The US athletes and horses are heading to Europe this summer to tune their engines for next years, World Equestrian Games. It’s not all glam and glitter for these top Grand Prix horses and riders. The clear path for a North American is a tough, long and treacherous plane ride, many van trips, a ferry for some, with the athlete all covered in hay and bedding during the trips. Aiming for the highest honor, competing for the US and planning a tour on the CDI circuit for the international stage takes planning, budgeting, fundraising, hard work, and sacrifice. Costs involved in competing at the FEI levels involved many aspects beginning with the cost of quality horse flesh, their maintenance, show fees, travel budgets, training and always preparing for the unexpected. Whether a rider and horse is supported in part by a benefactor or not, sacrifices are always made, as this effort becomes full time often pulling the trainer from their students and livelihood. National organizations and the efforts of the USET Foundation to assist in training and expenses have increased especially approaching a World Equestrian Game (WEG) year. Getting on the short-list next year will be an achievement itself, but we all know it’s that invasion of Europe that’s going to make the USA take over that podium.
The new Technical Advisor/Chef d’Equipe, Robert Dover, really is working hard to help the athletes have a fighting chance next year. He hosted a USET Fundraising dinner to help many athletes get to Europe right away.
Robert Dover said, "We were thrilled with the outcome of the USET Foundation Benefit for Dressage High Performance Athletes preparing for the 2014 World Equestrian Games in Normandy, a few weeks ago. We raised over $160,000, thanks to our fantastic sponsors and platinum level table donors, Equestrian Sport Production, Kim and Frederic Boyer, David and Tuny Page and Fritz Kundrun who totally underwrote the event; as well as to everyone who came out and supported the event through their attendance and lively auction bidding!
The USET Foundation contributes approximately $2.5 million dollars each year to the USEF's High Performance programs, and this benefit supplemented this already generous support. The additional funds raised, restricted for dressage, made it possible to increase the amount of funding each of the 10 horse/rider combinations received for their European competition and training this year.
Our greatest avenue for support is the USET Foundation. It is through the generosity of individuals who make the USET Foundation part of their charitable giving each year, and are willing to make major gift commitments over a multi-year period, that we will be able to put together a comprehensive high performance program including providing meaningful grants to our riders that will help prepare our “team” for success at international championships. Every dollar helps and sending any donation to the USET Foundation ensures our Teams of a stronger future in this very expensive sport.
My goal is to help in every way possible to produce more funding for every division within our Dressage discipline, from the Juniors through the Young Riders and Horses, to the Developing and Elite International divisions. Success requires as much or even greater funding than our greatest competitor nations in our sport. Therefore, this must be among one our most important goals. Americans are winners at heart and I know that they rarely fail to meet any challenge put in front of them."
P.O. Box 355
Gladstone, NJ 07934
Please consider teaming up on the journey to Normandy with these athletes. As the athletes and horses begin to compete in Europe, they all deserve an added cheer for all their planning and hard work. We are proud of the momentum that has been started and look forward as a nation to pursue everything we can for our sport: Dressage.