In its largest round of grant funding to date, USA Equestrian Trust awarded $239,780 to 11 equine non-profits that applied by the first of the foundation's two 2012 application deadlines. The trust saw a 38 percent increase in grant applications compared to 2011 and awarded 21 percent more in grants.
For the first time, the trust is offering two grant application periods in one year. The second cycle closes on Oct. 8. Applications may be submitted on the USAET website [LINK: www.trusthorses.org].
“We always wish to do more, of course, as I’m sure any private foundation like ours does,” said USAET president Alan Balch. “All nine of our volunteer directors participate in a rigorous, detailed review of every application received.”
The USAET was founded in 1917 as the American Horse Show Association. It is now an affiliate organization of the U.S. Equestrian Federation. The trust’s directors allocate money toward the USEF headquarters as well as dedicate funds to charitable causes including researching equine health issues, promoting education and preserving and enhancing the quality of equestrian sport in the United States.
For the first round of awards for 2012, the following organizations received monetary support from the USAET:
American Association of Equine Practitioners Foundation Inc. was awarded $10,000 in funding for its Laminitis Research Project that unites veterinarians and horse owners in a collaborative effort to uncover new information about causes, prevention and treatment of the crippling disease.
American Driving Society Inc. was awarded 45,000 to assist in an effort to upgrade an equine facility in Illinois that has been donated to a local governmental body. The goal is to restore and preserve the more than 600 acres and allow it to again play host to events including local, national and international eventing, dressage and combined driving.
American Morgan Horse Association was awarded $27,235 for its youth equitation medal classes and "Youth of the Year" programs.
American Saddlebred Horse Association was awarded $27,000 in funding to help redesign its database of registered Saddlebreds, members, competitions and show results, as well as upgrade its website.
Canter of Pennsylvania was awarded $1,500 to offer three $500 educational scholarships for United States Pony Club riders who are residents of Pennsylvania and compete with retired Thoroughbreds. The organization's goal is to further develop the skills of riders and their off-track Thoroughbreds through the assistance of professional trainers and other educational opportunities.
Conservation Trust for Florida Inc. applied for $8,000 of funding to host a one-day workshop for attorneys, appraisers and accountants on land conservation options and conservation easements. The organization's goal is protecting horse farms and the horse farm lifestyle for future generations by educating landowners about conservation methods and by assisting them in protecting their land.
Morris Animal Foundation was awarded $10,000 for research into equine herpesvirus, a devastating disease that can cause abortions and severe neurological diseases.
New York Horse Park Inc. sought $50,000 to develop a master plan to build the expansive New York Horse Park in Saratoga Springs.
Sacramento Hunter Jumper Association was awarded $5,000 to offer a free training clinic to its members, who are entry-level exhibitors and low-budget owners.
U.S. Equestrian Federation’s Equine Health Research Fund was awarded $46,190 for research into orthopedic diseases and recurrent airway obstruction.
U.S. Pony Club Inc. has proposed creating a traveling display that will serve as an interactive, educational experience for children and was given $9,855 in funding. The goal is to generate interest in horses and ponies and to drive more visitors to the Kentucky Horse Park and its Kids Barn.