Jun 09, 2020

Every Eventer is a Champion

By Jo Whitehouse - USEA Foundation
Arielle Aharoni and Dutch Times jump a frangible table at Plantation Field which was built with your donations. USEA/Jessica Duffy Photo.

We asked – you answered – and as a result, the USEA Foundation’s Frangible Technology Fundraising Initiative is closing in on its goal of FIVE HUNDRED THOUSAND DOLLARS! You, our members, made that happen, and there are not enough thank yous in the world to show you how much we value you.

The entire eventing community has continued to raise money for the frangible technology fund. Because of you, the fund has just hit another benchmark, triggering the next $50,000 match from the Manton Foundation. With that match, the current amount raised sits at $315,000! With the matching funds, only $85,000 is needed to reach our goal of $500,000.

Making the Most of the Downtime

The USEA Foundation began distributing funds to organizers in early May, and to date, 48 USEA recognized competition venues have applied for frangible technology grants to build 79 new table fences. In addition to the frangible devices, $79,000 in cash grants has been being awarded to the applicants. All grants requested to date are being fully funded. Phase Two of the program will be open for grant applications shortly.

Andy Bowles, Chair of the Frangible Technology Fund Committee, praised the overall effort by donors and organizers. “I would like to thank everyone who has donated to date. So far, we have sent out over 40 kits to events and we have purchased another 100 MIM kits, which should arrive in early July. It was amazing to see Plantation, one of the first events to start back, do so with two new frangible tables.”

Photos of the frangible fences built with funds from this program can be viewed here.

Ink, Auctions, and Saddle Pads

The nationwide community effort has been outstanding, but a few have gone above and beyond to make the sport safer. Jon Holling, chair of the USEA Cross-Country Safety Subcommittee and a member of the Frangible Technology Fund Committee, promised to get a #FrangibleNow tattoo across his ribs if we hit the next $50,000 benchmark before the first horse left the start box following the shutdown. That challenge was met before competitions reopened and we all look forward to the photo of Jon’s new tattoo.


Jamie McAllister, an eventer from Metamora, Michigan, bolstered the effort by spearheading an online auction and t-shirt sales that raised over $6,500. “I got involved because I felt strongly about changing the safety of our sport,” said McAllister. “I started eventing in the late 1980s and so many things have changed in our sport; our format, our course design, the popularity of our sport, so not to take advantage of new technology that has been offered to make our sport safer just didn’t make sense.”

“There were some pretty amazing people that stepped up to donate [to the auction], and people got pretty excited about the items. What I learned from doing the fundraisers is that there are a lot of amazing people in our sport, people that do care, and do put their money where their mouth is. It was nice to see,” continued McAllister.

Ecogold also joined in the fundraising efforts earlier this spring, donating to the initiative 15% of all sales of Ecogold XC saddle pads ordered from their website and 10% of wholesale orders.

“My father, the founder of Ecogold, was an engineer, and safety was very important to him,” said Patricia Da Silva, Ecogold President. “He would have wanted us to support this initiative and the eventing community. Ecogold has always believed that safety and technology go hand-in-hand, and we want to see every rider finish their course safely.”

In addition to the public fundraising efforts and the hard work from the entire eventing community, the USEA Foundation also received two anonymous donations – one for $10,000 and another for $30,000 – that helped push the fundraising up to the next match level.

But frangible technology does not relieve us from our individual responsibility to ride safely on cross-country. “Frangible technology, as incredible as it is, shouldn’t be looked at in a way that would diminish any respect toward any cross-country effort,” explained McAllister. “Making our sport safer starts at home, starts with training, and starts with a proper education and training program. I don’t think those things can be overlooked.”

How to Donate

Donations to the USEA Foundation are fully tax-deductible. Donate today by going to https://useafoundation.org/donate and selecting “Frangible Technology Fund” from the dropdown menu.

All donations will help increase safety in the sport of eventing. Help us reach the next match level of the Manton Foundation and our goal of $500,000

Learn more about the frangible technology fundraising efforts here.

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