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USET Foundation Kick Off Gala Launches $20 Million Campaign to Achieve Competitive Excellence

WELLINGTON, FL – February 13, 2007 – The United States Equestrian Team (USET) Foundation launched its $20 million Campaign to Achieve Competitive Excellence at a Kick Off Gala in Wellington, Florida, on Saturday evening, February 10. The black-tie event was held at Stillpoint Farm, a beautiful dressage facility owned by Tuny and David Page. In attendance were 240 invited guests including athletes, coaches, U.S. equestrian team supporters, and staff members of the USET Foundation and the United States Equestrian Federation (USEF).

USET Foundation President and Chief Executive Officer Jane Forbes Clark delivered the Keynote Address, announcing the launch of the $20 million Campaign to Achieve Competitive Excellence. Clark detailed the legacy of world-class achievements that U.S. equestrians have amassed to date and then pointed out that the U.S. must secure every competitive advantage going into the 2008 Olympic Games in Hong Kong and the 2010 World Equestrian Games in Lexington, Kentucky.

“Toward that end, tonight we are officially launching the USET Foundation Campaign to Achieve Competitive Excellence, a $20 million campaign that will allow our sport to put funding in place now for the years ahead,” Clark said. She explained how the funding would be used to help U.S. coaches and athletes develop and implement a long-range strategic plan.

“As we kick off the campaign tonight, it is with tremendous gratitude that I can announce that we have already raised $10 million towards our $20 million goal,” Clark said and thanked the early campaign donors, many of whom were at the gala. She noted, “I would like to recognize Tucker Johnson, our Campaign Chairman, who showed his commitment and support of the campaign by making the first leadership gift of $1 million to get the campaign started.”

Over the next two years, the USET Foundation will work to raise the remaining $10 million. Clark recognized USET Foundation Executive Director Bonnie Jenkins for her efforts in raising the $10 million for the Campaign to Achieve Competitive Excellence.

Clark wrapped up the Keynote Address by thanking the athletes, coaches, donors of leadership gifts, and the owners of team horses. She concluded saying, “We all share a commitment that the USET remains a force to be reckoned with in international equestrian competition and I ask you to help us maintain this level of performance that has become the United States Equestrian Team legacy and join us in our Campaign to Achieve Competitive Excellence.”

Special Presentations at the USET Foundation Kick Off Gala

Highlighting the gala dinner were presentations made by President Clark on behalf of the USET Foundation. Tuny and David Page were acknowledged for their generosity in hosting the event. Jacquie Mars and Ethel M. Chocolates, Melissa Cohn and Manhattan Mortgage, and Mason Phelps, Jr. and PhelpsSports.com were acknowledged for underwriting the evening. Frank V. Lloyd, a Foundation Trustee who served as USET Foundation Chairman of the Board from 2002-2006 and recently stepped down as Clark assumed the presidency, was acknowledged for his work. Elma Garcia was applauded for her creation and execution of the Athletes Portrait Campaign, which is a public relations campaign based on images and posters of the High Performance athletes that will be fully displayed at the Rolex FEI World Cup Final™ in Las Vegas this April.

Awards presentations also recognized the Gold Medal Club members celebrating their 10-year, 15-year, 20-year, and 25-year anniversaries as supporters of the USET Foundation.

Clark presented two special trophy awards to riders. Carolyn Kelly was awarded the Lionel Guerrand-Hermes Trophy. Hermes Director of Equestrian Marketing Bill Whitehead presented Kelly with an Hermes saddle. Beezie Madden was presented with the Whitney Stone Cup for an unprecedented second year in a row. Both athletes delivered outstanding thank-you speeches recognizing and thanking their fellow teammates and the USET Foundation.

PHOTO CAPTION: USET Foundation President Jane Forbes Clark and Elma Garcia, creator of the Athletes Portrait Campaign. PHOTO CREDIT: Heather Caristo

The non-profit United States Equestrian Team Foundation supports the competition, training, coaching, travel and educational needs of America’s elite and developing international, high-performance athletes and horses in partnership with the United States Equestrian Federation. For more information about the USET Foundation or to make a donation, please call (908) 234-1251 or visit the USET Foundation website at http://www.uset.org.

 

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