A BLIND DRESSAGE RIDER, A SPECTACULAR HORSE - RECENTLY FEATURED ON CNN INTERNATIONAL WORLD SPORT'S HUMAN TO HERO - THE JOURNEY TO RIO, THE ROAD TO INDEPENDENCE
- Go for Gold in the 2016 Paralympics, put the Kingdom's Horse on the Road to Rio as part of Team GB.
- Help support 2 charities: Guide Dogs for the Blind and Riding for the Disabled (RDA),
- Get behind a British athlete: your chance to be a part of the journey to Rio!
How Does it work?
- Your contributions purchase Szekit, the incredible horse which Verity Smith, as a blind rider, has selected for his talent and character to partner with on her road to Rio.
- Verity trains and competes with Szekit until 2016, to earn their place on Team GB with the ultimate goal of achieving a Gold medal at the Paralympic Games.
- After Szekit's purchase, he will be owned by The Kingdom's Horse Trust. He will be sold after the Games and your contributions will then be released from the Trust and divided equally between two charities: Guide Dogs for the Blind and Riding For the Disabled (RDA).
What is The Kingdom’s Horse?
This innovative and heartwarming campaign will finance the purchase of Szekit, and launch The Kingdom's Horse journey, to the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games. By contributing to this campaign, not only will you be supporting Verity and Szekit, a partnership capable of bringing home a gold medal for Great Britain, you will also be funding two amazing charities very close to Verity's heart.
Who is Szekit?
So, what’s so special about this horse? Szekit is a 9-year-old, 1.77m, Oldenburg gelding of incredible breeding. His ‘father’ and ‘grandpa’ are two of the most famous Oldenburg stallions in the world! His sire (dad), Sandro Hit, was one of the most successful dressage horses ever. In 1999, only six years old, Sandro Hit became World Dressage Champion. Later, his progeny consistently sold for record prices. On his dam’s (mum’s) side, Szekit is descended from another famous Oldenburg Stallion, Rubenstein 1, who was known for his sweet temperament and amazing paces. He won 40 Grand Prix competitions and competed in the Olympics.
In other words, Szekit is a winner. He has inherited the best of both these horses: the presence and movement of Sandro Hit, and the paces and lovely temperament of Rubenstein 1. As a stud line, the Oldenburg slogan is “Quality is the only standard that counts” - so let's give Szekit a chance to go for glory in Rio.
Who is Verity Smith?
"Horses gallop through my veins and no loss of sight will allow me to lose the freedom they afford my spirit." Verity
Verity is an extremely talented blind dressage rider who has competed for Para Team GB and also competes in able-bodied events. In the lead up to London 2012, where Verity hoped to compete at her first Paralympic Games, an unfortunate series of events, including the sudden death of her competition horse and a car crash which put her out the saddle for a year, meant she was unable to take part in the qualifying events. Today, showing extraordinary resilience and determination, Verity is back in the saddle and training to earn her place on Team GB. She is targeting Gold at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games but she does not have a horse.
Find out more about Verity Smith dressage, music and author at Verity Smith's Website
Why Guide Dogs for the Blind and Riding for the Disabled?
This is an opportunity for Verity to give something back to two charities very close to her heart. Being the proud owner of Guide Dog 'Uffa', Verity is passionate about Guide Dogs and the independence these life-changing creatures afford the visually impaired. Verity also has the upmost admiration for the relevance and importance of Riding for the Disabled, understanding the magic and freedom of spirit that contact with horses can bring to the disabled. The Kingdom’s Horse campaign is an unprecedented opportunity for you to support these important charities, whilst assisting an extraordinary athlete and horse to achieve their goal at representing Great Britain at the highest level.
What happens next?
Once bought the horse will be owned by The Kingdom’s Horse Trust and managed by Verity. Szekit will be sold after the 2016 Games and the funds raised through Crowd Funding for his purchase (up to the full £80,000 if you help meet our target!) will be released and divided equally between Guide Dogs for the Blind and RDA. Your contributions will not only put Verity and Szekit on the road Rio but will also put other disabled people on the road to independence. Verity's trainers are confident she can reach the highest levels of Para dressage.
As a contributor, you will immediately be part of The Kingdom's Horse and his special journey to Rio (and, fingers crossed, if Verity and Szekit win Gold, you would have played an integral part in obtaining a Paralympic medal for Great Britain). In exchange for your contributions, a number of perks are available for you to choose from:
For £10 you can choose to have your name appear on The Kingdom's Horse website as a friend and founding member.
For £25 you can choose to receive a signed photograph of Verity, Szekit and Uffa.
For £50 you can choose to show the world your support for The Kingdom's Horse by receiving an exclusive Kingdom's Horse T-shirt.
In addition to her riding, Verity is also a singer and author. You can receive a download of her newly released album 'La Verity' for £75.
For £100 you can choose to receive a signed copy of Verity's new album 'La Verity', as well as the download. (Signed albums are limited to 100 copies).
For £150 you can choose to receive a download of Verity's new book 'The Groper's Guide'.
For £200 you can choose to receive a signed copy of Verity's book 'The Groper's Guide', as well as the download. (Signed books are limited to 50 copies).
Artist Polly Hodges has been commissioned to do a painting of Verity's Guide Dog Uffa. You can choose this as a unique perk for a contribution of £1,000 or more. Uffa thanks you in advance for boosting his ego (he loves a selfie)!
For or more £2000 you can choose to have a private house concert from Verity.
FAQ and Challenges
What if you raise more than your target?
Woohoo! Funds raised above and beyond the target of £80,000 will go towards the horse’s training and healthcare costs, directly supporting The Kingdom's Horse's progress.
This is not an option! Meeting our target is our number 1 goal and we thank you for your support - it would mean all the funds raised and used to purchase Szekit would go to the charities in 2016. It would be a terrible disappointment if we did not meet our target of £80,000 to pay for the full price of the horse. If this was the case, we would need to rely on traditional sponsorship to bridge the gap, but these funds would not be donated to charity when the horse is sold in 2016, which would be a massive shame, so the more money you contribute, the more money we raise for the charities.
What if Verity wants to keep the horse after 2016?
The Kingdom’s Horse Trust will be the legal owner of the horse. The Trust’s deeds will state that the horse is to be sold between the end of the Paralympic Games and December 31st 2016. If Verity wants to keep riding Szekit at this point, she will have to purchase the horse from the trust, just like any other individual.
Why is this not a Verified Non-Profit campaign, if the money will be donated to charity?
Because the funds are not directly donated to charity at the end of this crowdfunding campaign, it cannot technically be categorized as non-profit. However rest assured that all funds used to purchase the horse will be donated to the charities in 2016, and this will be stated in The Kingdom’s Horse Trust deeds.
What if the horse is injured or dies?
An insurance policy covering the full value of the horse will be put in place, and in the case of serious injury or death, the resultant insurance proceeds would be donated to the charities, as they would have at the time of sale.
What if you cannot sell the horse in 2016, or its value has gone down?
Having competed at national and international competition, we are confident that we will be able to sell the horse for a competitive price in 2016. In the run up to the Games, Szekit will be in training with one of the top dressage trainers in the world and will be in his prime at the age of 12 when he is sold in 2016. Furthermore, the horse has been sired by an extremely successful dressage stallion, Sandro Hit, whose offspring are highly valued in the world of dressage.
In the unlikely event that the horse is sold for under the purchase price, the proceeds will be distributed based on the relative value of the funds raised in this campaign used to purchase the horse.
What if Verity and Szekit do not qualify for the Paralympics?
Typically the Paralympic team selection is released 1-2 months prior to the start of the Games. The team selection is made by the British Dressage Olympic selection panel. They take a number of factors into account including consistency of scores over 70%, the trend in average scores in classification, scores in previous year and the FEI rankings of the other competitors and individual placing’s. While we are confident Verity has the capability of making the selection for 2016, there can be no safeguard for success. If Verity does not qualify for Rio, she and Szekit will still compete at a high level until 2016 and your contribution to this campaign will still result in a donation to Guide Dogs and the RDA.
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