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2007 Sidelines Equestrian Triathlon Passionate About Equestrian Aid Foundation
Phelps Media Group, Inc. International
The Equestrian Aid Foundation, formerly known as the Equestrian AIDS Foundation, was created to anonymously embrace and assist those afflicted with HIV/AIDS in our equestrian community. The Board of Directors decided to expand the bylaws to include helping any equestrian with a life threatening illness or victim of a catastrophic event or accident. The incorporation of this more inclusive mission was made possible by the generosity of donors and, in large part, by the success of fundraising events.
In 1996, six-time Olympic Dressage rider Robert Dover, together with R. Scot Evans, Gene Mische, Mason Phelps, Jr., Robert Ross and Kim Tudor established the 501(c)3 Equestrian AIDS Foundation (EAF). Their first board directive stated that EAF would provide direct support to equestrians living with HIV/AIDS. And provide they did, helping equestrians in need for the past 10 years.
“Now the Equestrian Aid Foundation (EAF) goes beyond just AIDS and helps anyone with debilitating diseases within the equestrian community,” said Mason Phelps Jr. “AIDS awareness, education and treatment has radically improved in this country since we began the Equestrian AIDS Foundation. And since the medicines that are out there make it possible for patients to maintain their health much more so than in the past, and because there are people in the equestrian community who are ill from other life-threatening diseases without the ability to care for themselves, the board felt that it could expand its giving and resources. It is because of fundraisers that they are able to assist those who qualify,” explained Phelps.
“Both Robert Ross and Robert Dover came to me shortly after I lost my brother to AIDS and said that we need to do something to help the equestrians suffering from the disease,” Phelps said. “There were lots of organizations assisting lots of people with AIDS. But the equestrian community had their heads a little buried in the sand. They were absolutely correct and that it was a fantastic idea. The EAF is something that is very deserving of our time and resources to support,” he concluded.
One aspect of the organization’s mission has not changed and that is the way it has chosen to deliver service. Financial support from EAF is provided directly to the petitioning equestrian or their representative. Funds donated to EAF are used to provide various essentials that may include medical needs, health insurance, food and housing, transportation, physical therapy and more. Restricted funds are also welcome so that equestrian clubs, or other organizations or individuals who want EAF to be their agent in delivering assistance to a specific beneficiary can be certain that their funds are used only as directed.
While there are costs related to running any organization, EAF strives to minimize operating expenses through in-kind donations of office space, graphic design and other administrative costs whenever possible.
EAF wanted to do more and to reach further into the equestrian community, from polo to rodeo and every discipline in between to expand its mission to include helping anyone in the equestrian community suffering from a life-threatening disease, as well as victims of catastrophic accident and injuries.
Seven years ago the Sidelines Equestrian Triathlon was created to raise awareness and money for EAF, as well as bringing the horse community together to celebrate all disciplines.
Since then, the Sidelines Equestrian Triathlon™ has become the premier equestrian and social event during the early months of the Winter Equestrian Festival. It hosts some of the most successful equestrians in the world, including past Olympians, and is appropriate for spectators of all ages.
The Sidelines Equestrian Triathlon began after a heated dinner debate over “trading places” between two famous horse sportsmen, Tim Gannon, owner of Outback Steakhouse, and Gene Mische, president of Stadium Jumping Inc. With their fun loving support and the help and never-ending energy of Sidelines Magazine, it has grown into an important and very successful fundraiser to benefit the EAF.
“The Equestrian Aid Foundation is thrilled once again to be named the beneficiary of the Sidelines Triathlon on January 6th at the WEF showground’s,” Robert Dover said. “The triathlon has proven to be one of the most fun and rewarding events of the year and has helped our organization immensely to ensure that we can help our friends in the equestrian community who are living with life-threatening illnesses, as well as victims of catastrophic injuries,” he added.
“Horse people are an integral part of the Wellington community and the EAF is an integral part of the horse world. We hope that this connection will encourage the folks living in and around Wellington to come out and show their support for this great cause. I promise everyone a full day of fun and excitement for the whole family!” Dover exclaimed.
If you've shared the thrill of watching stadium jumping, awed at the athleticism of man and horse as they do intricate cutter routines, cheered as your favorite dressage rider makes her horse dance around the ring or just enjoyed watching equestrians on TV, not knowing much about their sport but able to appreciate the sheer beauty of it all, please become of member of the Equestrian Aid Foundation family. Take pride in knowing that your generosity today will ensure a brighter tomorrow for an equestrian in need.
2007 SIDELINES EQUESTRIAN TRIATHLON™ FAST FACTS
Event: Sidelines Equestrian Triathlon™ – January 6, 2007
Where: Palm Beach Polo Equestrian Club in Wellington, Florida. Grand Prix Field.
What: The Sidelines Equestrian Triathlon™ raises money for Equestrian Aid, a foundation dedicated to helping all equestrians in their time of need. Last year’s event raised over $100,000. With the continued support of established sponsors and the addition of some new faces, we hope to raise this number significantly each season.
Highlights: There will be four teams with three top equestrian athletes, each comprised of one polo player, one dressage rider, and one jumper rider. The competition is run in three phases, and the expert of each sport does not compete in his specialty.
The Sidelines Equestrian Triathlon™ has been a positive influence in our community and has forged some very solid friendships and created appreciation for horses and riders across the borders of the jumper, dressage and polo worlds.
General Information: The 8th Annual Sidelines Equestrian Triathlon™ has become the premier equestrian and social event during the early months of the Winter Equestrian Festival. It hosts some of the most successful equestrians in the world, including past Olympians, and is appropriate for spectators of all ages. The social scene is always in high gear at this unique venue. This year the featured VIP tent will be sponsored by LaPeche Café and Catering with over two hundred attendees expected.
1:00 p.m. Gate opens
2:00 PB Sheriffs Posse Parade with all riders and horses
2:15 Dressage tests to music
(8 riders at 3 minutes)
2:45 Jumpers (60 second rounds)
(8 riders at 2-3 minutes)
3:15 Polo (4 chukkers at 5 minutes)
5:00 Awards presentation in VIP tent
5:30 Live Rider Auction
(Silent Auction throughout the day)
6:00 LaPeche Café and Catering dinner served in the VIP tent
General Admission: $10.00 Grandstand seating
Tickets may only be purchased by calling the EAF offices 1-800-792-6068 or purchased at the event.
VIP Seating: Dinner and cocktails are served on Saturday during and after the competition. Individual seats can be purchased for $175.00 in the VIP tent, which includes the live auction and dinner.
VIP Tables: VIP Tables (seats 8) in the front row are $1,200.00. Second row tables are $1,000.00, and third row are $900.00. Tickets are available by calling the EAF offices at 1-800-792-6068.
Great Event – Great Cause – Great Time!
Put us on your calendar and call for reservations 1-800-792-6068
Photo Credit: Equestrian AID Foundation logo courtesy of the artist.