Wellington, FL – “We are incredibly proud and honored to be the first to raise the flag,” said the Israeli Equestrian Team’s chef d’equipe and the executive director of T.E.A.M. Israel, Kate Levy before the Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup, which took place on Friday February 27, 2014 in the PBIEC’s International Arena in Wellington, Florida. Danielle Goldstein, Elad Yaniv, and Joshua Tabor made up the first show jumping team in history to represent Israel in the Nations Cup. The team knew that they were going in to the competition as underdogs, but that didn’t stop them from giving their all to fulfill their dream of putting Israel on the map of the equestrian world.
The evening before the Nations Cup, supporters of The Equine Athletics Mission Israel, or T.E.A.M. Israel, came together to build the future of Israel’s equestrian team and celebrate this major step towards putting Israel on the international equestrian map. The Inaugural T.E.A.M. Israel Benefit took place Thursday night at Starwyn Farms in Grand Prix village, raised over $200,000 towards their cause, and welcomed over 100 of the top names in the equestrian industry and supporters of T.E.A.M. Israel.
“The goal was to serve as a launch event, to let people know about our mission and also celebrate the very first Israeli Nations Cup team in equestrian sports,” said Levy. “It brought together many people with similar interests, and we are absolutely thrilled with the result.”
Twelve countries were represented in this year’s Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup, which is part of the 2014 FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival. Canada took home the victory and $75,000, beating Great Britain who came in second and the United States who came in third. The challenging course was set by Steve Stephens of the United States.
Kate Levy spoke for T.E.A.M. Israel by stating that in “just being a part of this event and representing Israel, we have already won. We have garnered Israeli national pride, brought international respect for Israeli athletics, and created a fan base and focul point. We hope that riding for Israel will be something young equestrians aspire to, and by being a part of the Nations Cup we have made it clear that T.E.A.M. Israel is serious about accomplishing our mission.”
Cultivating the equestrian community in Israel and making a name for their country in international competition is of extreme importance to the Israeli Equestrian Team, especially Goldstein. She is an athlete for the Israeli Equstrian Team, and strong supporter of T.E.A.M. Israel. For her, making history by representing Israel in the Nations Cup was just the beginning of the progression towards giving Israel a competitive status in equestrian sports. Deborah Schultz, founder and board chair for T.E.A.M. Israel, said, “It was such a momentous occasion to make history with the first Israeli team ever. The team was warmly embraced by other teams and athletes at official team photos and poster signings, and so many said congratulations and good luck. Watching our three riders stand together with team jackets and to hear them share thoughts on the course and their mounts as a team was truly very special.”
For more information on T.E.A.M. Israel, contact Kate Levy at firstname.lastname@example.org or 914-649-1862.