Fundraising for frangible fence implementation in the U.S. took a massive step forward this week. Between the USEA Foundation’s Frangible Fence Research initiative and a GoFundMe effort, 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. A $500,000 fundraising goal suddenly seems well within reach — especially if we all band together to get there. EN’s good friend and three-star eventer Michael Willham has a brilliant idea about how to achieve that goal.
So I’ve been thinking… (I know, that’s scary!)
We’ve all been negatively affected by this point with cancellations to competitions we were planning on going to. What if we had a way of turning that negative into a positive?
Eventing and the frangible fence fund have taken a back seat to everything that is going on right now, mostly for good reason, as we have bigger priorities to take care of.
However, that doesn’t mean that we can just forget about it.
So here’s my challenge to all of you:
For those of us in a situation where we are still working and/or those who are fortunate enough to not have to worry about finances in this current day and age of the economy, but are missing out on your competitions because they’re canceled, how about we donate at least one of our competition entry fees to the frangible fence fund?
We’re saving the money since we’re not entering in the competition, why not put that money to good use and promote the future of the sport? You were planning on using it for eventing anyway — this is just a slightly different path that you’d be taking.
By now, I think almost every eventer will have at least 1 competition they’ve missed out on. I know I will have missed a minimum of thre right now, but I’m assuming everything in May will most likely be canceled too, so that’ll be the fourth competition I will miss.
I know some of them are rescheduling, but let’s face it, we’re just not going to go to the same number of competitions this year as any of us had originally planned. We eventers are super careful of our horses, and we aren’t going to run them twice as often just because we missed the first part of show season.
So think of it. If all of us (again, only if you’re not facing hardship because of the quarantines and whatnot) took that money and donated it to the frangible fund, we’d hit our first $500k target easily!
Say an average of 300 entries at a competition, with perhaps an average total entry/stabling fee of $350 (this is probably super conservative, because it isn’t accounting for FEI price premiums, and also doesn’t include any of the gas, hotel, food, etc that any of us would be spending).
If just the people from ONE canceled competition all donated just their entry fees to the frangible fund, that would be $105,000! Over 1/5th of the way to the first goal.
Now just imagine if we took even just one month’s worth of events and did this. I don’t even know how many that is, but if it’s even 10 competitions, we would double our goal and not only be able to outfit tables with frangible tech, but also begin on all of the other jumps.
I have sent in my donation, and I challenge all of you to do the same.
Professional riders, please consider proposing this to your owners. Amateur riders, if you aren’t financially being affected by the virus, please consider this too.
Let’s turn this negative into a positive for the sport.
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.