On February 27, history will be made for Israel in the PBIEC’s International Arena in Wellington. Show jumpers Danielle Goldstein, Elad Yaniv, and Joshua Tabor make up the Israeli team that will compete in the Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup for the first time ever. While teams from around the world come together in Florida to compete for the Cup and $75,000, the event marks an even bigger prize for Israel: A milestone in the country’s progression towards a competitive status in equestrian sports.
“This will be the very first Israeli Nations Cup ever in any discipline in the history of equestrian sports. So for us, we are incredibly proud and honored to be the first to raise the flag,” stated Kate Levy, chef d’equipe for the Israeli Equestrian Team.
T.E.A.M. Israel, which stands for The Equine Athletics Mission Israel is a nonprofit organization that works to cultivate the equestrian community in Israel. This includes training young riders, building equine facilities, educating the public, and developing an international riding team with the goal of competing in the 2016 Olympic Games in Brazil. The team for the Nations Cup is off to a great start on this goal as they head to Wellington; a much-anticipated step for the Israeli Equestrian Team, T.E.A.M. Israel, and every equestrian and horse-enthusiast in Israel. Levy also put their sentiment into words by stating: “Just being a part of this event and representing Israel, we have already won.”
The team recognizes that in some ways, they may be at a disadvantage coming in to the Nations Cup. Two of the team members, Elad Yaniv, and Joshua Tabor will be riding their horses for the first time, and so will not have the long-term knowledge of their mounts that competing teams may have, but as seasoned successful show jumpers they are up for the challenge. In addition, Danielle Goldstein and her mount Carisma have been competing in Wellington all season. In fact, the pair stated the season with a win in the $10,000 Open Stake Grand Prix and this past weekend the pair came in fifth $280,000 Adequan® Grand Prix CSI 4*, so Goldstein hopes to help anchor the Israeli Team with a little “home field advantage” during Friday night’s Nation Cup.
Danielle Goldstein has worked hard for this breakthrough for Israel’s equestrian community. She has dual citizenship in the United States and Israel, which she says she obtained largely to help Israel gain a greater presence in international sports. Goldstein also served as chef d’equipe for the Israeli Jumping Team in the Maccabiah Games in 2013, where the team earned gold medals.
Goldstein, Tabor, and Yaniv are incredibly thankful and appreciative of chef d'equipe, Kate Levy who was instrumental in putting this team together, as well as Nelson Pessoa, Uri Mansur, Ivan Rakowsky, Javier Berganza, and Katie & Henri Prudent. Deborah Schultz, internet entrepreneur, co-founder and board member for T.E.A.M. Israel, is also happy with the country’s representation at Nations Cup, saying, “It is so exciting to see this vision come to life and have Israel so well represented on the international stage. Have a team at the Nations Cup is just a first step to raising awareness and gathering momentum for T.E.A.M. Israel’s vision and mission to develop a strong and robust horse culture in Israel.”
The team’s debut at the Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup will put Israel on the map of the equestrian world. “Competing as a team at this level is no longer just a dream,” explains Levy, “We hope to inspire more Israeli riders to join us in creating depth in our equestrian sports for generations to come.”