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USET Foundation Awards $2 Million to USEF for High Performance Programs

Gladstone, NJ – January 4, 2007 – The United States Equestrian Team (USET) Foundation awarded a $2 million grant to the United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) in November 2006 in support of the organization’s eight High Performance programs. The High Performance disciplines are dressage, driving, endurance, eventing, reining, para-equestrian, show jumping, and vaulting. USET Foundation funding provided support, in whole or in part, for High Performance athletes to participate in both national and international events in 2006. The USET Foundation was able to provide the $2 million grant to USEF through its fundraising efforts and the generous donations of contributors nationwide.

“We all owe a debt of gratitude to the incredibly loyal and supportive donors to the USET Foundation for making a grant of this amount possible,” said USET Foundation Executive Director Bonnie Jenkins. “Our supporters recognize the incredible talent of our athletes and coaches and are willing to help them achieve excellence at the highest level of our sport. We cannot thank them enough.”

Highlighting the list of accomplishments for High Performance athletes in 2006 was the World Equestrian Games (WEG) in Aachen, Germany, where the U.S. teams in seven disciplines brought home a total of nine medals – the most the United States has ever earned at a WEG. Importantly, funding from the USET Foundation helped provide the support necessary for the three Olympic disciplines (dressage, show jumping and eventing) to qualify at the WEG for the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games.

“Much of our success in Aachen was due to the $2 million grant the United States Equestrian Federation received from the USET Foundation,” said John Long, Chief Executive Officer of the USEF. “It was an enormous exercise both in terms of logistics and cost. This partnership is working in the way it was envisioned three years ago. We applaud and thank the Foundation for its efforts. We simply could not have done it without them.”

With support from the USET Foundation, the High Performance athletes claimed additional honors internationally in 2006, including reiners Shawn Flarida and Tom McCutcheon capturing Gold and Silver medals respectively at the FEI World Reining Masters Finals in Denver, Colorado; the para-equestrian team’s victory at the Continental Championship and Paralympic Qualifier in Vancouver, BC, which qualified a team for the 2008 Paralympic Games in Beijing; driver Chester Weber’s first place finish in the Combined Event for Four-in-Hand Horses at the CAI-A 4* in Landen, Germany; driver Katie Whaley’s victory in Pairs of Ponies at the CAI-W in Windsor, Great Britain; vaulting team FAME’s win at the CV12* Munich, Germany; and the show jumpers’ second place overall finish after eight European competitions in the FEI Samsung Super League.

Funding support from the USET Foundation also helped athletes reach their goals through training opportunities. The six dressage riders short-listed for the WEG traveled to Elmlohe and Verden, Germany, to compete and receive training preparation from Chef d’Equipe Klaus Balkenhol. Each of the 12 endurance riders and six ranked alternates on the National Team participated in one of two training events organized by USEF prior to WEG team selection. Eight eventers received funding prior to the WEG to compete in Europe and participate in training sessions in Burghley, England.

“The USET Foundation will continue in earnest to achieve its mission of supporting athletes, promoting international excellence and building for the future,” said Executive Director Jenkins. “Our success at the Foundation directly impacts this country’s ability to achieve success at international championships and we look forward to rising to the challenge along with our athletes and U.S. equestrian teams.”

 

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