Here’s How Equestrian Riders Are Using ‘GoFundMe’ to Compete at the Tokyo Olympics 2020

Published 08/07/2021, 9:19 AM EDT


Equestrian events are the most expensive events at the Tokyo Olympics 2020. Even though the organizers pay for the transport costs of all the horses, the maintenance of the horses has to be done by the riders themselves.

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Nations like Germany and Great Britain fund their athletes and so they have nothing to worry about. The lesser established riders from countries like South Africa do not have any financial help.

TOKYO, JAPAN – AUGUST 03: Jessica Springsteen of Team United States riding Don Juan Van De Donkhoeve competes during the Jumping Individual Qualifier on day eleven of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Equestrian Park on August 03, 2021 in Tokyo, Japan. (Photo by Naomi Baker/Getty Images)

Equestrian – A Rich Man’s sport?

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We know equestrian sports for their high-society adherents. In the past, Queen Elizabeth’s daughter herself has competed in the Olympic games for Great Britain. Bruce Springsteen’s daughter Jessica Springsteen is another such name. She won the silver medal at the Tokyo Olympics 2020, with Team USA in the Team jumping event.

The management of horses costs a lot of money. Most equestrian riders don’t even own their own horses. Germany has devised a program that helps Equestrian riders become financially stable.

Julia Krajewski, the gold medal winner in an individual event at the Tokyo Olympics, benefitted from it. The sport involves a lot of money and so it isn’t unusual to see Millionaires sponsoring riders.

GoFundMe helps South African rider for Tokyo Olympics 2020

A South African rider, Victoria Scott-Legendre, almost missed the Tokyo Olympics 2020. It was a lack of funds that almost cost her an Olympic dream.

“Our sports federation and our equestrian federation can’t afford to give too much to the sport like some of the other federations do, so of course it’s a huge expense for us personally to get here,” the 32-year-old said.

Victoria Scott-Legendre had to cut back on her expenses. She came with only one coach, one vet and one groom for her horse. Other horses have an entire team of groomers and vets to take care of them.

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The 32-year-old resorted to a very unconventional way of gathering funds for the upkeep of her horse. She started a GoFundMe, to raise money. The internet came together, with people all over the world from different countries pitched in.

“We were really, really stressed about it and someone proposed to us to do a GoFundMe. We proposed 8,000 euros ($9,455) and we actually got there with worldwide support.”

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Victoria had made it into the Individual jumping event final but unfortunately could not secure a medal.

DIVE DEEPER

Jessica Springsteen and US Equestrian Shocked By Sweden in Gold Medal Jump-Off at the Tokyo Olympics 2020

about 1 month ago

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Allan Binoy

217 articles

Allan Binoy is a Combat Sports Author at EssentiallySports. He is currently pursuing a bachelor's degree in English Literature. Allan is a semi-professional football player for Diego Juniors FC.

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