Category Archives: Community/Charity

Inspiring Stories of Rescued Horses Turned Champions

Introduction to the Heart of Equine Triumphs

I’ve always found horses’ resilience remarkable. Beneath their majestic exteriors lies an extraordinary capacity for recovery and transformation, as I have witnessed with my own rescued horse, Panimetro. In this exploration, I share a slice of reality where once-forgotten creatures find new life and achieve greatness. We often see horses as symbols of power and grace, but for some, their beginning is anything but glamorous.

In the stories of rescue horses—those saved from uncertain fates and the brink of despair—we witness real-life tales of triumph. Emotional and physical transformations are common among these animals, and I will outline their narratives in the following sections. Each story presents a horse who, through a combination of human intervention, innate spirit, and often a touch of luck, emerges from the shadows of neglect to shine in the spotlight of the championship.

Let’s introduce the first of these equine champions. Snowman’s story is particularly poignant for its cinematic quality—it tells of a horse who, after nearly ending up in a slaughterhouse, leaped into the annals of show jumping history with the heart and soul of a true champion. This Cinderella story highlights how the unlikeliest heroes can emerge from dire circumstances, exemplifying the potential waiting to be uncovered in rescue horses worldwide.

Snowman: The Cinderella Horse

Snowman’s story begins as a bleak tale of near miss. Saved from a slaughterhouse in Pennsylvania for a mere $80 in 1956, this gentle giant, with a knack for jumping, transformed his fate entirely. His rescuer, Harry de Leyer, a riding instructor, recognized a glimmer of untapped potential in the disheveled gray gelding.

Harry deLeyer and Snowman By VentnorNJ - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=107870915
Harry deLeyer and Snowman

The bond between Snowman and Harry de Leyer was nothing short of extraordinary. Snowman defied all expectations within two years, winning the national jumping title. His ability to easily clear towering obstacles earned him the nickname ‘The Flying Dutchman,’ he soon became an equestrian legend.

What makes Snowman’s championship all the more inspiring is the juxtaposition of his humble beginnings against the backdrop of prestigious show jumping competitions. His sweeping victories at Madison Square Garden showcased his capabilities and solidified Harry’s belief in second chances. Snowman’s legacy champions the idea that every horse, no matter how oppressed, carries the heart of a champion.

Neville Bardos: From Rags to Riches

Neville Bardos, named after a notorious Australian gangster, is a horse whose story captures the essence of resilience. His journey begins with humble origins on Australian racetrack circuits, where he failed to make a mark. Unwanted and almost forgotten, he found salvation when American event rider Boyd Martin brought him to the United States, sensing the spark of untapped potential.

The turning point in Neville’s story is as dramatic as any. In 2011, he was caught in a devastating barn fire that would have spelled the end for most. Against all odds, Neville not only survived but returned to the top of the eventing competition with sheer determination. After months of intensive care and rehabilitation, he astonished everyone by competing in the Burghley Horse Trials in England, merely four months post-injury.

Neville’s accolades are impressive: he earned the title of US Eventing Horse of the Year and became a beacon of hope for rescue horses everywhere. His fighting spirit is a testament to what can be achieved through faith and perseverance. His legacy inspires, proving that a second chance can lead to greatness.

As we turn from Neville’s inspiring tale, we understand that his journey is far from a singular occurrence in the equine world. Indeed, there are horses like Metro Meteor, whose stories await to affirm the incredible transformations possible with dedication and love.

You may like to hear about my ex-racehorse, Panimetro, AKA Metro. His picture of him running around his paddock is on the cover of this article and the cover of the 2009 VICCTRE calendar. He was an OTTB who had broken his left front leg in a race. He was smart enough to lie down for almost a year to heal it enough to stand and even run on it.

One day, I found him in his stall, unable to put any weight on his bad leg. After the vet visit determining that there was nothing she could do for him, we decided it was best for him to put him down. I cried for almost two weeks.

Meteoric Rise of Metro Meteor

Metro Meteor was a racehorse turned professional artist.

Initially, Metro Meteor had a promising career on the racetrack, but he had to retire after undergoing two knee surgeries. Gettysburg painter Ron Krajewski adopted him, hoping to use Metro as a riding horse. However, the damage to Metro’s knees was too severe for this to be feasible.

Krajewski noticed Metro’s frequent head-bobbing and saw potential for a different kind of career. By giving Metro a paintbrush to hold in his teeth, Krajewski enabled the horse to start painting.

Metro’s paintings quickly gained national media attention and attracted many patrons. His artwork sold regularly, with the proceeds used to cover Metro’s veterinary bills and to support charities aiding other retired racehorses. Over the course of his artistic career, Metro’s work raised over $80,000.

The Transformative Power of Love and Care

I’ve seen first-hand the dramatic change that love and dedicated care can instigate in the lives of rescued horses. It’s not just about providing shelter or food; it’s about meticulous attention to their unique needs and the willingness to invest time and emotional energy into their recovery.

Rescue facilities and adoptive families play a crucial role here. They are the unsung heroes in these stories, offering a second chance at life for equines that have faced neglect, abandonment, or abuse. Their commitment not only heals physical wounds but also restores trust between the horses and humans.

Understanding the rehabilitation process is key. It usually involves a tailored approach, addressing both psychological and physical hurdles. Behavioral therapists, veterinarians, and loving caregivers collaborate to create an environment where these horses can thrive. The goal is always a well-rounded recovery, allowing them to explore roles beyond racing or labor—perhaps as therapy animals or as beloved pets.

Witnessing the hidden potential in every rescued horse is the reward for such efforts. It’s not mere chance but the result of consistent, compassionate care. This potential can translate into impressive achievements, such as those of Snowman, Neville Bardos, and Metro Meteor, proving that circumstances do not define destiny.

Remarkable Examples of Possibilities of Compassion and Resilience

The stories of Snowman, Neville Bardos, and Metro Meteor serve as remarkable examples of what’s possible when compassion meets resilience. Each horse’s transition from dire circumstances to a life of accomplishment wasn’t just a stroke of luck. It resulted from concerted efforts by individuals and organizations dedicated to equine welfare.

Rescue facilities and adoptive families play crucial roles in rewriting the fates of these animals. In these nurturing environments, horses receive tailored care to address their physical ailments and psychological traumas. Rescue horses can recover astonishingly with proper nutrition, veterinary care, and positive human interaction.

The final and perhaps most compelling part of this journey is the potential that blooms with nurturing. As these champions have shown, with the proper support, formerly neglected horses can heal and excel in new careers—often beyond what anyone could have anticipated.

In sharing these narratives, I hope to shine a light on the profound impact we can have on another living being’s life. Let’s take this inspiration into our communities and support local rescue operations. Whether through volunteering, donating, or advocating for these graceful creatures, we all can play a part in the continuing saga of rescue horses turned champions.

Champion Jockeys to Jump at London International Horse Show

Sir Anthony ‘AP’ McCoy at London International Horse Show 2022 (London International Horse Show/Peter Nixon)

The ever-popular Markel Jockeys Jumping in aid of The Injured Jockeys Fund class returns to London International Horse Show on the evening of Monday 18 December. The Show, which takes place from 13-18 December at its new home of ExCeL London, is a true equestrian Christmas extravaganza filled with top-level competition and entertainment.

This unique class sees two teams of five world-class jockeys each put their Show Jumping skills to the test in the prestigious International Arena – all in aid of the Injured Jockeys Fund.

This year’s class comes with exciting additions: Great Britain’s Eventing Chef d’Equipe, Dickie Waygood, will be responsible for setting the height of the course, having watched the jockeys warm up, and a Markel Joker fence will be included as the last obstacle in the course, which, if cleared successfully, will subtract four seconds off the jockey’s time – making the competition even more exciting. In addition, Team Trainers Pippa Funnell and Nick Skelton CBE will be on hand prior to and throughout the competition, offering the jockeys guidance and Show Jumping tactics.

The 2023 teams, who have over 16,000 winners between them, will be captained by the legendary Sir Anthony ‘AP’ McCoy and Tom Scudamore. McCoy is a 20-time Champion Jump Jockey and has ridden 4,358 winners, making him the most successful jump jockey of all time. McCoy is also the President of the Injured Jockeys Fund, and a regular at London International Horse Show having led his team to victory in last year’s competition.

His rival captain, Tom Scudamore, is one of the UK’s most successful jump jockeys and is the third generation of the famous Scudamore Racing dynasty. Whilst he retired in February of this year, Scudamore rode an impressive 1,499 winners over jumps and 12 on the flat throughout his career.

Full teams will be decided in the run-up to the Show and released in due course; however, fans will be excited to learn that Harry Skelton, son of Olympic gold medallist show jumper, Nick Skelton CBE, will join the line-up. Harry will also be looking to retain his title from last year, and with a Show Jumping background, he will be one to watch.

Jim Crowley, who names London International Horse Show as his ‘favourite event of the year,’ will also be seen in action. Crowley used to be a jump jockey before he switched paths to become a flat jockey, becoming Champion Flat Jockey in 2016. The three-time and current Champion Jump Jockey, Brian Hughes, is another of the headline names set to fly around the International Arena at the Show.

Representing the women are Joanna Mason and Saffie Osborne. Mason rode as an amateur for many seasons before turning professional on the flat in 2020 and has an impressive tally of over 100 winners already. Meanwhile, Osborne is the daughter of famous jockey turned trainer, Jamie Osborne; having turned professional this year, she is undoubtedly one of the rising stars of the weighing room. Currently recovering from a knee injury, she hopes to make a return to the saddle for the class.

Rounding off this stellar line-up are James Doyle, Ryan Moore, and Harry Cobden. Doyle rides for the mighty Team Godolphin and has just announced a new retainer as a jockey to the Wathan Racing operation for 2024. Moore is a three-time Champion flat jockey, who has ridden over 3,000 winners and won at all the major Classics, including the recent Breeders’ Cup on the Derby winner, August Rodin. Finally, Cobden is one of the UK’s leading jump jockeys as stable jockey to Champion Trainer, Paul Nicholls. With over 750 winners to date, Cobden is undoubtedly a superstar jockey; however, he has stated he has ‘never jumped a course of Show Jumps in his life!’ and so will be looking for expert guidance from the Team Trainers.

Juliet Redfern, Head of Equine Insurance at Markel, added: “Markel is delighted to be sponsoring this fabulous event again and supporting a charity that looks after its own so well. As a specialist equine insurer, we are committed to supporting the wider equine industry through such charitable initiatives, and this is one of our favourite events!”

The Markel Jockeys Jumping in aid of the Injured Jockeys Fund will be part of the Show’s thrilling final performance, which also includes the 5* London Grand Prix, featuring the finest international Show Jumping horse and rider combinations.

For more information, including how to purchase tickets to watch the jockeys at London International Horse Show, visit www.londonhorseshow.com.

For more information, please contact:
Niki McEwen / rEvolution / nmcewen@revolutionworld.com

The 2023 Hampton Classic Kicks Off with a Focus on Equine Welfare

Left to Right: Gabriella Pizzolo, Jill Rappaport, Serena Marron, Valerie Angeli, and Kevin Santacroce Photo @ Marianne Barnett

What better way to start the 2023 Hampton Classic Horse Show than by focusing on the welfare of America’s horses in need of forever homes? The EQUUS Foundation partnered with the Hampton Classic to showcase adoptable horses on Sunday, August 27, during the Opening Day Ceremony in the Grand Prix Ring, and on Monday, August 28, for the annual Adoption event sponsored by Gotham Enterprizes and Georgina Bloomberg.

The Opening Day ceremony previewed the adoptable horses that would be participating the next day and featured popular actress, Gabriella Pizzolo of TV and Broadway; renowned animal welfare and adoption advocate, TV personality and best-selling author, Jill Rappaport; Serena Marron, EQUUS Foundation Advisory Council member; and Valerie Angeli, EQUUS Foundation VP Engagement.

The highlight was the presentation of a $4,000 check to the EQUUS Foundation from ConnectOne Bank, a new sponsor of the Hampton Classic. ConnectOne Bank’s Long Island Market President, Kevin Santacroce, said, “As ConnectOne Bank continues to grow on Long Island and serve the community, I am delighted to honor the EQUUS Foundation with this donation for their long-standing commitment to ensuring the welfare of America’s horses and fostering the horse-human bond.”

Equine Adoption Day

On August 28, Georgina Bloomberg and Jill Rappaport joined Valerie Angeli to emcee the annual Equine Adoption event. Participating EQUUS Foundation Guardian charities included Bergen County Horse Rescue, Rising Starr Horse Rescue, and Sunshine Horses.

Over 100 attendees were able to enjoy not only hands-on experiences with the adoptable horses but also learning experiences, including tours of the state-of-the-art HEART Horse Ambulance and a demonstration of blacksmithing and equine leg anatomy by Tim Fitzgerald of the Long Island University College of Veterinary Medicine. There was also interactive fun featuring Bouncy Horse Racing and Horseless Show Jumping. The Long Island University Equestrian Team volunteered in full force.

Christine Fitzgerald, Executive Director of The Rider’s Closet, was on hand to remind attendees that the donation trunk would be onsite all week. The Rider’s Closet, founded by Georgina Bloomberg and now an EQUUS Foundation program, makes equestrian sport more accessible to all riders to pursue their equestrian dreams.

How You Can Help

Angeli added, “If you can’t adopt a horse, you can still help by lending your voice. Join us as a #HorseProtector by taking the pledge here that you will be a friend and advocate for horses in need.” While no donation is required to take the #HorseProtector pledge, each individual who takes the pledge will have their own customized fundraising page to encourage donations from among their family, friends, and associates. Pledge takers who give or raise $100 or more starting now through August 31, 2024 will be entered into a drawing to win prizes donated by our HorseProtector Sponsors.

There were several adoptions at, and shortly after, the event as well as ongoing interest in all the horses that participated, as a direct result of exposure both in person at the event, and through word of mouth and social media.

A special highlight of the day was the adoption of the Mustang mare, Abracadabra, from Rising Starr Horse Rescue. “Abra, a victim of the government roundups to rid wild horses from public lands, is a symbol of the plight of all American wild horses who are fighting for their lives and who are now desperate for and dependent on new-found purposes once removed from their family herds and natural habitats,” said Angeli. Abra’s life had taken twists and turns for years since her removal from the wild, and this adoption was particularly emotional and triumphant.

Sunshine Horses educated and amazed spectators with their stunning off-track Standardbred horses who were looking for special homes after their harness racing careers had ended. “The stories these horses could tell – from racing, to auction, to almost shipping to slaughter, to being purchased to work as cart and buggy horses for years, only to be sent back to auction – will break your heart,” said Angeli. “The lucky ones find their way to rescue, rehab, rehoming and hope – but many will not. That’s why we are here today, to share their stories and to work together to make sure no horse winds up at risk.”

To learn more about the many horses available for adoption from our Guardian charities nationwide, please visit: equusfoundation.org/adopt.

London International Horse Show Announces King’s Troop Foundation as Official Charity for 2023

Photo: London International Horse Show/Rose Lewis

London International Horse Show announced The King’s Troop Foundation as its official charity for the 2023 edition of the event, which will be held from 13-18 December.

The Foundation was selected to coincide with the return of the renowned King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery Musical Drive to the Show’s arena after 15 years. Formed in 2020, the Foundation promotes the efficiency, morale and well-being of His Majesty’s Mounted Ceremonial Battery and their horses. All members of The King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery are trained operational soldiers who play a vital role in the defence of the United Kingdom. The Foundation holds the best interests of the soldiers at its heart, as it ensures that opportunities that would otherwise be unavailable are provided to them, to boost motivation and engagement in their careers.

The Foundation is funded entirely by voluntary donations, supported by Gift Aid and grants. The partnership with London International Horse Show will provide significant financial and material benefits, including building awareness for the Foundation to the Show’s audience and promotion of the Foundation in the Show’s printed material and through the Show’s social media channels.  Visitors are asked to donate to the Show’s charity at the point of purchasing tickets and a portion of all ticket sales for the Thursday afternoon performance is donated to the Charity.

The Musical Drive of the King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery will be part of the dazzling schedule of equestrian action across the six-day Show. The display will spectacularly demonstrate and highlight the multitude of talent and skill that these soldiers have, but particularly their unique ability to control teams of six horses pulling wheeled guns at high speed. The act will culminate in the firing of the Troop’s 13-pound field guns – a moment sure to create excitement for the audience.

The Commanding Officer, Major John Baileff, expressed his delight at the selection of The King’s Troop Foundation: “All at The King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery are looking forward to being a part of the London International Horse Show. It is one of the highlights of the horse show calendar and we are thrilled and privileged to be part of the show this year.  Having the London International Horse Show select the King’s Troop Foundation to be the Show’s official charity this year is a huge honour for The Troop, with it being such a key part of The Troop’s life. The Foundation is an independent charity that promotes the efficiency, morale, and well-being of the serving Troop and our Military Working Horses, funded entirely by voluntary donations, supported by Gift Aid, and grants. We can’t wait to see everyone in the arena soon.”

London International Horse Show Director, Simon Brooks-Ward, said: “The London International Horse Show is delighted to name The King’s Troop Foundation as our official charity for the 2023 Show. The Foundation supports the operational soldiers who are part of the Troop and honours their dedication. We are proud to be able to contribute and are looking forward to seeing The Musical Drive of the King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery in action at the Show.”

The highly anticipated 2023 edition of the London International Horse Show will bring world-class equestrian action, with its traditional Christmas feel, to the capital’s ExCeL venue. As the only Show in the United Kingdom to host FEI World Cup competitions in Dressage, Jumping, and Driving, it is the pinnacle of the equestrian calendar, attracting many of the world’s best horse and rider combinations from around the globe.

More information about The London International Horse Show, including how to buy tickets and donate to The King’s Troop Foundation can be found here.

For more information, please contact:
Niki McEwen / rEvolution / nmcewen@revolutionworld.com

McLain Ward Receives EQUUS Foundation Spirit Award

Jenny Belknap Kees, McLain Ward, and Lynn Coakley @Phelps Media Group

Monday, March 27th, was a picture-perfect Florida evening, poolside at the Stallion Restaurant in Wellington, Florida, and was the scene for the EQUUS Foundation’s 20th Anniversary Celebration, attended by over a hundred horse lovers and equestrians.  The evening, hosted by renowned equestrians Frank Madden and Jimmy Torano, began after dinner with cocktails, delicious appetizers, bites, deserts, and lively DJ music.

First off was the fierce and hilarious Bouncy Horse Competition. Two volunteers, Luke Jensen and Meghan Davis, faced off, racing one length alongside the pool, retrieving a plastic carrot, and racing back again to the finish line. Both competitors had trouble staying mounted and even wobbled and fell off, but bravely remounted in time for 15-year-old Meghan Davis to take the win by a nose over Luke Jensen.

Madden and Torano then introduced EQUUS Foundation VP, Valerie Angeli, who acknowledged and thanked guests and said, “The time is now to take responsibility for the horses that we ask to trust us. The practice of abandoning horses or subjecting them to neglect, abuse, or being sent to the slaughter pipeline because they couldn’t run fast enough, jump high enough, or were the wrong color or size is never okay.”

Angeli announced the launch of the EQUUS Foundation #HorseProtector Pledge campaign, reading the new pledge and asking guests to sign on. Angeli said, “Horses need all of us to protect them and we need to keep spreading the word and inspiring the equine community to care more about the welfare of horses than what horses can do for us. Horses are living, breathing, feeling partners — not commodities.”

“We hope all horse lovers will sign the pledge at equusfoundation.org/pledge to show solidarity in support of horse welfare. You even get your own fundraising page that you can send to friends and family to help us raise funds – if you would like to take that step. Everyone that raises $1000 or more in this effort will not only help save the lives of America’s horses, but also be eligible for a drawing to win a stunning, special luxury edition CWD Saddle in commemoration of CWD’s 100,000th saddle,” said Angeli.

Bertrand Pelletier, the head of LIM Group North America, spoke briefly about the saddle donation. “’You ride – we care’ is our motto,” said Pelletier, “and we are thrilled to donate this special saddle to a great cause — the welfare of horses through the EQUUS Foundation, in honor of its 20 years of horse protection.”

The highlight of the evening was the presentation of the inaugural Spirit Award to McLain Ward, presented by Jenny Belknap Kees, EQUUS Foundation Chair, and Lynn Coakley, EQUUS Foundation President.

“Twenty years ago, when Jenny reached out to McLain to explain what we were trying to accomplish in establishing the EQUUS Foundation and asked him if he would participate in an event that came to be known as the Fete Cheval, he said ‘Yes’ without hesitation,” said Coakley. “When we reached out to other top equestrians and said McLain is participating, they all followed suit. Little did McLain and the others know what we were going to ask of them!

“Now twenty years later, we are here to present the Spirit Award to honor an equestrian who has significantly elevated the image and desirability of horses. There was no question in either of our minds who would be the first recipient.”

Belknap said, “There’s not a lot that can be said about McLain that hasn’t been said before – except to say that McLain embodies everything that the Spirit Award stands for. He continues to be a force in propelling the equestrian sport forward – always the sportsman and the gentleman – and always a friend and advocate since our founding 20 years ago.”

In accepting the award, Ward said, “It is so important to have an organization like the EQUUS Foundation that not only steps up to protect horses, particularly in the most vulnerable time in their lives, but also keeps us aware of what’s really happening.

“When Lynn and Jenny first approached me about the Spirit Award, my first response was that there must be others who have done much greater work on behalf of all the horses that need our help than myself, and there are, but I accepted because I believe it is critical that horse sports be humane and ethical and responsible and that we take care of our partners throughout their lives, whether they were champions or not.

“The responsibility to lead the way falls on all of us,” says Ward. “We don’t realize where many horses — including show horses and racehorses — end up, and the terrible fate they may face. We just assume that they are taken care of, but that’s not the reality. I am honored to accept this award and to lend my name to the EQUUS Foundation.”

Belknap announced that the EQUUS Foundation is establishing the McLain Ward Horse Whisperer Award and will be awarding a grant in his name IN PERPETUITY to a deserving equine charity that is dedicated to protecting America’s horses and strengthening the horse-human bond.

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

Education, Culture, and Equestrian Sport Converge at FEI World Cup Finals for Omaha’s Youth

Young fans at the FEI World Cup Finals in Omaha (USA) in 2017 – Photo Credit: AJ Olnes.

More than 80 of the world’s top athletes from the disciplines of Jumping, Dressage, and Vaulting will congregate at the CHI Health Center Omaha in Nebraska (USA) for the FEI World Cup™ Finals, where, over the course of five days, they will compete for the ultimate honour of becoming FEI World Cup Champion in their respective disciplines – a title steeped in history – in front of an enthusiastic crowd and global media from around the world.

But for the more than 1,000 elementary school students bound for the event through the Omaha Equestrian Foundation’s (OEF) field trip programme, the event might mark the first time several children ever get to lay eyes on a sport horse.

Thirty-eight schools and homeschool programmes will visit the Finals with a mostly academic objective — and a bit of homework.

OEF has partnered with Prairie Stem to create STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics) kits for students to create prior to attending the Finals. Based out of Omaha, Prairie Stem is an education-based non-profit organisation that seeks to improve critical thinking and creativity in students, from Pre-Kindergarteners to high school seniors.

The World Cup-themed STEAM Kits challenge students to create their own working horse carousel in one of four designs: Dressage, Jumping, Vaulting, and Lakota painted horse — a nod to Omaha’s cultural history.

The Lakota, a Native American people, were among Nebraska’s earliest settlers, and Lakota is a dialect of the indigenous language, Sioux. “Omaha” means “to go against the current” in Sioux, a nod to the Omaha tribe’s journey to the Nebraska territory. The Omaha Tribe of Nebraska thrived through the 1700s and were known for their hunting and farming. Today, the Omaha reservation located in Macy, NE is home to about 3,000 residents.

Among the field trip exhibits for visiting students will reference Omaha’s Native American roots, from a full-size fiberglass horse (to demonstrate Lakota symbology), Native American tribal artifacts, and live and visual storytellers.

They will also be exposed to equestrian sport and horsemanship. Students will get hands on with grooming and receive an introduction to horse care, go on a virtual ride using Virtual Reality headsets, and explore a variety of equine and agricultural career paths.

“We feel that a very important part of running such historically important events such as the FEI World Cup Finals is to inspire and educate the next generation of equestrian athletes and horse lovers,” said Julie Boilesen, CEO of Equestrian Omaha. “The equine legacy in Omaha is deep-rooted in our culture and history, so we are proud to honour our equine athletes by introducing our youth to them in this way.”

The legacy continues for Omaha after hosting the FEI World Cup Finals™ back in 2017, and they are providing the kids with undoubtedly one of the more unique types of classroom, as the young students will be learning in the arena and schooling area from some of the best equestrian athletes in the world.  As they experience horsemanship and our majestic equine athletes up close and personal – valuable lessons that will stay with them for a long time to come.

Perhaps it will mark the start of an equestrian pursuit for a few young, stargazing students.

The 2023 FEI World Cup™ Finals is set for 4-8 April 2023 in Omaha. To learn more, visit https://omaha2023.fei.org/.

By Catie Staszak

press@fei.org
www.fei.org

Household Cavalry Foundation Announced as Official Charity for Royal Windsor Horse Show 2023

Royal Windsor Horse Show is delighted to announce the Household Cavalry Foundation as its official charity for the 2023 edition of the event, which will be held from 11-14 May.

Set up in January 2013, The Household Cavalry Foundation is the official charity of the Household Cavalry. The Foundation exists to provide charitable and pastoral support to all the members of Household Cavalry family including serving Soldiers, Operational Casualties, and Veterans. The Foundation also supports the protection and development of the rich Heritage that surrounds the history of its Regiments, The Life Guards, and The Blues and Royals, as well as the welfare of their retired horses.

The partnership with the Royal Windsor Horse Show will provide financial and material benefits to the Household Cavalry Foundation, including the opportunity to raise donations at the show and have a physical and branding presence at the Show to help communicate key messages to the visiting public.

In addition, the Musical Ride of the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment will be part of the spectacular schedule of equestrian action across the four-day Show. As the only mounted ceremonial soldiers who also serve as fighting soldiers, the Musical Ride of The Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment is unique globally as it demonstrates exceptional horsemanship and the very best of British tradition. The drills, which are based on movements mounted soldiers would have historically used in battle, are carried out to music and performed in a routine that is strongly focused on precise timing and coordination.

Director of the Household Cavalry Foundation, Giles Stibbe, said of the partnership: ‘‘This is a fantastic opportunity for the Household Cavalry Foundation to explain to the public our welfare support to our soldiers who both guard our Sovereign and fight wars for our nation; and our help to our serving and veteran soldiers, their dependents, and our retired horses; and for protecting our 363-year heritage.’’

Royal Windsor Horse Show Director, Simon Brooks-Ward, added: “Royal Windsor Horse Show is delighted to name the Household Cavalry Foundation as our official charity for the 2023 edition of this special Show. The work that they do, not only for their Soldiers, Operational Casualties, and Veterans, but also the heritage of their Regiments and the welfare for their retired horses, is remarkable. The Show is honoured to be able to support such a worthy cause.”

The highly anticipated 2023 edition of Royal Windsor Horse Show will feature four days of world-class equestrian action. The return of CDI4* Dressage to the private grounds of Windsor Castle means that Royal Windsor Horse Show 2023 will feature equestrian action from four international disciplines: Dressage, Jumping, Driving, and Endurance. The Show will also feature a range of exciting performances including the Defender Shetland Pony Grand National and the DAKS Pony Club Mounted Games. Visitors will also be able to enjoy the luxury shopping village, with an array of fashion, lifestyle, and equestrian boutiques, as well as a selection of delicious food outlets.

To find out more about Royal Windsor Horse Show, or to book tickets, visit www.rwhs.co.uk.

For more information, please contact:
Niki McEwen / rEvolution / nmcewen@revolutionworld.com / +44 (0)7757 554 168

Ellie Brimmer Represents Para Dressage with Elected Seat on USEF Board of Directors in 2023

Ellie Brimmer and London Swing by Lindsay Y. McCall.

Wellington, FL – February 9, 2023 – Ellie Brimmer of Wellington, Florida was named to the United States Equestrian Federation’s (USEF) Board of Directors in January 2023. Brimmer, a current USEF Para-Dressage Development athlete representative, is also on the board of the U.S. Para-Equestrian Association (USPEA). She will serve on the USEF Board of Directors for a four-year term. Brimmer, a sixth-generation equestrian, has been an athlete in the international Para-Dressage world since 2011 and a spokesperson for athletes with disabilities her entire life. Brimmer has traveled the world not only as an athlete but as a friend, volunteer, and supporter of Para-Dressage. She has advocated for the Paralympic discipline helping trainers, riders, and press understand the parallels of Para-Dressage and Dressage as a high-performance sport. Brimmer was a daily call and friend of Hope Hand (1949-2022) who pushed Para-Dressage into the mainstream equestrian world and made it what it is today. Brimmer was there when the term Para-Dressage was in its infancy and she was there when the first U.S. para-dressage rider, Roxanne Trunnell, earned two gold medals at the 2020 Tokyo Paralympics along with the team bronze medal for the USA, and then once again at the 2022 ECCO FEI World Championships where U.S.A earned a team bronze, an individual silver, and an individual bronze, earning a berth for the Paris 2024 Paralympic Games. Brimmer is looking forward to her four-year term with USEF.

Brimmer expressed, “I’m honored to have been voted onto the USEF Board of Directors as an active athlete representative by my peers. Hope Hand and Lloyd Landkamer, who have both passed away, were my biggest mentors and really pushed me from being a competitor to the national volunteer realm. Both Hope and Lloyd had illustrious service careers, and I think of them often as I’m finding my own voice on this board. Hope spent a lot of time advocating for the para-equestrian board seat and I’m glad I can fulfill this role. My personal goal as a board member is to spend time getting to know the leadership from other breeds and disciplines and find ways to create more interest in and understanding of para-sport. As a board member, I want to serve my small para dressage community and the larger equestrian well.”

Tina Wentz, interim President of the USPEA, stated, “Hope would be so proud to see Ellie fulfill this role with USEF. Hope knew it meant a great deal for the discipline to be represented in this manner and she worked hard to create future seats for the para-equestrian discipline. Ellie will do a fantastic job on the board and we look forward to her representation over the next four years.”

For more information about the USPEA, please visit www.USPEA.org.

An Entire Community Inspired to #BeTheChange

Photo © Wellington International.

Over $1.5 Million to Be Distributed at 14th Annual Great Charity Challenge

Wellington, Florida – February 2, 2023 – After a record year for the 2022 Great Charity Challenge sponsored by Fidelity Investments® (GCC), donors, riders, and charities are at the edge of their seats to see what this year holds. Inspired by this enthusiasm, this year’s event aims to motivate the community to #BeTheChange and empower individuals to get involved locally!

As J. K. Rowling reminds us, “We are only as strong as we are united, as weak as we are divided,” and the GCC is an incredible example of how unity amplifies impact. On Saturday, February 4, people from all walks of our community will come together as one at Wellington International to cheer the night away. Home of the Winter Equestrian Festival, the venue will transform into Candy World and the night will feature an exciting relay style show jumping competition with horses and riders alike decked out in their most creative candy themed costumes.

Founded by father/daughter team of Mark and Paige Bellissimo in 2009, the GCC has acted as a catalyst for charitable giving over the last 13 years, distributing a phenomenal $17.7 million to 294 local non-profit organizations. This united community effort will set out in its 14th year to help build a path to a sweeter future for our Palm Beach County neighbors in need.

Thirty-four non-profit organizations, who were randomly selected at our first annual Charity Drawing Party and leading up to the event, will meet their paired equestrian teams and sponsors as they compete for a share of the $1.5+ million purse. The winning team’s nonprofit will receive $100,000 while all pre-selected participants are guaranteed a minimum grant of $15,000. To view the full list of participating charities (listed alphabetically), CLICK HERE.

“Our community never fails us when it comes to the GCC. This year, especially, we want to extend this generosity beyond just that night and inspire more people to get involved with the amazing organizations this event highlights,” comments Kelly Arani, GCC Event and Marketing Coordinator.

To contribute to this community effort, visit https://unitedwaypbc.org/great-charity-challenge/.

Children of all ages will be back again this year for the Pet Parade and Costume Contest, generously presented by the Postage Stamp Farm Foundation. By dressing up with their favorite pet, children will represent pre-selected non-profit organizations and celebrate the power of doing good at any age! Exciting news this year: thanks to matching sponsor The Wedell Family Foundation, the 15 pre-selected non-profit organizations will share $50,000 in prize money.

Each year new and recurring donations and sponsorships from local families, foundations, businesses, equestrians, and more, ranging from $5 to $100,000, are the key to reaching our fundraising goal of more than $1 million.

Equestrian Sport Productions, the Wellington International operating organization that oversees equestrian events at the venue throughout the year, and Wellington International owner Global Equestrian Group donate the facility, staff, and infrastructure to ensure the success of the charitable event and guarantee that 100% of the funds raised are redistributed in the community.

The GCC competition will offer free general admission and will be held Saturday evening, February 4, 2023, at 6 p.m. at Wellington International during WEF’s “Saturday Night Lights.” Free parking will be located at 13500 South Shore Blvd., Wellington, FL 33414, home to the Adequan® Global Dressage Festival show grounds.

For the latest event information, please visit www.greatcharitychallenge.com.

Wellington International | (561) 793-5867
news@wellingtoninternational.com
www.wellingtoninternational.com

We Need Your Clothes! Help Make Dreams Come True for Deserving Riders

We’re just coming through the busiest season ever for The Rider’s Closet, and we’re putting the word out to our equestrian friends that our inventory could surely use some replenishment before the next rush of requests comes in. We get many heartfelt notes from recipients letting us know just how much receiving equestrian gear from us free of charge means to them, and we have YOU, our kind and giving riding community, to thank for it!

The Rider’s Closet accepts donations of new and gently used riding attire and provides it to equestrians in need around the country. We serve individuals of all ages and at every level of horsemanship.

If you’re switching out your seasonal gear or have items you no longer need or have outgrown, we will ensure that they will go to a happy new home. We accept all show and schooling apparel/boots for adults and children. For safety reasons, the only items we cannot accept are helmets and protective riding vests.

We currently are most in need of tan show breeches in all sizes, show coats in ladies’ sizes 0-6, youth schooling breeches/tights and tops, and paddock boots. Children, tweens, and teens are the largest groups we serve, and smaller ladies’ sizes and youth sizes are always in the highest demand. Please know, however, that anything you send will be of help and is greatly appreciated.

Founded by Georgina Bloomberg in 2006, The Rider’s Closet became an EQUUS Foundation program in 2019. All donations to The Rider’s Closet are tax-deductible as allowed by law.

Recipients of Rider’s Closet apparel include equestrians from scholastic riding programs, pony clubs, veterans’ programs, therapeutic riding centers, equestrian camp programs, equine charities, programs for disadvantaged youth, and individual riders in need. Our list of recipients grows every year, and our ability to serve them is only possible because generous riders and equestrian apparel companies keep the donations coming!

Donors can mail their donations directly to us. CLICK HERE for details and a donation form (required only if you would like an acknowledgement for taxes). We also have year-round donation collection at Brennan’s Bit & Bridle in Bridgehampton, NY and Manhattan Saddlery in NYC.

Donors local to our workshop in Westchester County, NY are welcome to make an appointment to drop off a donation. To schedule an appointment, check with us regarding what we can accept, or learn more about the program, contact us at riderscloset@equusfoundation.org.

On behalf of the thousands of riders who ask us to help make their equestrian dreams come true, thank you in advance for your generous and much-needed support!

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