Category Archives: Community/Charity

Millar Family Launches Millar Brooke Farm South

Ian, Amy, and Jonathon Millar of Millar Brooke Farm. Photo by Starting Gate Communications.

Perth, Ontario – The Millar family has announced the opening of its U.S.-based satellite operation, Millar Brooke South, as well as the addition of Alexander and Holly Grayton to Team Millar.

As Millar Brooke Farm continues to expand its business and grow, the timing was right for Jonathon Millar and his wife, Kelly Soleau-Millar, to base in the United States for the majority of the year, marking the official launch of Millar Brooke Farm South. The move allows the business to have an increased presence south of the Canadian border, providing easier access to more shows, the ability to source horses from a wider area, and greater networking and training opportunities.

“We are excited to open up Millar Brooke South,” said Jonathon, a veteran of the Canadian Show Jumping Team and 2010 World Equestrian Games competitor. “With operations based in Canada and the United States, our business now has a lot more flexibility surrounding what shows we can attend around the world, access to additional horses and sponsorships, and enhanced training opportunities for our horses and riders.”

Millar Brooke Farm South will compete predominantly in the United States during the summer months while Millar Brooke Farm North, based in Perth, ON, will spend the bulk of its time competing in Canada. Both operations will continue to train and compete together in Wellington, FL during the winter circuit.

“Every year we come together to discuss how to provide the highest level of training and management for our horses and students,” said Kelly, who made her Nations’ Cup debut riding for the United States in 2018. “I am very excited about the future for Team Millar as we continue to grow and provide new opportunities for our students, sponsors, and owners.”

The expansion of Team Millar also necessitated additional coaching power and expertise to support Ian Millar and his daughter and fellow Canadian Olympian, Amy, in meeting the increased training demands at home in Canada. To that end, Alexander and Holly Grayton have relocated to Millar Brooke Farm North. Since 2008, the Graytons had been operating Grayton Farms in Alberta where they focused on coaching, sales, and developing young horses.

“After an extensive search for the right fit, we could not be happier that we were able to attract them to Perth to join our team,” said Amy, who was a member of Canada’s fourth-placed team at the 2016 Rio Olympics. “Alex and Holly are highly regarded with a proven track record of success, and we are confident that they will contribute to Team Millar. We are all excited about the opportunities that lie ahead.”

Ian added, “I am very excited to add Alex and Holly to our staff. Alex and Holly are both dedicated horse people with whom we have a history, first as students and then as colleagues. Alex is a talented rider, fantastic teacher, and has incredible passion for our sport.”

Over the past several years, Alexander has developed several horses to the elite level, claiming Talent Squad National Final and National Young Horse Championship titles as well as grand prix victories and hunter championships. Alexander has trained riders of all levels, from those entering their first horse show to winning National Talent Squad Finals, FEI Children’s Finals, international grand prix classes, and every place in between.

Holly is a budding grand prix rider and will take on managerial duties at Millar Brooke Farm North. Students of the sport can look to Holly for her accumulated knowledge of horse care and can trust in her never-ending desire to continue to learn from esteemed and respected colleagues from around the world.

“Both Alex and Holly will be incredible assets to our team,” concluded Amy. “Their passion for the sport, training, people, and their horses make them a perfect fit for our program.”

For more information on Millar Brooke Farm and Team Millar, visit www.millarbrookefarm.com.

CONTACT: Jennifer Ward | cell: 613-292-5439 | www.startinggate.ca

COVID-19 Matching Campaign: Help Us Help Them

Thanks to a generous challenge gift from an anonymous donor, every $1 you donate now becomes $2 — up to a maximum of $25,000 — to help feed and care for the horses of EQUUS Foundation Guardian charities affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Horses bring joy to young and old alike – and make those with the deepest of wounds whole again. However, America’s horses are also confronted with a disturbing reality. Over 65,000 horses were transported across our borders for slaughter in 2019. Tens of thousands more are abused and neglected and in need of rescue, rehabilitation, and re-homing each year.

With so many people facing hardships, our fear is that many more of our four-legged equine friends may be subjected to abuse and neglect and the number of horses heading to the slaughter pipeline will increase.

For horses to remain an important part of American life and have a viable future, we need to ensure that donor dollars are being spent on programs with the greatest impact – programs that not only increase adoptions of at-risk horses and provide a safe haven for aged horses, but also increase opportunities for all people to engage and partner with horses in new innovative ways.

At the heart of the EQUUS Foundation’s mission is the EQUUS Foundation Guardians program. EQUUS Foundation Guardian charities undergo a rigorous vetting process annually to demonstrate that they are committed to the highest standards for horse care and are transparent and accountable by making their horse care practices and operations available to public scrutiny. Only EQUUS Foundation Guardian charities are eligible to receive financial support from the EQUUS Foundation.

There’s no better way to give with confidence than to give to EQUUS Foundation Guardian charities — and there’s no better time to give than RIGHT NOW because every dollar you give will double between now and June 30th.

Act Now to Help Us Reach Our Goal by June 30.
Please make your gift here.

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.

Leave Your Footprint and Help a Hoofprint during Brooke USA’s Virtual Fitness Challenge

Lexington, Ky – May 15, 2019 – Across the nation people are doing their part to stay apart, and for those eager to get moving, a virtual race provides the ability to kick-start fitness goals while coming together for a cause. On May 5, Brooke USA, a 501(c)3 dedicated to alleviating the suffering of working equines and the people who depend on them globally, launched its first virtual race. Leave your footprint and help a hoofprint with Brooke USA’s Virtual Race: Between a Walk & a Hard Place. Every dollar raised will directly benefit Brooke USA’s COVID-19 Response & Recovery Fund, and with your help, Brooke USA will continue to make a difference in the lives of humans and equines worldwide.

Registration is open at www.CharityFootprints.com/BrookeUSA.

This global initiative is simple to support, and participants can complete it on their own schedule over the course of eight weeks. The goal is to raise funds for the people and animals affected by the aftermath of COVID-19, as well as walk over 140,000,000 steps as a sign of unity and global generosity. The eight-week fitness challenge allows for registrants to not only have their own fundraising page, race chat and teams, but also converts workouts to steps. From Pilates to running, and horseback riding to weightlifting, the Brooke USA Virtual Race encourages fitness for every level, and on any schedule while raising funds and awareness for a cause.

The registration fee is $50, and proceeds benefit Brooke USA’s COVID-19 Response & Recovery Fund. The fee includes a finisher’s t-shirt, which will be sent to the participant by mail at the conclusion of the challenge. Brooke USA has assisted with disaster relief in the United States during times of emergency, and in light of COVID-19, the team will once again step up to make a difference by opening the fund to applicants in the U.S. and worldwide.

Since COVID-19 made its way stateside, everyone’s lives have changed dramatically, and this new reality has brought uncertainty to the projects and programs that Brooke USA funds through its grants. To counteract the escalation of poverty and lack of resources in the developing world, Brooke USA is gearing up for the aftermath that is sure to follow in the wake of COVID-19. Brooke USA has set a goal of $100,000 to raise for its COVID-19 Response & Recovery Fund, which the virtual race directly supports. For many of the people and animals Brooke USA serves, things will only get worse before they get better. Your donation and/or registration will impact lives.

The race can be completed in whatever way is most enjoyable. For example:

  • Donate to the race or to an individual/team.
  • Run or walk with your dog.
  • Use a treadmill or elliptical.
  • Practice downward dog while taking a yoga class.
  • Dance around the house or take a virtual Zumba class.
  • Garden or go for a swim.

The possibilities are endless.

How does it work?

STEP 1: Register for Brooke USA’s fitness challenge at www.CharityFootprints.com/BrookeUSA. Your registration fee of $50 is a donation to Brooke USA, and at the end of the challenge you will receive a commemorative shirt for your effort and support.

STEP 2: You are registered! Now it is time to download the app and spread the news. Since we are using technology a little bit more today than ever before, let’s lean on it, and rock with it! Tell everyone you know that you signed up for a virtual race and they can support you by joining the race or donating through your personal webpage. Use social media, email, and text messages. You probably already have a few friends in mind who would not mind a little fitness fun. Well, this is the perfect opportunity to put the “FUN” in fundraising and start moving together.

STEP 3: Track your workout exercise of choice (anywhere you are) on the website or by downloading the Charity Footprints App. (It also syncs with your Fitbit, Apple Watch, MisFit, Strava, Google Fit, or Garmin.) Any workout can be converted to steps, and together we will fill in our virtual map by earning 140,000,000 steps. The journey kicks off in Lexington, Kentucky and continues through Brooke USA funded projects in Costa Rica, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Cuba, Senegal, Kenya, Ethiopia, Nepal, Pakistan, and India.

The more steps you take, the further we go as a team!

Registration is currently open and will continue until the end of June.  It does not matter if your friends and family want to join in week one or week six, every step counts and every donation helps Brooke USA tip the scales as the organization prepares to tackle the repercussions of COVID-19. Register at www.charityfootprints.com/brookeusa.  For any questions regarding the virtual place, please email Kendall.bierer@brookeusa.org.

IHSA Celebrated in Special Issue of USHJA In Stride Magazine

FAIRFIELD, Conn. – May 13, 2020 – Intercollegiate Horse Shows Association (IHSA) teams and members were celebrated by Membership Partner United States Hunter Jumper Association (USHJA) in a special digital issue of its In Stride magazine. In Stride is a bi-monthly publication produced by the USHJA and is the magazine for up-to-date and informative news for the hunter/jumper community.

“We are honored to have such a great partnership with the USHJA,” said Peter Cashman, IHSA executive director. “We have such amazing members and teams and their stories and successes deserve to be shared with the equestrian industry.”

The special issue of In Stride celebrates IHSA regional champions after the cancellation of the postseason due to the COVID-19 pandemic and honors this year’s academic and athletic award and scholarship winners.

The issue shares heartfelt letters from IHSA members to the board of directors about the impact membership has had on their lives and features members giving back after tragedies such as the fire at Muddy Brook Farm in November 2019 and the tornadoes that ravaged central Tennessee earlier this year.

READ NOW

For more information, go to IHSAinc.com or contact media@IHSAinc.com.

How to Reopen Your Barn Following the COVID-19 Quarantine

The COVID-19 pandemic is responsible for a complete shift in the daily lifestyle of everyone in the United States, including our horses. Living under quarantine, curfews, and learning how to work from home has reiterated how important barn visits are to mental health. As states across the country relax stay-at-home requirements, we have some tips on how to keep your horses, horse people, and your barn as healthy as possible.

  • Limit gatherings to as few people as possible, and continue to maintain the recommended social distancing protocols that include six (6) feet of separation between individuals. Just because the quarantine is being lifted doesn’t mean the threat is over. COVID-19 can be detected in the air for up to 3 hours after being transmitted. Some stables have created a schedule where clients can reserve time slots for their visits, reducing the amount of people in the barn by only allowing 3-4 people present at once. This may be the most appropriate step forward for those barns in states that were forced to close outright.
  • Encourage proper hand-washing and provide as many locations/opportunities for people to do so. Due to the structure of the virus, washing hands with warm water and soap for at least 20 seconds is the most effective way to prevent contamination. Hand sanitizer must contain at least 60% alcohol to be effective.
  • Make a daily or hourly cleaning chart to prevent virus transmission. Disinfect common contact areas regularly and avoid sharing equipment and supplies between people, COVID-19 can live on copper for up to four hours, cardboard for 24 hours, and plastic and stainless steel for up to 3 days.
    • Non-porous materials (leather bridles/saddles/halters, nylon halters/lead ropes, gate latches, door handles, spray nozzle) harbor the virus longer than porous materials (cotton lead ropes, saddle pads)
    • Clean communal leather tack daily with tack cleaner. Knowing how to properly disinfect tack is useful for any equestrian, be it for strangles or COVID-19. Aerosol sprays such as Lysol tend to strip leather of oils, so if you use an aerosol spray to disinfect your tack, be sure to let it dry completely and then recondition the leather to protect it. Soap and water is another effective way to break down the lining of bacteria and viruses and is often safe for most tack. Diluted bleach disinfects well, but leather may dry out and crack from repeated treatments.
    • Disinfect gate latches, spray nozzles, cross tie snaps, pitchforks, wheelbarrows, and other frequently used items regularly or after contact with personnel.
    • Stall door latches, hose ends, light switches, faucets, and feed scoops should be cleaned and disinfected frequently.
  • There may be state requirements to wear gloves or face coverings to reduce the risk of spreading germs. Many businesses will be looking to taking the temperature of those present in and will not allow anybody to come if they register a temperature or feel sick and this may go a long way to helping clients feel comfortable.
  • Long story short, nobody spends 2 months on the couch unscathed, so take it easy getting back into training. Many riding stables are closed to tenants and all equine events have been canceled in an effort to reduce the virus’s spread. Due to these closures, many horses are not receiving regular workout schedules, or maybe no exercise at all. While daily lifestyles are difficult for all during this pandemic, adapting a horse’s schedule to a life after quarantine can be equally as challenging. Exercise related injuries would be a terrible way to end the quarantine.

Making boarders and clients safe and secure will be critical in getting the horse industry back on its feet, and each facility, whether private or public, should have written policies regarding COVID-19 and expect all clients and professionals to adhere to them. Keeping our horses healthy has always been a priority, but without their owners you can’t keep the lights on. All of these tips, and more, can be found on the AHC COVID-19 Resource Page; please visit it here as we continue to update it during this transition.

Details: Contact Cliff Williamson at cwilliamson@horsecouncil.org.

American Horse Council
www.horsecouncil.org

Gentle Carousel Miniature Therapy Horses – Still Making Visits

Photo — Scout at Brookdale Chambel Pinecastle, an assisted living facility in Ocala, Florida.

Therapy horse Scout usually visits hospital patients and residents of assisted living programs from room to room. When those facilities close to visitors due to the coronavirus pandemic, what is a 100-pound horse to do?

He brings his 2000-pound Percheron friend Tiny Prince Charming to visit waiting residents through the windows while human volunteers hold up signs with messages of love. Scout could not go inside and residents could not come outside, but they still touched each other’s hearts. Scout and Tiny Prince Charming put their noses on the windows when patients put their hands on the glass.

Scout is a member of Gentle Carousel Miniature Therapy Horses. For the last 22 years their teams of tiny horses have been bringing love to over 25,000 adults and children each year inside hospitals, hospice programs, assisted living programs, and with families, veterans, and first responders who have experienced traumatic events.

The therapy horses are also still working in children’s hospitals by using prerecorded programs combined with live video from their farm.

Gentle Carousel Miniature Therapy Horses
www.Horse-Therapy.org
www.facebook.com/TherapyHorses
www.instagram.com/gentlecarousel

Watch Live as McLain Ward and Lee McKeever Tell All on “Unbridled”

Temecula, Calif. – Apr. 29, 2020 – Following the great success of the first episode of “Unbridled” on NEE TV, Nilforushan Equisport Events is excited to continue the series May 11 with one of the United States’ most popular and decorated show jumping duos: McLain Ward and Lee McKeever. Having worked together for more than 30 years, celebrated Olympic Champion McLain Ward and his barn manager and head groom Lee McKeever have been side-by-side through the ups and downs of their personal and professional lives, making for a unique partnership.

Featuring a “no holds barred” question-and-answer format, McLain and Lee will speak candidly with show founder, Ali Nilforushan, about topics including their beginnings and rise in the sport, maintaining a status as one of the best operations in the world, their working relationship, the horses along the way and a troublesome family history that has followed them for years, plus much more.

Ahead of the show, a discounted rate of $35 will be available for viewers with a promo code before the price increases to $50 on the day of the interview. Go to Jump-NEE.com/NEE-TV and click “Register Here!” to access the promo code.

To tune in, join NEE TV for the LIVE episode at 9 a.m. PDT (12 p.m. EDT) on Monday, May 11. To gain access to the interview, register for the episode at Jump-NEE.com/NEE-TV. Viewers will have a chance to submit questions ahead of the show, so start thinking about what you want to know!

For more information about Nilforushan Equisport Events, please visit www.jump-nee.com.

COVID Update: Do You Have a Little Hay to Spare?

In response to the COVID-19 crisis, the Fleet of Angels Emergency Hay Bank coordinators are working hard to meet the overwhelming needs of horse owners across the United States. For some, a little hay is the deciding factor between surrendering their horses and “rescuing in place” until the situation stabilizes.

If you’re in a position to help, you can do so by donating hay or making a monetary donation. Every donation — a few bales or a few dollars — helps!

If you need hay, learn more about the application process here.

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

Three Things You Can Do to Be Productive When You’re Stuck at Home

By Leone Equestrian Law

Question: What’s the best way to be productive in my downtime while I’m at home during the coronavirus outbreak?

Answer: Great question! While we are all on “stall rest” and having to stay a few strides apart from each other these days, now is a good opportunity to catch up on some chores you might have been neglecting at home. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, many riders who board their horses are not able to visit the barn, so hopefully crossing these tasks off your list now will free you up for more saddle time in the future.

Here are three things you can do to pass the time at home — and still stay productive.

  1. Plan for Your Horse’s Future.

It’s not a situation that any horse owner wants to think about, but it is a good to have a plan for your horse in case something happens to you. One thing you can do is add your horse to your will. There are many different things to consider for this, so your first step might be to get in touch with an attorney who can walk you through the process. They might recommend establishing a trust for your horse in connection with the planning for your will and/or estate.

Consider choosing an attorney who specializes in equine law – they have the advantage of being more familiar with the horse world and have an understanding of the costs, obligations, and goals associated with leaving your horse with someone else upon your death. Plus, they can help walk you through some scenarios that you can stipulate in your will, such as if your horse is to be sold (and by whom), donated, or will live at a specified retirement facility. Being able to have a set plan in place for the future will give you peace of mind.

  1. Organize Your Horse’s Medical Records.

If you are like many horse owners, you might store all your horse’s medical records, farrier invoices, and barn paperwork in a binder, folder, or even a giant stack on your desk. Now is a great time to eliminate all that paper clutter and have a better organization system.

You could consider going digital and utilizing handy tools or apps that make organizing and accessing your horse’s important health information more accessible. There are many different types of programs available, and some also allow you to sync your horse’s US Equestrian records with their profile. These types of digital systems would be exceptionally useful if you have multiple horses as well.

Whatever system you decide to use to organize your records, whether it’s a fresh, color-coded binder, or an app on your phone, it will save you from feeling stressed and frustrated when you’re looking for an important document in the future. If you plan to ever sell or insure your horse, you will need to have the most accurate and current information available on your horse’s medical history for the buyer or insurance provider.

  1. Build Your Business.

If you’re a professional in the industry, now might be a good time to work on your business. Perhaps you’ve thought about putting together a syndication for one of your horses but you’re not sure how to do it. Maybe you’ve been planning to reach out to some potential sponsors, or you’d like to work out some collaborative opportunities with other members of the equestrian industry. Take the time to do some research, brainstorm new ideas for your business, network with other professionals, and seek help when you need it.

Do you already have a website and social media accounts created for your farm or business? Go through them and make sure they’re up to date. Are your latest show results included? Is all of your contact information accurate? Perhaps think about starting a blog to share news with your clients and sponsors to keep them informed.

Also, you might want to take the time to review any business paperwork such as release forms for riders, boarding agreements, and operational and safety policies at your farm. Do any of them need to be updated? Now is a great time to review those documents and make sure they’re accurate, current, and legal.

Hopefully, you can knock out some of these tedious tasks now while you are stuck at home so that you will have more time to enjoy your horse later.

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

Double H Farm Encourages South Florida Community to Support A Different Shade of Love

Cayce Harrison and Quentin Judge of Double H Farm with Francky Pierre Paul of A Different Shade of Love.

Wellington, Fla. – Apr. 20, 2020 – As COVID-19 (coronavirus) continues to affect the equestrian community, some generous equine professionals are seeking ways to take advantage of the downtime due to a lack of competitions in order to give back. Quentin Judge and Cayce Harrison of Double H Farm are currently based out of their Wellington, Fla. home, and were recently introduced to local charity, A Different Shade of Love. After joining forces with their friends Sheila Motley and Mat Allen of The Clubhouse, a popular restaurant in the Palm Beach Polo & Country Club, Judge and Harrison have been calling on their equestrian colleagues and the local South Florida community to support A Different Shade of Love as the organization works to support the homeless community during this challenging time.

After seeing a story about A Different Shade of Love on the local news, Harrison connected with her friend, Motley, to inquire about joining forces to help provide meals for the homeless. Additionally, Harrison and Judge reached out to friends and Camping World for tent donations and successfully accrued more than 40 tents so far to provide shelter for those that need it.

“I’m so humbled to have found A Different Shade of Love and to be able to participate in furthering their mission. Although times are hard for many of us right now, they are particularly tough for those who do not have easy access to some basic necessities,” commented Harrison. “I was inspired by Francky Pierre Paul’s enthusiasm for the good work he and his team are doing and knew that my family, friends, and I were equipped to help. Providing meals and tents is not a complicated task, but the good it does is far reaching. We are off to a great start but are hoping to include more support from the community!”

A Different Shade of Love is a 501(C)(3) non-profit organization “that believes that every person, regardless of their economic situation deserves to be treated with dignity, shown respect, and is given a second chance at living a meaningful and normal life.” The mission of the organization is to provide quality clothing, shoes, and other supportive services to the homeless and families in need and to promote proper hygiene, which has been made particularly difficult during the COVID-19 pandemic. With thousands of homeless individuals in Palm Beach County alone, A Different Shade of Love faces a daunting task without public support and donations.

“We were introduced to A Different Shade of Love and their cause through Cayce and Quentin, who worked with us to provide the first meal delivery. Their excitement about getting involved and supporting those in need was contagious, and we are anxious to continue the deliveries as well as grow the donations,” commented Sheila Motley, co-founder of The Clubhouse at PBPCC. “We were so inspired by the work Francky Pierre-Paul was taking on himself and the gratitude from the members of Tent City [a homeless community in Lake Worth, Fla.] that it was easy to work to secure donations. We’ve received an incredible amount of support as well as new tents from Camping World to give shelter for those in need. It’s been really inspiring to have so many friends of The Clubhouse reach out. We hope we’re doing a little part to help the world heal during this unprecedented time.”

Since finances are tight for those experiencing and combatting homelessness during normal times, and especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, The Clubhouse offered the first round of full meals for only $5 per person. On the day of the first delivery, 120 meals were provided to the homeless and, in just the next 48 hours, funds were raised for 1,500 more meals thanks to the generosity of the friends and supporters of The Clubhouse in order to keep up with the growing need for those who depend on A Different Shade of Love.

“We all face a time in life where certain situations knock us on our butts. Unfortunately, sometimes some people find it harder than others to pick themselves back up. I chose to serve a population that tends to get looked over because the perspective is that they are lazy and refuse to work or they are bums, alcoholics, and lack a sense of direction. I started A Different Shade of Love to show their perspective and to share their stories,” noted Francky Pierre Paul, Founder and CEO of A Different Shade of Love. “Homelessness is not just physical; it is also mental. In order to understand one’s perspective, you have to be willing to open up your heart and lend an ear so you can allow their stories to speak to you. The goal is to reach out and provide a reason to live again. One day we will start to house each and every individual we come across, but until then, we will continue to speak life into those who feel like they have lost it a long time ago.”

Double H Farm would like to encourage all who have the means to do so to join them in their mission to provide for the homeless in support of A Different Shade of Love. To donate to the organization directly and be eligible for a tax write-off, please visit www.adifferentshadeoflove.org. If you would prefer to donate directly to The Clubhouse for meal preparation, please email info@theclubhousepbpcc.com or call 561-660-3300 during business hours, which are 4 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday.