The Fete Cheval Bigger and Better Than Ever Before!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Westport, CT - After the roaring success of the Fete Cheval in 2010, there was no hesitation to start making plans for an even more spectatcular event for the 2011 Winter Equestrian Festival - and more spectacular it will be!
Elizabeth Press, Clea Newman Soderlund, and Visse Wedell have signed on as Co-Chairs of the Fete Cheval, which will be held on Friday, March 11, 2011 on the show grounds of the Winter Equestrian Festival in Wellington, Florida.

New for 2011, guests will enjoy cocktails, an auction, and dinner in the Special Events Tent of the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center, but the highlight of the evening will be the gymkhana games in the International Grand Prix Arena featuring the world's top riders. Ralph Caristo, Leo Conroy, and a guest from the audience will "judge" the competitors. Mason Phelps, Jr. will emcee the event.

"We all need a reminder from time to time of how much fun it is to ride, and the top riders in the world are no exception. That's why we are pleased to host the Fete Cheval to benefit The EQUUS Foundation and to encourage not just the equestrian community but also the residents of the Village of Wellington and Palm Beach County to come out to the show grounds and watch what promises to be one of the most enjoyable equestrian events of the upcoming season," said Mark Bellissimo, the Managing Partner of Wellington Equestrian Partners and CEO of Equestrian Sport Productions.

The riders signed on to demonstrate not only their unique equestrian talent but also their great sportsmanship include Max Amaya, Pablo Barrios, John Brennan, Molly Ashe Cawley, Nick Dellojoio, Mario Deslauriers, Hillary Dobbs, Kent Farrington, Sandy Ferrell, Brianne Goutal, Patricia Griffith, Charlie Jayne, Laura Kraut, Beezie Madden, Bert Mutch, Kate Oliver, Rodrigo Pessoa, Peter Pletcher, Kim Prince, Havens Schatt, Louise Serio, Ken Smith, Shane Sweetnam, Jimmy Torano, and McLain Ward.

Also new for 2011, Pure Thoughts Inc. Horse Rescue, based in Loxatchee, Florida, will provide the horses for the event. Pure Thoughts, an all volunteer 501c3 non-profit organization dedicated to saving the lives of horses bound for slaughter and victims of starvation, neglect and abuse, is a recipient of one of the many grants The EQUUS Foundation provides annually to equestrian and equine chairities. To date, Pure Thoughts has rescued over 1,400 horses.

The EQUUS Foundation, Inc. raises its funds almost entirely from event attendance and awarded grants to 60 equestrian and horse-related charities in 2010, bringing the total awards to over $1.5 million.

Tables of eight for the Fete Cheval are available as follows: Gold Medal Front Row Center $5,000; Silver Medal Front Row $3,200 and Bronze Medal Second Row $2,400.

For additional information on The EQUUS Foundation, Inc., visit the EQUUS website at or contact The EQUUS Foundation, Inc., 168 Long Lots Road, Westport, CT 06880, telephone (203) 259-1550,  email to

About The EQUUS Foundation, Inc.

The EQUUS Foundation, Inc., established in August 2002, as a 501(c)(3) national charitable foundation, seeks to raise public awareness of the value of the horse in society through education and the awarding of grants to charities that use the horse to benefit the public, promote the health and welfare of horses, and elevate the equestrian sport as a whole.

The Foundation is governed by a Board of Directors, which is responsible for the selection of the grant recipients. The Board includes: Jenny Belknap Kees, Chairman; Catherine Herman, Vice Chairman; Jane FitzGerald, Secretary/Treasurer; Lynn Coakley, President; David Distler, David Goodwin, Patricia Keenan, Frank Madden, Richard Mitchell DVM, Clea Newman Soderlund, Susan Weber and Visse Wedell.

Thanks to the generosity of its donors, The EQUUS Foundation helps thousands of people and horses each year. Over $1.5 million in grants have been awarded since the first awards in 2003. Donations are tax-deductible to the full extent of the law. Contact The EQUUS Foundation, Inc., at 168 Long Lots Road, Westport, CT 06880, Tele: (203) 259-1550, E-Mail:, website:

Photo: Left to Right: Rodrigo Pessoa, Brianne Goutal, Patricia Griffith, Kent Farrington, Charlie Jayne, and Sandy Ferrell at the Fete Cheval in 2010. Photo courtesy of Phelps Media Group.