Tag Archives: Mark Bellissimo

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.

Equestrian Aid Foundation Honors Mark Bellissimo at “A Night of Legends”

Mark Bellissimo. Photo credit: Julie Unger.

Wellington, Florida. February 22, 2015 – The equestrian community and Palm Beach residents gathered together on Sunday, February 22, 2015 for the Equestrian Aid Foundation’s “A Night of Legends.” An evening of cocktails, dinner and unique entertainment, the event was held at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center and raised money to support horsemen and equine-related professionals suffering from illness or catastrophic injury.

White Horse Catering provided a delicious buffet with Mediterranean cuisine, assorted cheeses and dips, crab cakes and more available for VIP members, and local food trucks showcased their best offerings for purchase.

Coti Collins and Ted Brightwell brought smiles and joy to guests when they took the stage as Judy Garland, Reba McEntire, and Barbara Streisand for the surprise musical performance. They opened with a magnificent spotlight on the songs of Judy Garland by Collins that included a duet with Brightwell as Barbara Streisand. Then Brightwell dazzled during a Funny Girl blend of “I’m the Greatest Star” and “My Man.”

During intermission, EAF President Stephanie Riggio Bulger bestowed the 2015 Luminary Award upon Mark Bellissimo for all his positive efforts to enhance and enlighten the equestrian community, becoming the sixth person honored since 2012.

“It is an honor to receive such a prestigious award,” said Bellissimo. “The Equestrian Aid Foundation serves as a lifeline to horsemen in need, and with all the wonderful work that they do to support our community, it is humbling to be honored for my contributions.”

A live auction allowed patrons to bid on an exclusive list of packages, which included an African safari, a trip to a movie premiere, an all-inclusive yacht excursion for six, and more. One lucky Diamond Drop raffle ticket purchaser went home with a diamond donated by Jose Aman at Diamante Atelier.

Following the break, Collins and Brightwell returned to the stage for the second set, delighting the audience with some modern Barbara Streisand melodies and culminating with a Reba McEntire mix by Collins that brought down the house.

“For this year’s annual benefit during the Winter Equestrian Festival, we decided to focus on fun and allow our guests to relax in a rewarding, concert atmosphere,” said EAF President Stephanie Riggio Bulger. “The organization is incredibly grateful to Mark for the remarkable opportunities that he creates within the horse world, making it efficient and welcoming. Shining a light on his success and how he helps with the Equestrian Aid Foundation was our way of thanking him.”

Kimberly Van Kampen Boyer hosted the event along with co-chairs Robert Ross, Stephanie Riggio Bulger, Monique Huntington Ketiz and Missy Luczak Smith.

Guests headed to The Grill after the conclusion of the event for a private after party with a percentage of profits benefiting the Equestrian Aid Foundation.

About the Equestrian Aid Foundation: The mission of the Equestrian Aid Foundation is to provide grand-based assistance to horsemen and equine-related professionals suffering from illness or catastrophic injuries. The EAF is dedicated to helping people of all ages and from all backgrounds and disciplines, offering funding for medical, rehabilitation and essential expenses. The goal is to empower recipients and provide necessary tools to overcome adversity. Learn more at www.equestrianaidfoundation.org, www.facebook.com/EAF.Ride4Hope or @ride4hope.

Sarit Schneider
Account Manager
Sirota Public Relations
261 Madison Avenue, 9th Fl.
New York, NY 10016
O: 917.525.4372
C: 917.783.2334

Equestrian Aid Foundation to Honor Mark Bellissimo at “A Night of Legends” during WEF

On Sunday, February 22nd, the Equestrian Aid Foundation invites you to “A Night of Legends” at the Global Dressage Arena at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center. Take a break from the Winter Equestrian Festival and relax for an evening of cocktails, dinner, and a unique show. White Horse Catering will provide a delectable dinner buffet during the VIP hour beginning at 6pm, and local food trucks will have a variety of offerings for purchase to general admission event goers beginning when doors open at 7:30.

One lucky guest will win a diamond during the diamond drop raffle, in which each participant will receive a glass of champagne with a stone on the bottom. A jeweler will be inspecting each stone to determine the authentic diamond for the winner. During the evening, the 2015 EAF Luminary Award will be bestowed upon Mark Bellissimo for all the positive work that he has done to enhance the equestrian community.

The highlight of the night — and sure to be the talk of the town for weeks after — is the surprise musical taking the stage at 8pm. Sip your cocktails and feel fancy as you are transported over the rainbow with performances of some of your favorite songs made popular by the legends of our time.

General admission tickets for “A Night of Legends” cost $25 each or 5 for $100 and can be purchased at www.equestrianaidfoundation.org. VIP seating will include the catered dinner and open bar. For VIP ticket and table information, please contact Emily Cleland at info@equestrianaidfoundation.org.

The proceeds from the evening will benefit the Equestrian Aid Foundation, which has been delivering financial assistance to equestrians, horsemen and equine-related professionals in need for over seventeen years. The EAF provides funding for medical, rehabilitation and essential expenses to those suffering from catastrophic illness or injury from all riding disciplines, equine professions, backgrounds and ages.

Sarit Schneider
Account Manager
Sirota Public Relations
261 Madison Avenue, 9th Fl.
New York, NY 10016
O: 917.525.4372
C: 917.783.2334

Partnership Led by Mark Bellissimo Signs Contract to Acquire the Colorado Horse Park

Photos courtesy of the Colorado Horse Park.

Parker, CO – December 19, 2014 – Mark Bellissimo announced today that a new partnership has been formed and has signed a contract to acquire the Colorado Horse Park (CHP) in Parker, Colorado. The 148-acre Colorado Horse Park was founded by Helen Krieble in 1992 and is the largest horse park west of the Mississippi. It hosts over 40 events per year, has 11 competition arenas, 100 Boarding Stalls, an RV Park, 2 Covered Arenas, 300 permanent stalls, and enough portable stalls for over 1,000 competing horses. The partnership is also contracted to acquire an additional 47 acres zoned as residential that abuts CHP.

CHP’s “Summer in the Rockies” series is one of the most prominent hunter/jumper equestrian circuits in the United States and spans over six weeks. CHP hosts all types of equestrian events including Hunter/Jumper, Eventing, and Dressage competitions and has hosted the North American Young Rider Championships three times. CHP also has a long term contract on 276 contiguous acres which hosts a cross-country course designed by Eventing Olympian David O’Connor.

Mark Bellissimo commented, “Helen has been one of the great visionaries in equestrian sport and has done an amazing job in creating the Colorado Horse Park. Her passion for the facility and her impact on the community over 23 years is inspirational. We are honored to continue Helen’s legacy.”

Helen Krieble added, “I am thrilled that Mark and his partners have contracted to acquire the Horse Park. It has been my passion for 23 years, and I am confident that it will be in good hands. It was important to me that the Horse Park was kept intact. The contract includes the purchase of an additional 47 acres that abuts the horse park. I believe this will ensure CHP has the ability to operate effectively and preserves the area from future residential development. This is a great day for Colorado equestrians, residents, and businesses.”

The partnership, to be named Colorado Equestrian Partners, includes Mark and Katherine Bellissimo, Roger and Jennifer Smith, Howard and Gwen Dvorkin, Lisa Lourie, and Diana and Jenji Mercer, who are also partners in the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center, which operates the world-renowned Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) and the Global Dressage Festival (GDF) in Wellington, Florida, and the newly established Tryon International Equestrian Center in Tryon, NC.

chp2WEF is the world’s largest and longest running equestrian festival which spans 12 weeks and hosts participants from 50 states and 33 countries and has over $8 million dollars in prize money. The GDF is the world’s largest dressage competition and includes seven CDI competitions over the winter. The WEF and GDF events contribute close to $200 million dollars in annual economic impact on Palm Beach County and generate over 120,000 bed nights for local hotels.

Bellissimo added, “We are excited about the future of equestrian sport, and we believe the CHP facility can be a significant central hub to serve all disciplines and to continue to develop the hunter/jumper, dressage, and the eventing disciplines as well as a catalyst to develop the next generation of horses and riders. Colorado has a great equestrian tradition, and we hope to cultivate that market as well as bring new riders into the sport. We contemplate great investments in the park over the next few years and making it one of the premier facilities in the world.”

Consistent with its other facilities, the partners will be developing philanthropic initiatives as well as developing outreach programs to work with community schools to raise awareness to the opportunities in horse sports.

Information Contact:
Jennifer Wood Media