank. “The Equestrian Aid Foundation’s support will be essential to struggling horsemen in the Heartland.”

While the Equestrian Aid Foundation’s primary mission is to assist horsemen facing catastrophic illness or injury, its Disaster Relief Fund provides emergency assistance to equestrian communities in crisis.  “Of course, we can’t entirely mitigate the loss these people have experienced, but as fellow horsemen we can stand beside them and help them take the next step forward,” said EAF board member Monique Keitz.  “Its levity aside, the Paddock Master Pruning was a poignant example of the equestrian community’s desire and ability to take care of its own.”

Donations to the Equestrian Aid Foundation’s Disaster Relief Fund made through April 15 will be used to support relief efforts for equestrian communities in the Heartland.

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

Dressage Coach and Olympian Charlotte Bredahl Appears Because of Horses Podcast Mar. 29

Charlotte Bredahl. Photo by Kathryn Burke.

DALLAS — March 27, 2019 — U.S. Olympian, dressage coach, and youth mentor Charlotte Bredahl joined Elise Gaston Chand for a conversation that airs this Friday, March 29, on the Because of Horses podcast. Originally from Denmark, Bredahl moved to California at the age of 20 with little more than a suitcase and the dream of becoming an elite equestrian. Known for her compassion, work ethic, and commitment to personal growth, Bredahl quickly rose to the Grand Prix level. She competed 42 horses over 37 years, many of whom she developed herself.

Bredahl is perhaps best known for her breathtaking performances on the quirky and sensitive Monsieur, her partner on the bronze medal winning team for the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona. She returned to the international spotlight in 1997, riding Lugano to the silver medal in the North American Championships. Bredahl trained both horses from start to the Grand Prix level. For Bredahl, riding and training has never been about winning ribbons. She loves the process of developing horses and has turned her focus almost exclusively to coaching and training others.

In 2018, Bredahl was appointed the US Equestrian Federation (USEF) Dressage Development Coach, which will allow her to help athletes to reach elite performance goals. Previously, she worked as the USEF Assistant Youth Coach and from 2009-2011, was the featured clinician for the US Dressage Federation (USDF) Adult Clinic Series, teaching riders in each of the country’s nine regions. She was presented the USDF Gold Medal of Distinction and named a USDF Honorary Instructor.

For more information, go to BecauseofHorses.com.

Leading International Equine Acts Set to Perform at ‘The Pageant’

The Victorian Pageant, held in the private grounds of Windsor Castle on the evenings of 9, 10, and 11 May, has announced that three additional world-renowned international equestrian acts will be travelling over 5,000 miles to be part of the spectacular event.

Making the journey to the iconic setting will be performers from Oman, including 40 musicians playing alongside The Oman Royal Cavalry trick ride, while from the United Arab Emirates, and performing at Windsor for the first time, the Dubai Mounted Police will bring not only their 40-horse Musical Ride, which jumps through fire, but also the world-renowned Dubai Police Pipe Band. The line-up of international acts will be further complemented by the exceptionally talented Hungarian Csikós, who will also be performing at Windsor Castle for the first time.

The 90-minute evening show will celebrate the 200th anniversary of the birth of Queen Victoria and will be staged by a BAFTA award-winning team. The Victorian Pageant will transport the audience back to the Victorian era, drawing on some of its typical characters and characteristics, such as the sing along Music Hall, Gilbert & Sullivan, and Charles Dickens’ Oliver. Some 400 horses, 40 carriages, dancers, and musicians will make this an event to remember.

The relevance of these newly announced international displays to Queen Victoria’s 63-year reign was the importance she placed on the Empire and the Silk Road. Along this epic route, merchants began their journey in the Far East before heading West towards Europe, travelling through the Middle East. In ancient times, this journey could take up to two years, and of course this voyage was all carried out on horseback. The Victorian Pageant will celebrate the undeniable impact that horses have had on the development of society, as we know it, through performances from international equestrian acts from countries that featured along the route.

Show Director, Simon Brooks-Ward, said: “This will be the first time that the Dubai Mounted Police have performed in the UK and we feel truly honoured that they have chosen to display their act for us. They, along with the Oman Royal Cavalry and its Mounted Band, and the Hungarian Csikós, are three of the world’s leading equine acts, and I have no doubt that they will treat the audience to some enthralling and unforgettable moments.”

The Oman Royal Cavalry and its Band’s performance differs from the Dubai Mounted Police in that it has a more traditional focus. The march is filled with the bright colours of the red, green, and gold silks of the Royal Cavalry. The cavalry has strong ties with events seen by the Royal Family, having performed to great acclaim during Her Majesty The Queen’s 90th Birthday Celebration at Windsor in 2016 and the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee at The Pageant in 2012.

The Dubai Mounted Police will stage the largest Musical Activity Ride at The Victorian Pageant with 40 horses. They are well known in the Middle East for their panache and riding skills and will be accompanied by a large Pipes & Drums Band. This is the first time that a British audience will have seen this famous equestrian display.

The final international act to be announced are the Hungarian Csikós, a collective of traditional mounted horse-herdsman. There are only ten of the original Csikós riders in the world, of which six will be at the show. Their horses are trained to lie down for long periods of time on the Hungarian Plains and this will be demonstrated, along with the Puszta Five. Three horses in the lead are controlled by one rider who stands on a further two horses at the back. The gallop down the arena will be breath-taking.

Spokesperson for the Hungarian Csikós, Péter Szladek, commented: “Tradition is a big part of life in Hortobagy, the largest National Park in eastern Hungary, and means everything to those involved in the display, so to be able to perform at this incredible setting in Great Britain, a nation that values equestrian tradition as much as our own, means so much.”

The event is also delighted to host another first: the Csikós National Champion in horse archery. Be prepared for a real thrill, as he will demonstrate firing arrows from a cantering horse at targets held up by his assistants. This is one display not for the faint hearted.

Tickets for The Pageant are on sale now and visitors may purchase them online at www.windsorpageant.co.uk or via the box office on 0844 581 0755.

For more information, please contact:
Gayle Jenkins / rEvolution / gjenkins@revolutionworld.com / +44 (0)203 176 0355