Canada’s ‘Pratoni. Let’s Go!’ Fundraising Campaign Launches with Significant Kick-Off Donation

Karl Slezak and Fernhill Wishes. Photo by Shannon Brinkman.

The recently refreshed Equestrian Canada High Performance Advisory Group, Eventing (HPAG) are thrilled to announce a significant donation from Kelly McCarthy-Maine and Shane Maine toward the urgent fundraising appeal just launched in support of the Canadian eventing team. The campaign “Pratoni. Let’s Go!” has been developed to fill the funding shortfall for the team.

To send a full five-member squad to the FEI World Championships 2022 in Pratoni, Italy, September 14 – 18, 2022, the HPAG needs to raise $250,000. Without raising this money, Canada will be unable to send a full team to the championships. Sending a team is the first opportunity for Canada to qualify for a team allocation for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.

Canadians Kelly McCarthy-Maine and Shane Maine want to see the Canadian team at international competitions and are providing a substantial initial donation of $100,000 to kickstart the “Pratoni, Lets Go!” campaign.

“Team Canada belongs at the World Championships, Pan American Games and the Olympics. Congratulations to our riders for their perseverance and determination and to the High Performance Advisory Group for giving us the confidence to make this lead investment. We hope this acts as inspiration for other supporters to get behind our Canadian riders,” said Kelly McCarthy-Maine of Canadian Colours Equestrian. Kelly operates a sport horse breeding, producing, and competing operation in Wiltshire, UK.

“We are honoured and incredibly excited that Kelly and Shane have decided to fund our high-performance program in this way and welcome them to the team,” said Emily Gilbert, Co-Chair of the HPAG. “This donation provides the impetus and excitement we need to kick off a larger, more long-term fundraising effort to support our Canadian eventing program and riders for years to come.”

“It’s quite unprecedented in Canadian eventing to see this kind of large-scale donation and we’re hopeful it will help bring others to the table to support our longer-term program plans and infrastructure rebuilding,” commented Greg Paull, Co-Chair of the HPAG. “I feel we have some exciting momentum building and seeing our Canadian athletes competing successfully on the world stage is paramount to our efforts. We couldn’t be more grateful to Kelly and Shane.”

Graphic by Sarah Greer.

Coinciding with this announcement are details of the “Pratoni. Let’s Go” campaign which is focused on the Pony to Podium journey. Canada’s top eventers plan to post videos of their journeys on social media and tell the stories of how they got to the top of the sport.

The co-chairs have relayed how critical the need for funding is for the future successes of Canadian riders and how thankful both EC and the HPAG are for their active engagement in the critical fundraising initiative.

The committee have ensured there are many ways to donate including online, in person and by contacting the HPAG directly. A QR code has also been established with a unique Canada Helps URL. Secure donations through the website allow donations to be directed to the Eventing campaign. To donate, donors can click on the Donation Link and select Horsepower Fund – Eventing.

At Canadian competitions for the rest of the summer, volunteers will be decked out in Canada gear asking for donations and providing a wristband to those who donate.

An on-line auction will run June 17-20, 2022, featuring lessons by famous Canadian riders of all disciplines, priceless experiences with riders, vacation home stays, equestrian apparel and more.

“This significant donation signals a great endorsement for our athletes,” said Gilbert. “And with all the planned fundraising efforts, our group of volunteers on the HPAG are very confident the campaign will be a success.”

“Together, we are committed to the mission of supporting horse and rider athletes to keep Canada on the world stage,” said Paull. “We are confident that the community understands that the time is now, and the momentum is building. So, Pratoni. Let’s Go!”

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