The EQUUS Foundation Announces 2009 Grant Awards

September 2, 2009 Off By Roberta Johnston

 The EQUUS Foundation Announces 2009 Grant Awards

  WESTPORT, CT – September 2, 2009 — The Board of Directors of The EQUUS Foundation, Inc. is pleased to announce the award of its 2009 grants to 49 charitable organizations that use the horse to benefit the public; promote the horse’s health and welfare; and elevate the equestrian sport.

Public Welfare Grants are awarded for therapeutic riding programs and other equine-assisted activities for individuals with physical, emotional, behavioral, and learning disabilities, life-threatening or other serious illnesses, and underserved, economically-disadvantaged and “at-risk” youth. Horse Welfare Grants are awarded for horse rescue, rehabilitation, adoption and retirement; veterinary education and research; and equine ambulance services. Sport Welfare Grants are awarded to enhance the equestrian sport, through scholarships, awards, youth involvement, relief for equestrians in need, and programs to promote public education and awareness.

“We are thrilled that with the 2009 awards, we are topping $1.3 million in grants since our first awards in 2003, achieving this almost entirely from special events and our newly-established Horse Whisperers program where donors may make a multi-year pledge and have a grant named by the donor in honor of a family member, friend, associate, or in the memory of a loved one or a loved equine companion”, said Jenny Belknap Kees, Chairman.

The 2009 Horse Whisperer Grants include the Michele E. Arnhold Horse Whisperer Grant, established by the family of Michele E. Arnhold in 2008 in memory of Michele’s life-long passion, her pursuit of excellence and her commitment and contribution to the equestrian sport. The 2009 grant was awarded to Giant Steps School & The American Institute for Neuro-Integrative Development in Southport, CT. The grant will be used to underwrite the cost of the certified therapeutic riding instruction for the school’s therapeutic riding program at the Fairfield County Hunt Club, which donates the use of its facilities and horses for the program. Volunteers from the Club membership and the surrounding communities serve as leaders and side walkers for 12 autistic children, participating weekly in Fall, Spring, Winter, and Summer sessions. The Bridgeport Police Mounted Unit, an EQUUS Grant Recipient, also supports the program by donating larger horses for the older children involved.

The Julie & Daniel Frank Horse Whisperer Grant was awarded Communication Alliance to Network Ex-Racehorses (CANTER MI), a thoroughbred rescue, rehabilitation, and adoption facility based in Commerce Township, MI. Founded in 1997, CANTER Michigan has become the national consultant and headquarters for CANTER programs nationwide. Nationally, thousands of thoroughbred racehorses have transitioned through CANTER programs and are now competing in new arenas and enjoying life as equine pets.

Days End Farm Horse Rescue based in Lisbon, Maryland, was selected to receive The Visse M. Wedell Horse Whisperer Grant. Days End Farm Horse Rescue provides shelter, rehabilitation encompassing medical and psychological intervention and care, training, foster care and qualified adoption to abused, neglected and unwanted equines, operating both a Critical Care Unit and an Extended Care program. In addition to its rescue and rehabilitation programs, Days End conducts education and outreach programs to bring attention to the prevalence of horse abuse and neglect, and also provides disaster relief along the East Coast in major natural or manmade disasters.

The Gray & Jerry Fadden Horse Whisperer Grant was awarded to City Slickers based in Wolcott, CT, a 501 (c)(3) multicultural diversity awareness program that uses horses to build riding skills and in that process helps youngsters develop growth in educational and social areas. Through horseback riding program and City Slicker classroom activities, suburban and inner-city youngsters learn mathematics, language and reading skills, basic horsemanship skills, and through the human-animal connection, a variety of skills and behaviors necessary for educational achievement.

City Slickers conducts a year-round program (10 weeks in winter, 10 weeks in spring, 6 weeks in summer, and 10 weeks in fall serving 150 5th and 6th grade students; a mentoring program involving ten 8th grade and 4th grade students; a summer camp program consisting of six one-week sessions for 60 “high needs” children aged 11-18; a vocational-agricultural work program for six students; and a trip to the Winter Equestrian Festival in Wellington, FL for seven Level 3 English riders.

“While we are gratified to have been able to award grants to 49 worthy charities thanks to the generous support of donors, we received over 100 requests and will be working even harder in the coming year to generate enough funds to award grants to all the charity applicants that meet our requirements”, said Belknap Kees. Donors can rest assured that due diligence has been undertaken to insure that their dollars are well spent. The EQUUS Foundation undertakes a thorough review of each applicant’s management and financial practices.

For more information contact The EQUUS Foundation at, or visit our website at

2009 Horse Welfare Grants

American Association of Equine Practitioners Foundation, Inc. Mission: To improve the health and welfare of the horse through support of research, education, benevolence and the equine community.

American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Mission: To provide effective means for the prevention of cruelty to animals throughout the United States.

Bridgeport Police Mounted Unit Mission: To provide an awareness of the general capabilities and workability of the horse, and exhibit its usefulness in a modern day Police-oriented environment.

Communication Alliance to Network Ex-Racehorses (CANTER MI) Mission: To providing new homes for Thoroughbred racehorses that are non-competitive or injured on the track, giving them opportunities to find a permanent winners circle as an equine pet. **Recipient of the Julie & Daniel Horse Whisperer Grant.

Communication Alliance to Network Thoroughbred Ex-Racehorses (CANTER Mid-Atlantic) Mission: To provide retiring thoroughbred racehorses with opportunities for new careers after the finish line.

Days End Farm Horse Rescue Mission: To foster compassion and responsibility for horses through intervention, education and outreach. **Recipient of the Visse M. Wedell Grant.

EPONA Equine Protection of North America Mission: To rescue and rehabilitate abused and neglected horses, including those destined for slaughter, and to place rehabilitated horses in permanent homes with caring, responsible owners.

H.O.R.S.E. of CT Mission: To rescue and rehabilitate abused and neglected horses and ponies and educate the public regarding horse care.

Happy Trails Farm Animal Sanctuary Mission: To rescue, rehabilitate and provide an adoption program for abused, abandoned and neglected farm animals.

Humane Equine Aid and Rapid Transport (HEART) Mission: To create a humane and efficient method to help aid and transport an injured or incapacitated equine during an equine competition.

Mitchell Farm Equine Retirement, Inc. Mission: To provide a safe and comfortable retirement alternative for aged and infirm horses to live out their lives and to offer educational opportunities to the public on senior horse care and management.

Pure Thoughts Inc. Horse & Foal Rescue Mission: To save the lives of horses, yearlings and foals that were intended to go to slaughter for human consumption, and to rescue horses from starvation, abuse and neglect or any horse in need.

Refuge Farms, Inc., Horse Rescue & Sanctuary Mission: To rescue abused, deformed and old horses and provide care to those animals to the end of their days.

ReRun, Inc. Mission: To rehabilitate, retrain, and find adoptive homes for Thoroughbred racehorses when their careers on the track are over.

S.T.A.R. Ranch (Save The Animals Rescue) Mission: To expedite emergency rescue of horses providing a safe haven for those coming from abusive, nelectful and cruel situations, either via animal control or owner surrender, rehabilitate them to their fullest potential and re-home them to safe permanent homes, no matter how long that takes.

Shiloh Horse Rescue & Sanctuary Mission: To rescue and rehabilitate abused, neglected, injured, unwanted, and slaughter bound horses of all types, and to give them a second chance at life by adopting them out to new and loving homes or to providing them with a loving environment in which to live out their lives.

2009 Public Welfare Grants:

American Institute for Neuro Integrative Development & Giant Steps School Mission: To enhance the lives of children and adults with Autism Spectrum Disorders and related neuro-biologically based learning and developmental disabilities by developing outreach, educational, recreational and therapeutic programs integrated with clinical and medical treatment and research. **Recipient of the Michele E. Arnhold Horse Whisperer Grant.

Buffalo Therapeutic Riding Center, Inc. Mission: To provide a safe, relaxing and non-academic environment for children with disabilities to interact with horses, adults and peers in a therapeutic riding program.

City Slickers, Inc Mission: A multicultural diversity awareness program that uses horses to build riding skills and in that process helps youngsters develop growth in educational and social areas. Horses provide the common link for students who bridge racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic isolation to work collaboratively in program activities and projects. **Recipient of the Gray & Jerry Fadden Horse Whisperer Grant.

City to Saddle Mission: To provide a diverse population of underserved boys and girls access to the benefits, pleasures, and challenges of horsemanship programs.

Fieldstone Farm Therapeutic Riding Center Mission: Through a special partnership with horses, to provide programs designed by professionals to foster personal growth and individual achievement for people with disabilities.

Free Rein Center for Therapeutic Riding and Education Mission: To serve the community by strengthening the spirits, minds and bodies of children and adults through interaction with horses.

Freedom Ride Mission: To enrich the lives and experiences of individuals with disabilities in the Central Florida area through therapeutic horse riding and related activities.

Garfield Park Academy Mission: A private, non-profit, alternative school for children and adolescents with severe learning, emotional, and behavioral disabilities.

Gleneayre Equestrian Program Mission: To help children and teens who are experiencing challenges in their lives to overcome these obstacles by working with horses in experiential educational programs that support academic achievement and foster enhanced self-esteem, a sense of responsibility, collaboration and teamwork.

Green Chimneys Mission: To restore possibilities and create futures for the children and families we serve through a network of social and educational services all aimed to facilitate individual independence. Green Chimneys intermingles animals with children utilizing farm life with its natural order, consistency and its clear modeling of the basic cycle of life as a poweful therapeutic tool. The farm and wildlife environment acts as a catalyst for the children’s healing process.

Hearts and Horses Therapeutic Riding Center Mission: To promote the physical, cognitive, emotional, and social well-being of people with special needs through equine assisted therapy.

High Hopes Therapeutic Riding, Inc. Mission: To improve the lives of people with cognitive, physical and emotional disabilities through the benefits of therapeutic horseback riding and other equine assisted activities, while serving the therapeutic riding profession through training and education.

Hole in the Wall Gang Camp Mission: To provide children with cancer and other serious illnesses and conditions a camping experience of the highest quality, while extending year-round support to their families and health care providers.

Horsepower Inc. Mission: To promote and enhance the welfare of individuals with disabilities by providing a program of therapeutic, educational and recreational value, and further, to empower individuals who are mentally, emotionally, behaviorally, and/or physically challenged through the use of horses, while providing therapeutic benefits in a safe and controlled atmosphere.

Horses in the Hood Mission: To teach children from LA’s most underprivileged neighborhoods important life lessons through horsemanship.

Idaho Youth Ranch Mission: To provide troubled children and families a bridge to a valued, responsible and productive future.

J.F. Shea Therapeutic Riding Center, Inc. Mission: To improve the lives of people with disabilities through therapeutic horse-related programs.

Lowcountry Equine-Assisted Psychotherapy, Inc. Mission: To provide the unique benefits of equine assisted psychotherapy to the South Carolina Lowcountry Communities, regardless of gender, socioeconomic status, race or creed.

New Canaan Mounted Troop, Inc. Mission: To build leadership, responsibility, and confidence in youth by providing a comprehensive hands-on learning experience that emphasizes teamwork and follows a curriculum focused on horsemanship and equine care instruction.

Pegasus Therapeutic Riding, Inc. Mission: To provide the therapeutic benefits of horseback riding and other equine assisted activities to physically, emotionally and developmentally challenged individuals at facilities or stables in the states of Connecticut and New York.

People & Animal Learning Services, Inc. (PALS) Mission: To provide high-quality, safe, educational, fun and therapeutic animal assisted activities such as therapeutic horseback riding, hippotherapy, animal care and pet encounter therapy to children and adults with physical, learning, cognitive or emotional disabilities.

Rocking Horse Ranch Therapeutic Riding Program, Inc. Mission: To provide equine assisted activities and therapy to children and adults with physical, cognitive, or psychological disabilities in eastern North Carolina.

Special Equestrians, Inc. Mission: To provide high quality therapeutic horseback riding and equine assisted activities to persons with physical, mental, developmental and emotional disabilities.

SummerWinds Stables Mission: To provide rescue and sanctuary to abused, injured, homeless and retired horses until they can be placed in permanent loving homes; to provide an equine assisted therapeutic program to assist at-risk and low income children; and to deepen the natural bond between horse and human through educational and outreach programs.

We Will Ride Therapeutic Riding, Inc. Mission: To offer individualized programs of equine assisted activities and therapies to people with disabilities aimed at enhancing their physical, mental, emotional, and social functioning in everyday life.

Windridge Therapeutic Equestrian Center of East Texas, Inc. Mission: To enhance the lives of children and adults who face life with a mental, emotional or physical disability or debilitating life situation and to make a positive difference in the lives of our volunteers, staff and horses.

2009 Sport Welfare Grants

American Hunter-Jumper Foundation, Inc. Mission: To promote the equestrian sport of show hunter-jumper competition and address the needs of the sport’s participants.

Equestrian Aid Foundation Mission: To assist anyone in the Equestrian world suffering from life threatening illness, catastrophic accidents or injuries by providing financial support for their medical or other basic needs.

Intercollegiate Equestrian Foundation, Inc Mission: To foster and promote intercollegiate equestrian activities and competitions through the making of scholarships, grants, awards, and otherwise. In so doing the organization’s goal is to help students stay connected with equine activities while in school and encourage them to continue after graduation.

R.W. Ronnie Mutch Foundation Inc. Mission: To educate, promote, and encourage junior riders who would otherwise be unable to attain their goals of reaching the highest level in equestrian sport.

Syracuse Invitational Sporthorse Tournament Mission: To further the development of the sport of show jumping by increasing awareness and exposure of athleticism, dedication, and excitement involved with the sport.

United States Equestrian Federation, Inc. Mission: To provide leadership for equestrian sport in the United States of America, promoting the pursuit of excellence from the grass roots to the Olympic Games, based on a foundation of fair, safe competition and the welfare of its human and equine athletes, and embracing this vision, to be the best national equestrian federation in the world.

United States Equestrian Team Foundation, Inc. Mission: To support the competition, training, coaching, travel and educational needs of America’s elite and develop International High Performance horses and athletes in partnership with the US Equestrian Federation.

About The EQUUS Foundation, Inc. The EQUUS Foundation, Inc., established in August 2002, as a 501(c)(3) national charitable foundation, seeks to raise public awareness of the value of the horse in society through education and the awarding of grants to charities that use the horse to benefit the public, promote the health and welfare of horses, and elevate the equestrian sport as a whole.

The Foundation is governed by a Board of Directors, which is responsible for the selection of the grant recipients. The Board includes: Jenny Belknap Kees, Chairman, Catherine Herman, Vice Chairman, David T. Goodwin, Secretary/Treasurer, Lynn Coakley, President, David Distler, Gray Fadden, Richard Mitchell DVM, Clea Newman Soderlund, and Visse Wedell.

Thanks to the generosity of its donors, The EQUUS Foundation helps thousands of people and horses each year. Over $1.3 million in grants have been awarded since the first awards in 2003. Donations are tax-deductible to the full extent of the law. Contact The EQUUS Foundation, Inc., at 168 Long Lots Road, Westport, CT 06880, Tele: (203) 259-1550, E-Mail:, website: