Lenir Perez, Ana Sofia Perez, and Juan Andres Rodriguez competed for EAF in the 2021 Great Charity Challenge. Photo by Lois Spatz.
Mar. 22, 2021 — Wellington, Fla. — The Equestrian Aid Foundation is proud to announce the creation of its Equestrian Recovery Grant Opportunity (ERGO) program. The program — a one-time grant opportunity for qualifying equestrian professionals and industry service providers — has been made possible through the Great Charity Challenge. In the 2021 event, EAF won $40,000 to apply to COVID relief and recovery efforts in Palm Beach County.
Within the horse world, COVID-19 has had a disproportionately detrimental impact on equestrian professionals and industry service providers. As small business owners and independent contractors who occupy a unique niche in the workforce, many members of the equestrian community have been overlooked for SBA and PPP loans or critically underserved by unemployment. The ERGO program is designed to identify local equestrians who fall into these categories and help them regain stability.
“Last March, we opened our first COVID Emergency Grant program within a week of the industry shutdown to quickly help workers in crisis as they figured out their next steps,” said EAF board member Louise Riggio. “The applicant data from this ongoing program demonstrates just how hard hit our equestrian community has been.”
To date, the Equestrian Aid Foundation’s initial COVID Emergency Grant program has delivered over $130,000 in aid to 281 equestrian professionals and industry service providers across the United States. “It’s been inspiring to hear that many of these individuals are back to work and doing well, but we know many others are still struggling,” said EAF board member Robert Ross of Wellington, Fla. “While we can’t mitigate every situation, thanks to the Great Charity Challenge, we will be able to make a considerable impact locally.”
Pursuant to Great Charity Challenge guidelines, the $40,000 ERGO fund will be available to qualified workers who claim Palm Beach County as their full-time residence. More information about the grant program can be found here.
The ERGO program application window will open on Monday, Apr. 4, 2021, at 8 a.m. and will close in early May. The application will be accessible in an online format or as a PDF on the Equestrian Aid Foundation website.