Equestrian celebrities in Florida have come together to support the new #RideForHorses appeal by the Equus Foundation to help at-risk American horses.
Georgina Bloomberg, Jennifer Gates, and Ariana Rockefeller were joined by many well-known hunter and jumper riders, trainers and owners at a cocktail party on Friday night to launch #RideForHorses, hosted by Mason Phelps and Ron Neal at their home in Wellington.
For a $100 donation to the initiative, 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, and they can post their accomplishments on social media and tag the Equus Foundation at #EquusFoundation and #RideForHorses. 100% percent of all donations go toward the cause.
The winners of the new #RideForHorses campaign and the Best Performance Competition endorsed by the United States Equestrian Federation will be recognized nationally by the USEF, and they will also get to award an equine charity on the Equus Foundation network to receive a grant of up to $5000 in their names.
“It’s a victory for America’s horses no matter who wins,” said Valerie Angeli, the Equus Foundation’s new VP of Communications and Special Projects.
She said that 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.”
Showjumper Georgina Bloomberg said the Equus Foundation was important to the future of the 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,” she said.
The Equus Foundation is dedicated to ensuring the future that America’s horses deserve. The work of horse rescues is critical but they can help only 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,” Angeli said.
“We as equestrians must be part of the solution, and we can!”
“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.”
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 providing resources to more than a thousand equine charities that are saving the lives of America’s horses and providing them 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,” Coakley said.