Equestrians in Wellington Step Up in Support of America’s At-Risk Horses
Equestrians in Wellington including many well-known hunter and jumper riders, trainers and owners, and long-standing EQUUS Foundation supporters gathered on behalf of the EQUUS Foundation on Friday night, January 27th, and its new #RideForHorses appeal to help more of America’s at-risk horses than ever before. The event was a cocktail party hosted by Mason Phelps and Ron Neal at their home to celebrate the magic and power of horses and encourage the equestrian community and the public to step up and help. View event photos here.
Georgina Bloomberg, Jennifer Gates, Valerie Angeli, Hayley Barnhill and Ariana Rockefeller.
“Horses are amazing athletes,” said EQUUS Foundation Founder and President, Lynn Coakley, but they can do so much more and where they go next is up to us. They teach us, heal us, carry us, inspire us. We need to protect them.”
“In 2016 alone, 130,000 American horses were shipped across the border to be slaughtered. Most were young and healthy and could have had a future. No horse deserves this,” said Valerie Angeli, the EQUUS Foundation’s new VP of Communications and Special Projects.
Havens Schatt, Nick Skelton & Laura Kraut
Kathleen Gannon-Ledsome & Kay Gannon
Tim Kees & Jenny Belknap Kees, Chair, EQUUS Foundation
Ron Neal with EQUUS Foundation’s mascot Butterscotch
|“The EQUUS Foundation is so important to the future of our sport and to the welfare of horses across the country. They are a lifeline for the horses behind the scenes that are desperate for loving homes and useful lives,” said Georgina Bloomberg. The EQUUS Foundation is dedicated to ensuring the future that America’s horses deserve. The work of horse rescues is critical but they can only help about 20 percent of homeless horses in the US.
“We need to step up our support of organizations that are retraining and placing horses in programs to go from racehorse to show horse, show horse to therapy horse, therapy horse to pleasure horse – and especially organizations where horses are performing miracles for people with special needs. Horses want and need jobs,” said Angeli.
“We as equestrians must be part of the solution, and we can!” Angeli explained the EQUUS Foundation’s new #RideForHorses campaign and the Best Performance Competition endorsed by the United States Equestrian Federation (USEF).
“It’s competitive – it saves horses lives – and inspires others to do the same,” said Angeli. For a $100 donation, exhibitors are recognized for their performance at each show where they compete; they can wear the blue EQUUS Foundation armband when they are competing to show they are giving back to horses; they can post their accomplishments on social media and tag the EQUUS Foundation at #EQUUSFoundation and #RideForHorses – and 100% percent of all donations helps fund jobs for horses. She encouraged riders of all levels competing in Wellington and all around the country to participate.
The end of year winners will not only be recognized nationally by the United States Equestrian Federation (USEF), they will also get to award an equine charity on the EQUUS Foundation network to receive a grant of up to $5,000 in their names. “It’s a victory for America’s horses no matter who wins,” said Angeli.
As the only national animal welfare charity in the United States 100% dedicated to horse welfare and the horse-human bond, the EQUUS Foundation is currently providing resources to over 1,000 equine charities that are saving the lives of America’s horses and providing America’s horses with meaningful careers beyond sport. “We help these organizations be better and stronger at what they do and we provide all our available funding to the ones operating at the highest standards,” said Coakley.
Photos courtesy of Lenore Phillips/Phelps Media Group.