Wellington, FL – To bring a horse and rider to competition on the international stage really does take a village of support, from grooms and trainers to owners, riders, and fans. Dressage rider Shawna Harding and her 13-year-old Danish gelding Come On III were recently boosted into a spot on the US Team for the World Cup Finals in s’ Hertogenbosch, Holland after James Koford and his mount Pharaoh were forced to drop out due to an injury. Harding and Come On III now have the daunting task of garnering the necessary funds to cover the expenses of traveling and competing overseas, and Custom Saddlery, makers of custom fit jumping and dressage saddles, has stepped up to the plate. Custom Saddlery is offering a free set of Dressage Sport Boots (DSBs) to anyone who makes a donation of $50 or more towards Harding’s fund.
Custom Saddlery, who sponsors Harding, has a long history of supporting its riders and the sport of dressage. Cary Wallace, the President of Custom Saddlery, is pleased to be able to help Harding and the United States dressage team. “Shawna is based in Aiken, right around the corner from us and we have been following her success over the past years,” said Wallace. “She and my wife, Lisa, have collaborated on the training and sales of a few horses and we want to do all we can to support American riders in their pursuit of success overseas and at home. We hope the dressage community will rise to the occasion and take us up on our offer!”
Harding and Come On III will depart for Holland on April 7th, and are hoping to raise about $25,000 before then. “I am very thrilled to be competing in the World Cup Finals this year,” said Harding. “It was a bit unexpected, so the pressure is on to raise the funds, but I have a great support group behind me and can’t thank my sponsors enough. Custom Saddlery has really taken it to another level with the DSB offer. Come On III has been getting better and better at each outing and we just broke 70% in the Grand Prix Special. I am so proud of him and am looking forward to representing the US again at a World Cup!” In addition to Custom Saddlery, Harding has backing from Katherine Gallagher of Elite Equine Imports, Inc., a premier importer of horses for the adult amateur dressage market, and the support of her clients and colleagues. Professional equestrian photographer Susan Stickle is donating an image of Shawna and Come On III to be used in her fundraising efforts, and Come On III’s massage therapist, Barbara Foose, is donating 20% of the price of a massage to Harding’s World Cup fund until the pair departs, proving that it really does take an entire village!
Donations can be made on Harding’s Facebook page through Paypal by visiting http://fundrazr.com/campaigns/3HtXb.
For more information on Shawna Harding, visit www.shawnahardingdressage.com. For more information on Custom Saddlery, visit their website at www.mysaddle.com. For more information on Elite Equine Imports, Inc., visit their website at www.eliteequineimports.com.