Southern California Equestrian Sports Announces 2022 Grant Recipients

Lauren Billys Photo by Sherry Stewart

Edited Press Release

Redlands, California — January 27, 2022 — Southern California Equestrian Sports (SCES), an equestrian non-profit organization specializing in fundraising support, is thrilled to announce the allocation of five grants to the equestrian community. Three of the grants were awarded to highly decorated athletes with US combined driver Jacob Arnold and two-time Puerto Rican Eventing Olympian Lauren Billys each being awarded $7,500. Top US U-25 dressage rider Hope Cooper was the other athlete to receive a grant in the amount of $2,500. In addition to grants given to the athletes, SCES also awarded grants to Desert International Horse Park for $1,500 and Nilforushan Equisport Events for $2,000. In total, SCES awarded more than $20,000 in grants to assist those in the equestrian community in their pursuits. 

The three riders receiving grants each made important trips overseas in 2021. Lauren Billys competed at the Tokyo Olympics in Eventing, Jacob Arnold traveled to Europe for the FEI World Driving Championships, and Hope Cooper committed to four months of dressage training in Germany after the CHIO Aachen U25 was canceled. “We are very proud to be part of their fundraising efforts and pleased to help them continue to move forward,” said Dave Kuhlman, President of the SCES. “The two organizers, Nilforushan Equisport Events and Desert International Horse Park, each have played an important role in bringing top quality FEI shows to the West Coast in Grand Prix jumping and dressage, respectively. We hope we can help them continue to grow and prosper in our sport.”

SCES is proud to support these three talented riders, in addition to both Nilforushan Equisport Events and the Desert International Horse Park, as a part of their mission to support horse sports and competitors in a variety of disciplines at the international levels across the country. 

“I am deeply grateful for the grant given to me by Southern California Equestrian Sports. SCES has facilitated funding for every step in my equestrian career from the seemingly insignificant events to the Olympic Games. Without them, I know the support and opportunities that have come to me would not be possible. What they do for the horse community helps riders like me achieve their dreams. I am humbled and honored to be selected for this additional special grant and look forward to using it as I continue to strive to ride at the highest level against the best in the world representing Puerto Rico,” Billys said. 
By continuing to create innovative and inspiring opportunities for any equestrian or competition meeting the eligibility criteria, in any discipline that is nationally or internationally recognized, SCES provides qualifying parties various opportunities to continue to grow equestrian sports worldwide. SCES is open to riders in all equestrian disciplines, from a variety of countries, competing at the international levels of competition (FEI), which proudly includes Paralympic athletes. 

“It is incredible to have a non-profit like this dedicated to helping both equestrians and equestrian venues fundraise through tax-deductible donations. I am very grateful for SCES, this grant, and all of the remarkable people who support this organization and us as athletes,” added Arnold. 

SCES grants have given countless athletes and events opportunities that may have otherwise not been available. Funded strictly through donations and operated nearly exclusively by volunteers, SCES continues to work to assist athletes, and now equestrian events and organizations as well, raise funds to meet and surpass goals whether it be competing internationally or improving an equestrian facility. 

Ali Nilforushan of Nilforushan Equisport Events remarked, “SCES is a wonderful organization, and we are honored to receive this grant. We want to do as much as we can and give back as much as possible. This grant allowed us to provide ten free entries rather than just two to participants in the CDP Foundation program. From free dinners and happy hours at shows to allowing us to continue to provide opportunities like those for the CDP Foundation, we are looking forward to continuing to grow alongside SCES for many years.”

To learn more about how SCES can help you in your fundraising efforts, please visit their website at