This March, Gleneayre Equestrian Program senior members traveled to the Winter Equestrian Festival in Wellington, Florida to volunteer at a fundraiser for the EQUUS Foundation. This year’s trip was full of fun and excitement, and offered opportunities for our members to give of themselves while being able to interact with some of the finest equestrians in the world.
Their trip began on Friday with the privilege of walking the USET jump course with Stacia Madden and meeting Frank Madden, who are both trainers of top junior riders. On Friday evening, the girls met show jumper James Fairclough, who stars on the History Channel’s Full Metal Jousting, while they volunteered their time at the annual Fête Cheval event to support the EQUUS Foundation. The EQUUS Foundation is an organization which is dedicated to promoting the use of horses to enrich the lives of those in need, a goal that is shared by GEP.
The Gleneayre Equestrian Program is fortunate to be a benefactor of the EQUUS Foundation, and as such, GEP is dedicated to supporting their annual Fête Cheval fundraising event through volunteering. This year, one of our members was chosen to ride in the horse games and played “Musical Stalls” with the Olympic and professional riders!
On Saturday, the girls had the opportunity to talk to John Madden and Olympic medalist Beezie Madden during a tour of their farm. They later met Nation’s Cup show jumper Max Amaya, and equitation star and Grand Prix rider Brianne Goutal during a tour of her barn, Cloverleaf. Back at the show grounds, the girls were able to walk the Grand Prix jump course with Beezie Madden and then had the extreme honor of meeting the former Chef d’Equipe of the United States Equestrian team, George Morris. Mr. Morris imparted his wisdom to the Gleneayre Equestrian Program girls stating “My life is good because I had a horse. All this extra stuff is just icing on the cake.” What a powerful message for the GEP girls to hear!
On Sunday, the girls walked the 1.50 M jump course with Brianne Goutal and had the opportunity to meet international Grand Prix rider Rodrigo Pessoa. The girls also toured the barn of Pan Am Games rider Endel Ots and were able to watch him school a dressage horse.
This year’s trip was a huge success, most evident by the EQUUS Foundation raising $200,000. The GEP members were able to volunteer in support of a worthy foundation while being able to meet and be in the presence of equestrian icons and legends. It certainly was an unforgettable trip, and GEP is already looking forward to next year’s trip!