On Friday, Jan. 27, the United States Equestrian Team Foundation hosted a benefit event at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center in Wellington, Florida. Rancho Santa Fe resident Robin Parsky, a USET Foundation board member, co-chaired the benefit along with Jane Forbes Clark and Bruce Duchossois. With over 500 guests in attendance, “An English Country Evening” featured honorary chairs NBC Today show host Matt Lauer and his wife Annette. The evening included award presentations, an elegant dinner, and a lively auction, which raised over $1 million.
In attendance were the owners, riders, trainers and supporters of the USET Foundation from all over the United States. The dinner was under an exquisite tent that resembled an English country garden, with colorful flowers in abundance and topiary trees, all designed by Reed Mcllvaine of Renny and Reed, NYC. The live auction really started to rock when Bruce Springsteen, who was in attendance with his wife and daughter Jessica, surprised the guests with a late addition of 20 VIP tickets to any of his concerts in the USA, signed Fender guitars, and a personal backstage tour. Two separate families purchased this special opportunity to be with “The Boss” at his concert. Other auction items included Olympic tickets, Kentucky Derby seats and a yacht trip to the Bahamas. Guests danced late into the night to the music of the “Soul Survivors.”
The benefit proved to be wonderfully successful for the USET Foundation with a record-setting $1.3 million raised thanks to the generosity of the guests and auction donors. The funds will be used to help support United States Equestrian Team riders and horses as they prepare for and ultimately compete at the 2012 Olympic Games in London, England.
Robin Parsky, owner of Buena Vista Farms in Rancho Santa Fe, is currently in Wellington, Florida, for the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) with her international show jumping horse BLUE ANGEL. Ridden by Lauren Hough, a former Olympian from California, BLUE ANGEL, is a 10-year-old English bred mare that will be competing in the U.S. Olympic Selection Trials in March.
In 2011, BLUE ANGEL won three major Grand Prix under Parsky’s ownership; in Dublin, Ireland, in Spruce Meadows, Canada, and in Caen, France. BLUE ANGEL is currently ranked in the top 10 of United States show jumping horses.