Eventing entry fees to fund sport horse medical research

Amy Tryon and Coal Creek.
Amy Tryon and Coal Creek at the Kentucky 3DE in 2010. © Mike-McNally-USEF

A dollar from all US Eventing Association entry fees is to fund equine medical research benefiting sport horses, in a partnership with the Morris Animal Foundation.

The initiative was announced at the USEA’s annual awards banquet earlier this month.

The $1 per starter assessment will start in January, and the USEA estimates that about $40,000 will be raised. The money will be used to support projects such as the ongoing USEA Cardiopulmonary Research Study as well as new relevant studies.

Two additional cheques were also presented at the awards banquet to help kick-start the initiative, one from a group of donors and the other from the USEA Endowment Trust and the Amy Tryon Memorial Fund.

A committee from the USEA comprised of riders and veterinarians will determine which studies the USEA dollars will target. Morris will also monitor the studies that the USEA chooses to fund and will report regularly on how the money is being used. 

Morris has decades of experience in reviewing grant applications from universities and research institutions and has a team of veterinarians who spend thousands of volunteer hours assessing which studies are most likely to impact horse welfare.

A group of donors including Mike and Joy VanNoy, Kevin and Gretchen Baumgardner, DC and Steve McBroom, USEA President Diane Pitts, Mark Hart, who is a key player in the Cardiovascular Study, Carolyn Myers, Hilary DeAngelis, Beth Lendrum, Jerome Broussard, Kaiti Saunders, and Katherine Cooper gave a cheque for $11,150  to fund  the USEA’s first batch of equine medical research studies.

And the USEA Endowment Trust and the Amy Tryon Memorial Fund gave $10,650 to the new program.  The Endowment Trust has held Memorial Funds that were donated in Amy Tryon’s memory after her untimely death in 2012.  Tryon’s family and friends decided that these funds will be used to kick off this equine medical research program. The people close to her believed that this was the best way to use the funds that were generated in her memory.

The USEA also issued a challenge to other USEF disciplines to make this program the first step in an ongoing, global effort to raise funds for equine medical research.

United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) President Christine Tauber has lent her support to the endeavor, and is encouraging other disciplines and breeds to create similar programs to support equine medical research.

From left, Morris Animal Foundation Representatives Scott Koskoski, CFRE and Winona Burgess, DVM, CPA and USEA President Diane Pitts.
From left, Morris Animal Foundation Representatives Scott Koskoski, CFRE and Winona Burgess, DVM, CPA and USEA President Diane Pitts. © Leslie Threlkeld/USEA


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