Jenny Belknap Kees, McLain Ward, and Lynn Coakley @Phelps Media Group
Monday, March twenty seventh, was a picture-perfect Florida night, poolside on the Stallion Restaurant in Wellington, Florida, and was the scene for the EQUUS Basis’s twentieth Anniversary Celebration, attended by over 100 horse lovers and equestrians. The night, hosted by famend equestrians Frank Madden and Jimmy Torano, started after dinner with cocktails, scrumptious appetizers, bites, deserts, and vigorous DJ music.
First off was the fierce and hilarious Bouncy Horse Competitors. Two volunteers, Luke Jensen and Meghan Davis, confronted off, racing one size alongside the pool, retrieving a plastic carrot, and racing again once more to the end line. Each opponents had bother staying mounted and even wobbled and fell off, however bravely remounted in time for 15-year-old Meghan Davis to take the win by a nostril over Luke Jensen.
Madden and Torano then launched EQUUS Basis VP, Valerie Angeli, who acknowledged and thanked visitors and mentioned, “The time is now to take accountability for the horses that we ask to belief us. The apply of abandoning horses or subjecting them to neglect, abuse, or being despatched to the slaughter pipeline as a result of they couldn’t run quick sufficient, leap excessive sufficient, or have been the unsuitable shade or measurement is rarely okay.”
Angeli introduced the launch of the EQUUS Basis #HorseProtector Pledge marketing campaign, studying the brand new pledge and asking visitors to signal on. Angeli mentioned, “Horses want all of us to guard them and we have to preserve spreading the phrase and provoking the equine neighborhood to care extra in regards to the welfare of horses than what horses can do for us. Horses live, respiration, feeling companions — not commodities.”
“We hope all horse lovers will signal the pledge at equusfoundation.org/pledge to indicate solidarity in help of horse welfare. You even get your individual fundraising web page that you could ship to family and friends to assist us increase funds – if you want to take that step. Everybody that raises $1000 or extra on this effort won’t solely assist save the lives of America’s horses, but in addition be eligible for a drawing to win a shocking, particular luxurious version CWD Saddle in commemoration of CWD’s 100,000th saddle,” mentioned Angeli.
Bertrand Pelletier, the top of LIM Group North America, spoke briefly in regards to the saddle donation. “’You experience – we care’ is our motto,” mentioned Pelletier, “and we’re thrilled to donate this particular saddle to a terrific trigger — the welfare of horses by means of the EQUUS Basis, in honor of its 20 years of horse safety.”
The spotlight of the night was the presentation of the inaugural Spirit Award to McLain Ward, offered by Jenny Belknap Kees, EQUUS Basis Chair, and Lynn Coakley, EQUUS Basis President.
“Twenty years in the past, when Jenny reached out to McLain to elucidate what we have been attempting to perform in establishing the EQUUS Basis and requested him if he would take part in an occasion that got here to be referred to as the Fete Cheval, he mentioned ‘Sure’ with out hesitation,” mentioned Coakley. “After we reached out to different prime equestrians and mentioned McLain is taking part, all of them adopted go well with. Little did McLain and the others know what we have been going to ask of them!
“Now twenty years later, we’re right here to current the Spirit Award to honor an equestrian who has considerably elevated the picture and desirability of horses. There was no query in both of our minds who could be the primary recipient.”
Belknap mentioned, “There’s not so much that may be mentioned about McLain that hasn’t been mentioned earlier than – besides to say that McLain embodies every little thing that the Spirit Award stands for. He continues to be a power in propelling the equestrian sport ahead – all the time the sportsman and the gentleman – and all the time a buddy and advocate since our founding 20 years in the past.”
In accepting the award, Ward mentioned, “It’s so essential to have a company just like the EQUUS Basis that not solely steps as much as shield horses, significantly in probably the most susceptible time of their lives, but in addition retains us conscious of what’s actually occurring.
“When Lynn and Jenny first approached me in regards to the Spirit Award, my first response was that there should be others who’ve carried out a lot higher work on behalf of all of the horses that want our assist than myself, and there are, however I accepted as a result of I consider it’s essential that horse sports activities be humane and moral and accountable and that we deal with our companions all through their lives, whether or not they have been champions or not.
“The accountability to prepared the ground falls on all of us,” says Ward. “We don’t notice the place many horses — together with present horses and racehorses — find yourself, and the horrible destiny they might face. We simply assume that they’re taken care of, however that’s not the truth. I’m honored to just accept this award and to lend my identify to the EQUUS Basis.”
Belknap introduced that the EQUUS Basis is establishing the McLain Ward Horse Whisperer Award and can be awarding a grant in his identify IN PERPETUITY to a deserving equine charity that’s devoted to defending America’s horses and strengthening the horse-human bond.
To be taught extra in regards to the EQUUS Basis and their mission, please go to www.equusfoundation.org.