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American Hunter Jumper Foundation Assists Horsemen In Need Through Emergency Relief Fund

August 13, 2002, WEST BOYLSTON, Massachusetts -- Since its establishment in 1995, the American Hunter Jumper Foundation (AHJF) Emergency Relief Fund has become one of the most important and visible programs of the foundation. Through this program the AHJF has assisted dozens of horsepeople in a wide variety of situations. The Fund relies on donations for the financial support it gives to individuals and families involved in the industry. The AHJF Board reviews emergency situations which are brought to their attention, and approves distributions according to the Fund's guidelines and the particular needs of the recipient.

Jack Miller.
Photo courtesy of Hoofcare & Lameness Magazine
Jack Miller, a well-known farrier who had no health insurance, first received financial assistance from the AHJF Emergency Relief Fund in the fall of 2001 after suffering a heart attack. However, the angioplasty procedure that was performed on Jack at that time only gave him relief for a short time. By February of 2002 he was back in the hospital having a quadruple by-pass! The Emergency Relief Fund has again stepped up to the plate to help Jack get back on his feet. Oliver Kennedy, co-manager of the Capital Challenge Horse Show, explains that while Jack, who was recently inducted into the Farrier's Hall of Fame, "will never be able to shoe the huge number of horses he did before his health problems, but he can still make a living at it."

A lot of other farriers pitched in to help Jack by doing horses for his regular customers during his recovery. In addition to helping Jack through disbursements, the AHJF has also put him in touch with Fred Bauer who is working to negotiate down his hospital bills.

Oliver Kennedy, co-manager of the Capital Challenge Horse Show.
Photo courtesy of Diana De Rosa

Dayna Bordeleau has also benefited from the Emergency Relief Fund. A professional braider, Dayna first became ill in the fall of 2001 with severe intestinal infections. She was in and out of hospitals numerous times without any conclusive cause. At that time the AHJF made a disbursement to Dayna to help with her living expenses. Then, finally after a trip from her home in Mississippi to the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota, an accurate diagnosis was made. Dayna was suffering from a very severe case of Crone's Disease which is difficult to diagnose as its symptoms can vary greatly from person to person. Part of both her small and large intestine had to be removed as they were so badly damaged.

She has responded very well to medication, although she still has some problems with vasculitis, swelling of the blood vessels, which has caused her legs to swell considerably. She is now being treated for that symptom as well as the gastrointestinal problems.

"Fortunately I have good health insurance which paid most of my medical expenses," explains Dayna. "But with the Mayo Clinic you are treated as an outpatient which means you have to stay at a hotel the entire time you are in treatment. I could never have afforded to go to the Mayo Clinic if it weren't for the support of the Emergency Relief Fund," she asserts.

Lauren Hough at the Sydney Olympics on Clasiko. Photo courtesy of Diana De Rosa

Longtime professional horseman, Champ Hough, has also received recent disbursements from the Emergency Relief Fund. Champ, who has no health insurance, suffered a stroke in July 2001. This was complicated by a fall which resulted in a broken back. Champ's daughters, Lauren Hough, a very successful jumper rider based in West Palm Beach and Cindy Brooks, a top hunter rider in California, are footing the $4,000/month bill. Champ has been in a long-term care facility since the stroke. On the whole he is doing well, but will probably always require an assisted living situation. He enjoys reading and daily walks with his dog, Jenny, and welcomes visits from friends. He is residing at 622 Common Circle Dr., West Palm Beach, FL.

Please consider a tax-deductible donation to the AHJF Emergency Relief Fund to help fellow horsemen like Jack, Dayna, and Champ. Call 508-835-8813 or e-mail


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