The United States Eventing Association (USEA) Foundation is delighted to announce the formation of the Wilton Fair Fund, one million dollars donated by David and Cheryl Lenaburg to support U.S. developing riders. The Fund will allow up to $100,000 in grants to be given each year for a variety of educational opportunities for riders 29 and under who have not yet ridden for a senior team.
David Lenaburg purchased Wilton Fair for David O’Connor to ride in the early 1990s. Wilton Fair was a horse who would help jump start O’Connor’s career – giving him his first CCI3* victory. Lenaburg wishes to be a part of developing other riders’ careers and so has established this Fund with the USEA Foundation.
“David [Lenaburg] called me out of the blue,” explained O’Connor. “He’s retired now and doesn’t own horses anymore, but we’ve always just kept in touch. He said, ‘I’ve been kind of thinking about the future, and I think it’s time to give back. I would like to give a million dollars to the developing side of the sport. The developing side of high performance . . . what I did for you, I want to do it again. I want to give back.’”
The grants from the Wilton Fair Fund will be decided by the USEA Foundation with recommendations from the United States Equestrian Emerging Athletes Group. Considerations for funding may include:
The first grants will be awarded for the 2018 season.
“This is an exciting time for the USEA Foundation,” said Foundation Chairman, Kevin Baumgardner. “Our mission has expanded significantly over the past several years, and we are now administering grant programs that make a difference in all areas of our sport. The Wilton Fair Fund is another big step forward for us. We cannot thank the Lenaburgs enough for their vision and generosity. We look forward to working with them for years to come.”
“We believe that the developing side of the program is really important,” continued O’Connor. “You get caught because the senior riders can’t be riders forever, and then suddenly you’re in a hole. We’ve seen that happen. That’s the exciting part about the programs we’re coming up with. They’re really going to help with the ability for the U.S. to play for a long time.”
Questions about the Wilton Fair Fund? Contact Jo Whitehouse at [email protected].
About the USEA Foundation
The fundamental mission of the USEA Foundation is to protect and preserve the sport of eventing for future generations and to provide support for the core educational, safety and equine welfare programs of the USEA. In addition, the Foundation administers educational grants for riders with the intent of preparing them to reach their goals. Learn more about the USEA Foundation on its website: www.useafoundation.org
A stalwart member of the U.S. Eventing squad since he was named USEA Young Rider of the Year in 2002, Faudree’s impressive resume has provided him the experiences to become asuccessful rider, trainer, and coach.
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“Horses are so humbling,” says Valerie Vizcarrondo Pride with a wry laugh.
We are speaking a few days after the Land Rover Kentucky Three Day Event. She is on her way to go cross-country schooling with her beautiful black horse Favian, before tackling the CCI4*-L at Jersey Fresh.
Her week wasn’t supposed to pan out like this. She and Favian should have been resting on their laurels after completing their first CCI5* at Kentucky. However, they fell on the cross-country, and ticking that five-star box will have to wait for another day. Luckily, they are unharmed, Favian has already “cruised around some easy stuff” on an earlier cross-country schooling outing, and Vizcarrondo Pride is determined to start righting the ship at Jersey Fresh.
The 18th annual Jersey Fresh International (JFI) gets underway this afternoon at the Horse Park of New Jersey in Allentown, N.J. The CCI4*-L is the final selection trial for the Olympic Games in Tokyo later this summer so all eyes will be on the stacked field.