History & Vision
1996: A Grassroots Initiative
The Equestrian Aid Foundation was founded in 1996 by a group of friends—Robert Dover, R. Scot Evans, Gene Mische, Mason Phelps Jr., Robert Ross and Kim Tudor—whose common bond was a commitment to their community. Initially incorporated as the Equestrian AIDS Foundation, the organization had one focus: to financially assist people in the horse industry who were stricken with AIDS—to let them know that their peers cared about them and wanted to help improve the quality of their lives.
2006: Expanding our Mission
Ten years later, the Foundation broadened its initial mission to provide grant-based support to horse people suffering from any catastrophic illness or injury. This commitment to helping equestrians from all disciplines, occupations and backgrounds by offering funding for medical, rehabilitative and other essential expenses remains a central focus of the Foundation's mission today. Our goal is to provide a helping hand that allows fellow equestrians to overcome adversity, focus on healing, and rebuild their lives.
2018 TO PRESENT: RESPONDING TO COMMUNITIES IN CRISIS
In 2018, we broadened our mission once again by opening a Disaster Relief Fund to assist equestrian communities in crisis due to unforeseen disasters. In addition to delivering relief to horsemen in the aftermath of wildfires, hurricanes, and flooding, this fund was instrumental in EAF's COVID relief grant programs (2020-21) and EHV-1 emergency grant program (2022) for industry professionals and service providers.
In 27 years, thanks to the compassion and support of friends and colleagues in the equestrian community, EAF has given nearly $4 million in direct aid to equestrians in crisis across America.
We look forward toward our next decade of service with this goal: to further our growth as a dynamic organization that is attentive and responsive to the emergent needs of the equestrian community. When horse people have the support they need to overcome adversity and thrive, our sport is all the better for it.