Fundraising for frangible fence implementation in the U.S. took a massive step forward today. Between the USEA Foundation’s Frangible Fence Research initiative and a GoFundMe effort that raised over $87,000, eventing supporters have raised a little over $100,000. Now, the Manton Foundation has agreed to do matching funds for what you have raised up to $250,000.
The Manton Foundation was created in New York in 1991 by Jim and Gretchen Manton as a vehicle for their charitable giving. Today the foundation is managed by the Mantons’ descendants and functions as a family endeavor. Funded projects fall largely into a range of fields encompassing education, arts and culture, medical research, and community preservation.
“So we have around $200,000, just a little bit over, ready to go out to the events,” says Jon Holling, Chair of the USEA’s Cross Country Safety Committee, after a joint meeting today.
“In these tough times, it is nice to be able to share some good news with the eventing community,” said Diane Pitts, Chair of the USEA Foundation. “We are extremely grateful to the Manton Foundation and to the many, many people who have donated to the Frangible Technology Fund. Our commitment to safety and the mandate to make frangible technology more widely available will continue during this downtime as we provide grants to organizers through this fund.”
Another meeting will be held to finalize all of the details as to how that money is going out, and how/when events can apply to receive the funds. Jon says he expects to have those specifics with the next week to 10 days.
“It’ll be a bit of a phased-in program, so all the events will have access to it at the Preliminary level and above and then going forward the plan is that all of that money that we’ve raised will continue to go out to events into the future until the money’s gone,” Jon says. “There’ll be more fundraising efforts going forward.”
“Really excited about the Manton Foundation stepping on board … To every $50,000 that we raise, they will match that with another $50,000 dollars until we reach the total of $500,000, so right now we’re just really excited. I’m just really excited to come back to you with something concrete and let you know that things are happening behind the scenes so that when we’re ready to event and that first horse leaves in start box that we will have done something concrete to improve the safety in our sport.”
Jon reiterates that frangible fence implementation is just once piece of the eventing safety puzzle, but, “This is a huge piece, being able to have these frangible devices out on course, and this is a way that we’re going to get that done.”
“Thanks for sticking with us,” he says. “I know everybody’s really struggling right now with the virus and being stuck at home, and I’m just happy to be able to send out some good news to everybody and give us something to look forward to in the future.”
The USEA Foundation and the USEA would like to thank the GoFundMe initiative, led by Andy Bowles, Jon Holling, Emily Holmes, Doug Payne, Leslie Law, Kyle Carter, and Robert Kellerhouse for successfully kick-starting this latest effort.
“By working together and combining the money raised by both groups, it has given us this great opportunity to have the funds matched by the Manton Foundation,” said Andy Bowles, organizer of the GoFundMe initiative. “This is an amazing start to help provide the opportunity for organizers, cross-country course designers, and cross-country builders to use the technology available to make our sport safer.”
Grant and distribution information is currently being finalized with the assistance of a newly formed Frangible Technology Fund Review Committee consisting of Andy Bowles, Marc Grandia, Jon Holling, Emily Holmes, and Darrin Mollett.
How to Donate
Donations to the USEA Foundation are fully tax-deductible. Donate today by going to https://useafoundation.org/donate and selecting “Frangible Technology Fund” from the dropdown menu.
All donations will help reach the matching of the Manton Foundation, help us reach our goal of $500,000, and raise the safety of eventing in the U.S.
Learn more about the frangible technology fundraising efforts here.