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Equestrian Aid Foundation Exceeds $1 Million in Donations

WELLINGTON, Fla. (July 14, 2008) - More than $1 million has been raised and distributed by the Equestrian Aid Foundation (EAF) to support equestrians with life-threatening illnesses or catastrophic injuries. The 12-year-old nonprofit provides funding for medical, healthcare, rehabilitation and essential expenses, such as housing and food to its grant recipients throughout their time of need.

"This milestone is so much more than a number. It represents all the people who have needed the Equestrian Aid Foundation to get through a really tough time, as well as all the donors who understood the responsibility we have as equestrians to take care of our own," said R. Scot Evans, president of the EAF and one of its several founders. "Thanks to our many donors over the years, the Equestrian Aid Foundation has been able to make a monumental difference in the lives of so many that share our passion for horses and horse sports."

Established in 1996 as the Equestrian AIDS Foundation, financially assisting those in the equestrian community with HIV/AIDS, the organization expanded its mission in 2006 to provide assistance to those suffering from a catastrophic accident, injury or illness and changed its name to the Equestrian Aid Foundation. Applicants for aid have increased with its new mission, creating a need for more funding. Last year the EAF began offering multi-level yearly memberships and monthly donor programs to ensure a consistent income of support for its recipients. Since support from the horse world has become critical to achieving this new mission, the EAF has also expanded into corporate and association sponsorships.

In March the EAF made international headline news when one of its board of governors also became a recipient after a fall in competition. While former Olympic eventer Darren Chiacchia is recognized around the world, most of the EAF's recipients remain in relative anonymity. Recipients have few similarities, other than a need for assistance and their love of horses. They come from all walks of life - riders (professional and amateur), farriers, show organizers, trainers and managers; diverse disciplines - both Western and English; well-known competitors and pleasure riders; ages ranging from 14 to 56; and living in all parts of the country - both urban and rural.

"Our recipients are mostly ordinary people with an extraordinary love of horses," said Janise Gray, director of grant recipient services for the EAF and one of its former executive directors. As an integral part of the EAF since its inception, Gray added, "in many cases, I am the only person in the organization who knows a recipients' identity. I am privileged and honored to know them as I do. They have changed my life with their indomitable spirit, spirituality and love - of life and horses.

"Our many generous benefactors enable EAF to give its recipients the dignity, quality of life and the most fundamental - hope - they deserve." Gray concluded, "The ride for hope is more than a motto for those involved with the EAF - it's also the ride for life."

About the Equestrian Aid Foundation

Established in 1996 to assist those with HIV/Aids, the EAF broadened its scope to provide support for anyone in the equestrian world suffering from life threatening illness, catastrophic accidents or injuries by providing direct financial support for their medical or other basic needs. It is a 501 (c) 3 organization. To learn more about the EAF and its memberships, donations and corporate sponsorships, visit http://www.equestrianaidfoundation.org.

 

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