Gladstone, NJNovember 6, 2001The United States Equestrian Team (USET) USET is proud to announce the appointment of Jim Richards of Atlanta, GA, as its first ambassador. Richards is Managing Director of Richards Capital Fund and former President of Southwire Company (one of the world's leading wire and cable manufacturers). For the past three years, he has served on the USET National Advisory Council.
The USET announced the creation of its new Ambassador Program in October. The USET will work closely with a select group of distinguished horse owners and equestrians in several key cities across the country, each of whom will be named to the special position of "ambassador."
USET ambassadors will be resident representatives of the U.S. Equestrian Team in their host cities, serving as symbolic links between the USET and the surrounding equestrian community. Ambassadors will promote the interests of the sport and of the Team by assisting in organizing major annual events as well as smaller benefits throughout the year.
USET President Armand Leone, Jr., said, "The Team has many prominent supporters throughout the United States. We are delighted to honor some of them with the title "ambassador" and to work together with them in advancing support for international equestrian sports in their home cities."
Richards began riding at an early age and was an avid competitor in hunter/jumper competitions in addition to participating in various local horse trials and occasional point-to-points. As an adult, he then focused most of his attention on competing in 12-18 goal polo and has been an avid follower of his numerous steeplechase horses who have been trained by Gerald Oxley and, more recently, Bruce Miller. Included are multiple Graded Stakes winners Flashfire (NZ) and Reagan (CH).
After many years of competitive polo, Richards suffered a serious back injury that forced a layoff from the sport. Unable to compete on horseback, he turned his interest to organizing and producing a major event.
Richards hosted several international teams at the Richards' family farm, Foxhall Farm, during the 1996 Summer Olympic Games. Since May, 2000, Jim and Foxhall Events have hosted the MBNA Foxhall Cup CCI***, a Three-Star level event that takes place each spring. The MBNA Foxhall Cup serves as the AHSA National Championship of Eventing and the USET Three-Star Spring Championship. Foxhall Farm was the last U.S. qualifying site as well as the quarantine site for the 2000 U.S. Olympic eventing team before departing for Sydney, Australia.
That team, by the way, included Hyde Park Corner, a horse Richards owns with Julie Burns that was ridden by Burns.
"I am proud to accept the position of USET ambassador for the Atlanta area, Richards said. "As owner of a horse that competed in the Olympic Games, I've had the opportunity to see first hand all that the USET does to support its athletes and horse owners. I am thrilled to do whatever I can to help the USET as it continues its mission of achieving success in the Olympic Games and all international equestrian competitions."
The United States Equestrian Team is
a non-profit organization that selects, trains, equips and finances equestrians
of the highest possible standard to represent our country in major international
competition, including the Olympic Games and the World Championships.
To accomplish this, the USET seeks out and nurtures the development of
talented athletes - riders, drivers and horses - and provides the support
and guidance they need to help them attain their fullest potential. For
more information on the USET, please call (908) 234-1251, or visit USET
ONLINE at www.uset.org