Saturday, January 30, 2010

It Takes a Village to Field an Equestrian Team - Full Article

18 January 2010

As many sports enthusiasts in the US know, this country's athletes receive little government funding toward the costs of training and competing. Parents of up-and-coming performers have been known to take second mortgages on their homes in order to pay for Junior's training, and communities hold fund-raising events to help support their local stars.

That tried-and-true high-dollar fund-raiser, the benefit dinner, is a perennial favorite of those in equestrian sport. It's trotted out (if you'll pardon the expression) reliably in advance of every major international championships to which the US plans to send teams.

Today, elite equestrian fund-raising falls largely to the United States Equestrian Team Foundation, the development arm of the United States Equestrian Federation. Headquartered at the venerable Hamilton Farm in Gladstone, NJ, the USET Foundation is still thought of by those of a certain age as simply the USET, the formerly stand-alone organization that fielded and funded (and to a certain extent trained) equestrian teams for international competition. Now it's a branch of the USEF, and its role is primarily to tap the wellspring of enthusiasts' pocketbooks.


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