Tag Archives: equestrian community

USEF to Create Membership Album with Harris Connect

Lexington, Ky. – As a result of requests from United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) members, the USEF has partnered again with Harris Connect to create a 2015 membership album, a showcase of member stories and the sport’s history. The last membership album was produced in 2010.

The album will list current USEF members and feature a member profile section in which athletes can contribute stories and photographs to celebrate equestrian sport and the impact it has had on their lives.

Members will receive a postcard in the mail and/or an email requesting a brief telephone call, which will ensure their listings are accurate and current. To be included in the 2015 membership album, members may call 1-800-414-4603, Monday through Friday between 8 a.m. and 10 p.m. ET.

No purchase is necessary to be included, and members are not required to provide any information they would prefer not to share. The information included in the book makes it possible for members to see who of their peers have similar interests, careers, geography, etc., as part of a networking opportunity.

All books are custom ordered and not mass-produced. Sale prices begin at $79.99 and applicable shipping, handling, and state tax may apply. Book orders must be placed by October 9, 2015. Members can order the book through the Harris Connect call center (1-800-414-4603). All books will be shipped in late November 2015.

For questions or concerns, please email membershipdirectory@usef.org.

From the USEF Communications Department

Bruce Duchossois Remembered as Aiken Horse Park Foundation Celebrates Groundbreaking

Mr. Richard Duchossois and Jack Wetzel break ground for Bruce’s Field.

Aiken, SC – November 18, 2014 – On Saturday, November 8th the Aiken Horse Park Foundation unveiled its capital improvement plans for the Aiken Horse Park, holding a ceremonial groundbreaking at the Park. This event highlighted the Park as the future location of permanent, state of the art multi-purpose facilities capable of accommodating equestrian activities, including but not limited to educational clinics, training for amateur athletes, exhibitions, and competitions. The Park will also be available for use by various charitable organizations, reflecting the Aiken County equine industry’s range of positive impact upon the Aiken community.

This development will realize the vision of Mr. R. Bruce Duchossois, a prominent figure in the local and national equine communities, who purchased the 66-acre field and steeplechase track in August 2000 with the immediate goal of preserving it from residential development and the long-term goal of turning it into South Carolina’s premier horse park facility.

R. Scot Evans, the President of the Equestrian Aid Foundation, of which Duchossois was an important contributor, talked about his love of Aiken and of the equestrian community there. “Bruce meant a great deal to Aiken’s horse community in that he has supported all disciplines and embraced horsemen of all walks of life. Everybody that’s been touched by Bruce in the equestrian world, as well as his philanthropic efforts, remembers him as a giver and one of the most thoughtful people,” Evans said.

“The Aiken Horse Park is Bruce’s field of dreams come true,” he continued. “Most of all, Bruce’s intention is to bring horse lovers together to share in their passion as well as using the facility for charity and educational purposes. It’s his way of giving back. Bruce felt very strongly about bringing tradition back in every way.”

In June 2013, just over a year before his untimely passing, Mr. Duchossois formed the Aiken Horse Park Foundation, a recognized 501(c)(3) charity, with the mission of carrying out his dream for the park. To that effect, the Foundation has established the following mission statement: “The mission of the Aiken Horse Park Foundation is to promote Aiken’s equestrian way of life and to encourage the community’s civic, educational, and charitable endeavors.”

Following construction, to begin this winter, the Aiken Horse Park will feature the Aiken Steeplechase and the Aiken Charity Horse Show, as well as a multitude of other equestrian, charitable, and educational events. In memory of Bruce’s legacy and his incredible gift to the community that he loved, the park has been named “Bruce’s Field”.

Speakers at the ceremony included Mr. Jack Wetzel, President of the Aiken Horse Park Foundation Board of Trustees; Mr. R. L. Duchossois, father of Bruce Duchossois; Aiken County Council Chairman Ronnie Young; and Greater Aiken Chamber of Commerce President David Jameson. Though he was not able to attend, Senator Lindsey Graham penned a letter to Mr. Wetzel, which was read on the occasion. Other attendees included Martha Ruthven of Congressman Joe Wilson’s office, the Board of the Aiken Horse Park Foundation, four generations of the Duchossois Family, and numerous friends of Bruce, the Family, and the Aiken equine community.

“Bruce had a way of bringing people together and if you happened to be an animal lover, all the better. He loved to share his passion for animals and was known for rescuing every type of animal, two or four legged. Having had the good fortune to serve together on the board of the Equestrian Aid Foundation, I firsthand learned of his caring ways for equestrians in their time of need. He will always be remembered as a true gentleman and I’m honored to be part of the Aiken Horse Park Foundation as a member of the board of trustees, building Bruce’s dream,” Evans concluded.

Kenneth Kraus for Phelps Media Group, Inc. International

Phelps Media Group, Inc.
12012 South Shore Blvd #105
Wellington, FL 33414
561-753-3389 (phone)
561-753-3386 (fax)

FEI President Is Made Officer of the National Order of the Legion of Honour

HRH Princess Haya is pictured with Laurent Fabius (right), French Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development, at the special ceremony held at the prefecture of Caen (FRA). (FEI/Liz Gregg)

Normandy (FRA), 6 September 2014 – FEI President HRH Princess Haya was today made Officer of the National Order of the Legion of Honour, France’s highest distinction.

Laurent Fabius, French Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development, presented HRH Princess Haya with the Legion of Honour insignia in the Prefecture of Caen (FRA), the main host city of the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™ 2014.

Addressing international media and over 100 guests at the special ceremony in the magnificent setting of the Gold Salon (Salon doré), he cited HRH Princess Haya’s career as an Olympic athlete, her contribution to equestrian sport as FEI President and her success in bringing the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™ 2014 to Normandy.

He also charted HRH Princess Haya’s extensive and well-documented humanitarian efforts in some of the harshest parts of the world.

“You are a remarkable person,” Laurent Fabius said. “Due to the inspiration you have given to many people over the years, through your sporting and humanitarian efforts, France is extremely happy to pronounce you Officer of the National Order of the Legion of Honour.”

“I accept this honour on behalf of all of my colleagues at the Fédération Equestre Internationale and everyone who contributed to the success of the World Equestrian Games in Normandy, including the 3,000 French volunteers and the wonderful people of this region, who welcomed the equestrian world to their home,” Princess Haya said in her acceptance speech.

“I accept this honour on behalf of the dedicated humanitarian aid workers that I encounter in my travels as a UN Messenger of Peace – the selfless healthcare workers from Médecins Sans Frontières, the humanitarians from the World Food Programme, and so many other committed people who serve those in need long after I have returned to the comforts of my home.

“I accept this honour knowing that I have done so little to earn it, but inspired to do more in my limited capacity to advocate for a more equitable, more compassionate and a more peaceful future. I am deeply grateful,” she concluded.

Princess Haya follows in the footsteps of her late father, HM King Hussein I, who accepted the Grand Cross of the Legion of Honour in 1967.

The insignia of the Officer of the National Order of the Legion of Honour, France’s highest distinction, which was awarded to HRH Princess Haya today. (FEI/Liz Gregg)
The insignia of the Officer of the National Order of the Legion of Honour, France’s highest distinction, which was awarded to HRH Princess Haya. (FEI/Liz Gregg)

Since its creation in 1802 by then-First Consul and later Emperor of the French Napoleon Bonaparte, the Legion of Honour has been awarded to historic personalities such as the Italian composer Giuseppe Verdi; Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, founder of modern Turkey; Dwight D. Eisenhower, 34th President of the United States and Supreme Commander of the Allied forces in Europe during World War II; Queen Elizabeth II; former Polish President Lech Wałęsa; and Akihito, the reigning Emperor of Japan.

The list of prestigious recipients also includes American animator, producer, director, screenwriter, and philanthropist Walt Disney; one of the greatest writers of the 20th century Graham Greene; Belgian Eddy Merckx, one of the best cyclists of all time; Italian philosopher and novelist Umberto Eco; Canadian singer Céline Dion; French mountaineer and Minister of Sport Maurice Herzog, an IOC member until his death in 2012; and American musician, singer-songwriter, artist, and writer Bob Dylan.

Former FEI Presidents HRH Prince Philip and HRH Prince Bernhard both held the Grand Cross of the Legion of Honour.

HRH Princess Haya was elected as FEI President in 2006 in the first-ever contested election for the FEI Presidency. She was re-elected in 2010 in the first contested election involving a serving President.

Princess Haya has been an IOC member since 2007.

At age 13, Princess Haya was the first female to represent Jordan internationally in equestrian sport in Jumping. She won an Individual bronze medal in the Pan-Arab Equestrian Games in 1992, and is the only female ever to have won a Pan-Arab medal in equestrian sport.

In 2000, Princess Haya fulfilled a lifelong dream by competing at the Sydney Olympic Games in Jumping and, two years later, competed for Jordan in the FEI World Equestrian Games™ in Jerez, Spain, becoming the first Arab woman to qualify for and compete in equestrian sport at Olympic, world and continental championship level.

A biography for Princess Haya is available here. Please see her official website www.princesshaya.net.

Media contacts:

Grania Willis
Director Media Relations
+41 78 750 61 42

Ruth Grundy
Manager Press Relations
+41 78 750 61 45

FEI Awards 2014 Opens Search for Global Equestrian Heroes

Five equestrian heroes received honours at the FEI Awards 2013, presented by Longines (left to right): Carmen Thiemann (GER) – Best Groom; Colonel Nuñez (URU), director of the National Army Riding School “Grito de Asencio” – Development; Joann Formosa (AUS) – Against All Odds; Reed Kessler (USA) – Longines Rising Star; Charlotte Dujardin (GBR) – Reem Acra Best Athlete. (FEI/Edouard Curchod)

Lausanne (SUI), 17 June 2014 – The Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI), the world governing body of equestrian sport, has today launched the FEI Awards 2014, the annual global search to reward excellence, commitment, dedication and courage within the equestrian community.

Nominations are now open and submissions can be made until midnight on 9 September at www.feiawards.org for five categories.

The Longines Rising Star Award, won last year by Reed Kessler (USA), the youngest equestrian athlete to compete at the London 2012 Olympic Games, is for equestrians aged 14 to 21 who demonstrate outstanding sporting talent and commitment.

The Reem Acra Best Athlete, awarded to double Olympic gold medallist and current world Dressage number one Charlotte Dujardin (GBR) in 2013, celebrates the human or equine athlete – or the combination – who over the last 12 months have demonstrated exceptional skills in the arena, and have taken equestrian sport to a new level.

The Against All Odds award, which went to Australian gold medal winning London 2012 Paralympic athlete Joann Formosa last year, rewards people who have pursued their equestrian ambitions despite physical handicap or extremely difficult personal circumstances.

The Best Groom award, won last year by Carmen Thiemann (GER) who manages Olympic Eventing team gold medallist Ingrid Klimke’s yard, is reserved for those all-important behind-the-scenes team members who work around the clock to ensure that their horses get the best possible care and attention.

The FEI Solidarity award completes the FEI Awards 2014 category line-up, and will be presented to an FEI Solidarity or equestrian development project, or an individual or organisation that has demonstrated skill, dedication and energy in expanding equestrian sport.

Red-carpet awards ceremony

The winners of the FEI Awards 2014 will be flown to a red-carpet gala evening in Baku, Azerbaijan in December, where over 350 guests representing National Federations, enthusiasts and stakeholders from around the world will celebrate their achievements.

“The FEI Awards are all about celebrating the heroes and inspirational figures behind the scenes that make our sport the wonderful community that it is,” explained FEI President HRH Princess Haya.

“Given the special year that we have before us, I urge all National Federations, athletes, fans of equestrianism and everyone working in the sport to take the time to nominate the individuals that have made an impression on them and deserve to be acknowledged far beyond the equestrian world.”

FEI President HRH Princess Haya will chair the FEI Awards 2014 judging panel, which also includes Mary Binks, FEI Bureau Member and Chairman of FEI Group IX (Botswana, Congo, Ethiopia, Kenya Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Namibia, Senegal, South Africa, Swaziland, Zambia and Zimbabwe); George Dimaras, Executive Board Member of the Hellenic Equestrian Federation; and Betty Wates, President of the Equestrian Federation of Jamaica.

The signature Twitter hashtag for the FEI Awards 2014 is #feiawards.

Images of last year’s FEI Awards winners can be downloaded from Flikr.

FEI Media Contacts:

Grania Willis
Director Media Relations
+41 78 750 61 42

Ruth Grundy
Manager Press Relations
+41 78 750 61 45

Mary Elizabeth Cordia Named Youth Ambassador of 2014 Washington International Horse Show

Mary Elizabeth Cordia, youth ambassador of the 2014 Washington International Horse Show, with her Warmblood gelding, Welcome, at the 2014 Upperville Colt & Horse Show. Photo © Emily Ambach.

Washington, D.C. – June 12, 2014 – The Washington International Horse Show (WIHS), one of the world’s most prestigious equestrian events, is pleased to announce Mary Elizabeth Cordia of Alexandria, Va. as youth ambassador of the 2014 show. Cordia, 16, attends St. Stephen’s and St. Agnes School in Alexandria.

“We are delighted to welcome Mary Elizabeth as youth ambassador for 2014,” said Bridget Love Meehan, WIHS Executive Director. “With her passion for horses, her creativity, energy and strong team ethic, and her commitment to service and community, she will be a wonderful addition to the WIHS team.”

In her role as youth ambassador, Cordia will be the youth spokesperson for the show and chair the WIHS junior committee, a group of students from local area schools, who together initiate and work on youth programs and community-focused educational events, such as Barn Night and Kids’ Day. Both the youth ambassador program and junior committee began in 2009. Members are invited to join through an application process each spring.

Cordia, an avid equestrian, started riding and showing on a small pony and now competes in equitation and children’s jumper events. She is trained by Jenny Graham of Cedar Creek Farm in Sterling, Va.

“I can’t ever remember not loving horses,” she said. “For my seventh birthday, I was surprised with my first riding lesson, and I never looked back.”

After attending the Washington International for many years as a spectator, in 2011 she rode at Verizon Center for the first time and the following year she won the WIHS Regional Hunter Championship. That same year she received the inaugural Laura Pickett Trophy for Excellence in Horsemanship, given by WIHS in memory of Laura Pickett, a dedicated and well-loved local trainer, and presented to an up-and-coming rider and their trainer for enthusiasm, dedication, style and commitment to excellence in horsemanship.

When not riding, Cordia is an active volunteer. As student ambassador at St. Stephen’s and St. Agnes School, she represents the school by giving tours to prospective students. She is also an official year book photographer, her other passion besides horses. (Several years ago, she started a horse show photography business, Clip Clop Click Photography.) She currently co-chairs the Virginia Horse Show Association junior committee.

“Through these experiences I’ve learned the importance of teamwork,” said Cordia. “I’ve learned that you should never ask someone to do something that you would never do yourself. I’ve also learned that hard work really does pay off. I’ve learned by watching former youth ambassadors Hanna Powers and Elizabeth Kruse, and would like to follow their model of hard work, enthusiasm and fun.”

The 2014 WIHS junior committee is made up of 20 students from public, charter and private schools in Maryland, Virginia and Washington, D.C.

“Interest in our WIHS junior committee and youth ambassador program continues to grow,” said Meehan. “It’s terrific to see the kids working together throughout the summer and fall, and the incredible energy, great ideas and enthusiasm they bring to the projects they take on.”

Members of the 2014 WIHS junior committee: Chair: Youth Ambassador Mary Elizabeth Cordia. Members: Lily Barber, Terry Daniels, Miriam Dupree, Kiki Konopnicki, Elizabeth Kruse, Olivia McCarren, Caroline McGranahan, Rachel Michael, Alexis Mozeleski, Hanna Powers, Natalie Ralston, Gaby Ruff, Emily Schlosberg, Casey Schmitz, Jenny Searles, Chace Simmons, Mollie Thomas, Natalie Wachowiak and Jenna Zimmerman.

The 56th annual Washington International Horse Show will be held October 21-26, 2014, at Verizon Center in Washington, D.C.

2014 Junior Committee
Washington International Horse Show

Chair: Mary Elizabeth Cordia, 16, WIHS Youth Ambassador, 2014. Attends St. Stephens & St. Agnes School. Started riding on her 7th birthday. Recipient of the Laura Pickett Trophy for Excellence in Horsemanship at WIHS in 2012. Member since 2013.

Lily Barber, 16, attends Langley High School. Member since 2014.

Terry Daniels, 17, attends KIPP DC: College Prep. Started riding four years ago and also loves trying new foods. Member since 2011.

Miriam Dupree, 16, attends The Potomac School. Started riding at 3 years old. Loves hiking and traveling. Member since 2013.

Kiki Konopnicki, 16, attends St. Stephen’s & St. Agnes School. Enjoys photography and basketball. Member since 2014.

Elizabeth Kruse, 17, attends Langley High School. Competed at WIHS for the first time in 2012. Youth Ambassador in 2013. Member since 2012.

Olivia McCarren, 13, attends Westland Middle School. Started riding when she was 7. Member since 2012.

Caroline McGranahan, 16, attends Langley High School. She started riding about age 10 and is a huge Washington Nationals fan. Member since 2013.

Rachel Michael, 15, attends The Madeira School. Started riding when she was 6. Member since 2011.

Alexis Mozeleski, 17, attends Washington International School. Riding since age 7. Loves writing. Member since 2012.

Hanna Powers, 17, attends The Madeira School. Youth Ambassador in 2012. Member since 2012.

Natalie Ralston, 15, attends Langley High School. Riding since age 7. Plays the flute. Member since 2013.

Gaby Ruff, 17, attends Thomas Edison High School. Started riding at age 12. Loves macaroons. Member since 2011.

Emily Schlosberg, 16, attends Robinson Secondary School. Enjoys traveling. Member since 2012.

Casey Schmitz, 16, attends Stone Bridge High School. Began riding at age 5. Likes to go fishing and anything chocolate! Member since 2013.

Jenny Searles, 15, homeschooled. Started riding at age 7. Represented Maryland in the 4-H Eastern National Horse Bowl competition last year in Louisville, Ky. Member since 2013.

Chace Simmons, 16, attends Colonial Forge High School. Started riding at 5 and now competes in show jumping. She rides with Brooke Kemper. Likes art and architectural design. Member since 2013.

Mollie Thomas, 16, attends The Madeira School. Started riding at age 5. Enjoys swimming. Member since 2014.

Natalie Wachowiak, 16, attends South River High School. Began riding at age 6. Competes at local shows. Loves to make videos. Member since 2012.

Jenna Zimmerman, 13, attends Kilmer Middle School. Enjoys dancing and listening to music. Member since 2014.

About the Washington International Horse Show
An equestrian tradition since 1958, the Washington International Horse Show is the country’s leading metropolitan indoor horse show and the pinnacle of the equestrian year with leading riders, including Olympic medalists, and fabulous horses. More than 500 horses participate in show jumping, hunter and equitation events during the six-day show. Highlights include the $125,000 President’s Cup Grand Prix, the Puissance high-jump competition, and WIHS Equitation Classic Finals featuring the country’s top junior riders. Special exhibitions, boutique shopping and community activities will round out this family-friendly event.

Since its debut, the Washington International has been a Washington, DC, institution attended by presidents, first ladies, celebrities, business and military leaders, as well as countless horse enthusiasts of all ages. Washington International Horse Show Association, Ltd. is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit charitable organization headquartered in Washington, D.C.

Jennifer Wood Media, Inc.

HorsesintheSouth.com Receives 2014 Best of Keystone Heights Award

Keystone Heights Award Program Honors the Achievement

KEYSTONE HEIGHTS June 5, 2014 — HorsesintheSouth.com has been selected for the 2014 Best of Keystone Heights Award in the Computer Advertising category by the Keystone Heights Award Program.

Each year, the Keystone Heights Award Program identifies companies that we believe have achieved exceptional marketing success in their local community and business category. These are local companies that enhance the positive image of small business through service to their customers and our community. These exceptional companies help make the Keystone Heights area a great place to live, work and play.

Various sources of information were gathered and analyzed to choose the winners in each category. The 2014 Keystone Heights Award Program focuses on quality, not quantity. Winners are determined based on the information gathered both internally by the Keystone Heights Award Program and data provided by third parties.

About Keystone Heights Award Program

The Keystone Heights Award Program is an annual awards program honoring the achievements and accomplishments of local businesses throughout the Keystone Heights area. Recognition is given to those companies that have shown the ability to use their best practices and implemented programs to generate competitive advantages and long-term value.

The Keystone Heights Award Program was established to recognize the best of local businesses in our community. Our organization works exclusively with local business owners, trade groups, professional associations and other business advertising and marketing groups. Our mission is to recognize the small business community’s contributions to the U.S. economy.

Keystone Heights Award Program
Email: PublicRelations@recognitionawarding.com
URL: http://www.recognitionawarding.com

Virginia Horse Center Foundation Begins New Era with Phelps Media Group

Lexington, VA – May 21, 2014 – The Virginia Horse Center is ushering in a new era with new board leadership, fresh management and most recently, the addition of Phelps Media Group to the Horse Center’s leadership team.

Phelps Media Group’s expertise in public relations and marketing makes the company a trusted partner for the execution of the Virginia Horse Center Foundation’s (VHCF) short-term business plan, aimed at restructuring debt and working closely with local officials to increase lodging tax support in order to stabilize finances and enable the facility to continue to run smoothly throughout the year.

“Seven years ago when the Virginia Horse Center became a privately owned, not for profit organization (501c3), its purchase from the state was carried out through a loan to the facility from the USDA, and debt was created,” explained VCHF President Ernie Oare.

The Horse Center Foundation is strategically taking steps to alleviate that debt and further improve operations of the popular, 600-acre horse park that houses over 100 events each year.

“The Virginia Horse Center is an incredible asset to both the equestrian and local community,” said Mason Phelps, president and founder of Phelps Media Group. “With the team that they have at the helm now, it should continue to not only be a vital asset but also to see improvements that benefit all those that utilize the facilities. We’re excited to be a part of this new period for the foundation and look forward to seeing what we can achieve together.”

Leading the VHCF are Interim Executive Director Glenn Petty, the former director of the Virginia Thoroughbred Association, VHCF President Ernie Oare and Executive Committee members Gardy Bloemers, Tom Clarke, Buddy Derrick and Ken Wheeler, Jr.

The Horse Center recently welcomed John Nicholson, the former director of the Kentucky Horse Park, as a consultant to the Board. During his 17-year tenure, Nicholson spearheaded the Kentucky Horse Park to its greatest growth and garnered international recognition and acclaim for the facility. Nicholson and his firm Equine Facility Management (EFM) will now serve as valuable consultants to the VHCF.

“The Virginia Horse Center is one of the leading facilities in the country,” Nicholson said. “They have high caliber leadership in place prepared to tackle any of the current obstacles, and I’m honored to be working with them.”

“A ‘dream team’ of experts has been activated, and that team is working closely with the full board to initiate our remodeled business plan,” Ernie Oare said.

The restructuring plan includes handling debt, making maintenance improvements to the horse center and working closely with community officials who understand the importance of the VCHF to the surrounding area and to the Commonwealth.

“Citizens of our State and of the Mid-Atlantic region should be proud of the quality of the facility and accordingly the quality of competitors, both equine and human, that it attracts,” Gardy Bloemers said. “We should be proud and grateful to have this economic engine in our neck of the woods. Increasingly, we see the benefits of agritourism across the state and equitourism is a key component of that important source of revenue.”

“The community has long been supportive as they fully realize what a tremendous economic impact the Center has had on the local economy over the years,” Glenn Petty added. “We look forward to identifying each constituency’s specific goals and managing the Horse Center well beyond everyone’s expectations in the immediate and distant future.”

Stay informed regarding the improvements, events and announcements from the Virginia Horse Center Foundation! LIKE the organization on Facebook here and visit the website at www.horsecenter.org.

About the Virginia Horse Center Foundation:

The Virginia Horse Center Foundation is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization which owns and operates the Virginia Horse Center. The Foundation is proud to be a part of the Rockbridge community, an asset to the state’s equine economy, and a resource to the East-Atlantic competition circuit. The Virginia Horse Center stands at the forefront of Virginia’s $1.2B equine economy. Founded to promote all disciplines of equestrian sport, its 600 acres of picturesque grounds hold a 4,000 seat coliseum, eight barns to accommodate 1,200 horses, 19 show rings including two large indoor arenas, cross-country and combined carriage driving courses, campgrounds, and full catering and café services. The VHCF also hosts many non-equine events like dog shows, BMX, agriculture programs and the Rockbridge Regional Fair & Farm Show.

Emily Riden for Phelps Media Group, Inc. International

Phelps Media Group, Inc.
12012 South Shore Blvd #105
Wellington, FL 33414
561-753-3389 (phone)
561-753-3386 (fax)

Former Kentucky Horse Park Leader Nicholson Joins Virginia Horse Center Management Team

Lexington, VA – May 13, 2014 – John Nicholson, the former executive director of the Kentucky Horse Park, has joined the management team of the Virginia Horse Center Foundation (VHCF) as a consultant. Nicholson’s 17-year tenure represented the longest-serving executive director of the Kentucky Horse Park in its 35-year history, and he served at its helm during its greatest period of growth – garnering world-wide recognition for the facility.

“We are very excited that John is joining our team,” said Ernie Oare, the president of VHCF. “We identified him in March as someone with the necessary background to play a key role in our ongoing plans to bring the Horse Center back to local, industry and financial prominence.”

“It is a privilege to be a part of one of the most prestigious equestrian facilities in North America. I am very excited to be working with Ernie Oare, Glenn Petty and the entire leadership team of the Virginia Horse Center. It is an honor to be working with people of this caliber. I believe we will be successful in our efforts, and I’m optimistic about the future of the Virginia Horse Center,” said Nicholson.

Nicholson retired April 30 following one of the Horse Park’s signature events – the Rolex Three Day Event – and traveled to Lexington, Virginia this week to meet with Oare and interim executive director Glenn Petty.

“I’m looking forward to working with John and having access to his wealth of knowledge about managing a similar facility. He has already been helpful by simply sharing his wide range of experiences. When he agreed to join the VHCF team, I felt like a coach who had landed an all-star recruit,” Petty said.

Nicholson, and his consulting firm Equine Facility Management (EFM), will be active in VHCF’s Executive Committee and Board of Directors in operating the Horse Center and in executing the Center’s short-term and long-term business plans. Nicholson will also pay a key role in conducting the search for the new permanent Executive Director and other needed personnel.

Nicholson had been in charge of the Lexington, Kentucky facility during its rise to prominence which included hosting the 2010 Alltech World Equestrian Games and the prestigious Rolex Three Day Event. The World Equestrian Games culminated a decade-long effort to plan and recruit the international event which had never been held outside of Europe. Ultimately, the events were televised internationally to 500 million viewers and created an economic impact of $202.5 million. The Rolex remains the only four star three day event held in the United States.

Under Nicholson’s leadership, the Horse Park has been steadily transformed into one of the finest equestrian competition facilities in the world. Nicholson has overseen its expansion to include $80 million in capital improvement projects, including the 5,500-seat Alltech Arena; the 7,300-seat Rolex Stadium; new stabling barns; a new $10 million, 8,500-square-foot museum wing; and numerous new buildings within the park’s National Horse Center – a collection of national, regional and state equine organizations.

Nineteen of the current 33 National Horse Center tenants have relocated their national headquarters to the park or expanded their offices during Nicholson’s tenure.

In addition to growing the park, Nicholson concentrated on improving its public perception and increasing private sector support.

Highlights of Nicholson’s 17 years at the park included the exhibits “Imperial China: The Art of the Horse in Chinese History,” “All the Queen’s Horses” and “A Gift from the Desert.”

Nicholson’s major accomplishments also include recruiting the prestigious National Horse Show to relocate to the Horse Park from its traditional home of Madison Square Garden in New York City.

He recounts among his favorite memories the funeral of retired champion racehorse John Henry and the successful effort to have the leading money winning racehorse and multiple Horse of the Year Cigar retired to the Hall of Champions at the Park.

In 2008, Nicholson’s leadership led to the park receiving an Eclipse Award, the highest honor in the Thoroughbred industry. In 2010, he received the prestigious Equine Industry Vision Award from the American Horse Publications, an award that recognizes outstanding leadership, creativity and meritorious contributions in the equine industry, and he accepted the United State Equestrian Foundation’s Sallie Busch Wheeler Trophy on behalf of the Horse Park for distinguished service in equestrian sport. In 2011, Nicholson was named one of the Chronicle of the Horse magazine’s “Overall Horsemen of the Year.”

For more information contact:

– Glenn Petty at gdpetty@horsecenter.org or 540-219-9732
– Ernie Oare at Eoare@EMOStables.com or 540-270-1246
– John Nicholson at nicholsonjohnd@gmail.com or 859-475-3258

About the Virginia Horse Center Foundation:

The Virginia Horse Center Foundation is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization which owns and operates the Virginia Horse Center. The Foundation is proud to be a part of the Rockbridge community, an asset to the state’s equine economy, and a resource to the East-Atlantic competition circuit. The Virginia Horse Center stands at the forefront of Virginia’s $1.2B equine economy. Founded to promote all disciplines of equestrian sport, its 600 acres of picturesque grounds hold a 4,000 seat coliseum, eight barns to accommodate 1,200 horses, 19 show rings including two large indoor arenas, cross-country and combined carriage driving courses, campgrounds, and full catering and café services. The VHCF also hosts many non-equine events like dog shows, BMX, agriculture programs and the Rockbridge Regional Fair & Farm Show.

Emily Riden for Phelps Media Group, Inc. International

Phelps Media Group, Inc.
12012 South Shore Blvd #105
Wellington, FL 33414
561-753-3389 (phone)
561-753-3386 (fax)

JustWorld International Official Charity Partner of the Longines/Reem Acra FEI World Cup Finals

JustWorld International Hostesses.

GL Events, the organizer of the Longines/Reem Acra FEI Show Jumping and Dressage World Cup Finals, once again supports the inspiring humanitarian organization JustWorld International during the flagship event of the spring 2014 schedule. From April 17-21, at the Lyon Eurexpo located in the beautiful French countryside, JustWorld takes center stage as the official charity partner. JustWorld International will increase awareness throughout the five-day competition, raising funds for its various projects to help impoverished children across the world.

JustWorld returns to Lyon

Equita’ Lyon and GL Events are among the most loyal of JustWorld’s charity partners. In 2012, when JustWorld first emerged in Europe, Sylvie Robert, Director of Equestrian Events at GL Events, immediately offered the opportunity to promote JustWorld’s humanitarian activities. Their warm welcome allowed JustWorld to significantly develop its reputation with the European public, thus contributing to their efforts throughout 11 years to act as a positive catalyst for change in developing countries.

“After two years of successful partnership, both from the human and financial point of view, we were extremely honored that GL Events offered to have us become the official charity partner of the FEI World Cup Finals in 2014,” said Jessica Newman, Executive Director of JustWorld International. “This is an incredible opportunity for us! Beyond uniting more riders with our cause, this opportunity encourages jobs, funds and support for our projects.”

Longines Clear The Jump

Swiss watch brand Longines has become a major partner of the equestrian sports both in the United States and abroad. Longines has chosen to renew its official support to JustWorld International for 2014. JustWorld is the beneficiary of the “Longines Clear The Jump,” where for each Longines obstacle cleared during the final two rounds of competition of the Longines FEI World Cup Jumping Final, Longines will donate to JustWorld’s global projects.

“We could not have imagined ever being so lucky,” said Newman. “Our entire team is deeply grateful to Longines for providing such support to our humanitarian projects around the globe. Longines’ help is essential to our success, providing poor children with a better future.”

JustWorld at the heart of the show

Fifteen dedicated volunteers from various countries have joined JustWorld at the Lyon Eurexpo for the Longines/Reem Acra FEI World Cup Finals. They are working alongside Newman to carry out a number of activities.

JustWorld settled in the “Golden Square”

JustWorld is set up with an information booth in conjunction with its partner Dy’on. The JustWorld International booth is located in the “Golden Square” parallel to the warm-up arena of the international ring (hall 4.2 stand 4/OR14). Hostesses dressed in the bright blue and purple of JustWorld will provide visitors with all the information to help them understand the mission of the equestrian nonprofit organization and how to get involved. Visitors and supporters will also have the opportunity to participate in various raffles.

The JustWorld raffles

Thanks to its generous partners, JustWorld will hold daily raffles with many surprises and special prizes for its winners. From Friday to Monday, the public will have the chance to win Dada Sport Fashion Clothes and new Dy’on jackets, Jin Stirrups’ stirrups, a helmet offered by Kep Italia, and most importantly, VIP box seats offered by Reem Acra, partner of the FEI World Cup Dressage Final!

Meeting top riders

Autograph sessions with some of the most famous JustWorld Ambassadors are organized for the public, providing fans with the unique opportunity to meet their idols. Kevin Staut, World No. 6, will be one of many riders who will be on site to sign autographs.

Pedro Cebulka “Official JustWorld Mascot”

Pedro Cebulka has once again returned to Equita’ Lyon as the Master of Ceremonies. His famous beard, sparkling top hat and stunning outfits designed with the exclusive JustWorld colors allow Pedro to never go unnoticed. Accompanied by his “Pedrettes,” elegant hostesses dressed in the JustWorld colors, he will be on hand during all awards ceremonies, flashing a smile and raising awareness for JustWorld.

More about JustWorld International

JustWorld International is a humanitarian organization registered under 501 (c) 3 in the United States and registered in France as an Association loi 1901. JustWorld is also part of the Lombard Odier Philanthropic Foundation, an umbrella foundation registered in Switzerland and rated. JWI has no political or religious affiliations. JustWorld acts as a catalyst for positive change in developing countries. It is through partnerships with local organizations that JustWorld can accomplish these progresses. Projects aimed at providing a basic education, vocational training and nutrition programs, health and hygiene for children in poor communities in Honduras, Cambodia, Guatemala and Brazil. More on www.justworldinternational.org.

More about Longines

LONGINES FEI WORLD CUP Jumping Western European League Title Partner, Official Timekeeper and Official Watch, LONGINES has been based in Saint-Imier (SUI) since 1832. The brand’s watchmaking expertise reflects a strong devotion to tradition, elegance and performance. LONGINES has decades of experience as the official timekeeper at world championships and as a partner of international sports federations. LONGINES’ passion for equestrian sports began in 1878, when a horse and jockey were engraved on a timepiece. Over the years, the brand has built strong and long-lasting links with equestrian sports. In 1926, for the first time, the brand was involved as timekeeper for an Official International Equestrian Competition. Today, LONGINES’ involvement in equestrianism includes Jumping, Endurance and Flat Racing. LONGINES is a member of The Swatch Group Ltd, the World’s leading manufacturer of horological products. With the winged hourglass as its emblem, the brand has outlets in over 130 countries.

Media Contact: Kendall Bierer
JustWorld International
phone (561) 309-9873  fax (561) 753-3386

American Invitational Raises over $15,000 for Official Charity Partner, JustWorld International

JustWorld International hostesses presented the awards for the $200,000 American Invitational, presented by G & C Farm.

Miami, FL – April 11, 2014 – The gates to Sun Life Stadium opened to usher in nearly 6,000 spectators last Saturday for the 42nd Gene Mische American Invitational, presented by G & C Farm. The event raised more than $15,000 for JustWorld, with all proceeds benefiting their mission of raising funds within the global equestrian community to help provide education, nutrition, healthcare and vocational training programs to children in impoverished communities around the world.

“We have had a relationship with JustWorld International for a long time,” Matt Morrissey of Stadium Jumping said. “They are our official charity partner at all of our events, and we are thrilled to be able to help them pursue their mission of helping impoverished children around the world. Gene Mische, who was such a crucial part of the American Invitational, helped Jessica [Newman] when the organization was still young. It has been a wonderful relationship, and they always go above and beyond to help make our events a success.”

As each spectator entered the stadium, the JustWorld team was on hand at the Information Booth, where they sold programs and answered all questions about the American Invitational. JustWorld earned a percentage of the proceeds from the program sales, and for every ticket purchased with the promo code JUSTWORLD they raised an additional $10. The JustWorld volunteers stood out in their co-branded apparel designed and sponsored by PoloGear. The co-branded shirts are beautifully designed with sublimated graphics and the purple and blue colors for which JustWorld is known. The shirts are currently available here.

Just before the jump-off, JustWorld volunteers walked onto the field with Miami Dolphins legends Bob Griese and Nat Moore. Onlookers sat on the edge of their seats as the stadium-wide benefit drawing was announced. Pablo Barrios was the first name pulled, winning the Miami Dolphins Sidelines Club Package. The package featured four Ford Sidelines Club Passes and Lower Level Seats. Two lucky winners won a meet and greet with legendary Miami Dolphins quarterback, Bob Griese, also taking home his autographed throwback jersey and a signed NFL football.

“JustWorld International was a major help in making the 42nd American Invitational a true success,” Morrissey concluded. “They not only ran the information booth and sold programs, but they helped in the VIP tent, and their JustWorld hostesses assisted with the awards presentation. Their enthusiasm and dedication to our events always makes it an easy decision to have them as our official charity partner. They bring something special to every event.”

Founded in 2003 by Jessica Newman, JustWorld International is a not-for-profit, humanitarian organization, which funds life-changing nutrition, health and hygiene, education, as well as leadership and cultural development programs for impoverished children in Cambodia, Honduras and Guatemala. There are currently more than 500 Rider and Technical Official Ambassadors representing 40 different countries, whose efforts to support JustWorld’s projects have raised in excess of $6.5 million to date. For more information on JustWorld, please visit www.justworldinternational.org.

Media Contact: Kendall Bierer
Phelps Media Group, Inc. International
phone 561.753.3389  fax 561.753.3386