Wellington, Florida – It was a successful weekend as JustWorld Rider Ambassadors around the world enjoyed impressive results, including major Grand Prix victories for Colombia’s Daniel Bluman and Catherine Pasmore of the United States. JustWorld International is a not-for-profit, humanitarian organization working as a catalyst for positive change in the developing world by helping children from impoverished communities.
Bluman, 20, topped an impressive field of grand prix veterans by winning the $55,000 Commonwealth Grand Prix at the CSI2* Kentucky Spring Horse Show. Despite being the first of six riders to come back for the jump-off, Bluman posted a clear round aboard Fatalis Fatum in a time that could not be beat.
Bluman first became involved with JustWorld when he was 14, and regularly set the Puissance high jump record at JustWorld’s Horseless Horse Shows. He actively recruited riders from South America to become involved, and also organized Horseless Horse Shows in his native Colombia. Now based in the United States, Bluman continues to be actively involved, particularly with the Horseless Horse Shows.
“I come from a country that has a lot of poverty and a lot of people in need,” said Bluman of his motivation to become involved with JustWorld. “When I saw what (Executive Director) Jessica (Newman) was doing to try to help, I thought I would like to get involved and support the cause.”
He continued, “It is important that people know that there are others out there who are not as fortunate as we are. We are born with a lot of opportunities that most people don’t have. We need to promote JustWorld’s work within the horse industry so that people realize that by giving so little of what they have, they can make a huge difference in the lives of others. For example, one dollar would buy a meal. When Jessica is at a horse show, she is not selling a product; she is promoting a way of life.”
Meanwhile, at the Old Salem Horse Show in New York, Catherine Pasmore celebrated the first grand prix victory of her young career by winning the $40,000 Old Salem Farm Grand Prix. The 18-year-old from Charlottesville, Virginia, topped a 10-horse jump-off by posting the fastest clear round with My Boy, a horse she began riding this winter.
Pasmore has been an active with JustWorld International for several years and, two years ago, became a Rider Ambassador.
“I have known Jessica for a while, and I was always helping out at the Horseless Horse Shows,” said Pasmore of her decision to become a JustWorld Rider Ambassador. “I respect Jessica and all that she has accomplished, and I am honored that she chose me to chair the JustWorld Junior Advisory Board. The Junior Advisory Board consists of about eight to ten of us who are truly dedicated to JustWorld; we are not involved just because we think it will look good on a college application.”
While the Junior Advisory Board plays a significant role in organizing the annual JustWorld Fundraiser in Wellington, Florida, as well as the various Horseless Horse Shows, Pasmore is hoping to organize a trip for the Junior Advisory Board to visit one of the project sites this summer.
Pasmore’s enthusiasm has extended to those around her including her coach, 2008 Olympic Team Gold Medalist Laura Kraut, who recently became a JustWorld Rider Ambassador and made a commitment to the JustWorld project site in Guatemala. Kraut, whose 11-year-old son, Bobby, is also a Junior Rider Ambassador, enjoyed success the same weekend as her student, placing third in the €285,000 Global Champions Tour Grand Prix in Hamburg, Germany, riding Cedric.
Meanwhile, in France, Rider Ambassador Eric Lamaze of Canada won the €20,000 1.50m competition on opening day of CSIO5* La Baule. The current Olympic Champion was riding Hickstead, his partner at the 2008 Olympic Games. Also in La Baule, French Rider Ambassador Kevin Staut was the anchor rider for the home side which emerged victorious in the €200,000 Meydan Nations’ Cup. The reigning European Champion was aboard Kraque Boom.
Two other JustWorld Rider Ambassadors are also gaining competitive experience in Europe. Nick Dello Joio, 20, and Taylor Land, 17, were selected for the U.S. Show Jumping Young Rider Tour, which opened with CSIOY Moorsele from May 14-16 in Belgium. In the CSIOY 1.45m Young Rider Grand Prix, Dello Joio placed second with double clear rounds riding Malcolm while Land, who is a member of the JustWorld Junior Advisory Board alongside Pasmore, incurred four faults in the jump-off to place seventh riding Karonda von Schlossihof.
“We are so excited to see so many of our riders who have been actively involved with JustWorld excelling in the show ring,” said Jessica Newman, Executive Director of JustWorld International, who gave up her own grand prix riding career to focus her efforts exclusively on JustWorld’s work. “Part of JustWorld’s mission is to give riders an opportunity to participate in charitable work while pursuing the sport they are so dedicated to. These Rider Ambassadors demonstrate how they can be at the top of their game at the sport’s highest level and also give of themselves to help others less fortunate.”
With show jumping riders around the world signing up to become JustWorld Rider Ambassadors, Executive Director Jessica Newman has mobilized some of the sport’s biggest names towards supporting JustWorld’s projects. There are currently more than 300 Rider Ambassadors from 34 different countries, ranging from eight-year-old pony riders to Olympic medalists, who help bring attention to JustWorld International’s cause.
Founded in 2003, JustWorld International raises awareness and funds in the equestrian community to support humanitarian projects that benefit impoverished communities and children in the developing world. For more information on JustWorld International, please visit www.justworldinternational.org.
Photos: Daniel Bluman and Fatalis Fatum and Catherine Pasmore and My Boy. Photo Credits – Courtesy of the Riders