Taren Atkinson: Amy Barrington Fundraiser a Success

Taren Atkinson sent in a great report about the clinic held last week at Galway Downs to raise support for Amy Barrington. Robert Kellerhouse allowed the clinic to be held on the grounds totally free of charge, and 92 participants rode in the clinic, which ultimately raised more than $15,000 for Amy and her family. Visit Amy’s Facebook page to learn more about how you can help with her recovery.

Rebecca Braitling sports the Amy Barrington colors of teal and purple. Photo courtesy of Taren Atkinson.

From Taren:

Amy Barrington’s West Coast tribe banded together last weekend for a very special fundraising clinic hosted at Galway Downs in Temecula, Calif. Amy has touched so many West Coast eventers from her time living, training and riding in Phoenix, so when word spread of her accident, there was a huge interest in organizing a benefit for her and her family. Niki Clarke, an old friend and student of Amy’s, contacted my mother, Carolyn Hoffos, another old friend and student of Amy’s, and they began to think about setting up a fundraiser.

The two friends worked with Robert Kellerhouse and Galway Downs to schedule a weekend of dressage lessons with Niki, cross-country schooling with Area VI trainers and show jumping rounds on the brand new grass field at Galway. Carolyn and Niki began spreading the word through phone calls, emails and Facebook, ending up with 12 Area VI trainers donating their time to teach and 92 riders participating.

The clinic raised $15,890 in three days. What is even more impressive than the actual amount raised is that all of it is going to the Barrington/Schlappi home. When the clinic was originally planned, organizers Carolyn and Niki worked together with Robert and agreed to a $235 entry fee per rider, with $200 going to Amy’s family and $35 going to Galway Downs to cover grounds fees, preparation for the clinic and clean up from the clinic. As Carolyn and I sat in her living room Sunday evening totaling up the proceeds, Robert sent a text saying, “Send all the money to Amy and Greg. Thank you for organizing this event.” Galway’s donation totaled $2,095.

There have been so many stories related to Amy about how eventers band together in times of need to support their own; this is another one of those stories. Reading the many articles on Eventing Nation and Amy’s Facebook page about eventers fundraising and helping Amy makes me proud. I am proud to know Amy and proud that she was once my trainer; I think that anyone can see how loved, respected and admired she is by reading about the great lengths her friends — and even those who don’t know her — are going to in order to support her.

This clinic has made me extremely proud: I’m proud of my mom and Niki for having this great idea and putting it into action — that took time, patience and good humor dealing with multiple schedules over multiple days. I’m proud of the trainers who donated their time to teach over the weekend — that took time away from home, lessons missed, gas money spent getting to Temecula and overall compassion. I’m proud of the riders who donated their money to the clinic for a person that many do not know.

One of my students gave up her entry fee to a fall event in order to participate in this clinic because she felt that supporting a fellow eventer was a priority for her. I’m proud of Galway Downs and Robert Kellerhouse, who chose to donate the facility for the clinic; as someone who runs an eventing facility, I can tell you that it isn’t free to host clinics like this. The donation of Galway is a huge sacrifice. I’m proud of the parents and families who came to support their kids, friends, spouses and family during the clinic; we know that eventers can’t do this sport alone, and a support system is crucial. Go Amy.

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