For half a century, 72-year-old Madeline Gage of New York has been contributing to and supporting the United States Equestrian Team Foundation. As one of the most dedicated donors to the USET Foundation, Madeline was honored with a special trip to the 2017 Rolex Central Park Horse Show where she had the incredible opportunity to meet Olympian McLain Ward and watch the international show jumping competition from the VIP area overlooking the ring and city.
Madeline was first introduced to the USET while in high school when her mother took her to the National Horse Show at Madison Square Garden in New York City, she has been a dedicated supporter ever since.
“I officially became a member of the USET in 1966,” said Madeline. “I used to love to stand on the rail at Madison Square Garden and shoot pictures of Bill Steinkraus, Kathy Kusner, Mary and Frank Chapot and so many others. The original U.S. Equestrian Team did not receive any funding from the Olympic Committee at all. People, like me, who wanted to see the U.S. represented in the Olympics and in international competition donated to the USET. I consistently have been a member of this organization and I love it.”
Madeline was taught to ride by her mother in Brooklyn, New York, when she was very young, and although she does not ride anymore, her love of horses and the equestrian sport never faded. Madeline has treasured her involvement with the USET Foundation over the years, and boasts an impressive collection of historical memorabilia to prove it.
The United States is one of the only countries in the world that does not receive government funding for its equestrian teams. Although the United States Olympic Committee does provide approximately 30% of the USEF’s annual High Performance budget, athletes still rely heavily on the support of fans and donors nationwide to help finance their Olympic and Paralympic dreams.
Madeline has made her own history by becoming the first consecutive 50-year donor to the USET Foundation, but she’s made an even larger impact on the history of the sport by continuously supporting U.S. equestrian athletes and giving them the chance to represent the U.S. on the world stage.
“I’m very proud to be a supportive member of the U.S. Equestrian Team,” said Madeline. “To me, it’s very important that this country be represented in equestrian events. It’s an honor to be a member of the USET Foundation, it really is, and I will be a contributor for as long as I can.”
To join Madeline and the U.S Equestrian Team become a donor today!