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
The FEI has published its Policy for Enhanced Competition Safety during the COVID-19 pandemic, aimed at assisting organizers and national federations with the safe resumption of international equestrian events in line with national and local restrictions.
The United States Eventing Association (USEA) has approved additional modifications to the qualification period for the 2020 USEA American Eventing Championships (AEC) presented by Nutrena Feeds. The AEC is scheduled to take place August 25-30, 2020 at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, Kentucky, and the USEA is doing everything possible to ensure a safe and successful Championship, while also ensuring fair opportunities for all.
This article will be updated to include statements as they are released from upcoming USEA recognized events regarding actions they are taking due to the coronavirus (COVID-19).
This has been a difficult decision, but with the current pandemic situation at hand, we feel that this is the correct and ‘common sense’ direction to take. We are developing a plan to host a shorter, smaller, and more focused competition. We will be using state and local protocols to help guide us through this. Safety is paramount at Rebecca Farm, for both equine and human participants.