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McLain Ward Receives EQUUS Basis Spirit Award


    Jenny Belknap Kees, McLain Ward, and Lynn Coakley @Phelps Media Group

    Monday, March twenty seventh, was a picture-perfect Florida night, poolside on the Stallion Restaurant in Wellington, Florida, and was the scene for the EQUUS Basis’s twentieth Anniversary Celebration, attended by over 100 horse lovers and equestrians.  The night, hosted by famend equestrians Frank Madden and Jimmy Torano, started after dinner with cocktails, scrumptious appetizers, bites, deserts, and full of life DJ music.

    First off was the fierce and hilarious Bouncy Horse Competitors. Two volunteers, Luke Jensen and Meghan Davis, confronted off, racing one size alongside the pool, retrieving a plastic carrot, and racing again once more to the end line. Each opponents had bother staying mounted and even wobbled and fell off, however bravely remounted in time for 15-year-old Meghan Davis to take the win by a nostril over Luke Jensen.

    Madden and Torano then launched EQUUS Basis VP, Valerie Angeli, who acknowledged and thanked company and stated, “The time is now to take duty for the horses that we ask to belief us. The apply of abandoning horses or subjecting them to neglect, abuse, or being despatched to the slaughter pipeline as a result of they couldn’t run quick sufficient, leap excessive sufficient, or had been the fallacious coloration or measurement isn’t okay.”

    Angeli introduced the launch of the EQUUS Basis #HorseProtector Pledge marketing campaign, studying the brand new pledge and asking company to signal on. Angeli stated, “Horses want all of us to guard them and we have to preserve spreading the phrase and provoking the equine neighborhood to care extra concerning the welfare of horses than what horses can do for us. Horses live, respiratory, feeling companions — not commodities.”

    “We hope all horse lovers will signal the pledge at to indicate solidarity in help of horse welfare. You even get your individual fundraising web page that you would be able to ship to family and friends to assist us increase funds – if you need to take that step. Everybody that raises $1000 or extra on this effort is not going to solely assist save the lives of America’s horses, but additionally be eligible for a drawing to win a shocking, particular luxurious version CWD Saddle in commemoration of CWD’s 100,000th saddle,” stated Angeli.

    Bertrand Pelletier, the top of LIM Group North America, spoke briefly concerning the saddle donation. “’You trip – we care’ is our motto,” stated Pelletier, “and we’re thrilled to donate this particular saddle to a fantastic trigger — the welfare of horses by the EQUUS Basis, in honor of its 20 years of horse safety.”

    The spotlight of the night was the presentation of the inaugural Spirit Award to McLain Ward, introduced by Jenny Belknap Kees, EQUUS Basis Chair, and Lynn Coakley, EQUUS Basis President.

    “Twenty years in the past, when Jenny reached out to McLain to clarify what we had been making an attempt to perform in establishing the EQUUS Basis and requested him if he would take part in an occasion that got here to be often called the Fete Cheval, he stated ‘Sure’ with out hesitation,” stated Coakley. “Once we reached out to different prime equestrians and stated McLain is collaborating, all of them adopted go well with. Little did McLain and the others know what we had been going to ask of them!

    “Now twenty years later, we’re right here to current the Spirit Award to honor an equestrian who has considerably elevated the picture and desirability of horses. There was no query in both of our minds who could be the primary recipient.”

    Belknap stated, “There’s not so much that may be stated about McLain that hasn’t been stated earlier than – besides to say that McLain embodies every little thing that the Spirit Award stands for. He continues to be a pressure in propelling the equestrian sport ahead – all the time the sportsman and the gentleman – and all the time a buddy and advocate since our founding 20 years in the past.”

    In accepting the award, Ward stated, “It’s so vital to have a corporation just like the EQUUS Basis that not solely steps as much as defend horses, significantly in essentially the most weak time of their lives, but additionally retains us conscious of what’s actually taking place.

    “When Lynn and Jenny first approached me concerning the Spirit Award, my first response was that there should be others who’ve finished a lot larger work on behalf of all of the horses that want our assist than myself, and there are, however I accepted as a result of I imagine it’s crucial that horse sports activities be humane and moral and accountable and that we deal with our companions all through their lives, whether or not they had been champions or not.

    “The duty to prepared the ground falls on all of us,” says Ward. “We don’t understand the place many horses — together with present horses and racehorses — find yourself, and the horrible destiny they might face. We simply assume that they’re taken care of, however that’s not the fact. I’m honored to simply accept this award and to lend my identify to the EQUUS Basis.”

    Belknap introduced that the EQUUS Basis is establishing the McLain Ward Horse Whisperer Award and will likely be awarding a grant in his identify IN PERPETUITY to a deserving equine charity that’s devoted to defending America’s horses and strengthening the horse-human bond.

    To be taught extra concerning the EQUUS Basis and their mission, please go to

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