Monday, August 22, 2011
Eventing: True Prospect: Bruce Duchossois and ACE Private Risk Services Make $20,000 Donation to USET Foundation in Memory of Horses Lost
Gladstone, NJ - August 22 2011 - The United States Equestrian Team Foundation is honored to announce that USET Foundation Trustee Bruce Duchossois and ACE Private Risk Services have made a generous donation to the organization following the tragedy at True Prospect Farm. On May 31, fire destroyed the barn rented by international event rider Boyd Martin from Phillip Dutton of West Grove, PA. Of the 11 horses stabled in the wood and stone bank barn, six perished in the blaze.
In the aftermath of the fire, the entire eventing community rallied. Bruce Duchossois, who competes in the Amateur-Owner hunters, has owned several of Dutton's top three-day horses, including Connaught. Dutton, who earned Olympic Team Gold in 1996 riding for Australia, became an American citizen in 2006. In 2007, he earned Pan American Games Team Gold and Individual Silver riding for the USA. In 2008 he piloted Connaught to first place in the prestigious four-star Kentucky Rolex Three-Day Event. About five years ago Duchossois became partners with Dutton in the ownership of True Prospect Farm.
Duchossois learned that ACE Private Risk Services, the high-net worth personal lines company of global insurance carrier, the ACE Group - who settled the claim quickly and gracefully - planned to make a donation in honor of the six horses. Several of those horses were being considered to represent the USA for the 2011 Pan American Games and now would never have a chance to prove themselves. Duchossois happens to be co-chair of the USET Foundation's Development Committee, which raises funds for the USA's elite equestrian athletes. He was involved to the nth degree with the horses and people at True Prospect Farm and with the USET Foundation. He offered to match whatever amount ACE Private Risk Services donated to the USET Foundation.
"I think that what ACE Private Risk Services is doing is phenomenal," said Duchossois. "Insurance - you can't live with it, you can't live without it - and what these ACE people have done really is above and beyond. It was a beautiful old stone barn, and the horses - well, they were priceless. To settle the way they did and then to come back and make a donation to the USET Foundation in the memory of the horses - well, it's unheard of. It opens eyes that they are good people and that they want to give back. I was blown away.
On Tuesday, August 16th at True Prospect Farm, Bob Courtemanche, Division President of ACE Private Risk Services, and W. Kirk James, Chief Operating Officer of Hub International (the broker that matched up ACE with True Prospect), met with Duchossois, Dutton and his wife Evie, and Martin. Courtemanche presented the check for the USET Foundation to Duchossois. In a spirit of camaraderie and compassion, ACE's donation to the USET Foundation does more than honor the six fallen event horses: it also pays tribute to the incredible bravery of the people who risked their lives to save the five.
"We protect property, but at the end of the day we protect people," said Courtemanche. "If we can help to make a sad situation better by honoring the bravery and compassion of the people at True Prospect Farm, that's part of our job. It's not just property they lost in that fire. They lost horses, and they aren't replaceable the way machines are. I'm learning about the partnership between horse and rider."
"It's moving. It restores my faith in the American culture, that everything's not just about money," said Martin. "It's fantastic when a company goes far beyond the call of duty and sees a terrible situation and they put their hat and money out for such a wonderful donation."
" In the wake of such tragedy ACE Private Risk Services and Bruce Duchossois have graciously recognized the loss of these talented and incredible horses with a gift to the USET Foundation that will continue to help this country's United States Equestrian Teams on the international stage. The generous gifts exemplify the kindness and thoughtfulness of ACE and Bruce, and for which the USET Foundation is truly appreciative. We wish Boyd and Phillip the very best as they courageously move forward in achieving competitive excellence, while always remembering the incredible horses that make it possible."
The United States Equestrian Team Foundation (www.uset.org) is the non-profit organization that supports the competition, training, coaching, travel and educational needs of America's elite and developing international, high-performance horses and athletes in partnership with the United States Equestrian Federation.
For more information on the USET Foundation, please call (908) 234-1251, or visit USET ONLINE at www.uset.org.