Tag Archives: equestrian community

Great Charity Challenge to Distribute $1.6 Million to Local Non-Profit Organizations

The 2015 GCC theme of superheroes was a hit with riders and spectators alike. Photo by Lois Spatz.

This year’s Great Charity Challenge returns to the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center, turning wishes into a reality for 40 Palm Beach County charities

Wellington, FL – February 3, 2016 – For the seventh year in a row, the Great Charity Challenge presented by Fidelity Investments® (GCC) returns to Wellington during the 2016 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) circuit on Saturday, February 6, 2016. Adding to the $7.5 million the event has distributed to date, this year’s fairy tale theme will showcase Olympic and amateur riders dressed as Peter Pan, Alice in Wonderland or even Princess Elsa and will distribute $1.6 million to over 40 Palm Beach County charities.

Founded in 2010 by Equestrian Sport Productions CEO Mark Bellissimo and his daughter Paige, the Great Charity Challenge has seen the equestrian community take charitable giving to a new level through its love of equestrian sport. The GCC event has impacted thousands of lives with 100% of its proceeds being donated directly to local organizations.

“Our family and Wellington Equestrian Partners would like to invite individuals and families to this true community celebration where we honor local non-profit organizations, their staff, and volunteers, along with the generous philanthropists that make this event possible every year,” commented Mark Bellissimo.

Brand new this year, a Prince and Princess costume contest will give children the chance to dress to impress. A mobile judging panel will determine the lucky winners who will receive a custom gift basket, including a Breyer model horse and WEF Boutique products, a ride around the International Ring in Cinderella’s very own horse-drawn carriage, as well as the chance to choose a lucky charity to receive a $1,000 donation, which will also be matched to their school.

Presentation of the winner is scheduled to take place during the midway point of the event, on the main stage, around 7:45 PM.

Last year’s super hero-themed event brought thousands to the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC) to celebrate the heroes of the community.

To date, the GCC has made incredible contributions to the Palm Beach County community and everyone at Equestrian Sport Productions looks forward to Saturday night. The competition will offer Free General Admission with gates opening at 6 PM. The first team competing in this unique costume class is scheduled to enter the competition arena under the lights at 6:30 PM. Entertainment include on-site dining, live band, a Venetian hand painted carousel, petting zoo, face painters as well as shopping experiences with local vendors.

Off-site parking with shuttle service is offered free of charge at 13500 South Shore Blvd. There is a $20 charge per carload for on-site parking. For more information, including a list of the participating charities and sponsorship opportunities, please visit www.greatcharitychallenge.com.

Be sure to check out videos from past events: https://vimeo.com/91580121.

The extended video shows how the GCC has touched thousands of lives: https://vimeo.com/90690406.

Mark and Katherine Bellissimo Presented with the Global Dressage Visionary Award

Photo courtesy of JRPR.

Wellington, FL (February 2, 2016) – During the third week of competition at the 2016 Adequan Global Dressage Festival, Carol Cohen presented Wellington’s Mark and Katherine Bellissimo with the Global Dressage Visionary Award. Cohen, who presents the Global Dressage Visionary Award during all CDI weeks of the world-renowned 2016 Adequan Global Dressage Festival, chose to recognize the Bellissimos for not only making world class dressage competition in Wellington a reality, but also for continuing to support the growth of the show series since its inception.

The Bellissimo family – Mark, Katherine, and their four children – first traveled from Boston, MA to Wellington, FL in 2000. Originally, Katherine and their two daughters would come to compete their horses over the weekend, while Mark and the boys would come to escape the harsh Boston winter months. From the beginning, the family could sense that Wellington was more than a winter retreat, and decided to call the town home in 2004.

Mark became increasingly involved in Wellington’s iconic Winter Equestrian Festival, and his significant corporate business background eventually led him to become the majority shareholder in Wellington Equestrian Partners LLC, which was formed in 2006. Wellington Equestrian Partners LLC has grown to manage Equestrian Sport Productions and its Winter Equestrian Festival, Adequan Global Dressage Festival, Tryon International Equestrian Festival, and most recently the Colorado Horse Park.

An equal partner in their multiple business endeavors, Katherine Bellissimo explained, “We have a partnership. There are macro things and micro things, and that is one of the reasons that Mark and I work so well together. We are absolutely a team.”

Cohen, a founding sponsor of the Adequan Global Dressage Festival, is an FEI-level dressage competitor and created the Global Visionary Dressage Award to recognize individuals who, like herself, have been instrumental in the growth and promotion of classical dressage in America. She presented Katherine and Mark with an engraved glass Global Visionary Dressage Award trophy to commemorate the occasion.

“We are grateful to Carol for her efforts,” said Katherine Bellissimo as she accepted the Global Dressage Visionary Award. “Carol has been here since the Adequan Global Dressage Festival’s inception and she is also truly a visionary for her community.” The sentiments could not be shared more fully between these three people whose combined dreams have come to a stunningly successful fruition.

Right before recognizing Bellissimos for their great contributions to dressage, Cohen was busy making contributions of her own. She successfully hosted the first Adequan Global Dressage Festival Leadline exhibition, which was a kick-off to the FEI Grand Prix Freestyle competition this past Friday night. The leadline class was a shared vision between Cohen and United States Dressage Chef d’Equipe Robert Dover, and was an effort to create a pipeline for young riders into the discipline. The seven young participants and their families got to experience the thrill of the International Stadium at the Adequan Global Dressage Festival first hand as they rode their horses and ponies in front of a panel of judges. “Our community needs to foster the future riders of the sport, and my hope is that the leadline class becomes a recognized division in the future,” Cohen said. The event was such a success that there will be three more leadline classes held throughout the rest of the 2016 season; February 26, March 5, and March 18.

Not only is Cohen a passionate advocate of the sport of dressage, she is also active in the local Wellington, Florida community as a licensed Real Estate Agent under the umbrella of Engel & Völkers real estate brokers. Like the Adequan Global Dressage Festival, Engel & Völkers’ presence is substantial in the Wellington area as well as throughout the world.

For more information about Carol Cohen and her listings at Engel & Völkers Real Estate in Wellington, please visit carolcohen.evusa.com. To see Carol Cohen award Katherine and Mark Bellissimo in the Global Dressage Visionary Award presentation video, go to https://youtu.be/KbrfStYmHas.

Contact: Carol Cohen

Brownlee O. Currey, Jr. Honored with R. Bruce Duchossois Distinguished Trustee Award

Jim McNerney, Brownlee O. Currey, Jr. and S Tucker S Johnson,

Wellington, Fla. – January 27, 2016 – Last year, the United States Equestrian Team Foundation announced the creation of the R. Bruce Duchossois Distinguished Trustee Award in honor and recognition of its distinguished trustee, Bruce Duchossois. On Jan. 22, Brownlee O. Currey, Jr was presented with the 2016 award during the USET Foundation’s Olympic and Paralympic Games benefit Rockin’ Rio in Wellington, Florida.

The R. Bruce Duchossois Distinguished Trustee Award was created in recognition of Duchossois’ leadership, generosity and outstanding character. His like was celebrated last year as the first recipient of the prestigious award. However, the example he set for all of us lives on in others as the award is presented annually to a USET Foundation Trustee who exemplifies exception leadership, philanthropy and character.

For over 30 years Brownlee O. Currey, Jr. has lent his wisdom, passion and philanthropy to the United States Equestrian Team and the USET Foundation. He is the Chairman of the Board of the Foundation and over his 30 years as a Trustee he has served as Vice President, Chairman of the Development and Nominating Committees, and been an important member and advisor on the Investment and Finance Committees.

As an owner, Currey and his wife Agneta had the honor of watching their wonderful mare, “Touch of Class,” ridden by Joe Fargis, win the Individual and Team Gold medals in Show Jumping at the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles. A true champion, Currey’s distinguished service through excellence in leadership, philanthropy and character has positively impacted the Foundation’s mission of supporting athletes, promoting international excellence and building for the future.

“I’m highly honored because it’s Bruce’s award,” Currey said after receiving the trophy. “It’s a pleasure having known him and to receive this special award.”

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

Contact: Rebecca Walton
USET Foundation
phone 561.753.3389 fax 561.753.3386

Mark Bellissimo Donates $20,000 to the US and Canadian Para-Dressage Teams

Equestrian Sport Production’s Mark Bellissimo and U.S. Chef d’Equipe Kai Handt when Bellissimo offered his $10,000 donation to the U.S. team. Photo by Lindsay Y. McCall.

Wellington, Florida – January 27, 2016 – Unbeknownst to anyone at the $10,000 CPEDI3*, held January 22-24, 2016 at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC), home of the Adequan Global Dressage Festival, Mark Bellissimo of Equestrian Sport Productions donated $10,000 to the United States Para-Dressage Team and $10,000 to the Equine Canada Para-Dressage Team. This impressive donation was a kind gift to each Para-Dressage Team as they approach the 2016 Paralympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Over two weeks the Para-Equestrian Dressage Tour took place in The Stadium at the PBIEC. The tour included two $10,000 CPEDI3* events (January 8-10 and January 22-24) presented by Mission Control, Mane Stream, courtesy of Rowan O’Riley, Adequan®, and Nutrena. These shows were crucial as the final opportunities in the United States to qualify for the 2016 Paralympics. The professional staff including Monica Fitzgerald, John Hoppman, Thomas Baur, and their team, the volunteers, and so many others added to the best U.S. Para-Dressage CPEDI3* event in history.

U.S. Para-Equestrian Dressage Chef d’Equipe Kai Handt was grateful for the $10,000 donation. He noted, “The money will help us a lot. Capital is the bigger struggle in this business. We may be the most expensive sport that the Olympic Committee has. For some sports they need some shoes or clothing. For equestrian you need a lot more. Credentials will be tight this year for the Paralympics and we have a huge support staff. That includes a groom, a trainer, an assistant, a physiologist, and so much more. We drag a few more people along then everyone else. So this will help us a lot with some of the burden of the Paralympic costs to go over there.”

Equine Canada Para-Dressage Chef d’Equipe Elizabeth Robinson agreed. “These donations were just wonderful. I appreciate the fact that he did it for both teams. That was really special. We have a lot of items to check off right now. We need a horse for Ashley, which the donation may contribute to a lease or purchase. We have to fly all over the world. Since we are up in Canada and we don’t have any competitions in our country, we have to fly people in constantly. That includes coaches and trainers. The donation will be extremely helpful with all of those expenses. We will be spending it wisely.”

Laureen K. Johnson, USEF Discipline Director of Para-Equestrian and Vaulting, commented, “The USEF and Para Equestrian athletes would like to extend our deepest thanks to Mark Bellissimo for his surprise donation. Generous gifts from donors like Mr. Bellissimo provide the financial and moral support needed to continue our Paralympic mission. Equestrian Sport Productions and Mr. Bellissimo’s support has repeatedly played a key role in the Para Equestrian athletes continued success. We absolutely love competing at Global Dressage, as it provides the European atmosphere for our U.S. athletes.”

USPEA President and past Paralympian acknowledged, “Reflecting back on the last few weeks has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. As President of the United States Para Equestrian Association, it is our job to keep the pipe line of new horse/rider combinations moving up the levels both Nationally and Internationally. We are constantly striving to find ways to expand our horse sports and to bring the equestrian families together for the public to get to know us and to fall in love watching our talented horses and riders perform. Leading up to these last qualifying events for a Team Ranking slot for the Paralympics resulted in success, but not without the support of many and the hard work from the athletes and their equine partners. Everyone has a story to tell and the journey it took to get there for some took many bumps in the road and sacrifices but in the end, they all prevailed and gave us some great performances that proved that the US Para Dressage Team earned the right to represent their country at the Rio Paralympics this fall.”

Hand continued, “Equestrian sports recognized by the Olympic and Paralympic committee are probably the most expensive among all sports represented at the summer games. The athletes depend on family, friends and sponsors that believe in the Olympic/Paralympic dream to participate at the high performance level. Mark Bellissimo, owner of the Global Dressage Facility, presented both the US and Canada each a check of $10,000 to continue on the road to Rio. Mr Bellissimo, there are no words but a heartfelt thank you for your generous support. Our athletes love Global and all its amenities and are most grateful for the opportunities to compete here.”

By: Lindsay Y. McCall

To view an online version of this press release, please visit: http://uspea.org/category/recent-uspea-press-news/.

About United States Para-Equestrian Association:

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

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

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

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

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

USET Foundation Awards 2016 Lionel Guerrand-Hermès Trophy to Lucy Deslauriers

Lucy Deslauriers and Hester.

Wellington, Fla. – January 26, 2016 – The United States Equestrian Team (USET) Foundation is pleased to announce that the recipient of the 2016 Lionel Guerrand-Hermès Trophy is the talented show jumping rider Lucy Deslauriers of New York, New York.

Each year this award is presented to a young rider in one of the Olympic disciplines who exemplifies both sportsmanship and horsemanship. In 2015, Deslauriers’ career took off when she captured the “Grand Slam” of show jumping for a young rider, winning Individual Gold and Team Silver at the Adequan/FEI North American Junior and Young Rider Championships, Individual and Team Gold at the Neue Schule/USEF National Junior Jumper Championships, and Individual Gold at the 2015 USEF Under 25 National Championships.

Sixteen-year-old Deslauriers was presented with this prestigious award at the USET Foundation’s Olympic and Paralympic Games benefit, Rockin’ Rio, on Jan. 22, in Wellington, Florida.

“It’s a huge honor that I wasn’t expecting,” expressed Deslauriers. “I’ve received this thanks to the incredible team I have behind me and my group of horses. I’m very thankful that I’ve been recognized and have received this honor.”

“I think that is part of the reason that I was able to accomplish these goals, because I didn’t get caught up in how I had done previously or how much I had ahead of me, but took it step-by-step,” she said. Deslauriers quickly added, “I also think that it’s important that I don’t get too caught up in how successful this year was. I’m definitely very lucky to have the results that I did. I am looking forward to competing next year and continuing my partnership with Hester. Hopefully we’ll continue to do well as we bond and move up and forward into next year.”

Lucy’s father, former Olympian Mario Deslauriers, originally rode Hester, a 10-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding, but when Lucy took over the reins, it was an even better match. “He’s really incredible in a number of ways, but I think that something that really stands out about him in particular is his fight,” noted Lucy. “I always know that he’s going to be there for me trying his best 200 percent of the time. It’s really important to have a dependable partner like he has proved to be for me.”

In 2015, Lucy’s success was not only related to the show jumping arena, as she also took top honors in the 2015 George Morris Excellence in Equitation Championship and placed second in the 2015 ASPCA Maclay Horsemanship Championships.

“The equitation division has provided a great base for my jumper riding and doing the jumpers with my father has also helped a lot in the equitation ring,” she commented. “I think that the courses are often very similar.”

This year, Deslauriers’ goal is to move into the 1.50m division with Hester, where she already had success competing against the best in the world during the Bromont CSI3* over the summer. Deslauriers concluded, “In the more extended future, being able to represent the United States is something that I have dreamed of for a very long time, so that would be an amazing goal for me to accomplish.”

Lionel Guerrand-Hermès Trophy Winners
Patrick Guerrand-Hermès established the Lionel Guerrand-Hermès Memorial Award in 1983 in memory of his son, Lionel, who was tragically killed in an automobile accident in 1981 at the age of 18. Lionel trained with the United States Equestrian Team and was talented enough to be considered an Olympic hopeful. A perpetual trophy designed by Patrick Guerrand-Hermès is inscribed annually with the winner’s name and permanently displayed at the USET Foundation headquarters in Gladstone, NJ. Previous winners are:

1983 – Mark Leone
1984 – Jeffery Welles
1985 – Holly Mitten
1986 – Gregory A Best
1987 – Susanne Owen
1988 – Christopher Kappler
1989 – Mollie Bliss
1990 – Kim Keenan
1991 – McLain Ward
1992 – Abigail Lufkin
1993 – Mark Combs
1994 – Gabriella Salick
1995 – Megan Johnstone
1996 – Jonathan Elliot
1997 – Alison Firestone
1998 – Bruce Davidson Jr.
1999 – Chad Geeter
2000 – Elise Haas
2001 – Marilyn Little
2002 – Clark Montgomery
2003 – Will Faudree
2004 – Kristin Schmolze
2005 – Brianne Goutal
2006 – Katie Hamilton
2007 – Carolyn Kelly
2008 – Hillary Dobbs
2009 – Laura Noyes
2010 – Jennifer Waxman
2011 – Tiana Coudray
2012 – Lucy Davis
2013 – Reed Kessler
2014 – Katie Dinan
2015 – Lillie Keenan
2016 – Lucy Deslauriers

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

Contact: Rebecca Walton
USET Foundation
phone 561.753.3389 fax 561.753.3386

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

Bruce Springsteen.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Contact: Rebecca Walton
USET Foundation
phone 561.753.3389 fax 561.753.3386

The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society Presents Polo for a Purpose

Wellington residents PJ Rizvi, Visse Wedell and Penny Bradley to chair event to support LLS’ efforts to find a cure.

WELLINGTON, FL – The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) is proud to announce that PJ Rizvi, Penny Bradley, and Visse Wedell, all Wellington residents, will co-chair the Third Annual Polo for a Purpose, and survivor Brandon Phillips, also a resident of Wellington, will serve as Honorary Chairman. The event will take place on Monday, January 18, 2016, at the International Polo Club, 3667 120th Avenue South in Wellington, FL 33414.

“Polo for a Purpose promises to be a signature event with talented and dedicated people at the helm,” said Pamela Payne, LLS Executive Director. “We are privileged that they have chosen to accept this leadership position and support the lifesaving mission of The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.”

In addition to being the mother of four children with her husband Suhail, Co-Chair Rizvi is an accomplished, award-winning Grand Prix Dressage rider, both domestically and internationally. She began riding in 1992 as a form of emotional therapy, after losing her beloved sister, Penny, to a blood cancer. She began competing in her thirties and has since taken over the reins to fulfill her lifelong dream of riding her first Grand Prix. In Saugerties, NY, she won the East Coast Riders Cup FEI Grand Prix, and then continued her winning streak in Florida.

Co-Chair Bradley, an entrepreneur and real estate developer, spent her early life in Yorkshire, North England. A former corporate banker in London, Bradley earned her undergraduate degree in Banking and Finance from the Institute of Bankers. She moved to New York in 1997 as a member of the credit team with Coutts and Co., a British private bank. She obtained her Master’s degree in Business from Columbia University and opened her real estate development business in 2000, purchasing townhouses and developing them into luxury single-family homes. She is often called upon to consult for banks and real estate professionals.

Co-Chair Wedell, a realtor associate, has immersed herself in knowing every detail of the real estate transaction, bolstered by her passion for building and creating beautiful spaces of her own. This combination of experience and professionalism gives her a one of a kind approach to her business that easily fits with any client’s needs. Her passion for construction and development, especially in the areas of estate and farm homes and properties, has led Wedell to become a well-rounded agent with unparalleled knowledge.

During his almost 20 years as a professional polo player and 5-goal handicap, Honorary Chairman Phillips has captured some of the sport’s most coveted trophies. Even though he has realized his dream to play at the top of his sport, he credits surviving Stage Four lymphoma as his greatest accomplishment. Diagnosed at 14 years old, Phillips was initially given six weeks to live. He endured five grueling months of intensive chemotherapy sessions, beat the odds and went into remission. Once recovered, he vowed to dedicate his life to doing what he loved – playing polo. Since then, Phillips has established himself as one of the world’s most talented polo players.

All proceeds from the Third Annual Polo with a Purpose will benefit LLS’s mission to cure leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin’s disease and myeloma, and improve the quality of life of patients and their families. While this event will raise funds for lifesaving blood cancer research, it will also help support our local patients and their families by providing critically-needed financial aid.

For more information, please contact Pamela Payne, Executive Director, at 561.616.8682 or pam.payne@lls.org.

Glitz, Glamour and Greatness! Honouring Our Equestrian Heroes…

FEI Awards 2015 winners from left to right: Longines’ Vice President and Head of International Marketing Juan-Carlos Capelli, Hollywood actress Bo Derek, Reem Acra Best Athlete Boyd Exell (AUS), Longines Rising Star Jessica Mendoza (GBR), Against All Odds Oriana Ricca Marmissolle (URU), Best Groom Jose Eduardo (Eddie) Garcia Luna (USA), FEI Solidarity Anne-Rose Schoen Les Chevaux qui pansent les plaies (Horses that heal wounds) (HAI) and FEI President Ingmar de Vos. (FEI/Richard Juilliart)

San Juan (PUR), 13 November 2015 – The five winners of the FEI Awards 2015, the “Oscars of the equestrian world,” were tonight presented with their awards by Hollywood actress Bo Derek, at a Longines sponsored glittering gala dinner in the Puerto Rican capital city of San Juan.

Saluting the heroes of today and tomorrow for their outstanding contribution to equestrian sport, the FEI Awards 2015 – in association with the FEI’s Top Partner Longines and international fashion designer Reem Acra – applauded what has been an amazing 2015 sporting year, honouring the pursuit of excellence and rising talent.

The five winners, recognised for their significant achievements and willingness to demonstrate their passion for developing equestrian sport, are:

Longines Rising Star – Jessica Mendoza (GBR)

Reem Acra Best Athlete – Boyd Exell (AUS)

Best Groom – Jose Eduardo (Eddie) Garcia Luna (USA)

Against All Odds – Oriana Ricca Marmissolle (URU)

FEI Solidarity – Les Chevaux qui pansent les plaies (Horses that heal wounds) (HAI)

The equestrian stars flew in from around the globe for a spectacular evening of glitz and glamour in the presence of over 350 distinguished guests, including National Federation representatives, FEI partners, VIPs and international media. On stage with Bo Derek and no stranger to success himself, was Puerto Rican actor and celebrated radio host Braulio Castillo Jr who served as master of ceremonies.

“We are here tonight to honour and acknowledge the dedication, commitment and passion of our athletes and other equestrian heroes,” FEI President Ingmar de Vos said. “The FEI Awards recognise talent and excellence in all aspects of equestrian sport across the globe. We know that all tonight’s winners will continue to achieve distinction, whatever their involvement in our sport, and it is humbling to meet such incredible individuals, and celebrate their achievements.”

“It is a real honour to work so closely with the FEI Awards and to present these awards to such talented individuals, highlighting their contributions to the world of equestrian sport,” Chair of the Jury for the FEI Awards 2015 Bo Derek said. “I am really excited to share in celebrations endorsing the commitment, dedication and hard work of these incredible people and this amazing sport, developing well-rounded and confident individuals. We hope that tonight will raise the profile of the sport even higher and motivate others to strive to achieve their goals.”

“I would like to offer my sincere congratulations to the recipients of these prestigious awards, and particularly to Jessica Mendoza, winner of the Longines Rising Star Award,” Longines’ Vice President and Head of International Marketing Juan-Carlos Capelli said. “Longines is proud to recognise the achievements of these up and coming athletes on the global stage, for their dedication and willingness to achieve. They are a true inspiration to the sport.”

“There is an abundance of talent across the many equestrian disciplines and certain athletes who stand out for their performance, longevity and continuous achievement. I am very proud to be associated with this prestigious award for Best Athlete,” FEI Partner Reem Acra said.

Find out more on the five winners:

Longines Rising Star – Jessica Mendoza

2015 heralded a meteoric rise for the 19 year old Jumping athlete from Great Britain. She has produced consistently strong international performances, with more 10 wins in the past year and represented Great Britain at the 2015 European Championships, making her the youngest British senior championship team member for nearly 40 years. She played a key role in Britain securing Olympic qualification at the Championships in Aachen (GER), where they finish fourth overall, narrowly missing a team medal.

“I want to say a huge thank you to everyone, I really wasn’t expecting this,” she said. “I’m so proud to be here tonight and receive the Longines Rising Star award. I am honoured to be amongst such great sporting talent. Thank you to the FEI for organising this awards ceremony and to Longines for the encouragement and acknowledgement of our hard work and efforts throughout the year.”

Reem Acra Best Athlete – Boyd Exell

Boyd Exell has been at the top of his game for many years. Four times World Driving Champion, he has also been crowned FEI World Cup™ Champion no fewer than six times: in 2008/2009, 2009/2010, 2010/2011, 2011/2012, 2013/2014 and is the current FEI World Cup™ Driving Champion after winning in Bordeaux (FRA) this year. In the new 2015/2016 season, he has won seven out of nine competitions, finishing second in the other two, and is currently world number one in the FEI Driving Rankings.

In addition to being the most successful four-in-hand driver over such a long stretch of time, he was also a dedicated member on the FEI Driving Committee for four years as a member for two years (2010-2012) and Deputy Chair from 2012-2014.

Best Groom – Jose Eduardo (Eddie) Garcia Luna

Eddie Garcia Luna has been a vital part of US Dressage for almost a decade. Groom for Olympic rider Steffen Peters, he has become a mentor and sounding board for other staff and grooms. ‘Above and beyond’ is automatic for Eddie because he expects it from himself every day, 365 days a year. Well respected by his peers, his employers, Federation staff and officials on the field, he embodies all the qualities of a superb groom and is also a great representative of our sport.

“Eddie has been working for us for 10 years,” Steffen Peters said. “Since Eddie and I are huge football fans, we always make comparisons to a touchdown when his horses win a major international competition. Tonight Eddie has won the Superbowl of the FEI Grooms award. The best part is, everybody loves Eddie! My sincere congratulations my friend.”

Against All Odds – Oriana Ricca Marmissolle

Endurance athlete Oriana Ricca Marmissolle was diagnosed with Phase III Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, aged 17 and began extensive chemotherapy treatment in December 2013. Just eight days after her last chemotherapy session in May 2014 she was back competing. Not only has she gone on to compete in 11 Endurance events in Uruguay, France, Brazil and Chile, she continued her studies throughout her treatment and graduated from high school.   Now, aged 19, she is in her first year of university studying veterinary science.

“All things that happen to us teach us something,” Oriana wrote in March 2014. “Now I found its real sense. We all have feelings but sometimes we don’t know how to express them. I can say that the disease I suffered didn’t come to kill me but to teach me. Cancer taught me that I am the same person, with another understanding of life. We should speak less and say more.

“Because of cancer I began to take time to speak seriously, to say the truth, ask for forgiveness whenever I am wrong. The battle was not only mine, but of all those who motivated me by giving the best of themselves unselfishly like my family, my friends, trainers, riders and Officials. I can say that with support, with humbleness, compromise and respect one can reach the most important achievements.”

FEI Solidarity – Les Chevaux qui pansent les plaies (Horses that heal wounds)

“From therapeutic riding to Para-equestrian” is the goal of Les Chevaux qui pansent les plaies or Horses that heal wounds. This incredible initiative is aimed at children affected by the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, and in particular, amputees. The project, which is run in cooperation with the Department of Psychology at the University of Haiti, has over 250 participants, and the top 10 athletes will continue to train and compete in Para-equestrian sport. This award-winning project combines social and humanitarian efforts with a sporting goal.

FEI Awards 2015 hashtag: #FEIAwards

FEI Awards Judging Panel

Chaired by Bo Derek, the FEI Awards 2015 judging panel also included FEI President Ingmar De Vos; Carmen Barrera, Chair of FEI Regional Group V (South America); and Ulf Helgstrand, President of the Danish Equestrian Federation and Vice President of the European Equestrian Federation.

About Bo Derek

Raised in Southern California, Bo Derek took her first modelling job at the age of 15 with the hope of buying a new surfboard. She first entered the public consciousness with her breakout role in the hit film “10,” when her natural beauty and cornrow hairstyle started a global fashion craze. Bo Derek continues to work in film and television and supports several animal, conservation and aid organisations. See a full biography of Bo Derek here.

About FEI Awards

The FEI Awards, created by FEI Honorary President HRH Princess Haya, were launched in 2009. Full details on past winners are available here.

FEI Media Contacts:

Ruth Grundy
Manager Press Relations
+41 787 506 145

Shannon Gibbons
Manager Press Relations
+41 78 750 61 46

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Contact: Rebecca Walton
USET Foundation
phone 561.753.3389 fax 561.753.3386

USEF Mourns the Passing of Lloyd Landkamer

Lloyd Landkamer (Geoff Oliver Bugbee)

Lexington, Ky. – The United States Equestrian Federation is sad to report the passing of Lloyd Landkamer. Landkamer, 60, passed away peacefully at his home in Hamel, Minn. on Friday, September 25, after a valiant battle with cancer.

Landkamer was an integral force in the equestrian community for many years, with a vast list of accomplishments as a show secretary, show manager, and sport horse breeder. Landkamer, a USEF ‘R’ Technical Delegate, C1 and C2 ‘R’ Steward, and FEI Level 3 Steward, began his early show organizing career as a secretary and went on to manage a multitude of dressage and para-dressage events at the highest level of the sport, including the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games, and numerous North American Junior & Young Rider Championships (NAJYRC) and U.S. Dressage Festival of Champions. Most recently Landkamer served as show manager for the Adequan Global Dressage Festival in Wellington, Fla. Landkamer was the recipient of the United States Dressage Federation (USDF) Show Secretary of the Year, Manager of the Year, and Volunteer of the Year. In July at the NAJYRC, Landkamer was awarded the Howard B. Simpson High Five Trophy, awarded annually to the volunteer who best exemplifies Simpson’s spirit of volunteering.

Landkamer gave back to the sport as the member of an extensive list of USEF and USDF committees, including the USEF Dressage Committee and as a member of the USDF Executive Board.

In addition to his extensive service to the sport, Landkamer bred multiple nationally-ranked horses out of his Brandywine Farm, including several that went on to become USDF Horse of the Year award winners.

“Lloyd was a dedicated volunteer who devoted invaluable time and expertise in his service to the sport and the U.S. Equestrian Federation. As a creative and tireless competition manager, he greatly influenced the advancement of dressage competitions in our country. Lloyd’s generous spirit and quick smile will be missed by all whose lives he touched,” said USEF President, Chrystine Tauber.

Landkamer is survived by his longtime partner William Solyntjes, two brothers, and one sister. Funeral arrangements are not yet available. In lieu of flowers, donations in Landkamer’s memory can be made to The American Cancer Society, 1-800-227-2345, P.O. Box 22718 Oklahoma City, OK 73123 for Colon Cancer Research.

From the USEF Communications Department