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The EQUUS Foundation and the Ox Ridge Hunt Club June Horse Show Team Up to Help Horses

WESTPORT, CT - March 26, 2009 - The EQUUS Foundation is pleased to announce that it will team up with the Ox Ridge June Horse Show, June 9-14, 2009, in Darien, Connecticut, to raise public awareness of the significant impact horses have not just in the competitive arena, but in our everyday lives.

The EQUUS Foundation will receive proceeds stemming from several fundraising opportunities prior to and during the course of the show, including a $5,000 donation from the show's proceeds. The highlight of the fundraising effort will be the "Blast From the Past Block Party" to be held on the Ox Ridge show grounds on Saturday, June 6, 2009, the weekend preceding the start of the show. Casual chic will be the attire for this fun-filled evening, which will include a reception, dinner, and dancing.

Co-Chairs Flavia Callari of Wilton and Julie Frank of Darien are seeking individuals and local businesses to assist with their gracious generosity either through cash donations, in-kind donations, auction donations and sponsorships. Donations are tax-deductible to the full extent of the law. Callari and Frank, both equestrians, have experienced the powerful and therapeutic impact of horses first hand and hope to share this vision with the larger community.

Horses have existed for 50 million years, predating man. But, once their partnership was forged, no other animal has matched the contributions that horses have made to civilization. Horses continue to make a significant contribution. They enrich and empower us - whether we come from a privileged background or a disadvantaged one.

Thanks to the generosity of our donors, the Foundation has awarded over $1.1 million in grants since its first awards in 2003 to charities that use the horse to benefit the public, promote horse welfare, and elevate the equestrian sport. 50 charities received grants totaling over $300,000 in 2008. The funds raised from the partnership with the Ox Ridge June Horse Show will be used specifically for grants to charities in Connecticut and Westchester County.

In 2008, locally EQUUS horse welfare grants were awarded to help care for the Bridgeport Police Mounted Unit horses, provide a safe and comfortable retirement alternative for geriatric and infirm horses at Mitchell Farm Equine Retirement in Salem, Connecticut, and provide for the rescue and rehabilitation of abused and neglected horses at H.O.R.S.E. of Connecticut, based in Washington, Connecticut. EQUUS Horse Welfare grants support horse rescue, rehabilitation, adoption, and retirement programs across the United States. Grants are also awarded for horse ambulance services, veterinary research, and scholarships for veterinary students.

Sport welfare grants are awarded for scholarships, awards, land conservation, youth programs, public education programs, and relief to equestrians in need. Equestrian sport grants promote all levels of riding for people of all ages. Over 300 colleges and universities benefit from EQUUS-funded intercollegiate riding scholarships. EQUUS also supports the high performance disciplines. This effort was rewarded by the United States Show Jumping Team of Laura Kraut, Beezie Madden, Will Simpson, and McLain Ward, who brought home the Team Gold Medal, and by Beezie Madden who brought home the Individual Bronze Medal from the 2008 Olympics in Hong Kong.

EQUUS public welfare grants are awarded for therapeutic riding and equine-assisted activities for individuals with physical, emotional, behavioral, and learning disabilities, life-threatening or other serious illnesses, and underserved, economically-disadvantaged and "at-risk" youth across the United States. EQUUS public welfare grants in Connecticut and Westchester County support therapeutic riding programs at High Hopes in Old Lyme, Connecticut, and Pegasus and We Will Ride in Brewster, New York. EQUUS also underwrites a therapeutic riding program for children with autism at the Giant Steps School in Southport, Connecticut. The EQUUS grant to the New Canaan Mounted Troop, based in New Canaan, Connecticut, provides scholarships to children from diverse, low-income families to participate in the year-round horsemanship and equine care program.

EQUUS also supports the Hole in the Wall Gang Camp in Ashford, Connecticut, for children with life-threatening and other serious illnesses by supporting its therapeutic horseback riding program. Coping with serious illness takes courage, self-confidence and the ability to visualize wellness. Because the program is so popular and effective, and because of the differing needs and sizes of the children, about half of the equipment needs to be replaced each year.

The EQUUS Grant to Green Chimneys Children's Services & School based in Brewster, New York, supports two of the three EQUUS funding areas. Green Chimneys operates a residential treatment and a special education school for children with emotional, behavioral, social and learning challenges while also providing care for animals and nature. Recognized as a worldwide leader in animal-assisted therapy and activities, Green Chimneys was founded in 1947 by Dr. Samuel B. Ross, Jr., who continues to serve as its Managing Director.

Based outside of Hartford, Connecticut, City Slickers uses horses to provide the common link for students to bridge racial, ethnic, and socio-economic isolation. Paired with suburban youngsters in Wolcott, Southington, Terryville and Bristol in structured cooperative learning lessons, for the inner city youth from Hartford, it is an opportunity for them to leave the city and enjoy a healthy and positive alternative to their daily exposure to gangs, violence and drugs.

Funds also support a program of the Cornell Cooperative Extension of Suffolk County Project SOAR in conjunction with the Suffolk County Department of Probation to allow adjudicated middle and high school youth, 13-17 years of age, to participate in a 4-H program to learn basic horse safety, how to care for a horse, and horseback riding skills.

The benefits of human-animal interaction are well-known, but developing a bond with a horse, whether it be learning to ride or care for these very large animals, is physically and mentally challenging. Learning to ride involves body awareness, balance, eye-hand coordination, muscle control, patience, focus and concentration. Riding and caring for horses builds trust and team work, and improvements in attention span, language skills and empathy for others. Horses give people facing often insurmountable challenges a chance to succeed that is rarely available to them.

The EQUUS Foundation not only provides fundraising support, but also guidelines for management and financial practices. Grant recipients must meet the eligibility criteria set by the Foundation. EQUUS Foundation donors can rest assured that due diligence has been undertaken to insure that their dollars are well spent. They can also feel confident that their dollars are directly helping people, especially children, and horses.

"We are very excited to partner with Ox Ridge, to help them promote the horse show and the equestrian sport. We hope the local community will support our "Blast From the Past" event on June 6th and learn more about how horses positively impact our everyday lives", said Jenny Belknap, Foundation Chair.

For additional information on The EQUUS Foundation, Inc. and the "Blast From the Past Block Party" on Saturday, June 6, 2009 visit the EQUUS website at HYPERLINK "http://www.equusfoundation.org/" http://www.equusfoundation.org, or contact The EQUUS Foundation, Inc., 168 Long Lots Road, Westport, CT 06880, telephone (203) 259-1550, email oxridge@equusfoundation.org.

About The EQUUS Foundation, Inc.

The EQUUS Foundation, Inc., established in August 2002, as a 501(c)(3) national charitable 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, which is responsible for the selection of the grant recipients. The Board includes: Jenny Belknap, Chairman, Catherine Herman, Vice Chairman, David T. Goodwin, Secretary/Treasurer, Lynn Coakley, President, Pamela Allardice, Margaret Bondy, Flavia Callari, David Distler, Gray Fadden, Julie Frank, Richard Mitchell DVM, James Newhouse, Clea Newman Soderlund, 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 $300,000 in grants were awarded to 50 charities in 2008, bringing the total to over $1.1 million in grants since the first awards in 2003. Donations are tax-deductible to the full extent of the law. Contact The EQUUS Foundation, Inc., at 168 Long Lots Road, Westport, CT 06880, Tele: (203-259-1550, equus@equusfoundation.org, http://www.equusfoundation.org.

PHOTO: Left to Right: Julie Frank, Event Co- Chair, Flavia Callari with Splashdown, Event Co-Chair & VP Callari Auto Group , Event Sponsor, Alan Griffin, General Manager, Ox Ridge Hunt Club, and James Buchanan, VP Ox Ridge Hunt Club with Calvin. Photo courtesy of The EQUUS Foundation. Larger version available at phelpsmediagroup.com.



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