Category Archives: Fundraisers

Equestrian Aid Foundation Honors Mark Bellissimo at “A Night of Legends”

Mark Bellissimo. Photo credit: Julie Unger.

Wellington, Florida. February 22, 2015 – The equestrian community and Palm Beach residents gathered together on Sunday, February 22, 2015 for the Equestrian Aid Foundation’s “A Night of Legends.” An evening of cocktails, dinner and unique entertainment, the event was held at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center and raised money to support horsemen and equine-related professionals suffering from illness or catastrophic injury.

White Horse Catering provided a delicious buffet with Mediterranean cuisine, assorted cheeses and dips, crab cakes and more available for VIP members, and local food trucks showcased their best offerings for purchase.

Coti Collins and Ted Brightwell brought smiles and joy to guests when they took the stage as Judy Garland, Reba McEntire, and Barbara Streisand for the surprise musical performance. They opened with a magnificent spotlight on the songs of Judy Garland by Collins that included a duet with Brightwell as Barbara Streisand. Then Brightwell dazzled during a Funny Girl blend of “I’m the Greatest Star” and “My Man.”

During intermission, EAF President Stephanie Riggio Bulger bestowed the 2015 Luminary Award upon Mark Bellissimo for all his positive efforts to enhance and enlighten the equestrian community, becoming the sixth person honored since 2012.

“It is an honor to receive such a prestigious award,” said Bellissimo. “The Equestrian Aid Foundation serves as a lifeline to horsemen in need, and with all the wonderful work that they do to support our community, it is humbling to be honored for my contributions.”

A live auction allowed patrons to bid on an exclusive list of packages, which included an African safari, a trip to a movie premiere, an all-inclusive yacht excursion for six, and more. One lucky Diamond Drop raffle ticket purchaser went home with a diamond donated by Jose Aman at Diamante Atelier.

Following the break, Collins and Brightwell returned to the stage for the second set, delighting the audience with some modern Barbara Streisand melodies and culminating with a Reba McEntire mix by Collins that brought down the house.

“For this year’s annual benefit during the Winter Equestrian Festival, we decided to focus on fun and allow our guests to relax in a rewarding, concert atmosphere,” said EAF President Stephanie Riggio Bulger. “The organization is incredibly grateful to Mark for the remarkable opportunities that he creates within the horse world, making it efficient and welcoming. Shining a light on his success and how he helps with the Equestrian Aid Foundation was our way of thanking him.”

Kimberly Van Kampen Boyer hosted the event along with co-chairs Robert Ross, Stephanie Riggio Bulger, Monique Huntington Ketiz and Missy Luczak Smith.

Guests headed to The Grill after the conclusion of the event for a private after party with a percentage of profits benefiting the Equestrian Aid Foundation.

About the Equestrian Aid Foundation: The mission of the Equestrian Aid Foundation is to provide grand-based assistance to horsemen and equine-related professionals suffering from illness or catastrophic injuries. The EAF is dedicated to helping people of all ages and from all backgrounds and disciplines, offering funding for medical, rehabilitation and essential expenses. The goal is to empower recipients and provide necessary tools to overcome adversity. Learn more at www.equestrianaidfoundation.org, www.facebook.com/EAF.Ride4Hope or @ride4hope.

Sarit Schneider
Account Manager
Sirota Public Relations
261 Madison Avenue, 9th Fl.
New York, NY 10016
O: 917.525.4372
C: 917.783.2334

Don’t Miss Driving Derby Hoedown to Support Pony Team USA

The Driving Derby Hoedown will support pony drivers representing the USA at the 2015 Pony World Championships. Photo By: Pics of You Photography.

Weirsdale, FL – February 2, 2015 – Mark your calendars today to help support the U.S. Pony Team! Saturday, February 28, and Sunday March 1, 2015, Katie Whaley and Jennifer Matheson, in conjunction with the United States Equestrian Team Foundation, will be hosting a special fundraiser at the Grand Oaks Resort in Weirsdale, Florida. This exciting event will help raise funds for pony drivers representing the USA at the 2015 Pony World Championships September 2-6, 2015, in The Netherlands.

On Saturday, February 28, there will be a fun hoedown for guests, which will include a silent auction as well as team auction tied into Sunday’s Driving Derby. The main event will be held on Sunday, March 1, when drivers will participate in the Driving Derby competition. This is a new form of competition that was recently recognized by the American Driving Society.

The derby competition will feature two levels for drivers: Training (no cantering) and Preliminary (open to all above training level). The entry fee of $50 is a tax deductible donation to the USET Foundation, earmarked Pony Driving. Four-in-hand pony driver Boots Wright and driving event organizer Ellen Ettenger will be donating their time to officiate at this event. The Grand Oaks Resort is donating the use of their facility, and Nupafeed USA will be sponsoring all of the obstacles for the event.

All drivers are encouraged to participate and be a part of this special benefit. For more details, please visit: http://www.americandrivingsociety.org/06_omnilistings/03USET_DD.asp.

Tickets for the Hoedown will be $50 per person, with all proceeds benefiting the USET Foundation and the U.S. Pony Team. Registration for the Driving Derby is also $50, with registration opening on January 15th.

For questions regarding the driving derby, please contact Jennifer Matheson at jennifermatheson@bellsouth.net. If you’d like to make a donation to the silent auction, please contact Katie Whaley at hatsbykatie@gmail.com.

For more information regarding the USET Foundation and its mission, please contact Sara Ike at sara.ike@uset.org.

The United States Equestrian Team Foundation (www.uset.org) 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.

For more information on the USET Foundation, please call (908) 234-1251, or visit USET ONLINE at www.uset.org.

The USET Foundation has been awarded Charity Navigators’ highest honor, a Four Star rating for good governance, sound fiscal management and commitment to accountability and transparency.

Contact: Rebecca Walton
USET Foundation
phone 561.753.3389 fax 561.753.3386
rjw@phelpsmediagroup.com
PhelpsMediaGroup.com

“American Equestrians Got Talent” to Debut during Wellington Winter Season

Michael Barisone puts his dancing skills to the test at the 2014 Prancing with the Stars fundraising event in Wellington. Photo by Meg McGuire.

Wellington, FL – December 16, 2014 – Mark your calendar and make your plans now for the new highlight of the winter social calendar in Wellington, Florida. American Equestrians Got Talent will make its debut in 2015 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 the third annual East Coast fundraiser to benefit USEF High Performance Dressage programs through the USET Foundation. After putting on successful events in 2013 and 2014, Dover is planning to take it to the next level in 2015.

“This fundraiser is well underway to becoming our best event yet,” Dover said.

The Grille Fashion Cuisine, centrally located in Wellington, will host auditions every Wednesday evening from Jan. 7 through March 4. Held from 7:30 p.m. to 10:00 p.m., the auditions are open to the entire equestrian community, including riders, grooms and others involved in any discipline from dressage and hunter/jumpers to polo and Western. Come out to The Grille to audition or simply to watch and cheer for the contestants.

PSdressage.com is sponsoring weekly prizes of $500 to be awarded to the top performer at each of the nine auditions. A pair of celebrity judges will be on hand each evening to critique the performances, and the audience’s applause will determine who moves forward to the final and who goes back to the barn.

The most popular contestants from the auditions will square off in the final competition, to be held March 15 at the Global Dressage Festival show grounds. They will each take center stage in the international arena 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 $5,000.

Along with the East Coast event, a West Coast fundraiser will be held in California. The proceeds from both fundraisers will go to the USET Foundation to support USEF’s High Performance Dressage programs. If an equestrian from one of the other FEI disciplines wins the grand prize at the East Coast event, 10 percent of the proceeds from the final event will be directed to that discipline’s High Performance program.

Sponsors, led by Kim and Fred Boyer, Equestrian Sport Productions, Tuny and David Page, and PSdressage.com, are already coming forward to support this exciting event. If you are interested in becoming a sponsor, please contact Sara Ike (908-234-1251 or sara.ike@uset.org) or Robert Dover (Rdover2@aol.com).

The United States Equestrian Team Foundation (www.uset.org) 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.

The USET Foundation has been awarded Charity Navigators’ highest honor, a Four Star rating for good governance, sound fiscal management and commitment to accountability and transparency.

Contact: Rebecca Walton
USET Foundation
phone 561.753.3389 fax 561.753.3386
rjw@phelpsmediagroup.com
PhelpsMediaGroup.com

‘A Royal Canadian Evening’ Raises over $20,000 for C-DAAP

Left to right: The Countess Bathurst, Commander Chris Hadfield, Deborah Kinzinger Miculinic, Desi Dillingham, Vel Miculinic, Daisy Kinzinger and Frank Kinzinger (seated). Photos by One Shot George.

Toronto, Ontario – The final numbers are in, and the inaugural ‘A Royal Canadian Evening’, held November 6 at the historic Casa Loma in the heart of Toronto, proved to be an extremely successful fundraising event, raising more than $20,000 for the Canadian Dressage Athlete Assistance Program (C-DAAP).

Founded by Deborah Kinzinger Miculinic, C-DAAP was developed as a means of assisting Canadian dressage athletes at the junior, young rider and high performance levels with the training, competitive and educational expenses incurred during their quest to represent Canada on the world stage. To date, seven high performances athletes – Jacqueline Brooks, Brittany Fraser, Jaimey Irwin, Megan Lane, Karen Pavivic, Belinda Trussell and Chris Von Martels, have received C-DAAP grants totaling more than $130,000, and now have their sights set on the 2015 Pan American Games to be held on home ground in Toronto, ON. In addition, C-DAAP has contributed over $30,000 to various rider support programs.

‘A Royal Canadian Evening’ brought friends of Canadian dressage together, with all of the net proceeds going to support C-DAAP. Canadian astronaut Commander Chris Hadfield entertained the audience as the keynote speaker at the black-tie affair, auctioning off the Canadian-made Norman guitar he played at the end of the evening. The Countess Bathurst was the Patron of ‘A Royal Canadian Evening’ while Canadian comedian Neil Aitchison acted as Master of Ceremonies. Butternut Ridge was the presenting sponsor, joined by supporting sponsors Omega Alpha and Groundswell.

With a variety of tempting items up for auction, the elegant dark bay filly, Bojidar, donated by Butternut Ridge, attracted the highest bid of the night. A bidding war erupted over a travel package to England that included a one-week stay at The Earl and Countess Bathurst’s estate in the Cotswolds, two nights at the Hampshire Four Seasons Hotel and Equestrian Center, and a $2,000 Air Canada gift voucher to travel in style.

Also proving extremely popular was the opportunity to customize a package with six-time Canadian Olympian, Christilot Boylen. As a memento of the experience, Boylen also gifted her 1971 Pan American Games Gold Medal won in Cali, Colombia, to the winning bidder.

Guests at ‘A Royal Canadian Evening’ included Megan Lane, Belinda Trussell, Desi Dillingham, Victoria Winter, Eva Havaris and Christine Peters.
Guests at ‘A Royal Canadian Evening’ included Megan Lane, Belinda Trussell, Desi Dillingham, Victoria Winter, Eva Havaris and Christine Peters.

“I am so appreciative of the support from those who purchased tickets and/or auction items, and I am very grateful to our supporting sponsors, Omega Alpha and Groundswell, who made the evening possible,” said Kinzinger Miculinic. “Raising funds for dressage is certainly not easy, and it requires the support of our entire community if we are to be able to provide funds to our riders when they need it most.

“With each dollar donated and each fundraiser we hold, C-DAAP will help our riders with funding to train and compete against the best in the world,” concluded Kinzinger Miculinic. “Following this event, Canada is one step closer to reaching the podium in international dressage.”

About the Canadian Dressage Athlete Assistance Program (C-DAAP)

The Canadian Dressage Athlete Assistance Program (C-DAAP) is a donor-driven program dedicated to supporting and advancing Canada’s junior, young rider and high performance riders. The program solicits contributions and awards grants to eligible Canadian dressage riders.

C-DAAP’s goal is to provide supplemental funding to Canadian dressage athletes to off-set training, competitive and educational expenses incurred during their quest for excellence, thus creating a bridge to high level national and international competition.

For more information, please visit www.cdaap.ca.

Contact: Jennifer Ward
Starting Gate Communications
Cell: (613) 292-5439
www.startinggate.ca

Shea and Julien Leparoux Join Old Friends’ “Hats Off to the Horses: The Road to the Derby”

GEORGETOWN, KY – November 20, 2014 – Jockey Julien Leparoux and his wife, Shea Leparoux, recently participated in a photo shoot with Shea modeling a handcrafted, one-of-a-kind Derby hat honoring the life of Old Friends’ retiree Clever Allemont.

“Hats Off to the Horses: The Road to the Derby” is an online fashion auction fundraiser that benefits Old Friends, the Thoroughbred Retirement Facility in Central Kentucky. This is the sixth consecutive year that Old Friends has joined with acclaimed milliner Sally Faith Steinmann of the Massachusetts-based Maggie Mae Designs® to auction six handcrafted Derby hats between November and April, each inspired by one of the non-profit organization’s 150 retired racehorses. To date, this unique fundraiser has earned over $21,000 for Old Friends. This “Clever Allemont” chapeau is up for bid as a special holiday addition to the fundraiser and is auctioning November 17th through the 27th (not the 23rd as previous information stated).

The photo shoots, done by EquiSport Photographers Matt and Wendy Wooley, match Steinmann’s beautiful hats with beautiful dresses from Lexington’s Bella Rose Boutique.

Eclipse-Awarding winning Julien Leparoux is one of horseracing’s leading jockeys, having just captured his 2,000th win at Churchill Downs in October. The France-born rider has earned titles at Churchill, Keeneland and Turfway Park and in 2009, his banner year, Leparoux became only the second jockey in history to win three Breeders’ Cup races in a single year.

Shea Leparoux is the daughter of West Coast conditioner Mike Mitchell and has spent her life around horses and the race track. She also loves musical theater and has worked as an entertainer at Disneyland and in various stage shows. These days you can hear her as the voice of the Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance’s new promotional video “All about the Horse.”

About the horse: 1984 Rebel Stakes winner Clever Allemont was rescued from a kill pen in 2008. Clever Allemont was retired to Old Friends in 2009 through the efforts of an amazing team of people who wanted to ensure his safe retirement. He enjoyed over five years as a beloved member of the Old Friends family before passing this year. In tribute, MAGGIE MAE DESIGNS® has created a very special millinery design to celebrate his life. Michael Blowen, president and founder of Old Friends, states, “Clever Allemont was such a great asset to Old Friends. He was the kindest, friendliest stallion on the farm. He inspired deaf people because he was deaf, visually impaired people because he enjoyed life though he’d lost an eye, indeed anybody who knew what it’s like to overcome hardship. People call Clever Allemont a ‘rescue,’ but it’s really the horses who rescue us.”

About the hat: The “Clever Allemont” is a fascinator with an oval base fashioned out of “raw sienna” brown dupioni silk. The underbrim is lined with coppery brown metallic taffeta and edged with a delicate mocha braiding. Despite having vision in only one eye, Clever seemed to view the world straight on. To reflect his attitude, the entire base of the fascinator is secured to the headband at a jaunty angle. The rose is framed by a layer of chocolate organza bow loops with green organza and chocolate silk leaves beneath it. The orange netting is dotted with white buttons to reflect Clever’s racing silk colors of orange with white polka dots. Five black silk organza “feathers” provide a playful finishing accent to the centerpiece while beautifully framing the face.

The “Clever Allemont” chapeau is up for bid as a special holiday addition to the fundraiser from November 17th through the 27th. Interested bidders can go to the Old Friends website at www.oldfriendsequine.org and follow the link.

For a video of Julien and Shea’s photo shoot, visit vimeo.com/111938834.

For additional information, contact Maggie Mae Designs® at sally@maggiemae.com.

For more information about Old Friends, see their website at www.oldfriendsequine.org or call the farm at (502) 863-1775.

Maggie Mae Designs Custom Millinery offers magnificent hats for all occasions, from glamorous racing events such as the Kentucky Derby and the Royal Ascot to stunning bridal wear and handsome cocktail fashions. Every hat is carefully handcrafted by milliner Sally Faith Steinmann from her home base in South Harwich, MA. Salons of her fashions can be seen on her website at www.maggiemaedesigns.com.

About Old Friends
Old Friends is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization that cares for more than 115 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 www.oldfriendsequine.org.

Please Help Farrier Troy Van Heusen

Johns Island, South Carolina – Equestrians stick together. We form a bond with our fellow competitors, our horses and especially those who care for our horses. Over the years, these friends become our extended family.

Long-time Classic Company farrier Troy Van Heusen has been very ill and desperately needs a lung transplant. Due to the progression of his illness, Duke has placed him at the head of the transplant list.

However, in order to be accepted into the program, Troy must first show that he has the funding for both pre-hab (before the transplant) and rehab (after the transplant). This is a very time sensitive fundraiser.

Our goal is to raise at least half of the funds he needs within the first week. We ask you to give what you can to help Troy, our extended family, get the help he must have. This is an online fundraiser and the link is: https://www.crowdrise.com/troyvanhusen.

We thank you in advance for any donation you can make on Troy’s behalf.

Bob Bell
The Classic Company, Ltd.
www.ClassicCompany.com
Phone/FAX: (843) 768-5503
Post Office Box 1311 Johns Island SC 29457

JustWorld Showed Great Success at the 39th Annual Hampton Classic

JustWorld congratulates Kevin Babington and Shorapur for winning the $250,000 Hampton Classic Grand Prix.

Bridgehampton, NY – September 13, 2014 – JustWorld International and the 39th Annual Hampton Classic Horse Show joined together once again and raised over $9,000 at the prestigious event held in Bridgehampton, NY. The Hampton Classic Horse Show took place August 24-31, 2014 and brought a competition live with action from top competitors. JustWorld was onsite with their mission in mind: to raise funds for children in impoverished communities around the globe. JustWorld helps to provide them with education, nutrition, health and hygiene, and leadership and cultural development programs.

Throughout the exciting week of showing, JustWorld International ran various fundraising events that ultimately yielded an incredible result.

The Horseless Horse Show, held on August 29, was a great hit during the Exhibitors’ Party with 50 participants gathering in the Grand Prix Field for the fun-filled event.

Unsurprisingly, the Silent Auction held in the VIP tent had a great turnout, which can be largely attributed to the many generous donations from Hampton Classic Vendors such as KEP Italia and Dressage Collection.

The Dressage Collection party was a blast, as it offered live music, champagne and shopping. The three-hour soiree was a crowd favorite and 10 percent of the proceeds went to JustWorld International, making it a fun shopping experience while still giving back.

The fundraising efforts didn’t stop there, as the JustWorld Children’s Jumper Class brought fresh, up-and-coming stars to the show ring and was generously sponsored by Carolynn Rockafellow and Olivia Lopez-Balboa.

Matt Acevedo, JustWorld Ambassador
Matt Acevedo, JustWorld Ambassador

Throughout the duration of the week, horse treat sales were racking up at the Information Booth and horses loved them, as they were homemade by The Acevedo Family & The Beaumont Family. With all proceeds going to JustWorld International, the horses were not the only ones smiling over the handmade delights.

JustWorld International enjoyed a successful week of fundraising, thanks to the support they received from the 39th Annual Hampton Classic Horse Show. JustWorld looks forward to making next year another success!

To learn more about JustWorld International and their upcoming events, click here.

About JustWorld International

JustWorld International is a not-for-profit, humanitarian organization that funds life-changing education, nutrition, health and hygiene, and leadership and cultural development programs for impoverished children in Cambodia, Honduras, Guatemala, and Colombia.

JustWorld International is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization in the United States and a registered Association 1901 in France. Tax-deductible donations are accepted in Switzerland and JustWorld’s supporters may send their donations to Fondation Philanthropia, a Swiss public-benefit umbrella foundation. Tax-deductible donations are also accepted in Canada. Canadian donors please click here. JustWorld International has no political or religious affiliation.

Media Contact: Kendall Bierer
JustWorld International
phone (561) 309-9873 fax (561) 753-3386
jwinfo@justworldinternational.org

Almost $10,000 Raised at C-DAAP’s ‘Dressage Soiree’

Dinner was delivered to guests by pony-drawn carriage at the ‘Dressage Soiree’ fundraising event. Photo by Mary White, Lone Oak Equine Photography.

Cedar Valley, Ontario – Close to $10,000 was raised in support of the Canadian Dressage Athlete Assistance Program (C-DAAP) at the ‘Dressage Soiree’ fundraising event held Saturday evening, June 21, during the CDI3* Equivents competition.

Held at the Royal Canadian Riding Academy in Cedar Valley, ON, the venue was transformed through a country picnic theme expressed in the décor and menu. Guests were treated to dinner ringside during the Grand Prix Special and Grand Prix Freestyle competitions, showcasing dressage sport at its highest level.

Guests were seated so close to the action that their dinner was delivered via ‘pony express’, with a pony-drawn carriage distributing meals to the box seats. Guests were served fruit and cheese from Vince’s Market, ribs provided by Cobblestone Farms, and mashed potatoes and salads from Reser’s Fine Foods.

“I heard from several people that brought non-horsey friends that they fell in love with our sport and were completely smitten by the magnificence of the animals and the harmonious partnerships,” said event organizer, Kim Goodyear. “The juniors and young riders seating people and helping to deliver food was also a highlight for many, and everyone raved about the food! Overall, we were successful financially while providing our guests with a unique experience.”

As for the competition, Megan Lane of Loretto, ON wowed the audience by winning the Grand Prix Special with a score of 72.98% riding Caravella while Diane Creech of Caistor Centre, ON and the handsome chestnut Devon L performed their musical freestyle routine to win the Grand Prix Freestyle with a score of 72.05%.

In addition to their share of the prize money, the top-placing riders were invited to select items from the Butternut Ridge Prize Table. Prizes included Go-Pro video cameras, a 50″ Samsung Smart TV, a Nespresso coffee machine, a Breville kitchen mixer, and many more fabulous prizes.

Founded by Deborah Kinzinger, the Canadian Dressage Athlete Assistance Program (C-DAAP) is an Equine Canada/Dressage Canada fundraising program developed to support Canadian high performance riders at all levels – senior, young rider, and junior. Last year, grants of $15,000 each were provided to Jacqueline Brooks and Jaimey Irwin to attend the 2013 World Cup Final. This year, the Dressage Canada High Performance Committee awarded five C-DAAP grants of $20,000 each to Brittany Fraser, Megan Lane, Karen Pavicic, Belinda Trussell and Chris von Martels to help off-set the costs of training and competing in Europe. Grants for junior and young riders are also expected to be awarded this year, helping to develop the pipeline of up-and-coming athletes.

About the Canadian Dressage Athlete Assistance Program (C-DAAP)

The Canadian Dressage Athlete Assistance Program (C-DAAP) is a donor-driven program dedicated to supporting and advancing Canada’s junior, young rider and high performance riders. The program solicits contributions and will award grants to eligible Canadian dressage riders. C-DAAP’s goal is to provide supplemental funding to Canadian dressage athletes to off-set training, competitive and educational expenses incurred during their quest for excellence, thus creating a bridge to high level national and international competition.

Contact: Jennifer Ward
Starting Gate Communications
Cell: (613) 292-5439
www.startinggate.ca

Equestrian Aid Foundation Supporters “Cher the Love” at Dinner Party in New Jersey

Chad Michaels, one of the world’s leading Cher impersonators.

New York, NY. June 3, 2014 – Equestrian community members in the Northeast gathered on Saturday, May 31st for an Equestrian Aid Foundation fundraiser in Flemington, NJ. The event was held at Sand Hill Farm, the private residence of Scott Stewart and EAF board member Ken Berkley, who co-chaired the dinner party along with fellow board member Mimi Tashjian. The 200 guests in attendance enjoyed dinner, dancing, musical performances and a fireworks display.

“Scott and I were happy to open our home and our hearts for this event,” said Berkley. “The Equestrian Aid Foundation is an organization we have been supporting for a long time, a unique nonprofit that provides help for those in our community who have fallen on hard times. Hopefully this fun evening will translate into help for many of those in our midst.”

Singer Jacqueline Berkley and her band from Nashville, TN kicked off the evening with a musical performance as guests mingled and sipped cocktails. Then special guest Chad Michaels, one of the world’s premier Cher impersonators, wowed the crowd with a concert of the diva’s top hits.

Mark Drabich of the Metropolitan Seafood Company provided the catering, which was accompanied by cocktails from Tito’s Vodka. Wine and champagne for the evening was acquired from OneHope Wines, a philanthropic organization that donated $1 of each bottle purchased to charities that fight world hunger, fight cruelty to animals and support breast cancer research.

The evening raised money to support EAF programs that provide financial assistance to those in the equestrian community suffering from chronic illness and injury.

“The equestrian world is very close-knit, and it is imperative that we support one another, particularly those who are in need,” said co-chair Mimi Tashjian. “This event was a shining example of that support. As a result of the generosity of so many, we raised over $95,000, most of which will go directly to EAF recipients.”

About the Equestrian Aid Foundation: For 17 years, the Equestrian Aid Foundation has delivered financial assistance to equestrians, horsemen and equine-related professionals who are suffering from catastrophic illnesses or injuries throughout their time of need. Funding for medical, rehabilitation and essential expenses – such as food and housing – enables recipients to cope through crisis and get back on their feet. The EAF is dedicated to helping people from all riding disciplines, equine professions, backgrounds and ages. The EAF is a 501 (c) 3 organization.  Learn more at www.equestrianaidfoundation.org, www.facebook.com/EAF.Ride4Hope or @ride4hope.

The Jonathan Wentz Memorial Challenge for High Performance Para Dressage

Jonathan Wentz and NTEC Richter Scale at the 2012 London Paralympics. Photo (C) Lindsay Yosay McCall.

Established by Margaret H. Duprey and The Barnfield Foundation

Gladstone, NJ – April 16, 2014 – The United States Equestrian Team Foundation is pleased to announce an exciting new fundraising initiative, The Jonathan Wentz Memorial Challenge for High Performance Para Dressage, made possible through the generosity of Margaret H. Duprey and The Barnfield Foundation. The goal of the initiative is to raise $800,000 for High Performance Para Dressage. Mrs. Duprey and the Barnfield Foundation have each pledged up to $200,000. They will each match, dollar for dollar, every gift commitment of $4,000 and above made by April 1, 2015.

The Jonathan Wentz Memorial Challenge for High Performance Para Dressage offers an incredible opportunity for those who share a passion and interest in increasing support for these most inspiring and deserving athletes, and their quest to represent this country in international competition including the World Equestrian Games and Paralympics.

“Our family is so excited and honored that Jonathan is being recognized in this way. His dream was to not only be a world class equestrian, but to also help develop a world class United States Para Dressage Team. This, as you know, not only takes dedication, sacrifice, training and skill of the athletes, but also the funds to compete nationally and internationally. My hope is that The Jonathan Wentz Memorial Challenge will raise awareness and the funds needed to carry on his dream of developing a world class team!” said Tina Wentz (Jonathan’s mother).

The financial need for Para Dressage athletes at the High Performance international level can be quite significant. Unlike in most countries, the United States Equestrian Teams do not receive any government subsidies. The main source of funds for our athletes to participate in international competition comes through the USET Foundation from individuals and foundations whose interest and commitment to equestrian sport motivates them to make generous charitable contributions.

In addition to shipping horses to Europe and making sure that the correct support staff is in place, such as veterinarians and farriers, additional support staff is also needed for the riders as well so that they can function at the highest level both physically and emotionally when they are competing.

While traveling, especially overseas, wheelchair accessibility can be limited, and an individual benefits from having a personal care assistant to help the athlete not only move through low accessibility areas but they can also monitor the rider’s physical well-being. Other supplementary support staff may include a person who is physically capable of helping a rider to mount his or her horse before competition and a physical therapist to work the rider’s muscles. Many athletes who are paralyzed or have muscle spasticity can have muscle spasms, muscle soreness, and physical issues that may need a licensed physical therapist to monitor and address.

The Jonathan Wentz Memorial Challenge for High Performance Para Dressage 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.

“This amazing opportunity to establish new levels of support and success for the United States High Performance Dressage program is thanks to Margaret H. Duprey and The Barnfield Foundation, both long time loyal supporters of equestrian sport. I thank them for their true leadership and applaud their commitment in making The Jonathan Wentz Memorial Challenge for High Performance Para Dressage possible,” said Bonnie B. Jenkins, USET Foundation Executive Director.

For more information on the USET Foundation and The Jonathan Wentz Memorial Challenge for High Performance Para Dressage, please call Bonnie B. Jenkins, Executive Director or Sara Ike, Major Gifts Officer, at (908) 234-1251.

The United States Equestrian Team Foundation (www.uset.org) 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.

About United States Para-Equestrian Association:

The USPEA is a network of riders, judges, national federation board members, and equestrian enthusiasts.  The association gives athletes the ability to get involved and expand their knowledge and experience in the Para-Equestrian sport. The USPEA encourages para-athletes to participate in all disciplines under the para-equestrian umbrella.

The USPEA is a recognized affiliate of the United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) which serves as the National Governing Body for the equestrian sport.  This relationship between the USPEA and USEF is to encourage para-equestrian competitors, leisure riders, coaches, fans and enthusiasts to network and get involved with the entire equestrian sport.

Ultimately the goal of the USPEA is to foster growth in the para-equestrian discipline.  From growth in the number of participants to growth as a team, and growth in the experience and knowledge of all involved.  From local horse shows to international Olympic Games, the USPEA will provide para-equestrians the knowledge of what they need to succeed.  The USPEA connects with the International Olympic Committee (IOC), the Federation Equestre Internationale (FEI), the United States Dressage Federation (USDF), and USEF which provides Para-Equestrians the top equestrian resources.

In June 2010, the USPEA earned its 501 (c)(3) status which has encouraged supporters to help supply funding to the Para-Equestrian Team as a recognized affiliate of the United States Equestrian Federation (USEF).

For more information about the USPEA, please visit www.USPEA.org or contact USPEA President Hope Hand by e-mail: Wheeler966@aol.com or by phone: (610)356-6481.