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Michele Arnhold's Memory Recognized at Fairfield County Hunt Club June Benefit Horse Show

WESTPORT, CT - July 3, 2008 - The equestrian community lost a life-long horse lover and top equestrian in December 2007 with the passing of Michele Arnhold. Well respected for her spirit, competitiveness, dedication and sportsmanship, she touched the lives of many people in the horse show community, both in Fairfield County and beyond.

In recognition of her contribution to the sport, The Fairfield County Hunt Club June Benefit Horse Show, in association with The EQUUS Foundation, Inc., established The Michele Arnhold High Score Hunter Award to be presented to the horse with the highest score in any class in the following "AA-Rated Hunter Divisions - Regular Conformation Hunter, Green Conformation Hunter, Regular Working Hunter, Green Working Hunter First Year, Green Working Hunter Second Year, Amateur Owner Hunter and Junior Hunter.

The award recognizes the best competitive achievement by a horse at the Fairfield County Hunt Club June Benefit Horse Show in memory of Michele Arnhold's life-long passion and pursuit of excellence and her commitment and contribution to the equestrian sport.

Sarah and Frank Kruel were on hand to represent the Arnhold family and present the first Michele Arnhold High Score Hunter Award to Savannah owned and ridden by Casey Green. Casey Green scored a 91. Some of the top hunter riders in the country were competing for the award, including Scott Stewart and Kirsten Coe, who both scored 89 points. The presentation of the magnificent Baccarat crystal of a jumping horse to Casey and her trainer Lainie Wimberly was poignant and attended by many people who dearly appreciated Shelly and her contributions to the equestrian sport.

In related news, thanks to the generosity of its donors, The EQUUS Foundation plans to award $300,000 in grants in 2008, which will top the $1,000,000 mark in grants awarded since grants were first awarded in 2003. The grants, awarded to over 40 charities to support programs that use of the horse for the benefit of the public, promote horse welfare, and elevate the sport, help thousands of horses and people, especially children.

Funds have been raised almost entirely from its two special events - an event at the Winter Equestrian Festival in Florida on Saturday, February 9, 2008, and an event at the Fairfield County June Benefit Horse Show in Connecticut on Saturday, June 28, 2008.

Shelly's spirit and generosity and the generosity of her family and friends moved The EQUUS Foundation to establish an annual and perpetual giving program, named Horse Whisperers, after individuals known to have an extraordinary kinship with horses.

"We believe that Shelly embodied the essence of our mission as an accomplished equestrian who not only appreciated the excitement of the sport but also the special relationship that we are able to have with these magnificent animals. We are most pleased to announce that the first EQUUS Horse Whisperer Fund is to be named in Shelly's memory", said Jenny Belknap, Chairman of The EQUUS Foundation.

EQUUS Horse Whisperers are individuals and organizations who understand that horses benefit people of all ages - whether they come from a privileged background or a disadvantaged one - athletically in the unique way they team with men and women, young and old, allowing them to compete against each other as equals and therapeutically in the magical way they empower and heal those who care for and ride them.

The program was established for donors who wish to leave a lasting legacy by establishing a perpetual relationship with charities that have been approved by The EQUUS Foundation as deserving of grant awards. Donors are welcome to name their funds in honor of a family member, friend, or associate. A memorial fund may also be made to celebrate the memory of a loved one or a loved equine companion. Organizations are also welcome to participate. Donors receive recognition from the Foundation and the charity or charities that receive grant awards derived from their fund.

There is a well known passage from The Horse Whisperer (1998) - the movie directed by and starring Robert Redford, based on the 1995 novel by Nicholas Evans - that inspired The EQUUS Foundation to name its perpetual giving program, Horse Whisperers.

Redford plays the title role of Tom Booker, a man with a remarkable gift for understanding horses. Tom is hired by the character, Annie, who is the mother of an injured teenager to nurse the teenager and her horse back to health following a tragic accident. Annie says to Tom Booker, "I've heard you help people with horse problems." Tom Booker replies, "Truth is, I help horses with people problems."

But the truth really is that horses help people overcome obstacles in their paths and enable them to strive for excellence. It's about how horses enrich humanity by inspiring confidence and responsibility.

For additional information, contact The EQUUS Foundation, Inc., 168 Long Lots Road, Westport, CT 06880, telephone (203) 259-1550, email equusfoundation@aol.com, or visit us at http://www.equusfoundation.org.

ABOUT THE EQUUS FOUNDATION, INC.

The EQUUS Foundation, Inc., established in August 2002, as a 501(c)(3) grant giving foundation, seeks to raise public awareness of the value of the horse in society through education and the award of grants to charities that use the horse to benefit the public, promote the health and welfare of horses, and elevate the equestrian sport as a whole.

The Foundation is governed by a Board of Directors who are responsible for the selection of the grant recipients. The Board includes: Jenny Belknap, Chairman, Lynn Coakley, President, Catherine Herman, Vice Chairman, David T. Goodwin, Secretary/Treasurer, Margaret Bondy, Flavia Callari, David Distler, Gray Fadden, Julie Frank, Leslie Howard, Richard Mitchell DVM, James Newhouse, Clea Newman Soderlund, Allan Shore, Jr., George N. Venizelos, and Visse Wedell.

Thanks to the generosity of its donors, The EQUUS Foundation helps thousands of people and horses each year. Over $850,000 in grants have been awarded in five years, with $250,000 awarded in 2007. Donations are tax-deductible to the full extent of the law. The EQUUS Foundation, Inc., is located at 168 Long Lots Road, Westport, CT 06880 - Tele: (203-259-1550 - equusfoundation@aol.com - http://www.equusfoundation.org



PHOTO CREDIT: Casey Green and Savannah, winner of the Michele Arnhold High Score Hunter Award with Frank Kruel, Lainie Wimberly and Sarah Kruel. Photo courtesy of Reflections Photography.

 

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