Puerto Rican show jumper Freddie Vasquez recently published an open letter to the equestrian community, asking them to open their hearts and pocketbooks to his home country of Puerto Rico after the island nation was massively devastated by the Category 5 Hurricane Maria this past weekend. Electricity, wifi, and water are crippled throughout the U.S. Territory, and leaders there say it may be months before the country gets electricity back.
Add to this horror that buildings have collapsed, flooding is rampant and debris has separated entire regions from each other, and you’re talking about true humanitarian panic.
Freddie asks equestrians to please do something for his fellow countrymen, whatever we can spare right now. He includes a list of five top notch organizations, including Direct Relief, the organization to whom Kent Farrington donated his Central Park Grand Prix winnings.
Freddie currently runs Messenger Hill Farm out of the Chicago, Illinois area, and has represented Puerto Rico at the Pan American Games and is qualified to compete at the World Equestrian Games in Tryon this year. He has been integrally involved with teaching and training the young riders of Puerto Rico, including serving as a team Chef d’Equipe.
Scroll below to read Freddie’s letter and learn more about the organizations that need your support.
Go Puerto Rico, and Go Jumping.
Sept. 23, 2017
Dear Equestrian Friends,
As many of you know, I ride for Puerto Rico, a country that has endured so much recent difficulty. Now, Puerto Ricans are facing the devastation of hurricane Maria. My heart is saddened by the images and stories in the news media about what is happening in my beautiful and vibrant country.
In the horse world, we are blessed with so much abundance. Please consider a donation to one of these organizations to help with disaster relief.
Direct Relief is a humanitarian aid organization, active in all 50 states and 80 countries, with a mission to improve the health and lives of people affected by poverty or emergencies. Nongovernmental, nonsectarian, and not-for-profit, Direct Relief provides assistance to people and communities without regard to politics, religious beliefs, or ethnic identities. Read more about this organization.
Samaritan’s Purse is a nondenominational evangelical Christian organization providing spiritual and physical aid to hurting people around the world. Since 1970, Samaritan’s Purse has helped meet needs of people who are victims of war, poverty, natural disasters, disease, and famine. Read more about this organization.
“I AM HEARTBROKEN BY THE DEVASTATION THAT HURRICANE MARIA HAS BROUGHT TO MY BELOVED PUERTO RICO. I HEREBY ASK ANYONE WILLING TO HELP REBUILD THE ISLAND TO DONATE VIA THIS FUND. ONE HUNDRED PERCENT OF THE PROCEEDS WILL GO DIRECTLY TO THE RELIEF EFFORTS IN PUERTO RICO.” ~ MONICA PUIG, OLYMPIC GOLD MEDALIST IN TENNIS. LINK TO MONICA PUIG’S YOUCARING SITE.
ABOUT FREDDIE VAZQUEZ
Freddie Vazquez represented the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico at the 2015 Pan Am Games and the 2014 Central American and Caribbean Games. He has qualified for the 2018 World Equestrian Games in Tryon, North Carolina, and he has set his sights on competing at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games. He served as chef d’équipe of the Team Puerto Rico’s young, junior and child Nations Cup teams at the Winter Equestrian Festival.
Along with his wife Jodi, theyrun Messenger Hill Farm a full-service hunter/jumper business. Located just north of Chicago in Mettawa, Illinois, Messenger Hill Farm offers training, lessons, competition and sales. Jodi Vazquez is a top hunter competitor with countless AA championships to her credit. The Vazquezes teach the American style of riding as advocated by George Morris. They are known for their goal-driven approach and attention to detail.
Messenger Hill Farm offers a show schedule at all levels; including local, national and international. The Messenger Hill Farm team competes at the Winter Equestrian Festival, Tryon International Equestrian Center, Kentucky Horse Shows, Lamplight Equestrian Center, Spit Rock Jumper Tour and more.