Tag Archives: Equestrian Aid Foundation

Equestrian Aid Foundation Helps Eventer Kim Meier Cope after Life-Altering Injury

Kim Meier with Bart (top) and Test Run. Photos courtesy of Kim Meier.

Wellington, Fla. – Apr. 9, 2018 – Kim Meier reached the pinnacle of eventing before tragedy struck. In 2007 she was paralyzed from the shoulders down in a freak accident. For Kim and horse people like her facing catastrophic injury and illness, life becomes a struggle.

Kim carved her career in classic eventer fashion, riding homebreds and doing all the work herself. She developed her work ethic at the summer camp her family owned, fell in love with the horses and was determined to be an eventer. Largely self-taught, she also worked with Denny Emerson, Ralph Hill and Donnan Sharp.

Test Run or “Merle” was her ticket to the big time. She had bred his sire and his sire’s dam. In 2002, Kim and the gray Thoroughbred finished Bromont. Then in 2003, they competed at Foxhall Three Day Event, their first three star, then Fair Hill. At the Rolex (now the Land Rover Kentucky Three Day Event) Four Star Event in 2004, they had a top-10 finish out of 72 starters. They competed at Burghley and finished. She was 45 and looking forward to great things.

In 2005, Merle was sidelined due to an injury. Then, Kim’s barn endured a frightening and emotional experience with the EHV-1 virus. Merle got through it and they got back to work.

“I did three Intermediates that year in the summer and fall, planning my big comeback at Rolex in 2007,” Kim said in an article she wrote for Eventing Nation. “We did one Intermediate, and that next Tuesday I was doing a jumping school when IT happened. On the way to a vertical, he stepped on his bell boot and went down on his knees. I slid down his neck and caught the rail on the base of my head.”

As a result of her fall, Kim suffers from paralysis from the C5 vertebra down. Despite extensive rehabilitative therapies, Kim’s doctors said she could never ride, stand or walk again and would forever be wheelchair bound.

“It’s great how the Equestrian Aid Foundation jumped right in to help from the very beginning right after I got hurt,” Kim said.

The Foundation provided financial assistance to help Kim with basic living expenses. Her daughter and friends help her with daily activities and make certain she has the care she needs.

Though it’s been a long, tough road, Kim remains resilient and has the courageous spirit to stay as active as possible. She works judging unrated horse shows when she can, gives some lessons and does the occasional clinic.

Your donation to Equestrian Aid Foundation provides much-needed support for horse people like Kim facing catastrophic injury and illness.

For more information, please visit EquestrianAidFoundation.org.

Luminary Award Presented to Stephanie Riggio Bulger for Service to Equestrian Aid Foundation

Photo by EQ Media.

Wellington, Fla. – March 12, 2018 – Equestrian Aid Foundation founders, board members, staff and friends honored Stephanie Riggio Bulger with their Luminary Award for her invaluable service to the organization. Founders Robert Dover, chef d’Equipe of the U.S. Dressage team, and Robert Ross hosted a private party Sunday, Feb. 4, at their home in Wellington’s Palm Beach Polo and Country Club. Dover, Ross and fellow founder R. Scot Evans paid tribute to Bulger.

“Stephanie infused the Equestrian Aid Foundation with her energy and clear vision for our mission,” Ross said.

“Her focus is helping us navigate new paths to define our future. We are grateful for the legacy Stephanie bestowed upon us all,” said Monique Keitz, Equestrian Aid Foundation board vice president.

Ross and Evans introduced Bulger to the Equestrian Aid Foundation nearly a decade ago. The organization provides financial support for horse people facing catastrophic illness or injury. She served as a member of the board of directors for eight years, four years as the president of the foundation.

“I was so surprised!” Bulger said about her award. “When Robert got the mic and asked for Stephanie to come up, my initial thought was that there was a new grant recipient named Stephanie who was going to speak. I had no idea I was about to be recognized and honored.”

Bulger says that she is especially proud of several projects that she tackled during her leadership. The last major project she led was producing the recipient resource guide, a succinct handbook that details where and how injured or ill horse people can find additional help. It provides helpful links, phone numbers, an explanation of various government programs and benefits and more.

“I am so happy with how the recipient resource guide turned out,” Bulger said. “I am also thrilled with the Show You Care horse show program that we launched last year.”

Bulger said that the Equestrian Aid Foundation gave her an outlet to give back to the community.

“Horses and the people I have met have formed the most significant and meaningful relationships in my life,” Bulger said. “I don’t know where I would be if it weren’t for my horses and horse friends. Working with the Equestrian Aid Foundation was my way of saying thanks.”

With the changing times and challenges facing nonprofit organizations, Bulger says she hopes the Equestrian Aid Foundation continues to look forward to help horse people in crisis.

“There is so much more work to be done and more people who need help,” she said. “We have been told time and time again that the Equestrian Aid Foundation saves lives. It is a vital part of the greater equestrian community and I know that it will continue to have an impact.”

For more information, please visit EquestrianAidFoundation.org.

Equestrian Aid Foundation Helps Farrier Get Back on Track after Serious Injury

Trevor Lent and Blue. Photo courtesy of Trevor Lent.

Wellington, Fla. – Feb. 22, 2018 – Trevor Lent made his living as a farrier until the day he was kicked so badly that both his kneecap and femur shattered. After an initial unsuccessful surgery, his doctor performed a total knee replacement that left him temporarily non-weight bearing and permanently unable to return to his livelihood of shoeing horses.

Without income from his work, the once self-reliant cowboy’s life fell apart. He lost his house and his marriage. For a period of time, a truck and stock trailer served as home to Trevor, his horse and his dog.

Then, a friend told him about Equestrian Aid Foundation and how the organization helps horse people facing financial catastrophe from illness or injury. Trevor asked – and Equestrian Aid said yes.

“The Equestrian Aid Foundation was a tremendous help to me during a tumultuous time,” he said.

After several years of hard work at odd jobs and with the support of Equestrian Aid Foundation and his friends, Trevor purchased a small tract of land at the foot of the Datril Mountains in New Mexico. Slowly but steadily, he built a barn for his horse and a shop. Trevor now works repairing tack and leather goods, and he creates custom tack for pack horses and mules. Eventually, he built a small home. Today Trevor lives there with his wife Tova, whom he met on horseback.

“I like living here,” Trevor said. “It’s big country and it’s beautiful. There’s not a lot of people and the people here are survivors. They have to be.”

Trevor will never be sound again but he, too, is a survivor. Despite the devastating physical, emotional and financial aftermath of his accident, he has rebuilt his life.

For more information, please visit EquestrianAidFoundation.org.

Do Twice the Good Today

Despite the natural disasters and tragedies that have tested our resolve in 2017, the Equestrian Aid Foundation has maintained its commitment to critically ill and injured members of the equestrian community. This year:

  • Claudia, an amateur dressage rider, was able to continue her cancer treatment, even after her farm was ravaged by Hurricane Irma.
  • Alena, an equine technician coping with the after-effects of TBI, received specialized therapy that will expedite her return to work and college.
  • Steven, a dressage trainer whose career was cut short by multiple critical illnesses, can afford basic living expenses.

And there have been so many more members of our equestrian community who have benefitted from the compassion of people like you.

Today, you can double your impact by taking advantage of a year-end matching grant.

Your gift will be matched dollar-for-dollar up to $25,000.

Our recipients thank you! Watch our video to hear their stories and see how you have made a difference in their lives.

Your compassion will create a brighter future!

Equestrian Aid Foundation
11924 West Forest Hill Blvd
Suite 10A-377
Wellington, FL 33414
800-792-6068
EquestrianAidFoundation.org

Valegro’s Shoe Donated by Carl Hester Earns Top Dollar to Benefit Equestrian Aid Foundation

Carl Hester coaching at the NEDA 2017 Dressage Symposium. Photo by Mary Phelps.

New Gloucester, Maine – Oct. 19, 2017 – A silver-plated horseshoe once worn by superstar dressage horse Valegro raised $5,000 for Equestrian Aid Foundation at the New England Dressage Association (NEDA) Carl Hester Symposium, held Oct. 14-15 in New Gloucester, Maine. The bidding was hot among the clinic attendees. In the end, Betsy Dangel from Newton Center, Massachusetts made the highest bid when the auction closed.

The top-priced auction items were presented to the winners on the closing day of the symposium. Hester admitted he took the silver-plated shoe from Charlotte Dujardin’s desk.

“We made nine of these shoes which have all been donated to charity,” Hester said. “Now I have to tell Charlotte the last one went to America.”

Other items included an original painting of Hester and his horse Nip Tuck titled “The Master” by artist Lisa Marie Bishop with Hester’s signature, and a signed banner photo collage of Hester, Nip Tuck, Dujardin and Valegro created by DressageDaily’s Mary Phelps.

In total, nearly $8,000 was raised for Equestrian Aid Foundation. Hester said he was thrilled that the auction went so well.

“Not only did I have great riders and horses to train, Valegro’s shoe raised $5,000 for the Equestrian Aid Foundation,” he said.

The auction was orchestrated by Markel’s Mary Phelps, a Gold Sponsor of the event. Phelps has been a supporter of Equestrian Aid Foundation since its founding in 1996.

“Let’s face it,” Phelps said. “Carl is a rock star and so is Valegro. People were stalking the bidding table until the closing bell.”

Janise Gray, Equestrian Aid Foundation director of grant recipient services, attended the event.

“We are grateful to Mary Phelps for the success of the silent auction,” Gray said.  “For two decades, Mary has exemplified our ‘Show You Care’ motto. The Equestrian Aid Foundation helps people across the country involved in all facets of the horse community.  It is through the efforts of our supporters like Mary and Carl that we are able to provide financial assistance, hope and dignity to help our recipients heal.”

Edited press release from HorsesDaily.com.

Equestrian Aid Foundation
11924 West Forest Hill Blvd
Suite 10A-377
Wellington, FL 33414
800-792-6068
EquestrianAidFoundation.org

Equestrian Aid Foundation Awarded Gold Status from GuideStar

Wellington, Fla. – July 26, 2017 – Equestrian Aid Foundation is proud to announce that it was awarded Gold Status from GuideStar, the world’s leading provider of information about nonprofit organizations. GuideStar’s Gold Status is awarded to recognize nonprofit transparency and accountability. Out of 1.8 million IRS-recognized nonprofit organizations listed in GuideStar, only .5 percent have achieved Gold Status. The Equestrian Aid Foundation is proud to be included in this tier.

To achieve the Gold Status, Equestrian Aid Foundation submitted information including its mission, goals, strategies and capabilities. Nonprofit evaluation is a vital practice that keeps organizations accountable and lets donors know that their charity of choice is trustworthy and reputable. The Gold level is given to organizations that commit to GuideStar’s high standards of transparency and management.

Click here to visit Equestrian Aid Foundation’s Gold GuideStar profile.

Equestrian Aid Foundation recently launched a new horse show program called Show You Care during Summer in the Rockies at Colorado Horse Park. They have an active retail program and have relationships with participating equestrian and non-endemic retailers. “Althea,” their 2017 major fundraiser, held during the Winter Equestrian Festival in Wellington, was a resounding success and out-raised previous events.

“We place importance on transparency and adhering to high standards,” said executive director, Louise Smith. “We are honored that GuideStar includes Equestrian Aid Foundation among the top tier of respected nonprofits in the country.”

About GuideStar
GuideStar gathers and disseminates information about IRS-registered nonprofit organizations. They provide information about each nonprofit’s mission, legitimacy, impact, reputation, finances, programs, transparency, governance and more. They combine information that nonprofits supply with data from several other sources.

GuideStar acts as a search engine for nonprofit information and provides information so that donors, funders, researchers, educators, professional service providers, governing agencies and the media may make informed decisions.

For more information, go to: www.guidestar.org.

Georgina Bloomberg to Compete for Equestrian Aid Foundation at Hampton Classic Horse Show

Georgina Bloomberg and Crown 5. Photo by Shawn McMillen Photography.

Wellington, Fla. – July 22, 2017 – Equestrian Aid Foundation announced that Georgina Bloomberg will represent the organization as captain of their team in the Jump for Charity, presented by Sea Shore Stables. The event takes place during the $86,000 Douglas Elliman Grand Prix Qualifier presented by LONGINES at the 42nd annual Hampton Classic Horse Show, Friday, Sept.1.

Jump for Charity is a fun way for the audience to enjoy a world-class show jumping event with the opportunity to raise funds for a worthy cause. The format for the event includes 12 riders (eight individuals and two teams of two) paired randomly with 10 charities. The individual riders will serve as team captains. The drawing to match the riders and charities was held live on the Hampton Classic’s Facebook page. Hampton Classic Executive Director Shanette Cohen randomly drew Bloomberg as the team captain for Equestrian Aid Foundation.

Funds will be raised for Jump for Charity through the sale of 30 uniquely designed caps for each charity/rider team. The caps will feature the Hampton Classic logo, the charity name, the team captain name and the team captain’s autograph. The caps sell for $100 each (80 percent tax deductible) and may be pre-purchased on the Hampton Classic website or on-site at the Hampton Classic, while supplies last. Pick up your hat at the Hampton Classic or have it shipped.

Click here to purchase your ball cap and select: “Captain Georgina Bloomberg riding for Equestrian Aid Foundation” to support the team.

“We are honored to have Georgina lead our Jump for Charity team,” said Equestrian Aid Foundation executive director, Louise Smith. “She is not only an incredible show jumping athlete, but she also understands our mission. Georgina served on the Equestrian Aid Foundation’s board of directors through 2016, and she gives back in so many ways to animals and the people who love them.”

All the proceeds from the sale of the caps will be distributed as follows: $1,000 to the third-place charity, $2,000 to the second-place charity and the remaining funds to the charity of the highest-placed rider. Only the top placed rider for each charity will qualify for the cash award for their charity. Last year, a win by McLain Ward earned $16,100 for Caring Hearts for Canines.

Other participating riders include Molly Ashe Cawley, Lucy and Mario Deslauriers, Ramiro Quintana, Callan Solem, Shane Sweetnam, Danielle and Jimmy Torano, Catherine Tyree, McLain Ward and Andrew Welles.

For more information about the Hampton Classic Horse Show, please visit the Hampton Classic website at www.hamptonclassic.com or call (631) 537-3177. Hampton Classic Horse Show, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) charitable corporation.

Equestrian Aid Foundation
11924 West Forest Hill Blvd
Suite 10A-377
Wellington, FL 33414
800-792-6068
EquestrianAidFoundation.org

Shop FarmVet July 18 and Help Equestrians in Need

Wellington, Fla. – July 10, 2017 – Do some shopping and help fellow horse people. FarmVet, the leader in horse health products, will donate a percentage of their online and telephone sales to Equestrian Aid Foundation Tuesday, July 18.

Equestrian Aid Foundation is a nonprofit organization that assists people from all corners of the horse world who are coping with catastrophic injury or illness. It provides financial support to horse people facing health crises. Help with essential living and rehabilitative expenses can make a difference to a horse person who is facing a life-altering situation.

Start your shopping list now for all your supplies and place your order July 18. Your purchase will benefit both your horse and horse people in need!

FarmVet is your one-stop source for horse health products, from supplements to therapy products and everything in between. Plus, the FarmVet Pharmacy offers compounding services so be sure to give them a call if you’d like to learn more. The FarmVet website features safe, easy online ordering and order tracking. Using the latest encryption standards and secure payment protocols, FarmVet’s website ensures your privacy and safety.

With everyday low prices on great brands like Perfect Products, Ramard, Adequan, Merial, EquiFit, Back on Track, and Arenus brand Sore No More products, you’ll find everything you need to help horses perform at their best.

Go to FarmVet.com or call (888) 837-3626.

Equestrian Aid Foundation
11924 West Forest Hill Blvd
Suite 10A-377
Wellington, FL 33414
800-792-6068
EquestrianAidFoundation.org

Equestrian Aid Foundation to Launch Show You Care Program at Summer in the Rockies

Photo by EQ Media.

Wellington, Fla. – June 16, 2017 – Equestrian Aid Foundation will launch their new horse show program, Show You Care, at the Colorado Horse Park’s Week IV of the popular hunter/jumper show series Summer in the Rockies. Equestrian Aid Foundation is the designated charity during Week IV, which runs from June 28 – July 2.

“We care about the people who make up our horse community and support the mission of Equestrian Aid Foundation,” said Colorado Horse Park’s chief operating officer, Meg Krueger. “We are proud to host the launch of their Show You Care program at Summer in the Rockies.”

Equestrian Aid Foundation Executive Director Louise Smith will be on-site for the official kick-off of the program and will host the exhibitor’s party, sponsored by Tami George Agency/Markel Insurance, Saturday, July 1, immediately following the $60,000 Horseware Ireland Grand Prix. George will also be on hand for the festivities.

“We are all very excited about Show Your Care and we’re grateful to Equestrian Sport Productions and everyone at Colorado Horse Park for their support,” Smith said. “Many thanks to the Tami George Agency and Markel Insurance for their sponsorship. It will help to spread awareness about the Foundation across the country and help more horse people in need.”

Tami George is an avid equestrian and has served the horse community as an agent for Markel since 2002. “Markel Insurance and the Equestrian Aid Foundation serve the same group of committed equestrians, and I am pleased to support their new show program,” George said. “Together, our helping hands can make a real difference when horse people need assistance.”

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

The program is designed to be uncomplicated. Show managers designate a warmup or schooling class in the hunter and jumper divisions as a Show You Care class. Then the show managers choose a percentage of each entry fee, from 5 to 50 percent, per designated class to donate to the Equestrian Aid Foundation at the end of the show. Because Equestrian Aid Foundation is a nonprofit organization, all donations are tax deductible. Show managers control the depth of their contribution by their selection of the classes and the percentage of contribution.

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

Smith says that she looks forward to the Show You Care launch at Colorado Horse Park, and she encourages other show managers to participate. Caring about seriously injured or ill members of the equestrian community is a great message to send, and Equestrian Aid Foundation promotes supporting competitions in the press, on the web, in email marketing and in our social media.

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

The Equestrian Aid Foundation® is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that assists people from all corners of the horse world who are coping with life-changing injury or illness and financial crisis. Since its inception 21 years ago, the Foundation has granted over $2.7 million in direct financial aid to equestrians facing adversity. Our needs-based support provides assistance with basic living and rehabilitative expenses to riders, trainers, farriers, grooms, horse farm owners and other equestrians who need a helping hand to get back on their feet. For more information, please visit EquestrianAidFoundation.org.

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

Photo courtesy of Alena Weida.

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Equestrian Aid Foundation® is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that assists people from all corners of the horse world who are coping with life-changing injury or illness and financial crisis. Since its inception 21 years ago, the Foundation has granted over $2.7 million in direct financial aid to equestrians facing adversity. Our needs-based support provides assistance with basic living and rehabilitative expenses to riders, trainers, farriers, grooms, horse farm owners and other equestrians who need a helping hand to get back on their feet. For more information, please visit EquestrianAidFoundation.org.