The equestrian community gathered for a day of show jumping competition Tuesday, Feb. 21, followed by an elegant evening reception to share their love and support the Kevin Babington Foundation hosted at Victoria McCullogh’s breathtaking Wellington property.
Jeff Papows, a longtime friend and occasional student of Kevin Babington, has devoted much of his time and energy over the past few years to help show jumpers suffering from spinal cord injuries.
“I’d do anything for Kevin. He is beloved and has done so much before his fall — it’s just because of the way he is,” Papows said. “The courage, tenacity, kindness and patience he has shown post his fall is nothing less than super human.”
The Kevin Babington Foundation was founded in 2019 to provide funding and support for show jumping athletes who sustain spinal cord injuries. In addition to providing financial assistance, the foundation strives to educate riders, trainers and show organizers about the most current safety measures designed to reduce the risk of serious injuries that can occur while riding.
Riders had the opportunity to compete on Mida Farm’s picturesque grass field over a 12-jump course of exceptionally built fences donated by Dalman Jump Co. If horse-and-rider combinations went clear and within the time allowed of 78 seconds in the first round, they were invited to compete over an eight-fence jump-off course. Spectators saw a total of 45 horse-and-rider combinations and five double-clear rounds throughout the afternoon. Jordan Coyle and Elan Farm’s Lisaniska Cool Quality put their speed to the test to win the tri-color ribbon and crystal trophy.
After a long day of competition, riders and spectators were welcomed back to McCullogh’s estate for a celebration. Papows and McCullough took the stage to thank all who came to support the cause. Babington also gave a heartfelt thank you to all those who have been by his side and have supported him along the way.
“I would like to thank Victoria so much for opening her farm and house for such an amazing day, showing everyone what show jumping is meant to be. Last year was very special, [and] this is better still,” Babington said.
Mark your calendars for another entertaining evening benefiting the Kevin Babington Foundation when “Kevin’s Queens” returns to Wellington on March 26.