There is an old adage to remind us that charity begins at home. The Arabian horse community has always been an extension of our immediate families; an industry bound together by friendship and a mutual love for the horse. So it’s only natural that the Horsemen’s Distress Fund should clearly resonate with Arabian horse people.
“My late husband Don and I were at the U.S. National Championship show in Albuquerque when the Horsemen’s Distress Fund was first raising funds by auctioning a saddle,” says Janey Morse. “It’s a very good feeling to be a part of this amazing charity. Don put it best when he said, ‘I’ve been very blessed in my life and all of those who are blessed should help’.”
These sentiments have been applauded and actively supported with AHDF fund raisers over the past few years sponsored by Lara Ames and the Arabian Horse Times; Terri Delbridge, Shawn and Carmelle Rooker, Rooker Training Stables; Bob and Becky Nash, Brian Murch, and Carrie Fritz and Leslie Sommers. Naturally, all of these gracious efforts were supported by those who bid on auction items, bought raffle tickets and donated generously.
Following the U.S. National Show last fall Mary Trowbridge went on to the Arabian Horse Association convention in Vancouver, BC. There the AHA offered the Horsemen’s Distress Fund a platform. At its conclusion $32,500 was pledged by the delegates and clubs in attendance.
Markel Insurance became very aware of the Horsemen’s Distress Fund during the AHA Convention and is now working on AHDF collaboration. “We have become very focused on education and safety in the equine community,” says Markel Representative Kimberly Douglas. Markel wants to help make horsemen aware of safety precautions that will help save the lives of people and horses. We found the Horsemen’s Distress Fund to be a remarkable community project and we are making plans to support their efforts.”
Mary Trowbridge says it best. “Daily our Arabian horses set examples for us regarding the meaning of friendship, devotion, unselfish giving and compassion. If we have been able to learn and grow from our close association with these special horses, then the hope and courage that is the legacy of the Horsemen’s Distress Fund is also, of course, a gift from them to us.”
To date the Horsemen’s Distress Fund has raised and disbursed nearly $500,000 to individuals throughout the Arabian horse community in time of need, accident and illness since its inception in 2005. Virtually anyone that is an Arabian Horse Association member in good standing is eligible to apply to the fund during times of unexpected crisis. It is not meant to supplement or replace insurance, but to be a vehicle for immediate assistance to help people move forward with their lives. Managed by a five member board of industry-involved horse people, the fund’s guidelines allow for a rapid response in a variety of circumstances. It is not lost on Arabian horsemen that their community is a real, extended family with members that sometimes need help.
To apply to the AHDF for assistance, or to let them know of someone in need of assistance,
e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 860-354-8926 (office) or 860-488-7074 (cell).
To make a donation to the fund, simply go to the How You Can Help page.