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January 11, 2019

Steuart Pittman Honored as 2018 EQUUS Foundation Humanitarian Award Recipient

Steuart Pittman received the EQUUS Foundation Humanitarian Award at the Pegasus Awards Dinner on January 10th during the US Equestrian Annual Meeting in West Palm Beach, Florida. The EQUUS Foundation and the United States Equestrian Federation established the Humanitarian Award in 2009 to honor a member of the equestrian world who has devoted considerable personal time to making the quality of life of our equine partners paramount.

Steuart Pittman Receives the EQUUS Foundation Humanitarian Award

Left to right: Murray Kessler, President, US Equestrian, Steuart Pittman, and Lynn Coakley, EQUUS Foundation President. Photo by Adam Brennan - www.picturesbyab.com.

Pittman has spent most of his career in the horse business and much of that with Thoroughbreds who had started their careers on the racetrack. As the eighth generation of his family to own and operate the 550-acre Dodon Farm in Davidsonville, Maryland, he made his living there as a breeder, trainer, and competitor in three-day eventing.

He recognized how valuable these Thoroughbred athletes were, even as they seemed to slip out of fashion in some circles. Rather than bemoan that trend, he set about changing it. With a group of friends, he founded the Retired Racehorse Project (RRP) in 2010.

The aim was two-fold: first, to create a horse industry-based initiative to market the sporting and commercial value of ex-racehorses and, second, to provide educational resources for owners and trainers that would help those horses transition successfully into new careers.

Steuart Pittman
Photo by Adam Brennan - www.picturesbyab.com.

"Today, the RRP has thousands of members and hundreds of thousands of social-media followers," said Lynn Coakley, EQUUS Foundation President. The annual Thoroughbred Makeover draws some 600 trainers and Thoroughbreds fresh off the track for a 10-month retraining process, culminating in a $100,000 competition across 10 disciplines. The Makeover also offers educational opportunities, panel discussions, and a Thoroughbred market.

Demand for Thoroughbreds is up, their values are rising, and more ex-racehorses are finding good homes with equestrians, from the hunter jumper ring to working cattle ranches, from the cross-country course to the dressage arena, and beyond.

In accepting the award, Pittman said, "Receiving the Humanitarian Award is a huge honor because of the respect that I have for the work of EQUUS Foundation. Establishing the Retired Racehorse Project as a thriving national institution was the achievement that gave me the confidence to enter the political arena and confront challenges faced by our own herd. If we can shift market forces in the horse industry to train racehorses for second careers, maybe we can figure out how to train people for the careers of our modern economy! So, thank you to the horses, and thank you to EQUUS Foundation and USEF."

Like everything Pittman has done in his career, RRP was the result of people coming together with a shared vision. Compassion has always been a driving force behind Pittman's work, whether directed toward people or animals. With his leadership and abundant energy, he is now committed to making life better for the people in his community as the recently elected County Executive for Anne Arundel County in Maryland.

About EQUUS Foundation: The EQUUS Foundation, a 501(c)(3) public charity established in 2002, also known as Horse Charities of America, the only national animal welfare charity in the United States 100% dedicated to protecting America's horses and strengthening the bond between people and horses. Donations are tax-deductible to the full extent of the law. Contact the EQUUS Foundation, Inc., at 168 Long Lots Road, Westport, CT 06880, Tele: (203) 259-1550, E-Mail: mail@equusfoundation.org, Website: www.equusfoundation.org.

About US Equestrian: Established in 1917, the United States Equestrian Federation (US Equestrian), the governing body of equestrian sport in the United States, is dedicated bringing the joy of horse sports to as many people as possible. Learn more about the US Equestrian at www.usequestrian.org/.