Tag Archives: charity

Patrick McNamara Shines for a Cause in Kevin Babington Benefit Classic

Patrick McNamara (IRL) and Billy Onslow soar over the Dalman Jump Co.-designed “Jump for Kevin” wall en route to winning the $5,000 Kevin Babington Benefit Classic at the Silver Oak Jumper Tournament. Photo by Andrew Ryback Photography.

September 7, 2020 — For one memorable evening at the Silver Oak Jumper Tournament in Traverse City, MI (USA), a tremendous group of supporters rallied to honor international show jumper Kevin Babington (IRL) with the Kevin Babington Benefit Classic. The charitable competition, in which the entirety of the $5,000 purse was donated to the Kevin Babington Family Trust, resulted in a meaningful win for fellow Irishman Patrick McNamara and Billy Onslow.

Babington, an Olympic veteran and team gold medalist from the 2001 European Championships, suffered a life-altering injury at the 2019 Hampton Classic. More than $1 million has been raised in the year since to support Babington and his family with the high costs associated with his ongoing rehabilitation. Jeff Papows, Founder of the Silver Oak Jumper Tournament, has been a key contributor, setting up the “I Ride for Kevin” program, in which exhibitors can donate a percentage of their prize money to the cause at various competitions around the country.

“Because Kevin is so beloved [in the industry], every time I’ve raised my hand to do anything in his name, people sort of rush to help,” Papows said. “We wanted to do this, not just for the continued sort-of-financial reasons, but [also because] Kevin is still very invested in the sport, as is the whole family. That was the point of the class. Kevin taped an introduction for the class, and I think it’s a little bit of a morale boost for Kevin while he’s working so hard with his recovery.”

The Kevin Babington Benefit Classic featured 22 horse and rider combinations, all of which sported a green lapel pin to commemorate Babington. The field included international stalwarts Shane Sweetnam (IRL), David Blake (IRL), Alison Robitaille (USA), and Vasco Flores (PUR), along with Babington’s daughter Gwyneth and wife Dianna.

“It was important for us to show everyone that we’re here, and we appreciate [all the support],” Dianna said.

Ultimately, McNamara and Phoebe Backman’s Billy Onslow came away with a most memorable win. Jumping halfway through the class, McNamara and the 14-year-old chestnut gelding took nearly two seconds off the leading time and held on through the remainder of the competition.

“It was great to be involved in such a great cause for Kevin,” McNamara said. “I’m so happy that this class was in aid of him. Thankfully enough, it worked out [for me] — the plan and everything — [and] it was an Irish win!”

© 2020 Catie Staszak Media, Inc.

Hampton Classic & EQUUS Foundation Present a Day Devoted to Equine Adoption

Thanks to the Hampton Classic and the sponsor of this event, our EQUUStar, Georgina Bloomberg, this joyful, annual Hampton Classic tradition of celebrating and showcasing horses in need of their next chapter continues.

Because all horses are champions to us, and because all horses deserve safe and loving homes, we are excited to present just some wonderful equines that are waiting for their chance to go home.

The virtual format of our event this year gives us the opportunity to showcase adoptable horses from our Guardian charities both locally and across the country.

“While we are disappointed that we won’t see you in person again this year to meet adoptable horses at the beautiful Hampton Classic Horse Show,” said Valerie Angeli, EQUUS Foundation VP of Engagement, “our virtual equine adoption event on September 14th will showcase horses of all breeds, ages, sizes and disciplines throughout the country with one thing in common — they are all waiting for a loving forever home.”

The EQUUUS Foundation Next Chapters platform featuring adoptable equines of EQUUS Foundation Guardian charities located throughout the nation will serve as the backdrop. Please save the date and join us to learn about adoptable horses and our Guardian charities that rescue, rehabilitate, retrain, and re-home America’s horses to keep them safe and loved. Over 65,000 horses were transported across our borders for slaughter last year. Tens of thousands more abused and neglected horses are in need of rescue and re-homing each year. Even more horses are in need of transition once their sporting career is over. Most are young, healthy, and have untapped potential like Xin Xu Lin.

Meet Xin Xu Lin

Godolphin Racing had really high hopes for Xin Xu Lin when he was purchased in 2011, having been recognized as Brazil’s Horse of the Year in 2010.

Sadly, the racing career for the 2007 Thoroughbred did not work out, but misfortune turned to fortune when Xin Xu Lin was donated to EQUUS Foundation Guardian charity, Secretariat Center, in 2013 to be retrained and re-homed.

Xin Xu Lin found his forever home in Maryland where he competes in dressage and show jumping.

Contact the EQUUS Foundation, Inc., at 168 Long Lots Road, Westport, CT 06880, Tele: (203) 259-1550, E-Mail: mail@equusfoundation.org, Website: www.equusfoundation.org.

Nilforushan Equisport Events Donates to COVID-19 Relief and Helmet Safety

Photo: Captured Moment Photography.

Temecula, Calif. – Aug. 3, 2020 – The entire team at Nilforushan Equisport Events (NEE) is so appreciative of all of its exhibitors and hardworking staff that made the Temecula Valley National Summer Series, presented by Interactive Mortgage, a success from June 24-28 and June 30 – July 4. It is because of the dedication that everyone showed to following the appropriate COVID-19 protocol and the collective sacrifice of the group that NEE has been able to donate money to worthy causes such as the California Professional Horsemen’s Association Foundation’s COVID-19 Relief Fund and the Helmet Safety Research Campaign, in partnership with US Equestrian and the U.S. Hunter Jumper Association. Without ribbons to hand out, plus the funds raised from raffle items, NEE was able to divide a total of $10,000 between the two organizations to help pay it forward in the equestrian community thanks to its supporters.

“We all know that times are different right now due to COVID-19, and to keep everyone safe and healthy we had to make a few changes to our show operations for the Temecula Valley National Summer Series. Although we were sad not to be able to hand out ribbons to our riders, especially the children, those sacrifices by our exhibitors allowed us to conserve funds that we are excited to put back into the equestrian community. We can’t thank everyone enough for their cooperation, and we hope that this money will help to do some good in the horse show world we all know and love. It is our hope that we can continue to do more good work like this going forward,” commented Ali Nilforushan, founder of Nilforushan Equisport Events.

Thanks, in part, to the money raised from three items donated by BioXcellerator and Casa del Mar Golf Resort & Spa that were raffled off during the final weekend of the show, NEE has pledged $5,000 to the California Professional Horsemen’s Association Foundation’s COVID-19 Relief Fund. The Fund is specifically aimed to help support horse show workers, such as grooms, braiders, show secretaries, ring crew, and many more, affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

While the health of the equestrian community is of paramount importance right now, safety is a part of the sport that should always be improving. With that in mind, NEE is additionally donating $5,000 to the Helmet Safety Research Campaign, which supports the Virginia Tech Helmet Lab’s research to improve helmets used by equestrians. The research will study head impact and concussion risk in an equestrian environment via lab settings and field video data on a variety of equestrian events, with significant attention to jumping, where many injuries occur. The campaign is inching closer to its $450,000 goal, which recently took a huge leap forward thanks to the generous $100,000 donation by the U.S. Hunter Jumper Association.

NEE encourages anyone who has the means to do so to donate to the cause. To donate to the Helmet Safety Research campaign to help Virginia Tech reach the funding goal of $450,000, click here.

NEE is happy to be able to make some contributions to the equestrian community via these donations, as well as through the Trainer Incentive Program that took place during the Temecula Valley National Summer Series. During the show, two percent (2%) of sales from a trainer’s barn were returned to the trainers who participated. NEE hopes these funds will be helpful in allowing trainers to keep working with their clients and traveling the horse show circuit with a bit less stress.

Nilforushan Equisport Events is a horse-show management company owned and operated by husband-and-wife team Ali and Francie Nilforushan. Their mission is to produce world-class events that will make California a top show jumping destination, attract local residents to a number of entertainment experiences including world-class performances and film nights, as well as fine dining. Exhibitors can expect great sport, a first class VIP area and affordable showing options thanks to the inventive style of the Nilforushan management team.

For more information, please visit www.jump-nee.com.

US Equestrian & USET Foundation Join Giving Games Fundraising Effort Aimed to Support US Athletes

Lexington, KY – US Equestrian and the United States Equestrian Team (USET) Foundation have announced their joint participation in a collaborative and creative fundraising campaign launched by Olympic & Paralympic National Governing Bodies (NGB) titled the Giving Games. The Giving Games’ ultimate goal is to support and sustain U.S. athletes ahead of the Tokyo Olympic Games, which have been postponed to the summer of 2021.

U.S. athletes rely heavily on their NGB organizations to financially assist with training and preparation needs, and many athletes are facing financial hardships and challenging obstacles due to the significant number of domestic and international competition cancellations so far this year. Joining 20 other NGBs within the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic movement, US Equestrian and USET Foundation will partake in the multi-week fundraiser beginning Friday, July 24, and running through August 9, 2020, the original window of this summer’s now postponed Games.

The philanthropic effort is multi-faceted with varying donation opportunities, including pooled funds and direct giving opportunities to the USET Foundation. All funds raised will be received via direct donation or equally divided among participating organizations in order to support their athletes’ needs as they prepare for an additional year of training as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic postponement.

Fans and supporters of U.S. equestrian high performance athletes, US Equestrian, and USET Foundation can contribute to the Giving Games in the following ways beginning Friday, July 24:

  • Donate directly to the USET Foundation to help support our equestrian athletes. Every dollar raised up to $50,000 will be matched by a generous supporter of the Foundation, doubling the amount that our equestrians will receive in their quest for the podium in 2021. In addition, donors will have a chance to be entered into the “Medal of Giving” awards, recognizing the top three cumulative donors based on donations received by August 9, 2020.
  • Donate to the Giving Games pooled funds by participating in Giving Game promotions and events which will be launched throughout the promotion period and divided equally amongst participating NGBs.
  • Text ‘GIVINGGAMES’ to 243725.

The Giving Games effort has partnered with notable brands, corporations, and businesses including BuzzFeed and Omaze to create unique and exciting ways for fans and supporters to continue contributing to the Giving Games effort, which will be announced in the coming week.

To learn more about the Giving Games, please visit giving-games.com.

Learn more at www.uset.org.

Contact: Jennifer Wood
jennifer@jumpmediallc.com

Old Friends Named Beneficiary of Charity for Champions Campaign

GEORGETOWN, KY – JULY 17, 2020 – Breeders’ Cup, one of Thoroughbred racing’s most prestigious international events, and Maker’s Mark®, the original premium bourbon, announced the 2020 Limited-Edition Maker’s Mark bottle from the Charity for Champions program, which began in 2015, with the goal of raising money for Thoroughbred industry charities.

Old Friends, the Thoroughbred Retirement facility in Georgetown, KY, is once again proud to be named, for the fifth consecutive year, one of the official charity beneficiaries.

Home to such Breeders’ Cup Champions as Alphabet Soup (1996 Classic), Eldaafer (2010 Marathon), Little Mike (2012 Turf), and Amazombie (2011 Sprint), Old Friends cares for over 200 retired Thoroughbreds in six locations.

In addition to Old Friends, proceeds from the 2020 auction will support the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame and the Race Track Chaplaincy of America’s COVID-19 relief efforts supporting industry stakeholders most in need.

The latest collection of limited-edition Maker’s Mark® bottles will feature James E. “Ted” Bassett III, a former Keeneland and Breeders’ Cup President who has long been regarded as Thoroughbred Racing’s Gentleman Ambassador.

“Old Friends is honored to team up with the National Racing Museum and Hall of Fame and the Race Track Chaplaincy of America to pay tribute to Ted Bassett,” said Old Friends President and founder Michael Blowen. “Mr. Bassett, who has visited Old Friends on numerous occasions, is an enthusiastic supporter. His ambassadorship on behalf of these great Thoroughbreds is unparalleled and we are overjoyed that Breeders’ Cup and Maker’s Mark are saluting him with this magnificent bottle.”

The 2020 Breeders’ Cup World Championships, consisting of 14 Championship races, is scheduled to be held November 6-7 at Keeneland Race Course in Lexington, KY.

Bottles can be reserved for a donation of $400, and fans can secure bottles now through the Charity for Champions page: CLICK HERE.

Bottle fulfillment and pickup information will be announced in the coming weeks.

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

Pre-COVID-19 Community Effort Felt throughout Palm Beach County

Wellington, FL – June 23, 2020 – Every winter, the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC) hosts an event that has a year-long impact for Palm Beach County charities. The Great Charity Challenge presented by Fidelity Investments® (GCC), an exciting show jumping competition that blends equestrian sports and philanthropy, has become a highlight of the 12-week Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) and has distributed over $14.8 million to 256 local organizations in 11 years.

While the 2020 WEF season ended early due to COVID-19, the benefiting 49 non-profits from this year’s GCC are putting their collective $1.3 million in donations to use following their participation in the event held on February 1, 2020.

“Non-profit organizations have proven to be nimble and have an ‘optimized way’ of stretching the impact of a dollar,” comments Mark Bellissimo. “Seeing how they have responded and adapted through these unprecedented times is inspiring.”

Organizations benefiting from the GCC continue to serve and support the local community’s well-being. Their outreach and dedicated work span many different sectors within the Palm Beach County region, including food assistance, educational support, veteran aid, foster care, senior citizen care, and family support, to name just a few.

With grants awarded to a grand total of 49 local non-profit organizations, ranging from $1,000 to $150,000, a reported 137,937 lives were impacted in Palm Beach County during their first reporting quarter.

“The GCC was started in 2008, following the economic crisis,” said Paige Bellissimo, co-founder of the event. “The initiative came forward as a way to increase funding to local charities at a time where donations were scarce. The impact of COVID-19 on non-profit organizations replicates the situation of 12 years ago; the community’s need for services/goods provided by these organizations has sky-rocketed while many have had to cancel their major fundraising initiatives and are doing their very best to mobilize resources and donations. We are extremely grateful that the event took place before the start of the pandemic and cannot thank our donors enough for their generous support.”

What exactly does $1.3 million at work look like?

Feed the Hungry Pantry of Palm Beach County was able to react quickly to laid-off and hungry neighbors at the onset of COVID-19. “Within the first few days of the pandemic, we went from feeding 3,000+ families per month to 10,000+ families a week,” commented Executive Director Dan Shorter.

The nonprofit also joined forces with the GCC in applying to be featured in its Emergency Giving Guide as well as participated in the #GivingTuesday movement, in partnership with Equestrian Sport Productions. “Thanks to the GCC, we raised an additional $40,000+ from the western community and acquired dedicated donors that are making sure that we can continue to feed people (as well as their pets)!”

For Wellington Cares, a non-profit organization committed to coordinating volunteers of all ages to assist in enabling persons over the age of 65 to remain in their home with the support of the Wellington community residents and local organizations, funding will not only enable them to replicate their successful model in neighboring cities, but it also enabled them to adequately equip their personal and volunteers with required protective items to ensure that they could continue serving the senior communities.

The Legal Aid Society of Palm Beach County provided 414 low-income families with their Education Advocacy Project’s Education Toolkit, assisting them in navigating the often complex federal, state and local laws, rules and regulations governing the services and accommodations that public-school children are entitled to be provided with under current laws.

Other organizations such as the Cultural Council for Palm Beach County and the Equestrian Aid Foundation were able to quick establish Emergency Relief Funds through funding received during the GCC.

These are just a few examples of the 49 benefiting organizations. We invite you to access the full fund use report by visiting HERE.

To provide additional support and to highlight the crucial work of local non-profit organizations during COVID-19, the GCC published an Emergency Giving Guide on April 3, 2020 under the leadership of Executive Director Anne Caroline Valtin. The guide featured 83 non-profits serving immediate needs locally. It was utilized and shared broadly throughout Palm Beach County, giving donors a practical and safe way to identify which efforts they wanted to support during these unprecedented times.

The application process for the 2021 GCC will run from October 15 through November 15, 2020. The GCC board and review committee are on an intentional journey to assess, broaden and understand how they can further commit to diversity, equity and inclusion as organizational values. It has been reviewed and approved that this will also become a requirement for local organizations who wish to apply to benefit from the GCC moving forward. Please note that at this time, the GCC is also actively reviewing other ways to battle social and racial inequality.

For additional information about the event, including donation and sponsorship information, please visit www.greatcharitychallenge.com.

America’s Horses Will Benefit from the COVID-19 Matching Campaign Underway

Horses across the country need us now more than ever and many are in dire need of a lifeline. Thanks to a generous challenge gift from an anonymous donor, every $1 you donate between now and June 30 becomes $2 — up to a maximum of $25,000 — to help feed and care for the horses of EQUUS Foundation Guardian charities affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

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

Many more horses now are at risk of losing their homes – and their lives – due to this global crisis. The EQUUS Foundation helps America’s at-risk horses and we are asking for your help so that, together, we can offer a safety net for horses that now have no place to go.

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

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

Our rescues are reporting an increase in requests from owners who can no longer care for their horses — and our charities providing therapeutic services are finding it difficult to foresee when they will needing their full herds for a long time.

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

Will you lend a hand to America’s horses and help us reach our goal by June 30? Please make your gift here!

Contact the EQUUS Foundation, Inc., at 168 Long Lots Road, Westport, CT 06880, Tele: (203) 259-1550, E-Mail: mail@equusfoundation.org, Website: www.equusfoundation.org.

Breeches.com Delivers Memorial Day Campaign Food to Medical Workers

Wellington Regional Medical Center leadership unload food for their busy workers. Photo by EQ Media.

WELLINGTON, Fla. – May 29, 2020 – Timmy Sharma, owner of breeches.com, arrived at Wellington Regional Medical Center on the morning of May 28, bearing a truckload of groceries. He was met by Chief Executive Officer Pam Tahan, Chief Medical Officer Dr. Richard Hays, and the key leadership of the hospital who helped unload the food destined Wellington Regional Medical Center’s Grab-n-Go Pantry. Established by members of the Wellington community, the Grab-n-Go Pantry alleviates the burden of grocery store shopping for busy hospital personnel during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The pantry is a repository for donated goods, including food and household necessities. Many workers end their shifts after grocery stores with shortened hours are closed and the Grab-n-Go Pantry helps keep their families supplied.

Sharma and his wife and partner Laurie wanted to do something special for their Memorial Day Campaign. Typically, Memorial Day is reserved for honoring and remembering armed service members who risked and gave their lives to protect the freedom of U.S. citizens. This Memorial Day, the Sharmas and their breeches.com also decided to honor medical workers fighting the COVID-19 battle.

“We wanted to do something to help those working on the front lines,” Sharma said. “We are all part of the equestrian community in Wellington. So many of us have been at this hospital. We wanted to show the staff how much they are appreciated. They’re doing such an amazing job, working long hours and giving of themselves.”

During the breeches.com campaign, each purchaser received a 15% off coupon on their entire order. Breeches.com matched the discount and created a fund for an equal value donation. Around $3,000 was raised to purchase food from the Wellington Costco store and delivered to Wellington Regional Medical Center.

“Thank you so much for your generous donation,” Tahan said. “This is such a great help to our personnel and their families.”

Equestrians Helping Equestrians: Relief Efforts in the Wake of COVID-19

Once a week, the American Saddlebred Horse Association (ASHA) shares a school-horse appreciation post on social media for what they’ve dubbed “Feed Your Favorite Lesson Horse Friday.” There’s also “Tip Your Groom Tuesday” and “Support a Horse Show Super Hero Sunday,” which are all designed to encourage equestrians to give money to support lesson programs and horse show support staff. While spring would typically be a busy time of year for the equine industry, this year is different, and people in the horse world have come up with creative ways to support each other.

“The Joint Leadership Council (JLC) comprises members from the leadership at the American Hackney Horse Society, American Morgan Horse Association, American Road Horse & Pony Association, American Saddlebred Horse Association, and United Professional Horsemen’s Association,” says Jessica Cushing, Marketing and Communications Manager for the ASHA. “The inspiration behind the JLC COVID-19 social media campaign was to be a voice and consistent promotional message for the difficulties many of our barns, professionals, and equine industry contractors in our community would be facing without the ability to give lessons and attend shows.”

The JLC’s social media campaign has been running for nine weeks, and Cushing says every post continues to receive positive engagement from the community.

“Our professionals are thankful for the recognition that business is still not back to normal, and there are a great many still in need,” says Cushing. “The ability to help spread the word that people are in need has seen countless success stories of lesson horses being sponsored, grooms getting extra support, and a great ‘pay it forward’ lunch program that emerged amongst barns.”

Other segments of the equine industry have launched similar initiatives during the pandemic shutdown. To help keep school horses fed during their furlough, the United States Hunter Jumper Association launched a Feed Aid Initiative to help USHJA members obtain free or discounted feed for lesson horses. Applications are being accepted now through June 1.

Monetary donations to the USHJA’s Feed Aid Initiative are tax-deductible and will be matched by the USHJA Foundation up to $300,000.

The PonyApp and Connolly’s Red Mills have also teamed up to give away feed to lesson barns this spring. Nominations of barns and programs in need are accepted now at ponygroceries.theponyapp.com.

Rescue Relief

In times of hardship, horse owners may find it increasingly difficult financially to maintain an ideal level of care for their horses. Fortunately, the equestrian community has built safety nets to help horses and their owners when hard times hit.

Equine rescue operations are often pushed to their limits in an economic downturn due to owners who can no longer afford to keep their horses and a market with more horses than potential buyers. Most equine rescues operate on a local basis, taking in horses and facilitating adoptions within a certain geographic area. National programs help support those organizations.

The EQUUS Foundation offers financial support to equine organizations that are part of its Guardians program. These organizations are put through a rigorous vetting process every year to ensure high standards of horse care and transparent and accountable operations.

“For horses to remain an important part of American life and have a viable future, we need to ensure that donor dollars are being spent on programs with the greatest impact,” says Lynn Coakley, President of the EQUUS Foundation.

EQUUS Foundation Guardian Charities include those that provide shelter and rehabilitation for abused, neglected, and at-risk horses; retraining and rehoming for horses in transition; peaceful and humane retirement options for aged equines; and/or are organizations that provide equine-assisted therapies and activities in a way that is beneficial for horses and humans.

Coakley says that many of their Guardian charities have had to cancel fundraising events and close their doors to volunteers, which creates an immediate need for resources.

“Instead of waiting until the end of our fiscal year in August, the Board of Directors approved the immediate allocation of $100,000 to help ease the stress of EQUUS Foundation Guardian charities,” says Coakley. “Each eligible charity will receive a $500 grant for horse-care costs upon approval of its 2020 EQUUS Foundation Guardian Seal. As of today, we have awarded grants to over 67 charities and expect to reach at least 150 charities by June.”

“Rescues have had to cancel or postpone fundraising events for the foreseeable future, and many of them have experienced a severe decline in online donations since COVID-19 [closures] started in March,” says Cheryl Jacobson, Deputy Director of Equine Protection for the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS). “While many rescues have hay, feed, and funds for several months, some rescues are not as fortunate and need help to feed their equines while they find additional avenues for fundraising.”

HSUS awards grants to non-profit rescue organizations across the country. In order to qualify for an HSUS grant, organizations must be accredited or verified by the Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries, be members of the Homes for Horses Coalition, or have been directly vetted by HSUS.

“HSUS contacted 440 Homes for Horses Coalition members in early March,” says Jacobson. “We collected information on whether they are open or closed to the public, how many equines they have on site and in foster homes, how long they have feed, hay, and meds for, and any other information they could provide us with. We noted which rescues mentioned that they were in dire need of emergency hay funds. As we were able to secure funding, we started providing grants to the rescues in dire need, and the amount was based on the number of equines in their care.”

Jacobson explains that grant applications are sent to rescues as more funding becomes available. As of this writing, HSUS’s Equine Protection Program and the Homes for Horses Coalition have awarded grant funds to 33 rescues. HSUS has provided additional grant money through its main COVID-19 grant budget.

US Equestrian has provided a USEF Disaster Relief Fund grant to support both the Equus Foundation Guardian Charities and HSUS’s Equine Protection Program to help horses in need due to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Help for Horse People

  • Equine safety-net programs offer direct financial support to owners who need short-term assistance to keep their animals, thereby helping to keep horses from entering the rescue system. The Homes for Horses Coalition maintains a searchable list of safety net programs by state that assist owners with emergency funds, feed, veterinary care, or other essential expenses. The United Horse Coalition also provides a comprehensive listing of local and national equine relief programs on its website.
  • The Equestrian Aid Foundation is currently assisting equestrian professionals and service providers through its Disaster Relief Fund. Individuals who make their living through the horse industry and have lost their income as a direct result of the pandemic can apply for a one-time emergency grant payment of $500 to assist with basic living expenses.
  • In addition to its ongoing social media campaigns, the JLC is providing funds to horse trainers, riding instructors, and horse show staff in the trotting breed industry who have lost income due to COVID-19 through its Horsemen’s Relief Fund. At jlccares.com, equine industry professionals can find resources for financial assistance and creative solutions for generating income during the shutdown.
  • The Show Jumping Relief Fund was created to provide immediate financial assistance to horse show staff, including ring crew, grooms, braiders, and officials, who have lost income as a result of COVID-19 closures. Information on how to apply for assistance or donate to the fund is available at wixsite.com/home.

Get Involved

For equestrians who are able to give back during this time, there are several ways to help.

If you have room in your barn, consider adopting or fostering a horse in need. This will help free up space and resources at a local rescue. One place to start is MyRightHorse.org, a search engine established by The Right Horse initiative that helps connect available horses of all ages, breeds, and types with prospective adopters across the country. Fostering an adoptable horse will not only help ease the burden on rescue organizations, but will give that horse more one-on-one attention and human interaction to improve their adoptability.

In addition to accepting direct donations for the Disaster Relief Fund, the Equestrian Aid Foundation has also partnered with other organizations that are donating partial proceeds from goods and services to the Fund. Find the current partnerships at www.equestrianaidfoundation.org/community-initiatives-ways-to-help.

If you are able, contributing financially to a reputable organization can help bring some immediate financial relief.

“Thanks to a generous challenge gift from an anonymous donor, every $1 you donate now becomes $2 — up to a maximum of $25,000 — to help feed and care for horses at our Guardian charities during the COVID-19 pandemic,” says EQUUS Foundation President Coakley. “Every gift goes directly to underwrite actual horse-care costs like feed, bedding, veterinary, dental, and farrier care.”

The matching donation challenge applies to donations made now through June 30. Visit www.equusfoundation.org/give to donate.

“In addition, while the many barns and equine organizations we support had to temporarily close their doors to volunteers due to social-distancing requirements, many are now beginning to reopen with precautions in place,” says Coakley. “Volunteers are the lifeblood of many equine organizations, and volunteering is a great way to learn about and be close to horses and nature while giving back, making friends, and staying in shape! Learn more about our Champions Volunteer Incentive Program sponsored by Ariat International at www.equusfoundation.org/champions.”

There are always opportunities to provide assistance and give back to the equestrian community, whether that’s by contributing to the barns and shows that would normally have your business at this time of year or by seeking out people in need in your extended network.

“From the first week [of the JLC’s social media campaigns], we had a very generous member of the show-horse community sponsor a whole program of 10+ horses for a month,” says Cushing. “Their barn does not have a lesson program, but they were inspired to help. The ‘Feed Your Favorite Lesson Horse’ campaign helped them find a barn in need and a way to support our community through these challenging times.

“Every day we were getting tagged in photos of barns whose clients, friends, and peers stepped up to send the whole barn lunch and help keep spirits up,” Cushing continues. “It has also been humbling to see barns and industry vendors find creative ways to give back to the JLC Horsemen’s Relief Fund through hosting fundraisers or donating part of their proceeds from sales to our grant program.”

by Leslie Potter/US Equestrian Communications Department

A Brighter Tomorrow at Days End Farm Horse Rescue

Though it has been a challenging few months for all of us, we’re so grateful to our many supporters who continue to help Days End Farm Horse Rescue. During May 5th’s Giving Tuesday Now campaign, we were thrilled to reach our goal of raising $25,000 for the horses. Once again, our amazing community of supporters came together in a time of crisis to show that there is hope for tomorrow. Because of your outpouring of support, you can trust that we are better prepared for the months ahead and will be ready to respond in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic. Every dollar counts, and we’re incredibly grateful. If you missed that opportunity to donate, please consider making a gift today.

Prepared for Emergencies

Back in March, we closed our facility to the general public and regular volunteers, and the office personnel worked from home. We made this decision to protect the health of our animal care staff, while following the State of Maryland’s guidelines. Because we had protocols in place for such emergency situations, we were able to quickly create a highly functional, efficient system to keep things running smoothly and safely at the farm.

News from the Farm

Our amazing animal care team at DEFHR have gone above and beyond to keep our horses healthy and happy, even under challenging circumstances. Our trainers, Sara Nyman-Strauss and Leigha Schrader, have been sharing weekly video updates in their “Life on the Farm” series giving behind-the-scenes look into the care and training of the horses. Click here to watch this week’s episode. What a talented group we have right now!

Volunteer Program Updates

Currently, our regular volunteer program remains closed as Maryland enters Phase 1 of the slow reopening process. We are using Maryland’s Road Map to Recovery to aid in determining when and how we can safely reopen the volunteer program. We will keep you posted as we make more decisions on this process. Thank you all for your support and understanding. We miss you and can’t wait for the day we welcome you back. Stay healthy, everyone!

Days End Farm Horse Rescue – www.DEFHR.org