Wellington, FL – April 3, 2014 - Horses Healing Hearts (HHH) is the first non-profit organization of its kind, easing the pain of kids growing up in a home with substance abuse through the healing powers of horses. There are more than 28 million children of alcoholics, but HHH is the only organization that brings their smiles into full fruition each week by joining them with both the gentle giants and mentors. The inspirational national non-profit organization is proud to announce that two-time Olympic Silver Medalist Lisa Jacquin has joined Horses Healing Hearts as their second Show Jumping Ambassador.
In September 2009 Lizabeth Olszewski of Wellington, FL, founded HHH, and in the last five years, the organization has blossomed while raising awareness and funds to help ease the pain of children of addiction. Horse Healing Hearts provides these children with the opportunity to help heal emotionally by working with horses while having fun and learning positive life-coping skills, responsibility and confidence. Using equine experiential learning, HHH is the only program in the nation that works with the specific demographic of children of alcoholics and addicts. Horses help them understand life, themselves and how to cope with their parent’s addiction to substance abuse.
“I grew up with the understanding that you should help people,” Jacquin said. “My mother was very involved on a very deep level with non-profit organizations, and it stuck with me through life. I do a lot of work with smaller charities in Pennsylvania, but now that I am in Wellington for an extended time, Horses Healing Hearts seemed like the perfect fit. There are a lot of different entities in the horse world, but I feel as though HHH really brings them all together.”
Born in Arizona, Jacquin began riding at an early age. She was fortunate enough to train with top rider Kay Love while competing as a junior, and later furthered her riding while attending college in California. After graduating she packed her bags and moved her tack trunk to the East Coast where she trained with Michael Matz, providing her with the ideal set up for the brilliant career ahead.
Jacquin is a decorated show jumper, who rode show jumping’s most beloved thoroughbred, For The Moment, to the career of a lifetime. For The Moment became one of the most successful American Thoroughbreds to ever compete, holding his own in a time when European Warmbloods were dominating. Jacquin partnered with the bay gelding in 1981, taking him on as a ride until something better came along.
Although at first she was unimpressed, For The Moment eventually won her heart. She persevered through his difficult personality, and in 1983 entered him in his first major event. Their first win was the beginning to a very long and exciting show jumping career.
“For The Moment was a racehorse that I purchased as a 7-year-old. He was not a great racehorse, but I bought him and brought him along through the ranks,” Jacquin recounted. “He was difficult and very headstrong, but he was the epitome of a show horse. He was small and kind of scrawny-nobody thought much of him. He had a heart of gold though. When he walked in the ring he was a winner. He was difficult in the barn, on the flat, and had some hang ups, but he was a show horse, and every time the gate opened you could count on him.”
In 1987, Jacquin helped the U.S. Show Jumping Team take home a Silver Medal at the Pan American Games with For The Moment. They continued on to win a then record six grand prix events, including the prestigious Budweiser American Invitational in 1988. The pair also placed third in the FEI World Cup Finals in Paris, France later that year.
The highlight of their partnership came in 1988 when For The Moment, with Jacquin in the irons, helped the U.S. Show Jumping Team capture the Team Silver Medal at the 1988 Olympic Games in Seoul, Korea. They returned to the Olympics in 1992 in Barcelona, Spain. For The Moment was named AGA Horse of the Year in 1991 and 1994, and in 1995 he became the oldest horse to ever win a show jumping grand prix at the ripe age of 21 when Jacquin guided him to the victory in the Budweiser AGA Show Jumping Championship in Wellington, FL. In 2006, For The Moment was inducted into the Show Jumping Hall of Fame, immortalizing his partnership with Jacquin as they took on the world and made numerous contributions to the sport.
“There are times in life where we go through change,” Jacquin stated. “He [For The Moment] was my ticket to see what I was capable of accomplishing. The neatest thing about For The Moment and myself is that we grew together. It was one of those things where he was my life. He trusted me, and I trusted him. You learn so much from a horse, whether you are in the saddle or out of it. They teach you, and you learn about yourself. The same goes for Horses Healing Hearts and the relationship these kids have with the horses.”
Following the natural progression of her time in the spotlight, Jacquin used her knowledge and life in the saddle to become a trainer. She runs BDJ Enterprises out of Coatesville, PA, but the star-studded rider also travels to Wellington for the Winter Equestrian Festival during the fall and winter months. Jacquin finds joy in bringing along young horses, as well as working with children and developing their skills.
“I am really looking forward to getting more and more involved with the kids and Horses Healing Hearts,” Jacquin described. “I hope to put together a golf tournament for next year that will coincide with their White, White West Benefit. There are so many different organizations and charities, and what I want to do is put something together that would bring the show jumping, polo, dressage and horse enthusiasts together to help raise money and raise awareness. Hopefully it could be a large fundraiser for their organization for many years to come.”
Jacquin concluded, “I was fortunate enough to have a very happy childhood, but seeing how involved my parents were in helping children and adults needing to walk down a different road, really affected me. With my own time I would like to be able to be hands on, and assist in training some of the kids to ride. I want to be as helpful as I can, and bring people into the organization. I think people are already excited, and we are well on our way.”
Horses Healing Hearts is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to bettering the lives of children of alcoholics and substance abuse through equine experiential learning. To learn more about Horses Healing Hearts or how you can help with donations of money or time, log onto http://www.HHHUSA.org or e-mail Liz Olszewski at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (561) 713-6133.