Category Archives: Community/Charity

Meet Alena: Equestrian Aid Foundation Grant Recipient Hopeful for a Bright Future

Photo courtesy of Alena Weida.

Wellington, Fla. – May 15, 2017 – Alena Weida is the kind of girl who has always gotten back on the horse.

She began taking western riding lessons when she was 10 and rounded out her high school years as a 4-H-er, barrel racer and rodeo queen. Determined to work her way through college, Alena took a job as an animal technician in the theater industry, where her can-do spirit landed her jobs with everything from horses to zebras and camels.

This same spirit also landed her in the emergency room – twice. In 2012, she ended up underneath a hot mare she was warming up and was kicked several times in the chest and head. After a brief recovery, she continued to ride and attend school but was plagued with headaches and mental fogginess. As she lagged behind in her schoolwork, she faulted herself for not being able to tough out her symptoms and just “shake it off.”

Less than a later, a horse she was mounting spooked in a gravel parking lot, and once again, Alena ended up underneath. This accident resulted in a seizure, and it was then that doctors diagnosed her with a traumatic brain injury (TBI). The more Alena learned about TBI, the more she was able to understand her condition, and the more she began to feel like herself again.

With this diagnosis, though, came rules for recovery – no riding, no screen time, no reading for long periods of time – that have stopped Alena’s plans for the future in their tracks. Unable to ride or complete her academic goals at a steady clip, Alena suffers from anxiety and depression issues that affect both her professional and personal life.

Alena is not sure of her prognosis at this point, but with the help of the Equestrian Aid Foundation, she will be able to afford specialized therapies known to benefit people with TBI. She is confident this is the leg up she needs to get back to her former self, and thanks to our generous donors, Alena remains hopeful for a bright future.

The Equestrian Aid Foundation® is 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 21 years ago, the Foundation has granted over $2.7 million in direct financial aid to equestrians facing adversity. Our needs-based support provides assistance with 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

Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh Talks Love of and Involvement in Combined Driving

Lexington, Ky. – Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh gave his first and only post-retirement public interview this week to US Equestrian Board Member Misdee Wrigley Miller at the esteemed Royal Windsor Horse Show in Great Britain. His involvement and love of the international equestrian sport, combined driving, was at the top of his list for discussion.

Click here to watch the exclusive interview with Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.

Serving as the President of the Fédération Equestre International (FEI) from 1964 to 1986, the Duke was influential in helping to standardize the international rules for combined driving and bringing the sport to the Royal Windsor Horse Show. His own involvement in the sport started when he was 50 after he decided it was time to give up playing polo.

“I was looking around to see what was next, you know, what was available,” said Prince Philip. “I thought to myself, ‘We have got horses and carriage, so why don’t we have a go?’ So, I borrowed four horses from the stables and took them to Norfolk and practiced. The second competition I entered was the European championship.”

With the Duke’s 96th birthday on the horizon, he has been participating in combined driving for roughly 46 years. His good-humored interview was his first public media appearance since the announcement of his retirement from royal duties earlier this month. The Duke granted the interview to friend and fellow combined-driving competitor Misdee Wrigley Miller.

Miller also owns Post Time Studios, a production company based out of Lexington, Ky. Post Time Studios developed the Driving Grand Prix broadcast of the Royal Windsor Horse Show, earning a nationally-televised slot with the NBC Sports Network. NBC will air the fully-produced, one-hour highlights of the driving competition when Royal Windsor: Driving Grand Prix airs on national television on July 1 at 1 p.m. EST.

The Royal Windsor Horse Show hosts the CAIO4* Land Rover International Driving Grand Prix, one of the most important driving events in the United Kingdom and a FEI World Cup™ qualifier.

Be sure to follow US Equestrian on social media @USEquestrian and @USEFNetwork for updates and social coverage of the event.

Post Time Studios Producing Royal Windsor Equine Driving Grand Prix Primetime TV Show

Lexington, KY: Post Time Studios is producing a one-hour primetime television broadcast entitled ROYAL WINDSOR: Driving Grand Prix covering the Land Rover International Driving Grand Prix at Royal Windsor Horse Show to be filmed in the private grounds of Windsor Castle, UK May 10-14, 2017.  The show premieres in the UK on Horse & Country TV on May 21, followed by a US premiere on NBC Sports Network on Saturday, July 1st at 12PM EST.

The ROYAL WINDSOR: Driving Grand Prix broadcast will be a fast-paced, modern sports production that captures all the pageantry, excitement and challenges drivers will face during the three-phase competition.

“We’re producing a show that will thrill all sports fans, not just fans of equine sports.  We’ve designed a style, pace and energy that’s never been applied to an international carriage driving competition before.  We’re giving this production the royal treatment,” says Danny Tepper, Post Time’s Executive in Charge of Production.

For more information, please contact Sara Ahlgrim, Post Time Studios, E:, T: (859) 266-3776 ext. 230

Equestrian Aid Foundation Announces New Horse Show Program

Wellington, Fla. – May 8, 2017 – The Equestrian Aid Foundation announced their new horse show program, Show You Care. The organization provides financial assistance to members of the horse community who suffer from catastrophic illness and injury and they are reaching out to horse show managers across the country to help them with their mission.

“Linda Andrisani, a well-respected US Equestrian “R” judge, and other Foundation board members convinced us to launch this horse show program,” said Louise Smith, executive director of the Equestrian Aid Foundation. “The concept is aligned with our goals to spread awareness of the organization, gain support and help more horse people in need.”

Andrisani faced the unknown when she and her lifelong partner, Jack Stedding, had to downsize their top show hunter business due to illness. “The EAF came in and supplemented the loss of my income and helped me get back on my feet,” Andrisani said. “I had never really been aware of the depth of the work that they did for so many of the horse people.”

The Show You Care program is a simple way for horse show managers to support the Equestrian Aid Foundation’s mission of helping critically ill and injured horse people – from riders and grooms to judges and ground crew; the very people who populate show grounds day after day.

How the program works is simple and straight-forward. Show managers designate a warmup or schooling class in the hunter and jumper divisions as a Show You Care class. Then the show managers choose a percentage of each entry fee, from 5 to 50 percent, per designated class to donate to the Equestrian Aid Foundation at the end of the show. Because the Equestrian Aid Foundation is a 501(c)(3), donations are tax deductible. Show managers control the depth of their contribution by their selection of the classes and the percentage of contribution.

Caring about seriously injured or ill members of the equestrian community is a great message for show managers to send, and the Equestrian Aid Foundation will promote your support in the press, on the web, in email marketing and in our social media.

Upon completing their rounds in the Show You Care class, competitors will receive a green Show You Care lapel ribbon, provided by the Equestrian Aid Foundation. Riders are encouraged to wear their ribbons throughout the show and share their photos on social media (hashtags #ShowYouCare and #EquestrianAidFoundation). Winners of a monthly Show You Care social media photo contest will win a prize.

Show managers may sign up now for the Show You Care program for their 2017 summer and fall horse shows. Contact Emily Cleland at

The Lindsay Maxwell Charitable Fund Presents the 113th Annual Keswick Horse Show

Lindsay Maxwell and her horse, Widget. Kathy Russell Photography.

Charity Horse Show to Benefit UVA Children’s Hospital

Keswick, Va. May 2, 2017 — The 113th Annual Keswick Horse Show presented by The Lindsay Maxwell Charitable Fund, will be held at the historic Keswick showgrounds from Tuesday, May 16th through Sunday, May 21st, 2017.

This year The Keswick Horse Show is brought to us by the Keswick Hunter Jumper Foundation to benefit UVA Children’s Hospital. The Keswick Horse Show was selected as the 2015 VHSA Horse Show of the Year in addition to being designated a USEF Heritage Competition, maintaining its distinction as an AA-rated World Champion Hunter Rider event.

“UVA Children’s Hospital is proud and grateful to be the beneficiary of the Keswick Horse Show for the third year running,” said UVA Children’s Hospital Associate Director of Development, Kate Rullman. “Proceeds from the show will help us continue to provide compassionate care to every child who comes through our doors. UVA Children’s Hospital is committed to excellence and we are proud to be recognized as national leaders in pediatric healthcare and research.”

The Keswick Horse Show began in 1904 and has been running every year at the historic showgrounds of The Keswick Hunt Club. It is the second oldest horse show in the country. Since its inception, The Keswick Horse Show has helped different charities including Habitat for Humanity, Charlottesville Senior Center, The Boys and Girls Club, SPCA and UVA Children’s Hospital. Over the past 20 years, the horse show has raised close to $500,000 for its different charities and has attracted some of the most famous horses, trophies, exhibitors and trainers to walk the showgrounds.

“We are thrilled to host our 113th Keswick Horse Show. This competition has become such an integral component of our community. It’s a must attend event for both community members and top-level equestrians,” said Co-chairman of The Keswick Horse Show, Doug Wheeler. “Thanks to organizations like The Lindsay Maxwell Charitable Fund charity horse shows can continue to grow, thrive, and help the charities that they serve. It’s people like Lindsay whose mission is to dedicate themselves to the sport by providing opportunities and memories to children that make this world better.”

The week features an action-packed and lively schedule of events. Highlights include the Eastminster Dog Show & Exhibitor party, which is held under the tent on Wednesday night. On Thursday night, “Karats and Cocktails” will take place to benefit the UVA Children’s Hospital. The weekend kicks off on Friday with the USHJA National Hunter Derby followed by dinner and dancing as well as the Jumper Classic on Saturday with a beautiful evening afterwards. This event has become a tradition in Keswick. To conclude the week’s events, on Sunday, a relaxing Down Home Fish Fry on the porch will be a perfect way to wrap up this unforgettable week.

“It is an honor to be working with The Keswick Horse Show. Being both a competitive equestrian and someone who understands the need to give back, I felt it was important to get involved with charity horse shows. They combine my two passions,” said Founder of The Lindsay Maxwell Charitable Fund, Lindsay Maxwell. “The horse show will help to improve the lives of so many children in the area.  The proceeds go to the UVA Children’s Hospital and that is why we chose to become involved with such a wonderful charity horse show.”

About The Lindsay Maxwell Charitable Fund: The Lindsay Maxwell Charitable Fund is a private, charitable fund. It accepts grant proposals for the benefit of charitable, educational, or scientific purposes, exclusively from tax-exempt, charitable organizations. The issues where the Fund focuses its resources reflect Lindsay’s personal priorities and values: improving the lives of children with special needs; enabling access opportunities to education; and providing care, compassion, and protection to animals.

Contact: Jessica Greene, Sirota Public Relations

Old Friends Auction Halters Open for Bid

GEORGETOWN, KY – MAY 2, 2017 – Old Friends, the Thoroughbred Retirement Facility is Georgetown, KY, will host its 13th Annual Homecoming Event on Sunday May 7th beginning at 1 pm.

The event features a live and silent auction of artwork, prints, and racing memorabilia, including several premiere collectible stallion halters.

On the block are halters worn by:

  • American Pharoah, who won the Belmont Stakes in 2015 to become history’s 12th Triple Crown Champion. By capturing the Breeders’ Cup Classic that same year, he became the first horse to win racing’s Grand Slam. He now stands at Ashford Stud.[*]
  • California Chrome, who won the 2014 Kentucky Derby and Preakness stakes as well as the GR1 Pacific classic, the GR1 Awesome Again Stakes, and the Dubai World Cup. The two-time Horse of the Year now stands at Taylor Made Farm.
  • Curlin, the two-time Horse of the Year, now a leading industry sire at Hill ‘n’ Dale Farm. His son, Irish War Cry, is a leading contender for this year’s Kentucky Derby.
  • Runhappy, winner of the 2015 Breeders’ Cup Sprint and the 2015 Eclipse Sprint Champion award, who now stands at Claiborne Farm.
  • Littleprincessemma, the dam of Triple Crown winner American Pharoah. She was named Broodmare of the Year in 2015. She resides at Summer Wind Farm.

Interested buyers unable to attend on Sunday can now absentee bid on these items. To bid, email your name, address, and phone number along with your highest bid to:

The deadline to receive bids is Saturday May 6th, at 9 pm (EST).

At the event, someone will be assigned to proxy bid for you starting low and bidding up to your highest number.

The Old Friends Homecoming event will be highlighted by live music, a barbecue buffet, and farm tours where guests can meet the farm’s two Kentucky Derby Champions, Silver Charm and War Emblem, among other memorable equine athletes. There will also be a special book signing by Eclipse Award winning photographer Barbara Livingston, who will autograph copies of her new book Old and New Friends (Daily Racing Form, $39.95).

Tickets are still available and can be reserved by calling (502) 863-1775 or booked online by visiting the website at Tickets are $25; $15 for Old Friends members. Children under 12 are free.

Special thanks goes out to the farms that so generously donated these and other wonderful halters to Old Friends. For more information on the event, visit the website or call the farm at (502) 863-1775.

* This item lists with a reserve of $3,000.

Old Friends is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization that cares for more than 175 retired racehorses. Its Dream Chase Farm, located in Georgetown, KY, is open to tourists daily by appointment. Old Friends also has a satellite facility in Greenfield Center, New York, Old Friends at Cabin Creek: The Bobby Frankel Division, which is also open to visitors. For more information on tours or to make a donation, contact the main farm at (502) 863-1775 or see their website at

MEDIA CONTACT: Cynthia Grisolia, (502) 863-1775,; or Barbara Fossum, (502) 863-1775,

Goodbye Duke Ora and Swan’s Way

Swan’s Way (Photo © Laura Battles)

From Michael:

Within just a few days of each other, we lost two tough old New England Campaigners: Duke Ora, 23, and Swan’s Way, 28. They each made 81 starts and died within a few days of each other — Dukie from a neurological disorder and Swannie from inoperable colic. And anyone who thinks Thoroughbreds are the equine version of hot-house orchids, they’re wrong. They were more like Jake LaMotta — a pair of raging bulls.

Dukie won his last race, a $10,000 claimer sprinting on the grass on Aug. 12, 2006. He was 13 and retired soon thereafter with 16 wins and earnings of $173, 626. For most of his career he was owned by Patricia Moseley. But on his luckiest day, he ended up in the barn of my former trainer Lorita Lindemann. When it was time for him to retire, she thought of Old Friends. Like Swannie, he was never ridden by a Hall of Famer or aimed for the Triple Crown but he was always game to fill a race and give it whatever he could. He was so tough he even outlasted the tracks where he primarily competed: Rockingham Park and Suffolk Downs.

While Swan’s Way fell short in the wins and earnings department with eight lifetime victories and $64, 715, this Paul Mellon-bred placed 16 times with 15 shows. All heart. And he raced until he was 15. He survived his first colic episode when we were still at Hurstland Farm 10 years ago. He might have never out-run his odds on the track but he certainly did at Old Friends.

We’re deeply thankful to all of the visitors who paid their respects to Swan’s Way every day during the tours. He enjoyed his premiere space near You and I, Touch Gold, Nobiz Like Shobiz, and Geri. Old Friends volunteer Tom Beatty, Swannie’s best friend, was with him when he passed. Swannie was his Silver Charm.

Horses with the tenacity of these two don’t show up very day. But they showed up at Old Friends. And for that, we are eternally grateful.

Duke Ora (Lord Avie – Queen Ora, Majestic Light) Bred in Kentucky by Elmendorf Farm, Lifetime: 81-16-14-19, career earnings: $173, 626.

Swan’s Way (Smile – Bright Swan, Quack) Bred by Paul Mellon, Lifetime: 81-8-16-15, career earnings: $64,715.

Old Friends, Inc. 1841 Paynes Depot Rd., Georgetown, KY 40324

Old Friends at Cabin Creek   483 Sandhill Rd., Greenfield Center, NY 12833

Don’t Miss the Deadline to Apply for USA Equestrian Trust Grants

Equine Non-Profits Must Submit Applications by Monday, May 1

April 18, 2017 — Lexington, KY — There is still time to submit proposals for USA Equestrian Trust’s 2017 grants program. IRS-registered equine non-profits are invited to apply by filling out the online grant application at

The Trust’s financial support has been dedicated largely but not exclusively for initiatives that are productive across several national-level discipline and/or breed boundaries. The Trust welcomes proposals for need-based projects and encourages applicants to detail those in their applications.

Any organization applying must submit copies of its IRS non-profit determination letter and most recent Form 990, as well as a proposed budget for its project. The deadline to submit applications is 11:59 p.m. Pacific Time on Monday, May 1.

Funding available for grants includes $36,500 reserved for Hunter and Jumper non-profit programs and activities in California and Nevada. Applicants for this fund should make clear their intention to apply for grants available from this specific reserve.

If you have any questions about applying, please e-mail

About USA Equestrian Trust

USA Equestrian Trust is a New York Not-for-Profit Corporation whose mission is to assist in preserving and/or enhancing the quality of equestrian sport in the United States of America. Its objects and purposes are exclusively charitable, educational and dedicated to the fostering of equestrian sports. The Trust is a private foundation pursuant to the United States Internal Revenue Code.

Cell: 516-848-4867 –

Iron Spring Farm Says Goodbye to Grand Prix Stallion Hedser 465, Sport

IPhoto: Terri Miller.

Coatesville, PA — Iron Spring Farm said goodbye to the Grand Prix stallion Hedser 465, Sport last month. The 15-yer-old Friesian passed away from colic. Hedser was a barn favorite, full of personality with a deep love for peppermints. Although retired from dressage, Hedser enjoyed his days standing at stud and spending time in the lush pasture at ISF.

Hedser was a true Grand Prix horse, finding ease in the toughest movements, including piaffe, passage and tempi changes. “He loved his job and was a delight to ride,” remembered his owner and rider, Mary Alice Malone. “I knew he was special the moment I sat on him.”

Before being imported to the United States, Hedser was a dressage star in Europe. With Kristel van Duren-Bodewes, Hedser earned several championships. “The first time [I rode him] was a great feeling,” she recalled. “His movements were big, and he had a nice rhythm in the trot. His walk was big, and his canter was really to the top.”

She continued, “Time and time again, I was amazed at his ability and his eagerness to work. The collected trot was very easy for him, and he was born to do the passage. He liked to piaffe.” In July 2010, the pair debuted together in Grand Prix; Hedser was only eight. Eventually, Hedser competed with Laura Zwart in Europe, before being imported to the USA.

Three Generations of Approved Grand Prix Stallions

Hedser’s wonderful disposition and athletic ability can be attributed to his exceptional bloodlines, the result of thoughtful breeding. Hedser was a third generation Approved Stallions showing at Grand Prix. His sire, Adel 357, Sport, competed in Europe with Peter Spahn. Hedser was also the three-quarter-brother to the Grand Prix stallion, Anders 451, who competed at the 2014 World Equestrian Games. Hedser’s mother was the Prestatie mare, Hasjem, by Ouke 313.

Hedser will be missed, but three of his young offspring, Amore ISF, Absolute ISF, and Devita ISF, carry on his legacy. Visit for photos and videos.

Equestrian Sports Promotions
Phone: 303-263-7531

Old Friends “Hats Off to the Horses: The Road to the Derby” Unveils “The Danthebluegrassman”

Jockey Chris and his wife Shelby Landeros. Photo © Equisport Photography.

The 8th Annual Maggie Mae Designs® Old Friends-sponsored online fashion auction, “Hats Off to the Horses: The Road to the Derby”, has opened bidding on the final hat in the 2017 series.

The Derby-style chapeau currently up for bid honors one-time Derby contender Danthebluegrassman.

Bidding in this online auction will be available through April 11, 2017, 8:00 pm (EST). To bid, CLICK HERE.

This unique fundraiser features one-of-a-kind couture hats created by Maggie Mae Designs®, the sale of which benefits Old Friends, the Thoroughbred Retirement Facility based in Georgetown, KY.

To date, this annual online fashion auction has raised over $30,000 for Old Friends.

Kentucky-bred Danthebluegrassman captured the 2001 Gold Rush Stakes as a two-year-old and then the 2002 Golden Gate Derby, which made him a top contender for the 2002 Kentucky Derby. But injury kept him from starting on the First Saturday in May in the race that was won by his stablemate, War Emblem. Dan continued to race, but by 2008 had fallen down the claiming ranks. Thanks to several fans and supporters, the chestnut son of Pioneering was claimed and retired to Old Friends.

The custom-crafted chapeau honoring this athlete makes use of owner Mike Pegram’s bright racing silks of bold red and yellow. The hat features a champagne silk foundation highlighted by wispy layers of bright tulle. The centerpiece is a large red rose placed along the crown. The flower is framed with a medley of yellow organza leaves, each of which is delicately top stitched in red for added detailing.

As with all of the Maggie Mae Designs®, the “Danthebluegrassman” hat is stunning from every angle with no detail left untouched.

Special thanks to our models Krystal and Jon Court and their daughter, Aubrey, and Shelby and Chris Landeros. Thanks also to Lexington-based boutique Bella Rose for furnishing Krystal and Shelby’s lovely dresses!

To see more photos and read more about the hat’s design, CLICK HERE.

Old Friends, Inc. 1841 Paynes Depot Rd., Georgetown, KY 40324

Old Friends at Cabin Creek   483 Sandhill Rd., Greenfield Center, NY 12833