An open letter from Beth C. Porter, Executive Director of Giant Steps Therapeutic Equestrian Center
I am writing today to ask for your help. As you likely know if you are active in the showjumping world, Sonoma Horse Park has asked the USEF to consider updating the mileage rule in Northern California. The current rule states that no two A-rated show can occur in the same week within 250 miles of each other, meaning that the Sonoma Horse Park and Sacramento shows could not be run simultaneously. As the beneficiary of one of Sonoma Horse Park’s shows – and as believers that Northern California can support two A-rated shows in the same week – Giant Steps Therapeutic Equestrian Center is asking you to write to the CEO of the United States Equestrian Federation (USEF), Bill Moroney, in support of the change.
For 12 years, the Giant Steps Charity Classic at Sonoma Horse Park has generated critical operating funds for our program. In some years, it has generated as much as 20% of our budget. We use those funds to provide programming to children and adults living with disabilities as well as individuals living with emotional challenges. Through adaptive riding and other programming, we help our clients to lead more independent lives, and provide countless hours of joy. Losing the revenue from the Giant Steps Charity Classic could be devastating to our nonprofit.
I understand that some members of USEF are worried that holding two A-rated shows in Northern California at the same time might prove challenging. While I cannot say that I understand the horse show well, I do know that the Giant Steps Charity Classic pulls heavily from Southern California as well as Oregon and Washington due to the WCHR rating so we are hopeful that we can forge a path forward that creates a positive solution for the exhibitors and show managers – and for our organization.
Should you choose to send a letter of support, we have a draft attached to get you started. Naturally, please feel free to edit it to reflect your voice and thoughts. Please be sure to add your name and USEF number at the bottom. Bill Moroney is the CEO of the USEF, and his email is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Beth C. Porter
Giant Steps Therapeutic Equestrian Center