Category Archives: Fundraisers

Kim Haymond Wins Custom Breyer Horse Model in USET Foundation’s PonyUp! Fundraising Contest

Gladstone, N.J. – June 16, 2017 – Kim Haymond of Prairie Village, Kansas has won the United States Equestrian Team (USET) Foundation’s recent PonyUp! fundraising contest in which participants created teams to help raise funds to support our U.S. equestrian teams. In addition, Breyer® also joined the contest and agreed to create a custom-painted Breyer® model on the mold of the winner’s choice. The horse selected could be the winner’s own horse or simply the horse of their dreams! Breyer® creates only one or two custom models each year and the winning prize was valued at $2,500.

Haymond is an avid Breyer® collector and is well-known throughout the model horse hobby as the creator of exquisite, realistic and scaled environments in which to display model horses. Haymond often works with her mother, Kathi, the co-owner of Tabletop Studios, on projects. Recently, the pair created a set of bases for dioramas on display in the Kentucky Horse Park Gift Shop. They are well-known teachers and often give workshops for Breyer® at BreyerFest and other events. As the winner of the USET Foundation’s PonyUp! fundraising contest, Haymond will be the recipient of a custom-designed Breyer® model of her choice as well as a framed Rio Olympic poster signed by the entire 2016 U.S. Olympic and Paralympic equestrian teams.

“I loved the idea of supporting our U.S. equestrian teams and winning such a coveted prize. Breyer® rarely makes custom models and I intend to use this opportunity to create my dream horse,” said Haymond.

Haymond was in a head-to-head race for first place with 17-year-old Carly Kudalis of Pelham, New Hampshire. The high school junior, who competes with her 6-year-old American Saddlebred gelding in saddle seat, hunt seat and dressage, engaged in a wide variety of activities to achieve her fundraising goal including creating and selling custom, hand-painted models on eBay, raffling off a pair of highly sought-after New England Patriots tickets and hosting a plant sale. The race to the finish was intense and in the end, Haymond won by less than $200.

“I decided to participate in the PonyUp! contest because I am first and foremost absolutely in love with horses,” said Kudalis. “It was an amazing experience. I love working with Breyer® and everything they do. I also 100 percent support the USET Foundation. The contest was awesome. It was an intense three weeks but it turned out pretty well. I am happy with how it went!”

“We were so impressed by the tremendous effort that Carly made that we have decided to present her with a runner-up prize,” said Stephanie Macejko, Breyer®’s vice president of marketing. “She showed such dedication and ingenuity in her efforts to raise funds that we just had to do something special for her.”

Overall, the PonyUp! contest was a huge success and fulfilled its mission of creating awareness of the need to support the USET Foundation, which relies primarily on donations to fund our high performance horses and athletes representing Team USA at the highest levels of competition around the word. Young athletes are the future of the sport and the funds raised in the PonyUp! contest will help introduce and develop the next generation of high performance equestrian athletes.

The USET Foundation will be hosting Breyer®, the maker of the world’s finest model horses, for another exciting Pony Up! Festival at their headquarters in Gladstone, New Jersey, Saturday, June 17. This fun, hands-on and family-oriented festival will feature some of the real local horses that inspired the Breyer® models.

For more information on the USET Foundation, visit

Contact: Rebecca Walton
phone 561.753.3389 fax 561.753.3386

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

Landmark Evening at USEA American Eventing Championships Raises $5,000 for Brooke USA

Starsky collecting donations for Brooke USA. Photo Credit ©Meg Banks/TIEC.

Mill Spring, NC – September 30, 2016 – Thousands of exhibitors, owners and spectators joined together at the Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC) on Saturday, September 3, to not only celebrate the 2016 Nutrena® United States Eventing Association USEA American Eventing Championships (AEC) presented by Land Rover, but to also support Brooke USA through the “Celebrity Bartender Showdown” and silent auction. The event took place during the “Sounds of Nashville” Concert presented by Coca Cola®, raising $5,000 for Brooke USA’s “Buy a Donkey a Drink” campaign.

As everyone prepared for the concert, the festivities kicked off at “The Brooke Watering Hole” located at the TIEC’s onsite restaurant patio, Roger’s Diner. Brooke USA Ambassadors and Team USA Eventing members Boyd Martin and Lauren Kieffer were joined by Bobby Costello, Allison Springer, and Lynn Symansky, as well as Brooke USA Board Member Jim Wolf, as the celebrity bartenders throughout the evening.

They concocted cocktails and raised awareness for the “Buy a Donkey a Drink” campaign, which ensures lifetime access to water for 81,000 livestock animals, including 13,500 equines in drought-prone areas of Ethiopia through the construction of five large, permanent water troughs. The project is expected to lower the equine mortality rate in that area by 45 percent, and benefit 67,500 of the world’s poorest people who depend on those animals.

“Our team was incredibly motivated to host an event that would generate awareness for Brooke USA and the ‘Buy a Donkey a Drink’ campaign in an engaging and energetic atmosphere,” said Katherine Bellissimo, Brooke USA Board Member and Principal of Tryon Equestrian Partners. “We’re thrilled with the success of this event and are looking forward to continuing our efforts to maximize exposure for Brooke USA and the mission of the organization at TIEC.”

Guests had the choice to sip on a signature orange sangria, Moscow mule, or orangeade while listening to the sounds of “Raised by the Radio” star Mitch Rossell, who has opened for the legendary Garth Brooks, and country music singer Julia Cole, who has opened for country music sensation Hunter Hayes. Each drink and all tips raised throughout the night benefited Brooke USA, as well as a silent auction.

Starsky, a dwarf miniature pony rescued by The Peeps Foundation and now owned by the Bellissimo family, paraded around “The Brooke Watering Hole” donning a special Brooke USA cooler outfitted with donation pockets. Starsky interacted with guests and served as an ambassador for organization, welcoming attention and contributions.

Brooke USA is now only $9,500 away from raising enough money to construct the fifth and final water trough of the campaign, with the help of the funds raised during the event. For every $9 raised, one working equine will have lifetime access to a water supply, and the campaign will continue to run through the entire 2016 Tryon Fall Series.

“We are so fortunate to have the help and support of the Tryon International Equestrian Center, as well as Mark and Katherine Bellissimo and Jim Wolf,” Executive Director of Brooke USA Emily Dulin said. “The evening was filled with fun, laughter and of course, a greater mission-raising awareness for the 13,500 working equines that will benefit from the ‘Buy a Donkey a Drink’ Campaign.”

Each water trough allows as many as 340 horses, donkeys and mules to quench their thirst with each filling, and will allow other livestock such as cattle and camels to receive life-saving water as well.

For more information about Tryon International Equestrian Center, please call (828) 863-1000 or visit

To donate to this lifesaving campaign, go to or email For more information on Brooke USA, go to

About Brooke USA
Brooke USA is a 501(c)(3) charity located at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, which exists solely to support the overseas work of the Brooke, the world’s largest international equine welfare charity.  For more than 80 years, the Brooke has been alleviating the suffering of horses, donkeys, and mules who work in some of the poorest communities on earth. The Brooke’s scientifically proven, practical, and sustainable solutions to enormous welfare challenges improve the lives of equine animals and the people who depend on them across Africa, Asia, and Central America.  Last year alone, the Brooke reached 1.8 million equines, benefiting 10 million people in the developing world. To learn more, visit

David Oliver Willis Wowed Judges & Audience Members Alike at AEGT Season Finale

AEGT Finale Winner, David Oliver Willis.

Wellington, Fla. – March 31, 2015 – After nine weeks of intense competition, the top 12 finalists battled it out on the stage last Sunday night at the 2016 American Equestrians Got Talent Finale, a fundraiser to support the United States Equestrian Team Foundation. Ultimately, it was gifted musician David Oliver Willis who took home the title of America’s Most Talented Equestrian and a $10,000 grand prize courtesy of Robert Ross PA of Keller Williams Luxury Real Estate.

Representing the sport of Dressage, David Oliver Willis made his first impression on the Wellington audience during the fourth week of auditions held at the White Horse Fashion Cuisine, where he blew spectators away with his original song and rendition of Sam Cooke’s ‘A Change Is Gonna Come,’ securing his spot in the finale.

Originally from Mount Dora, Florida, Willis shared his path to the stage, beginning as a child. “I’ve been singing since I was a little kid in church, where my mom was a minister for years and my dad was a deacon. Sometime after high school I started taking it more seriously and playing some acoustic gigs,” he commented.

As a three-time American Idol participant, Willis admitted this wasn’t his first time in the limelight. “I made it to the top 20 guys category on season 12,” he said.

Following his big win at the finale among 12 fierce talents, Willis divulged, “I decided to stay true to what I felt, what music I like the most, and who I am as an artist – I think that helped me win this competition in particular. The exposure here at AEGT is great and I’ve met so many incredible people. After this I am going to go in the studio and get my full album completed!”

In addition to his cash prize, AEGT Judge and USET supporter, Mark Bellissimo, offered Willis the opportunity to perform at his Central Park horse show in September. Last year, this same offer garnered 2015 second place finalist, Ki-Juan Minors, a record label deal with P. Diddy.

The American Equestrians Got Talent 2016 season raised close to $200,000 for the United States Equestrian Team Foundation. The donation from Juan Gando of the White Horse Fashion Cuisine totaled $31,100 from the weekly auditions. The silent auction that featured the Roadtrips trip to the Rio Olympics, as well as other impressive items, also raised vital funds to support high performance programs. Without the generosity of the sponsors, judges, donors, auction buyers, volunteers, and guests, the event would not have been such a resounding success. Thank you to Robert Dover for his support and dedication to American Equestrians Got Talent!

“What an amazing night of American Equestrians Got Talent finale!” Dover said. “I truly appreciate all our sponsors, donors, judges, contestants and volunteers, and my husband, Robert Ross, more than you can know! Thank you to Annie Cizadlo and everyone at the USET, USEF and Phelps Media Group for making the entire AEGT season a success again this year. Thank you Wellington for coming out and supporting AEGT 2016 and our high performance athletes and their programs. Go Team USA!”

13-year-old vocalist Kayden Mueller-Janssen of Wellington, Florida took home second place at Sunday night’s finale winning $7,500 sponsored by Kasey Perry and Family. Regarding her whirlwind experience, she shared, “I am so happy. My dad came all the way from Europe to see me perform. He will also be coming with me to LA to support my acting and singing. Even if I didn’t win, I am still proud of myself because it is such an experience. I love singing, and to be honest I wouldn’t know what to do without it.”

2016 third place finisher and second time AEGT finale performer, Robert Gallardo, wowed the judges with his seemingly gravity-defying dance moves. The talented dancer won $5,000 sponsored by Pat Stemple and Roundabout Stables LLC. Gallardo was pleased with his third place finish and looks forward to returning to the stage next year to showcase his self-taught talents.

Rounding out the top four was groom and vocalist, Teaghan James. She received $2,500. James was encouraged to compete by recording artist, Ki-Juan Minors, with whom she performs with regularly.

Minors returned to the AEGT stage prior to Sunday’s finale as an opener, and announced his album will be hopefully be available later this year.

Other openers included the Charlie Tota Band, AEGT 2015 Winner Brian Lookabill, and Felippe Biatti, an American Idol competitor and opener for One Direction.

The atmosphere of the night was electric. The culmination of an impressive list of unique auction items, delicious food provided by White Horse Catering seven esteemed guest judges and a beautiful venue, made this event a smash hit.

The United States Equestrian Team Foundation ( is the non-profit organization that supports the competition, training, coaching, travel and educational needs of America’s elite and developing international, high-performance horses and athletes in partnership with the United States Equestrian Federation.

Springsteens Rock Rio Raising Record $1.5 Million Dollars for USET Foundation

Bruce Springsteen.

Wellington, Fla – Jan. 24, 2016 – On Friday, Jan. 22, the United States Equestrian Team (USET) Foundation hosted the Olympic and Paralympic Games benefit, Rockin’ Rio, at Louisburg Farm in Wellington, Florida. With more than 600 guests in attendance, Rockin’ Rio featured honorary chairs Patti Scialfa and Bruce Springsteen. The celebratory evening included award presentations, an elegant dinner, a surprise performance by Springsteen and a lively auction, which helped raise more than $1.5 million dollars for the USET Foundation.

Rockin’ Rio captured all of the elements of an amazing evening. The tent was transformed into a festive Brazilian wonderland by designer Reed McIlvaine (Renny and Reed) and included an exquisite dinner by Ken Rose catering. USET Foundation Executive Director Bonnie Jenkins and Committee Chairmen Kimberly Boyer, Gloria Callen, Margaret H. Duprey, Elizabeth Johnson, Elizabeth B. Juliano, Jacqueline B. Mars, Robin Parsky, Rebecca Reno, Jeannie Tisbo and Akiko Yamazaki all helped organize the highly successful event.

Olympian Rodrigo Pessoa of Brazil kicked off the festivities, welcoming the American delegation to his country this summer for the upcoming 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. USET Foundation Treasurer Philip Richter then welcomed honorary chairmen Patti Scialfa and Bruce Springsteen, who recognized the guests for their dedication to the sport and the Olympic movement, as the USET Foundation prepares for the 2016 Olympic Games.

“Patti and I have been involved with the horse world for 20 plus years since Jess started riding when she was 5 years old,” Springsteen said. “Needless to say retirement is nowhere in sight for me. I literally play for horse feed night after night.”

Springsteen continued, “Patti and my life have been deeply enriched by our involvement in the riding world. I’ve gotten to watch my daughter grow up into a young woman of character and excellence. I’ve gotten to watch a lot of you grow up with her. I’ve gotten to watch the best in the world compete year after year, and I know what that takes. We’re here tonight to honor your focus, your hard work and your dedication. I know it’s not always an easy life, and we want to show you that we are 100 percent behind you.”

Later in the evening, the awards ceremony began with 16-year-old Lucy Deslauriers of New York, New York being named the recipient of this year’s Lionel Guerrand-Hermes Trophy, which is presented to a young rider in one of the Olympic disciplines who exemplifies both sportsmanship and horsemanship. In 2015, Deslauriers had a breakout year by definition: she won the Individual Gold and Team Silver at the Adequan/FEI North American Junior and Young Rider Championships, Individual and Team Gold at the Neue Schule/USEF National Junior Jumper Championships and Individual Gold at the USEF U25 National Championships.

The next award was presented to Phillip Dutton of West Grove, Pennsylvania, the recipient of the Whitney Stone Cup. The award is presented annually to an active competitor who displays consistent excellence in international competition and high standards of sportsmanlike conduct while serving as an ambassador for the United States and equestrian sport. Five-time Olympian Phillip Dutton was the pathfinder for the U.S. Eventing team and led them to victory at the 2015 Pan American Games, where an Olympic qualification was at stake.

The final award, the Bruce Duchossois Distinguished Trustee Award, was presented to Brownlee O. Currey, Jr., created in recognition of Duchossois’ leadership, generosity and outstanding character. The award is presented annually to a USET Foundation Trustee who exemplifies exceptional leadership, philanthropy and character. For over 30 years Brownlee O. Currey, Jr. has lent his wisdom, passion and philanthropy to the United States Equestrian Team and the USET Foundation. He is the Chairman of the Board of the Foundation and, over his 30 years as a Trustee, he has served as Vice President, Chairman of the Development and Nominating Committees, and been an important member and advisor on the Investment and Finance Committees.

Following dinner, the auctioneer took control of the microphone and revved up the crowd to begin the live auction, which raised money for the U.S. Equestrian Team. Auction items included a four-piece equine collection by artist Sharon Lynn Campbell, tickets to the International Tennis Hall of Fame Enshrinement Ceremony, and Championships with a stay at the Relais & Chateaux Castle Hill and the painting “Precision” by Andre Pater, donated by Misdee and James Miller. The Duchossois family, Steve Wilson, Jeannie and Tom Tisbo donated a once in a lifetime trip for four to the Kentucky Derby, and Sharon Lynn Campbell also donated a custom oil portrait. A generous bidder claimed the prime summer week at Thistle House in the Village of Edgartown at Martha’s Vineyard donated by Mr. and Mrs. William H. Weeks, and guests also had the opportunity to bid on an amazing trip to California on a private jet with a stay at Montage Resort in Laguna Beach as well as an 11.63 carat yellow sapphire put in a setting of their choice, donated by Moti Ferder and Lugano Diamonds.

The benefit really started to rock when the final item was introduced as donated by Scialfa and Springsteen. What started as a signed guitar by “The Boss” quickly escalated to 10 VIP tickets with sound check and backstage meet and greet passes to one of Springsteen and the E Street Band’s River Tour concerts. To encourage the bidders, Springsteen took to the stage and brought the guests to their feet with one of his iconic performances. The hotly contested item eventually sold to two lucky bidders for $300,000 each.

Rockin’ Rio proved to be wildly successful for the USET Foundation, thanks to the generosity of the guests and auction donors, and their goal to help fund the United States Equestrian Team riders as they prepare to compete at the 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

The United States Equestrian Team Foundation ( is the non-profit organization that supports the competition, training, coaching, travel and educational needs of America’s elite and developing international, high-performance horses and athletes in partnership with the United States Equestrian Federation.

Contact: Rebecca Walton
USET Foundation
phone 561.753.3389 fax 561.753.3386

“American Equestrians Got Talent” Kicks Off in January for Wellington’s Winter Season

2014 AEGT competitor Laura Ashley Killian puts on a fire baton twirling show.

Wellington, FL – December 8, 2015 – Mark your calendar and make your plans now for the highlight of the winter social calendar in Wellington, Florida. American Equestrians Got Talent will kick off in January 2016 for its second year and promises to be a hit, drawing together equestrians from across the disciplines to showcase their non-horsey talents and compete for a grand prize.

Spearheaded by U.S. Dressage Team Chef d’Equipe Robert Dover, American Equestrians Got Talent will serve as a fundraiser to benefit USEF High Performance programs through the USET Foundation. It is a great way to support Team USA so make sure to come out and cheer on your favorite performer! After putting on a successful event last year, Dover is planning to take it to the next level in 2016.

This year American Equestrians Got Talent will be hosted each week in The Gallery at the Winter Equestrian Festival, and auditions are open to the entire equestrian community, including riders, grooms and others involved in any discipline. Auditions will be held each week for nine weeks with free admission to attend, and the weekly winners will receive $1,000 in prize money. On March 20, the top performers will each take center stage in the international arena at the Global Dressage Festival and give their all in hopes of walking away with the title of America’s Most Talented Equestrian and the grand prize, valued at no less than $10,000.

Follow American Equestrians Got Talent on their newly-launched Facebook page.

American Equestrians Got Talent Fast Facts

American Equestrians Got Talent, a fundraiser to benefit USEF High Performance Programs through the USET Foundation, returns to Wellington, Florida for its second year in 2016. Contestants participate in weekly auditions to earn their place in the season finale. Celebrity judges at each audition will critique the performances, and the audience’s applause will determine who moves forward to the finale and who goes back to the barn.


When: 7:30 to 10:00 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 13; Wednesday, Jan. 20; Tuesday, Jan. 26; Wednesday, Feb. 3; Wednesday, Feb. 10; Wednesday, Feb. 17; Wednesday, Feb. 24; Tuesday, March 1; and Wednesday, March 9

Where: The Gallery at WEF, 3400 Equestrian Club Drive, Wellington, Florida

Prize: $1,000 will be awarded to the top performer at each audition.

Participants: Auditions are open to the entire equestrian community, including riders, grooms and others involved in any discipline. Please sign up in advance by contacting Robert Dover (, who will set up practice times and work with contestants the day and night of the auditions. Walk-ins may be accepted as time permits.

Season Finale

When: March 20, 2016

Where: The Stadium at PBIEC (Global Dressage Festival show grounds), 13500 South Shore Blvd., Wellington, Florida

Prize: The winner, who will be named America’s Most Talented Equestrian, will receive a grand prize of $10,000 sponsored by Robert Dover, chef d’equipe of the U.S. Dressage Team, and Robert Ross, P.A., luxury equestrian realtor for Keller Williams.

The United States Equestrian Team Foundation ( is the non-profit organization that supports the competition, training, coaching, travel and educational needs of America’s elite and developing international, high-performance horses and athletes in partnership with the United States Equestrian Federation.

Contact: Rebecca Walton
USET Foundation
phone 561.753.3389 fax 561.753.3386

USET Foundation’s “Dressage Challenge” Deadline Draws Near – Pledge Your Gift Today!

Kimberly Herslow, Steffen Peters, Sabine Schut-Kery and Laura Graves at the 2015 Pan American Games.

Gladstone, NJ – November 10, 2015 – The Dressage Challenge, created by Fritz and Claudine Kundrun and the United States Equestrian Team Foundation, has reached 61 percent of its goal of raising $1,500,000 for the High Performance Dressage program. Concluding on December 31, 2015, the Dressage Challenge, which offers a one-for-two match to donations, will provide vital support to athletes preparing to represent the United States on the international stage at competitions such at the 2016 Olympic Games and 2018 World Equestrian Games.

Launched at the end of March by the Kundruns, longtime horse owners and supporters of U.S. dressage, the Dressage Challenge will match $1 for every $2 in gift commitments made by December 31, 2015, up to a total of $500,000. With more than $920,000 already donated, this landmark fundraising effort is well on its way to reaching its goal of $1,500,000, but the match will end in just over a month. By making your commitment today, you will help developing and elite athletes in the United States achieve their dreams.

Raising $1,500,000, will allow the U.S. High Performance Dressage to continue to build upon its recent successes and create a world-class program that will put the U.S. on top of the podium at international championships. Gifts are all tax-deductible. Commitments of $25,000 or more made by December 31 are eligible for the Challenge and may be paid over a multi-year period.

“Building a world class program that will put the United States dressage team on the podium will take the commitment and support of many people in our wonderful dressage community,” said Robert Dover, Chef d’Equipe of the U.S. Dressage Team. “The Dressage Challenge with its matching funds presents a unique and important opportunity for our dressage programs. I want to extend my sincere thanks to all those that have already made commitments to the Dressage Challenge and hope that many more will consider joining them in the coming month and help us achieve excellence.”

Just a few weeks remain, and the Dressage Challenge offers a special opportunity for donors to see their contribution go the extra mile. This Challenge will require extraordinary commitment and the support of those in the equestrian community who love the sport and desire to see our athletes, both equine and human, compete and win at the highest levels of international competition.

To learn more about getting involved in the Dressage Challenge, please contact Bonnie Jenkins at or (908) 234-1251.

The United States Equestrian Team Foundation ( is the non-profit organization that supports the competition, training, coaching, travel and educational needs of America’s elite and developing international, high-performance horses and athletes in partnership with the United States Equestrian Federation.

Contact: Rebecca Walton
USET Foundation
phone 561.753.3389 fax 561.753.3386

Old Friends Update and Event Tonight with American Pharoah Halter

American Pharoah – Photo by Ronnie Betor.

Breaking News! Triple Crown winner American Pharoah’s authenticated halter will be up for auction at our cocktail party fundraiser tonight, Aug. 3, from 6-10 PM at Siro’s. Tickets available at the door!

From Michael:

All the horses are doing great.

The past few months have been great for Old Friends. From American Pharoah winning the Triple Crown and his trainer Bob Baffert donating $50,000 to Old Friends and three other worthy charities (the TAA, CARMA and the PDJF) to acquiring Genuine Risk’s son, Genuine Reward, it’s been quite a time. All the extra visitors coming to see Silver Charm and Game On Dude and, of course, Little Silver Charm, are putting a wonderful burden on our volunteers. And they’ve all stepped it up big time. Hall of Fame baseball player/manager, Joe Torre, came by to see Game On Dude and most of our other retirees.

But the future is where it’s at. We’ve got to work harder to get more room for more deserving retirees. With that in mind, we’ve signed leases with an option to buy on two additional, adjacent properties and an adjoining home. The properties increase our available acreage to more than 100. The home would allow us to re-open the bed and breakfast at Old Friends so people could stay at the farm.

Of course the big news is that the Yoshida family and everyone at Shadai Stallion in Japan have agreed to send War Emblem to Old Friends where the 2002 Derby-Preakness winner can be re-united with Sarava, who beat him in the Belmont. Like all the other great athletes we’ve brought back so they could be adored by all their fans, we need to raise the money for transportation, etc. In War Emblem’s case, and because they are so concerned with his health and safety, it would also involve transportation for his veterinarian and groom. And personally, I think this is a great idea. Instead of going after a mega-sponsor, we’d like this to be a grass roots effort. Here’s the deal: we are asking 300 supporters to donate $202. As a memento, each donor would receive a numbered certificate, signed by trainer Bob Baffert and jockey Victor Espinosa, designating them as a member of War Emblem’s inner circle. He or she would also receive a special invitation to join us at Old Friends for a special welcome home party. Let me know what you think.

There are some great activities planned in August for Old Friends. Tonight at Siro’s, there’s a great celebration for Old Friends at Cabin Creek led by jockey and Old Friends Board member, Rosie Napravnik. Tickets available at the door and are $100. On Aug. 7, at the resplendent Anne’s Washington Inn, we will present the annual Frankel Award at a cocktail party from 6pm to 8pm. Each year, this get-together attracts great old friends from Thoroughbred racing, including Todd Pletcher and his family, Javier Castellano, Angel Cordero, Jr., Cot Campbell, Sonny Taylor and many others. Special thanks to Kendall-Jackson wines, Mama Mia’s and, of course, Anne’s Washington Inn proprietor, Joe Bokan, for their generosity.

Make your plans to have a lot of fun at Old Friends Day at Kentucky Downs on Sept. 16. KD President Corey Johnson has designated the 1st Running of The Old Friends Stakes ($150,000) as the feature and all the other races will be named for other Old Friends past and present. We already have five retirees at Kentucky Downs, which is the first track in the nation to make room for retirees, all of whom are being cared for by the caring and capable, Lisa Salmon.

We’re working on more exciting news during the Keeneland meet and the highly anticipated Breeders’ Cup. Don’t forget our big celebration on Nov. 1 at the farm. We’re hoping that War Emblem and several other famous stallions will be ready to greet you.

New horses Genuine Reward and Archie’s Echo have settled in very nicely. Both are still in quarantine, but I hope you can visit in a few weeks when they are ready to receive visitors and have as much fun as we do every day. Personally, I want to thank everyone for allowing me to live a life that’s better than my dreams.

Vote for Michael

Vote for Michael Blowen for the “Rare Life Award”, presented by Eagle Rare Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey:

It doesn’t cost anything; you don’t have to register or give any information. Just click “Vote for This Story” to be heard. You can vote once every 24 hours (on each device you may have, e.g. computer, cell phone, tablet), SO BOOKMARK THE PAGE AND VOTE OFTEN! Voting continues until January 1st 2016, and prizes are awarded in the spring.

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

Old Friends at Cabin Creek Farm
The Bobby Frankel Division
483 Sandhill Rd., Greenfield Center, NY 12833

Old Friends to Launch Booster Campaign Featuring Artwork by Daily Racing Funnies

GEORGETOWN, KY – JUNE 8, 2015 – Old Friends, the Thoroughbred Retirement Facility in Georgetown, KY, is launching a quarterly Booster campaign that will offer a seasonal T-shirt with artwork by Daily Racing Funnies.

Booster is an online crowdfunding site for charitable causes that revolves around selling custom T-shirts directly to supporters. This first campaign, “Summertime”, will run for two weeks beginning June 8 and the goal will be to sell 50 t-shirts.

The first Booster shirt will feature Old Friends’ equine retirees enjoying such summertime activities as swimming, having a picnic, boating and enjoying barbequed carrots. A new shirt with a seasonal design will be available in Fall, Winter and next Spring.

To view the shirts or to order, visit

The unisex T-shirts are made of 100 percent Gildan Ultra Cotton and the designs are rendered in full color. The price is $20 with $5 for shipping and handling and all proceeds go directly to Old Friends. There is no additional shipping and handling on multiple orders.

The San Diego-based Daily Racing Funnies has been creating whimsical horseracing-themed comics via its website including humorous looks at such champions as Take Charge Brandi, California Chrome and American Pharoah.

To learn more about Rick and Marcy (Mel) of Daily Racing Funnies, visit their website at or join their Fan Page on Facebook at

Old Friends is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization that cares for more than 110 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, (347) 423-7322, or Sylvia Stiller, (502) 863-1775,

Old Friends Annual Homecoming Is May 3rd

PHOTO: Silver Charm by Laura Battles.

GEORGETOWN, KY – APRIL 22, 2015 – Old Friends, the Thoroughbred Retirement Farm in Georgetown, KY, will host its Annual Homecoming on Sunday May 3rd, 2015 from 2 pm to 6 pm.

The event is an open house and fundraiser and 2015 marks its 11th year. Tickets are $25 for the general public and $15 for shareholders and Old Friends members. Reservations can be made by contacting the farm at (502) 863-1775 or by visiting the website at

The day will include a barbeque buffet by Furlong’s Catering, farm tours, music by Shades of Grass and live and silent auctions of racing memorabilia, photography, artwork, jewelry, pottery, books and much more.

Also being auctioned are numerous collectible stallion halters. Among them: Mucho Macho Man, Gio Ponti, War Front, Will Take Charge and Giant’s Causeway.

A highlight of the event will be a special Paddock of Champions meet-and-greet with Old Friends’ newest retirees: Three-time Santa Anita Handicap winner Game On Dude, Breeders’ Cup Champion Amazombie, and 1997 Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner Silver Charm, who was recently re-patriated from Japan and retired to Old Friends.

Also on hand this year will be the hot pink Spotz Gelato truck familiar to many Lexingtonians. The ice cream vendors will be selling homemade, small-batch gelato in custom flavors inspired by Old Friends horses, such as Sarava’s Sriacha and Zippy Chippy’s Rocky Road.

For additional information or to reserve a ticket, please call the farm at (502) 863-1775.

About Old Friends

Old Friends is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization that cares for more than 110 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, (347) 423-7322, or Michael Blowen, (502) 863-1775,