Tag Archives: equestrian community

Equestrian Aid Foundation Grant Helps California Trainer through Recovery Period

Lisa Avila schooling a young eventing prospect on the cross-country course. Photo by Carolyn Orndoff.

Wellington, Fla. – Apr. 29, 2019 – As the daughter of a cattle foreman, California native Lisa Avila grew up in the saddle. Horsemanship was second nature. While her passion for high performance horse sports eventually led her to experiences far beyond ranch life, a generations-old ability to train horses was coded into her DNA.

In 2008 she established Burgeon Training in California’s East Bay, where she has built her reputation within the equestrian community by starting young horses and retraining difficult ones. Her interests lie in dressage and eventing, but she is readily available to help horsemen of any discipline work more productively with their animals.

Last November, Lisa tore her ACL upon falling off a young horse, effectively bringing her business to a halt. It wasn’t a particularly bad fall, she remembers, just an unlucky landing. She underwent surgery to repair the tear, and doctors gave her a strict timeline for recovery and rehabilitation. “As horse people, we’re always getting hurt, but this was the first time I really had to put on the brakes and so I could heal,” said Lisa. “It scared me.”

With her business in limbo, Lisa and her husband faced the mounting pressure of their financial responsibilities. Their lifestyle was modest, yet with two young children, the family was dependent upon two incomes. Lisa reached out to the Equestrian Aid Foundation for assistance, and the grant she received helped pay the rent for the family’s home during her recovery period.

With the financial burden alleviated, Lisa spent the winter months in physical therapy and is now beginning to focus on her business again. While she isn’t strong enough to train or jump yet, she has been cleared to start legging herself back up on her quietest horses. “The answer’s not always ‘no’ from the doctors anymore,” she says optimistically.

Lisa first learned of the Equestrian Aid Foundation in a magazine ad several years ago, but it wasn’t until the unthinkable happened that she realized the depth of the foundation’s commitment to getting equestrians back on their feet. “EAF’s grant was a huge deal for me,” she said. “It was a real blessing.”

For more information about Equestrian Aid Foundation, please visit EquestrianAidFoundation.org.

Ken Berkley & Scott Stewart Team Up with Filmmaker Ron Davis to Tackle Opioid Crisis

Wellington, Fla. – April 3, 2019 – Ken Berkley & Scott Stewart of River’s Edge Farm are executive producers of a new documentary with HARRY & SNOWMAN and LIFE IN THE DOGHOUSE filmmaker, Ron Davis. The film, TO SERVE & PROTECT, will chronicle a paradigm shift in efforts by law enforcement through the Police Assisted Addiction Recovery Initiative (PAARI) to combat the national opioid epidemic in their local communities.

“We were inspired by what PAARI is doing so we decided that this program needed national attention,” said Berkley.  Filmmaker Ron Davis had just completed LIFE IN THE DOGHOUSE, about equestrians Danny Robertshaw and Ron Danta. “I was eager to sign on to this project,” said Davis. “This film will be about a solution to the growing opioid epidemic.”

Berkley, Stewart, and Davis intend to raise $1 million through tax-deductible donations to produce the film. “This is a crisis that has touched everyone in some way and incarceration is not working. Treatment is the only answer,” said Stewart.

The producing team is hopeful that people will not only donate, but can interest friends, family, and organizations to contribute.

Watch the Trailer Here.

For more information on the film: SERVE & PROTECT

To make an online donation: DONATION

To contact producers: info@docutainmentfilms.com

Paddock Master Pruning Funds Will Bring Relief to Horsemen in the Heartland

Roads and pasture land remain non-navigable for many horsemen in the Heartland, where Bomb Cyclone Ulmer wreaked havoc earlier this month. Photo submitted.

Wellington, Fla. – March 29, 2019 – Funds raised by the equestrian community during the WEF ingate staff’s Paddock Master Pruning are making an impact far and wide, as horsemen across the western states face the devastation of crippling flooding and blizzards. The Equestrian Aid Foundation is partnering with the nonprofit organization Fleet of Angels, where a portion of Pruning funds have been used to send a tractor trailer loaded with hay to a distribution center near the borders of Nebraska, Iowa, and South Dakota.

“The devastation from this storm ranges from northern New Mexico up to Michigan, with either snow or flooding in all states in between,” said Elaine Nash, executive director of Fleet of Angels and coordinator of its Hay Bank. “The Equestrian Aid Foundation’s support will be essential to struggling horsemen in the Heartland.”

While the Equestrian Aid Foundation’s primary mission is to assist horsemen facing catastrophic illness or injury, its Disaster Relief Fund provides emergency assistance to equestrian communities in crisis.  “Of course, we can’t entirely mitigate the loss these people have experienced, but as fellow horsemen we can stand beside them and help them take the next step forward,” said EAF board member Monique Keitz.  “Its levity aside, the Paddock Master Pruning was a poignant example of the equestrian community’s desire and ability to take care of its own.”

Donations to the Equestrian Aid Foundation’s Disaster Relief Fund made through April 15 will be used to support relief efforts for equestrian communities in the Heartland.

For more information about Equestrian Aid Foundation, please visit EquestrianAidFoundation.org.

Wellington Schools Unite for the Great Charity Challenge

Palm Beach Central High School’s chalk art creation from 2017’s GCC.

Ringside Chalk Art Festival and Special Performance Pairs Young Talent and Philanthropy

Wellington, FL – January 23, 2019 – At the heart of the Winter Equestrian Capital of the World, the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC) in Wellington, FL has welcomed local elementary, middle, and high schools for the last seven years, showcasing their talents to thousands of spectators during the twelve-week season. With the 2019 Winter Equestrian Festival underway, this year’s initiatives have been announced. Additional to each school being individually featured during the season, all 12 schools will unite for the 2019 Great Charity Challenge presented by Fidelity Investments® (GCC), on Saturday, February 2.

This year’s event theme of “We Are the World” will focus on promoting unity and celebrate the cultural differences in our community. A Ringside Chalk Art Festival, honoring young talent and Palm Beach County philanthropy, will celebrate, inspire, and encourage the creative expressions of the students and their teachers while empowering the participants of the 2019 GCC.

From horse statue decorations to mini-jump creations, the 12 public schools in Wellington have showcased their diversity and imagination via annual projects at PBIEC over the years. The proposed initiative is available for students in first through 12th grades.

Each Wellington school will be provided with a 4-foot by 6-foot giant chalkboard and have three hours to bring their creation to life, showcasing what the several charitable causes represented that evening means to them. A panel of judges composed of Carolina King, President of the Wellington Art Society (WAS), Leslie Pfeiffer, WAS Development Chair, Laurie Snow Hein, Award winning Florida Artist, and Jen Hernandez, local business owner of Art Cellar will facilitate the judging process and present the awards. The GCC guarantees a minimum of a $1,000 donation to each school’s art department for participating.

Furthermore, the choirs of Palm Beach Central High School and Wellington High School, under the leadership of Mr. Scott Houchins and Mr. Bradford Chase, respectively, will join forces in an unprecedented performance that is sure to leave the public inspired.

The 2019 GCC will distribute $1+ million to local charities. This year’s event is sure to entertain adults and children alike, with riders dressed up in costumes and horses adorned to match them, featuring the theme “We Are the World.”

“On behalf of Equestrian Sport Productions and Wellington Equestrian Partners, we look forward to welcoming the 2019 participants of the GCC as well as the Wellington public schools. Highlighting the power of partnerships in creating true change, the talent and imagination of the students joining us will remind us all that anyone can indeed ‘be the change they wish to see in the world,'” stated Paige Bellissimo.

The GCC, founded in 2010 by the Bellissimo family of Equestrian Sport Productions, has distributed $12.2 million from the equestrian community to more than 230 non-profits in Palm Beach County over the last nine years. The Wellington PTA/PTO is the only group to receive an automatic admission into the event every year and has received well over $480,000 to date.

The GCC competition at the Winter Equestrian Festival will offer free General Admission and will be held Saturday evening, February 2, 2019, at 6:00 PM. Free parking will be located at 13500 South Shore Blvd., Wellington, FL 33414.

For the latest event information, please visit www.greatcharitychallenge.com and follow us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/greatcharitychallenge.

Uniting the Community at the 2019 Great Charity Challenge

Photo ©PBIEC.

Wellington, FL – October 23, 2018 – With a strong belief that change happens through the power of communities, Palm Beach County charities will get a chance to inspire and expand their impacts this coming February.

For the past nine years, equestrians and their mounts have been uniting the local community at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center in Wellington, FL. These teams of riders have one goal in mind: to give Palm Beach County charities a chance to win up to $150,000.

The Great Charity Challenge presented by Fidelity Investments® (GCC) is inviting all Palm Beach County-based charities to apply to participate in the event’s tenth edition, a pro-amateur relay show jumping competition.

Thirty of these randomly drawn charities will meet their randomly paired teams on Saturday, February 2, 2019, to receive a share of the more than a $1 million dollar purse.

The application process opened on October 15, 2018 and will remain active through 5:00 PM on November 15, 2018 via www.greatcharitychallenge.com. All non-profit organizations in Palm Beach County are invited to apply and try their luck!

The GCC, founded in 2010 by Mark and Katherine Bellissimo of Equestrian Sport Productions and their daughter Paige, has distributed more than $12.2 million from the equestrian community to 230 non-profits in Palm Beach County. One hundred percent of the money raised gets distributed to local non-profits every year, with first place receiving $150,000 and all participating charities being guaranteed a minimum amount of $15,000.

Over the last four years, the GCC brought team spirit to a new level by incorporating themes into this yearly celebration. With riders dressed up in costumes and horses adorned to match them, this year’s theme of “We Are the World” will focus on promoting unity and celebrate the cultural differences in our community. An art contest involving all 12 Wellington public schools will showcase the different causes represented that evening, from fighting hunger, to education, etc.

Mark Bellissimo, managing partner of Wellington Equestrian Partners, commented, “This tenth year honors the diversity in our community. With riders from all over the world, our organization showcases the benefit that comes from embracing each other’s differences and unity towards this greater good. This event is truly the legacy of the Winter Equestrian Festival and the sponsors involved. We can’t thank them enough for their support.”

Paige Bellissimo, who is actively involved in the community, added, “The GCC is a unique event that allows us to raise awareness of the diverse charitable organizations throughout the community. We hope that this year’s edition will unite all involved, from the sponsors and riders, to the non-profits involved and the community at large! We are very grateful for those who support the effort.”

If you know of a deserving Palm Beach County-based charity, please have them visit www.greatcharitychallenge.com for full application details and information. Please note that the application process for the 2019 GCC is open from October 15 through November 15, 2018 (5:00 PM).

The first random drawing to select the lucky charities from those that have applied to participate in the 2019 GCC will be held on December 1, 2018 at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center.

For the latest event information and application guidelines, visit www.greatcharitychallenge.com and learn more about the GCC on Facebook at www.facebook.com/greatcharitychallenge.

Equine Non-Profits Granted Nearly $40,000 by USA Equestrian Trust

Next Grant Application Period Opens Early 2019

July 25, 2018 — Lexington, KY — USA Equestrian Trust has awarded nearly $40,000 in grants to help fund equine-focused projects by four non-profits. Since the inception of its grants program, the Trust has awarded nearly $2.1 million in grants.

The projects funded as part of the grant application period ending in May were:

ASBURY UNIVERSITY ($5,000) to fund scholarships for students participating in the university’s service mount program, which trains horses for service with police, military, and national park rangers.

MEMORIAL HOSPITAL AT GULFPORT FOUNDATION ($3,212.75) to provide helmets and safety education to young riders.

RACING SURFACES TESTING LABORATORY ($25,423) to examine the effects of weight on the behavior of show horses’ hooves and legs while in the air. The research will compare horses with corrective and performance shoeing to flat-shod horses.

SACRAMENTO AREA HUNTER JUMPER ASSOCIATION ($5,000) to offer a free training clinic to its members, who are entry-level exhibitors and low-budget owners. The money for this grant was allocated from funding reserved for Hunter/Jumper activities in California and Nevada.

The Trust’s next grant application period will begin early in 2019. Equine non-profits wishing to make a request for funding during that application period will be required to fill out the online application form at http://trusthorses.org. To be notified once the application period has opened, please email grants@trusthorses.org.

About USA Equestrian Trust

USA Equestrian Trust’s mission is to assist in preserving and/or enhancing the quality of equestrian sport in the United States of America. Its objects and purposes are exclusively charitable, educational, and dedicated to the fostering of equestrian sports. The Trust is a private foundation pursuant to the United States Internal Revenue Code.

Contact: Press Link
Phone: 516-848-4867
Email: dderosa1@optonline.net

Savonna Adell Joins Forces with JustWorld International as Newest Ambassador

Savonna Adell and Sportin Around. Photo by: SportFot.

Wellington, Fla. – April 12, 2018 – Up-and-coming junior rider Savonna Adell is passionate about equestrian sport, and now she is excited to be giving back to the sport and the community by joining JustWorld International as their newest ambassador. JustWorld International is dedicated to breaking the cycle of poverty by funding local partners around the world helping children thrive. JustWorld’s involvement in the equestrian community provides unique resources for fundraising and a unique network for raising awareness.

“I am very excited to join the team of ambassadors at JustWorld International,” expressed Adell. “I understand the importance of giving back to the community and I am happy to be helping other children around the world. I am looking forward to volunteering at events and representing JustWorld at horse shows around the country.”

As an ambassador, Adell will act as a spokesperson for JustWorld in her local community, among friends, and at horse shows. She has also pledged to make an annual donation to benefit JustWorld, in addition to volunteering time to JustWorld events. JustWorld ambassadors can also choose to host fundraising efforts such as bake sales and Horseless Horse Shows. All proceeds from an ambassador’s event will go directly to a JustWorld project.

JustWorld International was founded in 2003 by equestrian, Jessica Newman. “I started to realize that there was a lot more out there and that I was living in a very privileged circle,” said Newman. “I’d done everything I wanted in the sport as a competitor and it was time to dedicate my life to doing something for others.”

For the past fifteen years, hundreds of Rider Ambassadors and supporters, including juniors, amateurs, and professionals from around the world, have changed thousands of children’s lives by helping with fundraising efforts and spreading awareness.

Adell is a 12-year-old junior athlete who is quickly climbing the ranks in equestrian sport, having recently been named Reserve Circuit Champion in the Large Children’s Pony Hunter division with Spellbound, after winning the championship honors during World Champion Hunter Rider week at the Winter Equestrian Festival. A Bloomfield Hills, Michigan native, Adell shows under the tutelage of trainers Gary and Kelsey Duffy of Little Brook Farms, based in Wellington, Florida.

www.justworldinternational.org

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

Equestrian Aid Foundation’s Night of Enchantment

Keith Greco’s Althea Raised Unprecedented Funds for Horsemen and Women in Need

Wellington, Fla. February 15, 2017 — Palm Beach County and their equestrian communities gathered together on Sunday, February 12 for the Equestrian Aid Foundation’s annual event, a night that they will never forget. Althea was held at The Global Dressage Festival Stadium of Palm Beach International Equestrian Center.

“For this year’s benefit, we decided to take a unique approach. We provided a magical and magnificent experience presented by both humans and horses,” said Equestrian Aid President Stephanie Riggio Bulger. “This organization is incredibly grateful to Keith Greco for this compelling performance. The success of tonight will provide Equestrian Aid with the opportunity to help many horsemen and horsewomen in need.”

Produced by Keith Greco, Althea was a tribute to the one of a kind relationship between horses and humans. The equestrian ballet told the story of Argos, a horseman who is crippled and despairing, who finds himself in a land where a magical stallion, Althea, has the power to heal. The evening raised money to support Equestrian Aid programs that provide financial assistance to those in the equestrian community suffering from chronic illness and injury.

Former Cavalia headliners Sylvia Zerbini, S. Caleb Carinci-Asch, Kansas Carradine, other equestrian artists, and their breathtaking horses kicked off the evening with their spectacular performance, which was created exclusively for the night. The evening included VIP cocktails and dinner, as well as a live and silent auction, with unique items such as a vintage Mercedes, a month of training with Rio Olympic Dressage team member, Steffen Peters, and a sunset yacht cruise.

“I was excited to produce this event for a wonderful organization such as Equestrian Aid Foundation,” said Keith Greco. “There are so many men and women in need of assistance from all corners of the horse world who are coping with life-changing injury or illness and financial crisis. Without Equestrian Aid they would be lost. I look forward to seeing how the success of this evening will help those in need.”

The Equestrian Aid Foundation is a 501(c)(3) organization that has raised over $2.6 million in its nearly twenty year history to assist individuals from all riding disciplines, equine professions, backgrounds and ages who are coping with serious injury or illness. For more information about the Equestrian Aid Foundation, please visit equestrianaidfoundation.org or follow us on Facebook. You can make a difference in the lives of horse people in need.

Contact: Jessica Greene, Sirota Public Relations
212.486.3319, jessica@sirotapr.com

Fall Festivities Bring Record Attendance and Donations for Kids Cancer Foundation

Wellington, Florida (November 3, 2016) – This fall season the Wellington and Palm Beach communities have continued a legacy of excellence in bringing resources and funding to the Kids Cancer Foundation of South Florida. Dedicated to providing hope and support to patients and families battling childhood cancer, the Kids Cancer Foundation received record donations and attendance at three charity events: the Wellington 10 Miler, 5k and Fun Run, Wicked at The Wanderer’s Club, and the KCF Fall Festival at St. Peter’s Methodist Church.

From its beginnings over a decade ago, the Wellington 10 Miler has grown to encompass not only a great fitness, family, and charity event, but also a source of remembrance, resources, and ultimately hope for those affected or enduring the plight of childhood cancer. Organized by the Wellington Runner’s Club, this year’s event took place on Sunday, October 23, 2016 and included the 10 Miler, Sebastian’s 5k, and Kids Fun Run. Its course wove through the scenic tropical landscape of the Wellington Environmental Preserve at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas Everglades Habitat off Flying Cow Road, and at its completion set numerous milestones, including record attendance and a record donation for the Kids Cancer Foundation.

Sebastian’s 5k is named in memory of Sebastian Sarmiento, a 9-year-old who bravely battled cancer and endured more in his brief life than any one person should. His unwavering hope and courage in the face of incredible hardship is a reflection of the daily battle waged by the children of the Kids Cancer Foundation, and the funds raised by Sebastian’s 5k and the entire event go directly to help other families in the south Florida community who are facing the same battle and make their fight a bit easier.

With the 10 miler designed as a fall tune up race for those training for full and half marathons and the Sebastian’s 5k Run/Walk appealing to the more casual running enthusiast, the event brought in a family element with the Kids Fun Run, which took place after the 10 Miler. The Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office also designated Sebastian’s 5k as their Couch to 5k event, a program designed to boost fitness and overall health. The PBSO’s involvement brought droves of runners to Wellington for the event, contributing to its overall success. And, representing Wellington’s own choice sport, a few famous equestrian names could be found on the roster, including Argentina’s Nic Roldan. Roldan, who is an internationally successful polo star and Ambassador for the Kids Cancer Foundation, ran in Sebastian’s 5k.

“Last weekend’s race was a blast like always,” said Roldan. “It’s an event my friends and I always look forward to participating in. The weather was perfect and the turnout was huge. Biggest yet. The KCF family has become part of my life, and it is such a blessing and honor to be able to help support and raise funds for children in need.”

For those looking for a little less fitness, more entertainment, and equitable charity, the Young Professionals of Wellington hosted its fourth annual Wicked at the Wanderer’s Club Halloween gala which also gave revelers the chance to make a difference in the lives of those affected by childhood cancer. Hosted at the spectacular Wanderer’s Club on October 29, 2016, over 250 attendees appeared decked out in spectacular costumes to dance the night away, including the Kids Cancer Busters, a take on the famous Ghostbusters. The generosity of this Halloween themed night no doubt will mean more support and resources for the patients and families of the Kids Cancer Foundation.

The previous Friday, October 28, the KCF’s busy schedule also took them to St. Peter’s Methodist Church, where they hosted a fun night of dancing, costumes, and candy for the kids and families. Star Wars, princesses, and superheroes were the costumes of choice, and the party enjoyed a DJ to keep everyone dancing, a bounce house, arts and crafts, a few golden retrievers (from?), food and of course plenty of candy to add to the spirit of Halloween. Nic Roldan and Darren Marotta also stopped by to have some fun, and during the celebration the Chasentailz Fishing Tournament presented the Kids Cancer Foundation with a $10,000 check from their event, which took place in September, making October a record year for the Foundation and its beneficiaries.

The Kids Cancer Foundation of South Florida is a 501(c)(3) non-profit charity that provides hope and support to local children and families battling childhood cancer. Their multifaceted program addresses patient family needs that range from financial assistance to psychological support and art programs, designed to ease the mental, financial, and emotional strain of battling childhood cancer for the entire family. Some of their support services and programs include:

▪ Over $400,000 in financial assistance
▪ Donations of over $200,000 in toys and gifts
▪ Treasure Boxes filled year round at hospitals and doctors’ offices
▪ Pediatric Oncology Patient Care Navigator Program to provide education and support to patients and families
▪ Arts and Health Program designed for patients and siblings, including therapeutic arts and crafts, play interactions, visual imagery and distraction techniques
▪ Gift Card Program which enables families to purchase basic necessities like food, clothing and gas to come to and from treatment
▪ Tutoring and Homework Club for patients and siblings, as well as an Educational Advocacy program to assist patients with school re-entry
▪ Family Socials
▪ Portable Play Carts
▪ Legacy Bead Program, where patients collect colorful beads that represent their journey through treatment

To date the Kids Cancer Foundation has helped over 500 patients and families and celebrated numerous End of Treatment Parties.

KCF Ambassadors

The KCF Ambassadors represent equestrian proponents of the Foundation that are a shining example of the results of treatment and KCF type therapies as well as community icons and role models who seek to raise awareness and funds for the KCF.

Polo: Nic Roldan

Fueled by intensity, passion and raw talent, Nic Roldan has become one of the top professional polo players in the world today and holds many of the highest accolades prized by the adrenaline-charged sport.

Born in Buenos Aires and raised in the U.S. and Brunei, the fourth generation polo player remembers swinging a polo mallet by age four. Nic captured his first major win – the coveted U.S. Open Polo Championship in 1998 with team Escue shortly after reaching professional status at age 14. Nic has charged polo fields on five continents and continues to add to his roster of wins. Polo’s hottest rising star, for whom Wellington is his home town, has now added to his resume Ambassador to the Kids Cancer Foundation, a local charity whose mission is to provide hope and support to children and families battling childhood cancer and/or blood disorders in our community a cause he is passionate about.

Dressage: Amy Speck-Kern

For Amy Speck-Kern, dressage is a passion that gave her the inspiration to overcome childhood cancer. This passion, combined with cutting edge treatment protocols and the support of her family, friends, and outreach groups, allowed her to defeat Acute Myleoid Leukemia (AML) and pursue her dream of a successful FEI dressage career.

“I know that I’m here because of the research,” said Speck-Kern. “The disease and course of treatment inspired me to pursue my passion, and find a way to give back to the cause that has made it possible.” Her passion can be found in the saddle, astride thousand-pound dressage horses she teaches to move and dance in tandem with their riders. Now a professional FEI dressage trainer in Loxahatchee, Florida, she rides, trains, shows, and competes on Wellington’s prestigious international show circuit. After learning from and working with some of the best trainers in the industry, Amy founded Excel Dressage and, leading into the 2016 show season, has begun the process of giving back to childhood cancer research.

For more information on the programs and support offered by the Kids Cancer Foundation, contact them at michelle@kidscancersf.org or (561) 371-1298.

Media contact:

Holly Johnson
Equinium Sports Marketing, LLC
holly@equinium.com
www.equinium.com
954 205 7992

Equestrian Aid Foundation Celebrates Milestone 20th Anniversary

Photo: Nic Roldan.

Leading Non-Profit reflects on serving equestrians from all corners of the horse world

Wellington, FL. Aug. 23, 2016 – The Equestrian Aid Foundation is proud to announce its twentieth year as the leading nonprofit that assists individuals from all riding disciplines, equine professions, backgrounds and ages who are coping with catastrophic injury or illness.

Equestrian Aid was founded in 1996 by six-time Olympic dressage rider, Robert Dover, together with R. Scot Evans, Gene Mische, Mason Phelps, Jr., Robert Ross and Kim Tudor. Initially, the organization focused on providing financial support to those battling HIV/AIDS. Some ten years ago, the Foundation broadened its mission to provide needs-based assistance for basic living and rehabilitation expenses to any equestrian who is suffering from a severe or life-threatening illness or injury.

“The Equestrian Aid Foundation has made a difference in the lives of so many,” states Stephanie Bulger, Equestrian Aid Foundation Board President. “This milestone celebrates all of those who share our mission. Special appreciation goes to our donors, who have embraced the responsibility that we have as horse lovers and horse-sport participants to take care of our own. We join our grant recipients in sending heartfelt thanks to all of those who have supported Equestrian Aid throughout these 20 years.”

Since its inception, the Equestrian Aid Foundation has provided over $2.5 million in direct grant support to recipients in 30 states across America. As the Foundation’s reputation expands nationally, opportunities are also growing for Equestrian Aid to provide essentials such as food and housing, health insurance, transportation, physical therapy, and more to a greater number of equestrians in need.

To meet this challenge, Equestrian Aid has hired its first Executive Director, Louise Smith. “As a dressage rider and farm owner, I understand how quickly life can change for people involved with horses. When equestrians become seriously hurt or ill, they sometimes risk losing everything,” says Smith. “As more people understand our purpose, I believe that they will want to get involved and help.”

Steven Castillo was a leading dressage trainer and promising “l” judge for the United States Dressage Federation in 1997. When he was diagnosed with HIV/AIDS, Steven turned to Equestrian Aid to help pay for medical and housing expenses since his prognosis.

“After discovering the Equestrian Aid Foundation, my life truly changed,” states Steven. “The fear of not being about to put food on the table or pay medical expenses was wiped away. Equestrian Aid has been my biggest blessing.”

A more recent Equestrian Aid grantee is Linda Andrisani, one of the most well-respected hunter judges in the country. In March 2011, Linda was diagnosed with adenocarcinoma of the right parotid gland. As a result, she was unable to work for a period of time, but has since recovered.

“After my diagnosis, I didn’t know if my life would ever go back to normal,” Linda reflects. “The Equestrian Aid Foundation helped to provide a sense of security that created hope in spite of life’s circumstances.”

The Equestrian Aid Foundation is a 501(c)(3) organization that has raised over $2.5 million in its nearly twenty year history to assist individuals from all riding disciplines, equine professions, backgrounds and ages who are coping with serious injury or illness.

For more information about the Equestrian Aid Foundation, please visit equestrianaidfoundation.org or follow us on Facebook. You can make a difference in the lives of horse people in need.

Contact: Jessica Greene, Sirota Public Relations
212.486.3319, Jessica@sirotapr.com