Gladstone, NJ - As the end of year draws near, The Jonathan Wentz Memorial Challenge for High Performance Para Dressage has raised $615,000 towards its $800,000 goal, however in order to have the funding needed to implement the Para Dressage High Performance program, it needs more support from those in the equestrian community that want to see our Para Dressage riders have the opportunity to achieve competitive excellence in international competition. The Jonathan Wentz Memorial Challenge is an exciting fundraising initiative that was launched in April thanks to the incredible generosity of Margaret H. Duprey and The Barnfield Foundation. Duprey and The Barnfield Foundation have each pledged up to $200,000, matching dollar for dollar, gift commitments of $4,000 and above, payable over a four-year period made by April 1, 2015.
Just as an example, a gift of $5,000 will provide $15,000 in funding with the match. "The opportunity that we have right now, to literally triple the amount of funding, is something people need to recognize and understand what a tremendous impact they can make for these most deserving athletes", said Bonnie B. Jenkins, USET Foundation Executive Director.
"The Para athletes in the United States work very hard and deserve our unwavering support," commented Duprey. "I became involved with The Jonathan Wentz Memorial Challenge for High Performance Para Dressage because there were no grants that these riders could apply for and I recognized the need to do something that could make a meaningful difference. The Para riders are just as important as the able-bodied riders and they deserve the same treatment and funding. I hope that everyone will take the time to support this effort, so that we can help these riders bring home medals."
The purpose of this Challenge is to establish a base of funding for each of the next four years, which will provide for a High Performance program that will include training sessions, coaching and international competition opportunities leading up to and including the 2016 Paralympics in Rio de Janeiro.
"Having the support for the Para discipline is awesome," said 2014 World Equestrian Games Para Athlete Roxanne Trunnell. "There are a lot of very talented Para riders in the United States and knowing that this country is behind us gives encouragement to strive to succeed."
The Jonathan Wentz Memorial Challenge for High Performance Para Dressage will require extraordinary commitment and the support of those in the equestrian community who love the sport and desire to see our athletes, both equine and human, compete and win at the highest levels of international competition.
For more information on the USET Foundation and The Jonathan Wentz Memorial Challenge for High Performance Para Dressage, please call Bonnie B. Jenkins, Executive Director or Sara Ike, Major Gifts Officer at (908) 234-1251 or visit www.uset.org.
The United States Equestrian Team Foundation is the non-profit organization that supports the competition, training, coaching, travel and educational needs of America's elite and developing international, high-performance horses and athletes in partnership with the United States Equestrian Federation.
The USET Foundation has been awarded Charity Navigators highest honor, a Four Star rating for good governance, sound fiscal management and commitment to accountability and transparency.