American Equestrians Got Talent will make its debut in 2015 and promises to be a hit, drawing together equestrians from across the disciplines to showcase their non-horsey talents and compete for a grand prize.
Spearheaded by U.S. Dressage Team Chef d’Equipe Robert Dover, American Equestrians Got Talent will serve as the third annual East Coast fundraiser to benefit USEF high performance dressage programs through the USET Foundation. After putting on successful events in 2013 and 2014, Dover is planning to take it to the next level in 2015. “This fundraiser is well underway to becoming our best event yet,” Dover said.
The Grille Fashion Cuisine in Wellington will host auditions every Wednesday from Jan. 7 through March 4 from 7:30 to 10 p.m. The auditions are open to the entire equestrian community, including riders, grooms and others involved in any discipline from dressage and hunter/jumpers to polo and Western. Come out to audition or simply to watch and cheer for the contestants.
PSdressage.com is sponsoring weekly prizes of $500 to be awarded to the top performer at each of the nine auditions. A pair of celebrity judges will be on hand each evening to critique the performances, and the audience’s applause will determine who moves forward to the final and who goes back to the barn.
The most popular contestants from the auditions will square off in the final competition, to be held March 15 at the Global Dressage Festival show grounds. The winner will walk away with the title of America’s Most Talented Equestrian and the grand prize, valued at no less than $5,000.
Along with the East Coast event, a West Coast fundraiser will be held in California. The proceeds from both fundraisers will go to the USET Foundation to support USEF’s High Performance Dressage programs. If an equestrian from one of the other FEI disciplines wins the grand prize at the East Coast event, 10 percent of the proceeds from the final event will be directed to that discipline’s High Performance program.
Sponsors, led by Kim and Fred Boyer, Equestrian Sport Productions, Tuny and David Page, and PSdressage.com, are already coming forward to support the event. Anyone interested in becoming a sponsor should contact Sara Ike at (908) 234-1251 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or Robert Dover at email@example.com.
ABOVE: Michael Barisone puts his dancing skills to the test at the 2014 Prancing with the Stars fundraising event in Wellington.