The equestrian community and South Florida locals came together on Friday, January 31, 2014 for the fourth annual Equestrian Aid Foundation Who Reins Supreme?, supported by MeadowView Farm. The Old West themed event centered around a reining competition with hunter, jumper and dressage riders. Other highlights of the evening included a cocktail hour, delicious dinner, awards ceremony, and live and silent auctions, all to raise money for equestrians and equine-related professionals suffering from injury and chronic illness.
World-class riders Susie Dutta, Nick Dello Joio, Louise Serio and Nicole Shahinian Simpson showed off their newfound reining skills as they took the ring for the main event of the evening, a uniquely formatted reining competition. Accomplished reiner and trainer Mark Rafacz and one of the all time leaders in the sport of reining, Tim McQuay, captained each team and joined their fellow riders in the competition. After fierce competition, Nick Dello Joio, Nicole Shahinian Simpson and Tim McQuay were the winning team.
The 2014 EAF Luminary Award was presented to three Equestrian Aid Foundation founders, past presidents Robert Dover and Mason Phelps, Jr. and the current president, R. Scot Evans.
“We founded this organization in 1996 to financially support those battling HIV/AIDS. As the EAF matured and grew stronger, we evolved into an organization providing financial help to those in the equestrian community suffering from any life-threatening illness or injury,” said Dover. “I am honored to have been a part of this organization for so long and humbled by this award.”
“I am so grateful to be honored with these two outstanding gentlemen who have done so much for the equestrian world,” said Phelps. “It is immensely rewarding to see a community where members support each other, and together our efforts have truly made a difference.”
Guests donned their best Western wear for the event, which kicked off with a cocktail hour featuring mixed drinks from Tito’s Homemade Vodka. A delicious dinner was provided by Aaron’s Catering for guests to enjoy while bidding on packages such as a week’s stay at a Tuscan villa and a cooking lesson with Top Chef Masters winner and world-renowned chef Marcus Samuelsson. The top item was an ultimate New York experience donated by the Goutal family, which went for $5,200 and included dinner for four at Le Colonial and Saturday Night Live tickets.
“Outsiders often view the world of equestrian sports as a life of privilege. That is not always the case, however, and many people in our midst are in need of assistance,” said Evans. “Who Reins Supreme provides an opportunity for the community to come together for an enjoyable evening while also raising money for a worthy cause.”
About the Equestrian Aid Foundation: For 17 years, the Equestrian Aid Foundation has delivered financial assistance to equestrians, horsemen and equine-related professionals who are suffering from catastrophic illnesses or injuries throughout their time of need. Funding for medical, rehabilitation and essential expenses – such as food and housing – enables recipients to cope through crisis and get back on their feet. The EAF is dedicated to helping people from all riding disciplines, equine professions, backgrounds and ages. The EAF is a 501 (c) 3 organization. Learn more at www.equestrianaidfoundation.org <http://www.equestrianaidfoundation.org/> , www.facebook.com/EAF.Ride4Hope <http://www.facebook.com/EAF.Ride4Hope> or @ride4hope.