Tag Archives: equestrian community

Jane DaCosta Selected as the 2021 WIHS Honor & Service Award Recipient

Jane competing at the Hampton Classic @ Rebekah Masiakos Photography.

This year, the Washington International Horse Show Honor & Service Award, sponsored by the EQUUS Foundation, is being presented to Jane DaCosta, the Executive Director and Founder of Metropolitan Equestrian Team (MET).

Jane founded MET to cultivate young, aspiring athletes in grades 3 through 12 by developing their talents through horseback riding. They also provide resources to help the kids curate their college experience by giving them access to educational resources that allow students to expand their way of thinking about academics.

Jane grew up participating in equestrian sports, learning not only horsemanship and athleticism, but also leadership skills, the value of teamwork, and responsibility from the sport. As a competitor, Jane was an undergraduate rider for Long Island University/C. W. Post Intercollegiate Horse Show Association (IHSA) Equestrian Team. Jane has competed and shown successfully in United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) Horse Shows ranging from “C” to “AA” rated shows for over 30 years in Equitation, Hunters, and Jumpers.

Jane is a graduate of St. Leo University and an Electronic Warfare Technician Third Class Veteran of the United States Navy. Jane is also a Graduate student at New York University Stern School of Business enrolled in the Executive MBA Program.

Through her experiences, Jane was inspired to create the MET program. During practices, students learn horsemanship, sportsmanship, and agricultural skills, similar to Jane’s experiences in the sport. MET helps students with college preparation through various education programs. They also provide access to representatives from colleges and universities, and highlight scholarship opportunities. Through its academic programs over the years, MET students have received over $1,600,000 in college scholarship opportunities.

Jane and her team have created a supportive, encouraging environment at MET that instills a sense of belonging. Many MET Team members are kids who, prior to joining the MET Team, had never set foot on a farm. MET helps open their eyes to a new world, then teaches them how to contribute to and care for it.

At MET, Jane brings horseback riding to kids of all backgrounds – and helps educate the next generation of leaders. Jane has helped MET grow to a national organization, providing programs throughout the country in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Wisconsin, Utah, Texas, Georgia, Mississippi, and Tennessee.

Jane will be recognized by WIHS and EQUUS Foundation during a virtual awards ceremony in October. As the recipient, the Metropolitan Equestrian Team will receive a $1,500 grant from the EQUUS Foundation.

The WIHS Honor and Service Award was created in 2013 following the induction of Klinger into the Horse Stars Hall of Fame in 2013. Klinger, a member of the Caisson platoon of the 3d United States Infantry (The Old Guard), was the inspiration for the award and its first recipient. The Honor & Service Award recognizes a horse, individual, or organization that best demonstrates the values of honor and service as embodied by Klinger.

To learn more about the EQUUS Foundation and their mission, please visit www.equusfoundation.org.

For more information about the Washington International Horse Show, please visit www.wihs.org.

Update on Kevin’s Recovery and The Babington Foundation

Wellington, FL – October 4, 2021 – Kevin Babington continues to make progress month by month. The commitment to his daily physical therapy and frequent stem cell and other medical interventions continues at a torrid pace. At no point has Kevin’s self-expectations been anything less than dramatic. The courage, patience, tenacity, and kindness we all know to be substrates of Kevin’s makeup prior to his fall are on vivid display daily.

For those who don’t believe in miracles, Kevin can now move all his toes on each foot and independently, and just as of this writing, has some flexion in his feet. We all look forward to the day he stands to deliver the leading rider award at Silver Oak.

At the same time, the financial demands of Kevin’s care, therapy, and progress are steep and mandatory. The Show Jumping community has responded generously, but the requirement for fundraising continues to be of paramount importance.

Concurrently Kevin, Dianna, and the Babington Foundation have done much to support education, safety, and news of spinal research. These programs more broadly relate to all riders in the sport, most critically the importance of “Air Vests.”

For that reason, a new website, kevinbabingtonfoundation.org, is launched as a portal through which Kevin’s progress, important articles about spinal injury breakthroughs, and safety emphasis can regularly be found.

Of course, there is an important DONATE BUTTON with which we hope individuals and organizations will act, in whatever capacity, big or small. Keep in mind, as a licensed 501c3 charity, all donations will receive the appropriate tax documents.

Click here: https://youtu.be/fuwcQbXJBDo

Phelps Media Group Announces the Death of Founder and CEO Mason Phelps, Jr.

Phelps Media Group Announces the Death of Founder and CEO Mason Phelps, Jr.

 

Wellington, Fla. – May 19, 2021 – It is with great sadness and the deepest regrets that Phelps Media Group announces the passing of its founder and Chief Executive Officer, Mason Phelps, Jr. Phelps passed away unexpectedly but peacefully at home of a heart attack. On behalf of the entire team at Phelps Media Group, we extend the deepest condolences to his family, friends, and loved ones.

Mason Phelps, Jr. was the epitome of a lifelong equestrian, maintaining an undeniable relevance in the sport that has defined his personal and professional life. His contributions to the equestrian world include being an Olympic athlete, groom, trainer, event manager, governance leader, media executive, and philanthropy organizer.

“With the passing of Mason Phelps, the entire equestrian community has suffered an unimaginable loss,” said Lenore Phillips, President of Phelps Media Group. “Phelps Media Group and our team of dedicated marketing professionals will continue its professional efforts with the passion Mason would have wished and carry his tenacity of spirit in our future endeavors.”

Born in 1949, Phelps’ passion for horses and equestrian sports started early and he was only sixteen when he was invited to participate in his first training clinic with the United States Equestrian Team. In 1968, he was named US Combined Training Association’s Rider of the Year and was alternate for the U.S. Three-Day Team for the Mexico City Olympic Games. His career as a trainer began in 1972, working first as an assistant at Flintridge Riding Club and later developing his own training stable for hunter/jumpers until his retirement from competition in the late 1990s.

With a proclivity for innovation, Phelps paved the way launching dozens of ingenious events throughout his career. Whether they were equestrian competitions or philanthropic fundraisers, his successful events were often the talk of the town with packed attendance. For example, in 1970, he created and produced the AA-Rated Christmas Show in San Antonio, Texas, an annual event that is still an integral part of the Texas equestrian community. In 1976, Phelps founded the American Jumping Derby (later the International Jumping Derby) in Newport, Rhode Island. The first of its kind, it quickly became a major show on the East Coast jumping circuit through 1988. In 1977, Phelps created the New England Horsemen’s Association Hunt Seat Medal, also still a popular event to this day. In the late 1970s and 1980s, Phelps produced a driving event for the Newport Preservation Society. He was also one of the original organizers of the first World Cup Final in the U.S., in Baltimore in 1980.

In the early 1990s at the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) in Wellington, Phelps created innovative classes including the first equitation class for previous winners of the Maclay Equitation Championship and Medal Finals; an equitation class for past U.S. Olympic, Pan American Games, and Nations Cup athletes; and the first hunter classic for the American Hunter Jumper Foundation, held in the International Arena. Phelps was Director of Equestrian Operations at Palm Beach Polo in 1993. He served several years as President of the National Horse Show, reestablishing its prominence at its new home in Lexington, Kentucky following its stint at Madison Square Garden. In 2012, he also organized the World Dressage Masters Palm Beach in Wellington, Florida.

Phelps was Chairman of American Horse Show Association’s (now USEF) Zone I for eight years and served on the boards of the AHSA, USET and Show Jumping Hall of Fame. He also served as President of the New England Horseman’s Council and Rhode Island Horseman’s Association. As an AHSA judge, he judged many horse shows including the AHSA Medal Finals at Harrisburg.

A pioneer and natural leader, Phelps has been instrumental in numerous charity and fundraising events, starting with the famed Newport Roundup in the 1980s. He was one of the founders of the Equestrian Aid Foundation (EAF) in 1996 and in 1998, he produced the first Denim and Diamonds, a benefit gala for the USET Foundation that he produced again in 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, and 2004, raising millions of dollars that supported the USET.

In 2001, Phelps founded Phelps Media Group which has grown to represent many of the most prestigious equestrian events, organizations, companies, athletes, and businesses. By 2011 he was named to the Wellington Chamber of Commerce President’s Circle for building “America’s most progressive and successful equestrian public relations firm.”

Please direct all inquiries to Phelps Media Group at info@phelpsmediagroup.com and (561) 793-3389.

Stay connected with Phelps Media Group.

Duchossois’ Legacy Shines in ACHS’s Support of Equestrian Aid Foundation

Duchossois at the Winter Equestrian Festival. Photo by Kenneth Kraus/PhelpsSports.com.

May 18, 2021 – Wellington, Fla. – The Equestrian Aid Foundation is honored to be a beneficiary of the 2021 Aiken Charity Horse Show, which culminated Sunday at Bruce’s Field. The two-week annual event is held in memory of Bruce Duchossois, a former EAF board member and champion of tradition, integrity, and excellence across the equestrian disciplines.

As the Equestrian Aid Foundation enters into its 25th year, the charitable donation from ACHS serves as a poignant reminder of Duchossois’ legacy. A member of EAF’s executive committee, Duchossois was an integral part of the foundation’s vision until his death in 2014. “When it comes to horsemen helping horsemen, Bruce walked the walk,” said EAF board member Scot Evans, who counted Duchossois among his closest friends. “His example has been a north star for the Equestrian Aid Foundation for 25 years, and we know he would be so proud of where we are today.”

For 25 years, the Equestrian Aid Foundation’s impact has been far reaching, both geographically and throughout the equestrian disciplines. Incorporated in 1996 as a grassroots relief organization for horsemen and women with HIV/AIDS, the Equestrian Aid Foundation has since expanded its mission in response to the equestrian community’s most critical needs. While maintaining its commitment to those coping with catastrophic illness or injury, the foundation also operates a Disaster Relief Fund that assists communities in crisis due to natural or other unforeseen disasters. In 2020 alone, EAF helped nearly 300 industry professionals across the United States through its COVID emergency grant program.

In Duchossois’ honor, the donation from Aiken Charity Horse Show marks the launch of the Equestrian Aid Foundation’s 25-for-25 Anniversary Campaign. Follow EAF on social media or sign up for its mailing list as the foundation celebrates its first 25 years and carries its vision of horsemen helping horsemen into the future.

To learn more about the EQUUS Foundation and their mission, please visit www.equusfoundation.org.

Support a New Home for Concrete Cowboys through Philadelphia Urban Riding Academy

Philadelphia, Pa. – April 21, 2021 – Netflix’s newest film Concrete Cowboy, starring Idris Elba and Caleb McLaughlin, has showcased a part of Philadelphia that few people knew existed. It tells the story of the Black urban cowboys in the city, and in 2019 the producers and directors of the film partnered with the late Eric Miller, and the riders of Fletcher Street to form the Philadelphia Urban Riding Academy (PURA). Created to preserve the life, legacy, and culture of Black urban cowboys in the city of Philadelphia, PURA recently launched “Fresh Start for Philly Youth” fundraising campaign through GoFundMe. The campaign’s goal is to raise money for its new facility in the Cobbs Creek section of Philadelphia that will provide a unique, safe space for children, teens, and adults to experience horses up close and personal.

Due to gentrification, many of the stables that once made up the community of black cowboys in Philadelphia are gone. With the help of Parks and Recreation Commissioner Kathryn Ott-Lovell and Councilman Curtis Jones, The Philadelphia Urban Riding Academy has found a new, permanent home in Cobbs Creek Park that will not only give the Urban Black Cowboy a permanent home but also offer new opportunities to everyone in the community. By supporting the “Fresh Start for Philly Youth” fundraising campaign you can be a part of the next generation of the Concrete Cowboys and Cowgirls.

PURA’s executive director Erin Brown, known as the Concrete Cowgirl, joined forces with North Run’s Missy Clark in June of 2020 to create Concrete to Show Jumping. With a mission to open doors to diversified worlds within the horse industry, Concrete to Show Jumping aims to open the eyes, minds, and hearts of equestrians by participating in new experiences, forming new alliances and building friendships with equestrians from diversified backgrounds.

The “Fresh Start for Philly Youth” fundraiser has the goal of raising $2,000,000 for PURA’s new permanent facility. This home will provide stabling for 20-25 horses, paddocks, and a covered arena, as well as recreational space for other youth and veteran programs. With the help of the entire equestrian community, PURA and Concrete to Show Jumping believe that this goal is attainable. Every dollar raised will be put towards the facility and the horses and students that will call it home.

As a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, PURA is now collecting donations for the “Fresh Start for Philly Youth” initiative. All donations are tax-deductible and corporate sponsors are encouraged to donate, with naming rights to the rings, paddocks, stalls, and lounge are available. PURA has joined forces with Spak Group, a real estate Development Company, along with Architects from OZ Collaborative and a Landscape Civil Engineer, Ruggiero Plante, LLC, to create a forever home for youth, the community, and the Urban Black Cowboy.

For more information, please visit thepura.org or donate here to be a part of PURA’s mission to preserve the life, legacy, and culture of Black urban cowboys in the city of Philadelphia.

Contact: Rebecca Walton
rjw@phelpsmediagroup.com

Georgina Bloomberg and Beth Behrs to Host Shopping with Ruchi NY to Benefit EQUUS Foundation

Georgina Bloomberg.

March 7-11: Virtual Shopping with EQUUS Foundation EQUUStar Beth Behrs
March 15: In Person Shopping in Palm Beach with EQUUS Foundation EQUUStar Georgina Bloomberg

The EQUUS Foundation is thrilled to be partnering with Ruchi New York for a charity shopping event featuring the elegant and timeless jewelry designed by New York designer Ruchi Kotahwala.

Hosted by EQUUStar and renown world class equestrian, Georgina Bloomberg, and co-hosted virtually from California by newest EQUUS Foundation EQUUStar and horse welfare advocate, actress Beth Behrs, this event will give horse lovers and lovers of fine jewelry a chance to shop both in person and virtually.

For those in the Palm Beach area, the event will be held on Monday, March 15, 2021, from 2pm to 7pm at the White Elephant Hotel in Palm Beach, Florida. Please RSVP in advance at https://ruchinewyork.com/pages/ruchi-equus.

Beth’s fans and all horse welfare advocates across the country who are not able to join us for the Palm Beach event are welcome to shop from March 7 through March 11 24/7 using this special code, EQUUS15, here, which will offer not only a 15% discount on lovely and timeless jewelry, but also ensure that 10% of all proceeds go to the EQUUS Foundation to offer a lifeline to America’s at-risk horses.

“We are proud to partner with the EQUUS Foundation and support the extraordinary work they do to protect these incredible animals,” said Ruchi. Ruchi’s passion for gemstones and jewelry began as a young girl growing up in Mumbai, India where colorful and lively jewels are part of everyday life and celebrations. She transformed her passion into a business with her husband, a fifth-generation gemstone authority from Jaipur. Ruchi’s access to some of the world’s most remarkable and exotic stones laid the foundation for the Ruchi New York collection launched in 2018.

To learn more about the EQUUS Foundation and their mission, please visit www.equusfoundation.org.

Harsh Realities & Boundless Opportunities: EQUUS Foundation 2020 in Review

Without a doubt, we can all agree that 2020 was by far the most challenging year in our history. We are hopeful that you are staying heathy and that there will be a return to some normality this year. Despite event cancellations caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, we are persevering and continuing to make a lasting difference in the lives of America’s at-risk and transitioning horses and in the lives of individuals who benefit from their magic and power.

During our fiscal year ending in August 2020, we were able to help provide care for nearly 5,000 horses at 160 charities nationwide. We’d like to double that number and provide a lifeline to 10,000 horses in 2021. We awarded over $500,000 in grants, including awards of new and gently used riding apparel, valued at $240,000, to 547 individuals through The Rider’s Closet program.

We believe that for horses to remain an important part of American life and have a viable future, we need to embrace a fundamental shift in our attitude towards horses – from the horse as a commodity to the horse as an athlete, companion, teacher, and healer.

We focus our efforts on raising awareness of the issues impacting the future of horses and inspiring horse lovers to be horse protectors. However, at the heart of our mission is our effort to empower and invest in the very best equine charities that are finding homes for at-risk horses and horses in transition, providing a safe haven for aged horses, and increasing opportunities for all people to engage and partner with horses in new and innovative ways. Informed giving has never been more important.

View our 2020 Annual Report here.

To learn more about the EQUUS Foundation and their mission, please visit www.equusfoundation.org.

Actress Beth Behrs Joins EQUUS Foundation as an EQUUStar

Beth Behrs and her rescue horse, Belle.

The EQUUS Foundation is excited to announce that actress Beth Behrs will be joining its esteemed roster of EQUUStars, who are popular and iconic horse lovers that assist the Foundation in raising awareness and support for horse welfare across the country.

Fans of the current hit CBS sitcom, The Neighborhood, and those who tuned in to the enormously popular sitcom, 2 Broke Girls, created by Michael Patrick King and Whitney Cummings, will know actress Beth Behrs — especially in her role as Caroline Channing with her horse, Chestnut!

In addition to being one of Hollywood’s most exciting actors working today, Beth is a huge animal lover and horse welfare advocate and owner of rescued horse, Belle, who has inspired her to get more involved in horse protection and equine therapy programs for survivors of sexual assault. She is also the host of her very own podcast called HARMONICS which explores themes of creativity, healing, and wellness and has released a health and wellness book titled The Total Me-Tox published in the summer of 2017.

“There is nothing I feel more passionate about than protecting America’s horses and strengthening the bond between horses and people. When I rescued my horse, Belle, I didn’t realize that she was actually going to be the one rescuing me.” — Beth Behrs        

“Horses force us to live in the present moment with a zen-like tranquility,” said Behrs. “They are the greatest healers, and we must treat them with the respect and love they deserve. I am so excited to inspire and educate the public on the value of horses in our lives.

“The EQUUS Foundation is the only national charity in the United States 100% dedicated to ensuring the welfare of America’s horses and fostering the horse-human bond. I am beyond honored to be named an EQUUStar and cannot wait to better the lives of both humans and horses through the incredible work of the EQUUS Foundation.”

“We could not be more thrilled to welcome Beth as our newest EQUUStar,” said Valerie Angeli, VP Engagement for the EQUUS Foundation. “Beth walks the walk in promoting the welfare of all animals, but especially horses, and her social media is filled with inspiring messages and information on how to make the world better for the horses we love. With her large following of fans, we know Beth and her beautiful, rescued paint horse, Belle, will significantly help further our message of compassion, action and responsibility for horses across the country and engage more horse lovers to #HorseProtector!”

Beth will be joining current EQUUS Foundation EQUUStars Georgina Bloomberg, Brianne Goutal-Marteau, Clementine Goutal, Paige Johnson, and Jessica Springsteen. Look for Beth in the future on EQUUS Foundation social media as well as in EQUUS Foundation virtual events — and even live events — For the Love of Horses!

To learn more about the EQUUS Foundation and their mission, please visit www.equusfoundation.org.

The Horse: Commodity or Partner?

The EQUUS Foundation is pleased to announce the launch of its new educational platform, the Equine Experiential Learning Initiative, designed to cultivate advocacy on behalf of horses, stimulate volunteerism and inspire a lifelong commitment to horse welfare.

The first module is The Horse: Commodity or Partner? — a free online learning experience to give readers a deeper understanding of the positive impact of the horse-human bond in the past and present — and facts to become an effective advocate to protect America’s horses now and in the future.

The human-equine relationship is threaded throughout the fabric of our history. Humanity has been able to spread far and wide on the backs of horses — but the carnage of horses at the hands of humans is also well documented. Sadly, horses are still faced with the same challenges, continuing to put their future welfare in jeopardy.

Also, public access and involvement with horses, especially among young people, is declining. The expense and time required for competition is becoming unrealistic for most people. Equine Assisted Services (EAS), based on different collaborative relationships between horses and humans, may offer a more realistic way for people, unable to experience the magic of horses through the traditional means of ownership and competition, to benefit from horses.

“We owe a debt of gratitude to our author, Dr. Terri Champney, who helps us better understand how we can be most successful in addressing the issues impacting America’s horses by learning about the past,” said Lynn Coakley, EQUUS Foundation President. There is a lot of truth in the saying, “Those who don’t learn from the past are doomed to repeat it.” Dr. Terri Champney spearheaded the establishment of the Equine Experiential Learning Initiative along with the Leonard I. Gilman Horses & Humans Grant. Five $1,000 grants will be awarded in 2021.

The Leonard I. Gilman Horses & Humans Grant will recognize an EQUUS Foundation Guardian charity offering Equine Assisted Services (EAS) that demonstrates its commitment to cultivating advocacy on behalf of horses, stimulating volunteerism, and inspiring a lifelong commitment to horse welfare through an internship program involving virtual learning and hands-on interactions with horses.

For horses to remain an important part of American life and have a viable future, we need to embrace a fundamental shift in our attitude towards horses — from the horse as a commodity to the horse as an athlete, companion, teacher, and healer.

The EQUUS Foundation welcomes all horse lovers to sign up for The Horse: Commodity or Partner? — no matter your prior horse experience!

Take the next step to gain an even greater awareness and appreciation for these gifted and amazing animals — and a vision to ensure a sustainable environment for horses now and in the future.

Learn more about the Equine Experiential Learning Initiative here.

Sign up for The Horse: Commodity or Partner? here.

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

Plans Announced for 2020 Tom Bass Seminar on Diversity in Equestrian Sports

Horsemen in Northern Nigeria circa 1970.

Green Creek Township, North Carolina (USA) – Wednesday, October 14, 2020 – The 2020 Tom Bass Seminar on Diversity in Equestrian Sports will be presented via video conference on Saturday afternoon, November 14 from 3:30 p.m. Eastern Time (20:30:00 UTC). The virtual meeting will examine issues relating to diversity in a) domestic and b) international arenas.

Launched in 2019 as part of the 2nd Annual Day of the African Equestrian (DOTAE), the 2020 seminar takes place against a backdrop of social and political turmoil in the United States – in a year where the equestrian community has been forced to reckon with many of its own contradictions and activist riders of color including Brianna Noble and The Compton Cowboys have achieved international notice – in part through the use of horses in public protests inspired by the global Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement.

A legendary American Saddlebred trainer, Tom Bass (1859-1934) was born enslaved in Columbia, Missouri. He played a prominent role both in the establishment of the American Royal Horse Show in Kansas City and in the promotion of the city of Mexico, Missouri as the ‘Saddle Horse Capital of the World.’ Highlights of his extraordinary career include championships at two World’s Fairs and more than 2,000 blue ribbons. For many years he was the only African-American permitted to compete at the American Royal. The Tom Bass bit, developed to give the rider control without causing pain to the horse, is still in use today.

During his lifetime, Bass performed before such luminaries as Queen Marie of Romania, William Jennings Bryan, P. T. Barnum and U.S. Presidents Grover Cleveland, William McKinley, Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, and Calvin Coolidge. His more prominent clients included Mr. Roosevelt, Buffalo Bill Cody, Anheuser-Busch executives Adolphus and August Busch, and Will Rogers.

Topics to be explored during the 2020 Tom Bass Seminar on Diversity in Equestrian Sport include:

  • Demystifying horse sport – not for rich kids only! Reviving equestrian heritage in lower and middle income communities
  • Developing broad-based community support for equestrian activities at all levels
  • Building sustainable programs that support diversity in the horse industry
  • Incorporating the lessons gleaned from social activism into the ways in which we do business
  • Leveraging (new and traditional) media in horse focused education and promotion
  • Developing stories that more accurately reflect the life experiences of equestrians of color
  • Incorporating the rich equestrian heritages of non-white, non-European communities (including African, African-American, Asian, Hispanic, Native-American, Romani, South Asian, and others) into our shared equestrian narrative

The seminar is presented by The AFRICAN CONNECTIONS Research and Education Fund, Inc. in association with SportsQuest International, LLC.

Linkage to the video conference will be available from the following websites:

Organizers of the Tom Bass Seminar point out that horses are big business in the United States and in many regions of the world.

According to the American Horse Council, the horse industry contributes approximately $50 billion in direct economic impact to the U.S. economy, supporting almost one million jobs on a full-time basis1. According to statistics presented at the 2013 FEI Sports Forum — held at the International Institute for Management Development (IMD) in Lausanne, Switzerland — the horse industry has a €100 billion ($128.151 billion) annual economic impact within the European Union. The economic impact in the United Kingdom is estimated at being over £7 billion ($10.643 billion)2.

A major challenge for an Olympic sport that promotes itself as being truly global, “clean”, and fully inclusive, is a conspicuous lack of people of color. People of color are underrepresented in the ranks of riders, owners, trainers, breeders, veterinarians, farriers, nutritionists, sponsors, spectators, and members of the equestrian media. Conversely, there is an overrepresentation as grooms, nannies, hot walkers, and stall muckers.

To remedy this situation, equestrian sports promoters and organizations representing all facets of the industry are being urged to understand that it is good business to spend advertising dollars in minority communities. “Developing a more diverse fan base involves supporting equestrian sport training programs in those communities and working in concert with ethnic media outlets in educating members of the public about horse sport. Cultivating cooperative alliances with minority owned businesses will yield tangible benefits,” wrote seminar moderator Melvin Cox in a 2017 editorial published by HorseNation.com.

Mr. Cox, a Lecturer at the University of California, Santa Cruz, is the Founder and Managing Director of SportsQuest International, LLC – a media production and consulting business focused on the equestrian industry. Mr. Cox foresees an explosion of interest in equestrian sports throughout the United States and in other countries — reaching across all socioeconomic strata. But, he warns, “the outreach to new market segments will have to be done correctly — from a position of true humility and respect, and not from one of blatant arrogance.”

“Much as motorsport has successfully built a loyal following among fans with little if any opportunity (or desire) to own a Formula One racing car,” wrote Cox, “the horse sports can be proactively marketed to all demographics. Just as Major League Baseball attracts millions who will never hit a curveball, the equestrian disciplines can find deeply loyal and very knowledgeable aficionados among persons representing all manner of humanity.”

The solution proposed by seminar organizers targets a more equitable distribution of the scholarships, internships, jobs, contracts, investment opportunities, and profits associated with the global horse business. A key component of this effort is to increase awareness among young people in cities, suburbs, and rural communities regarding the opportunities for successful and fulfilling careers available in the horse business. Cox believes that America’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and her Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSIs) represent an untapped “gold mine” of talent and opportunity.

About the AFRICAN CONNECTIONS Research and Education Fund, Inc:

A nonprofit 501(c) organization, ACREF was created in direct response to the numerous distortions, half-truths, and omissions seen almost daily in the popular media regarding Africa, her people, and the African Diaspora.

The principal mission of the organization is to illuminate, educate, and provide a balanced viewpoint that celebrates genuine achievement and service to humanity.

Sources:

1 2017 National Economic Impact Study – American Horse Council

2 Graeme Cooke. “Trends in Growth of Equestrian Sport.” FEI Sports Forum, 8 April, 2013. Web. 27 Jan. 2017.

Contact:
SportsQuest International, LLC
marketing@SportsQuestInternational.com