USET Foundation Spring Soirée Raises Over $200,000 for US Equestrian High Performance Programs

Guests at the USET Foundation's Spring Soirée enjoyed cocktails and an elegant dinner ahead of a lively auction to help raise funds for US Equestrian (USEF) high performance programs at Pomponio Ranch on Friday. (Photo: Treena Hall Equine Photography)

Guests at the USET Foundation's Spring Soirée enjoyed cocktails and an elegant dinner ahead of a lively auction to help raise funds for US Equestrian (USEF) high performance programs at Pomponio Ranch on Friday. (Photo: Treena Hall Equine Photography)

Rancho Santa Fe, Calif. – May 2, 2019 – On Friday, April 26, the United States Equestrian Team (USET) Foundation hosted its highly anticipated Spring Soirée, a fundraising event that took place at the picturesque Pomponio Ranch in Rancho Santa Fe, California.

The 2019 Spring Soirée, which raised over $200,000, served as a benefit for US Equestrian (USEF) high performance programs, including developmental and elite. This funding helps ensure athletes and teams representing the United States have the necessary support for international competition and training opportunities, horse transportation, world-class veterinarians, farriers, physiotherapists and more to compete at the highest level of the sport.

Many industry professionals and supporters graciously donated coveted time, experiences or items for this special night of silent and live auctions.

The USET Foundation’s Spring Soirée captured all of the elements of an enchanting and festive spring evening as beautifully decorated tables outfitted with sunflowers, fresh greenery and pastel blue accents lined the barn aisles of Pomponio Ranch, owned by Karl Cook and graciously provided to the USET Foundation for the evening.

As the live auction kicked off, one of the most popular items was a one-month training and boarding package in Wellington, Florida, with U.S. dressage Chef d’Équipe Debbie McDonald. The hotly contested item eventually sold to two lucky bidders, Gerry Ibanez and Shari Miller.

Other live auction highlights included a surfing adventure with Olympic dressage medalist Guenter Seidel and USEF/FEI athlete David Blake, a “Week with Leading Ladies of Dressage,” a VIP experience donated by Laura Graves, Kasey Perry-Glass, Adrienne Lyle and Olivia LaGoy-Weltz, and Will Simpson’s famous BBQ rib party.

Furthermore, the silent auction raised over $36,000 alone to ultimately help raise more than $200,000.

“We are so grateful to Karl Cook and USET Foundation trustee Signe Ostby for the use of their gorgeous Pomponio Ranch as well as the incredible benefit committee who worked tirelessly to make the evening such an incredible success,” said Bonnie Jenkins, USET Foundation executive director. “Debbie McDonald showed her commitment and passion to help support the programs with her much sought-after month of training that she generously offered twice after some spirited and competitive bidding. A huge thanks to the wonderful equestrian community in California who turned out for our United States equestrian teams and had lots of fun. We could not be more appreciative of everyone’s help in making the Spring Soirée an incredible night!”

Thanks to the generosity of the guests and auction donors, as well as the event’s chairpersons and Host Committee, the 2019 Spring Soirée proved to be wildly successful for the USET Foundation and its goal of helping fund the U.S. equestrian team athletes as they prepare to compete at the 2019 Pan American Games in Lima, Peru, and the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games in Tokyo, Japan.