Karen Stives has made an incredible gift of $1 million to the U.S. Equestrian Team Foundation to establish the Karen Stives Endowment Fund for High Performance Eventing.
This fund will allow for a grant to be awarded annually for an eventing high performance activity, which will have a direct impact on the United States’ ability to win medals at international championships.
“The team was my life for 20 years: the first 10 as a competitor and the second 10 as chairman of selectors,” said Stives. “I wanted to give back to the organization that had given me so much, as well as inspire our young riders to excel and bring back the gold.”
Stives was named the U.S. Combined Training Association (now the U.S. Eventing Association) Rider of Year in 1981, 1987 and 1988. In 1982, she represented the United States at the Luhmuhlen World Championships (Germany), and in 1984 she anchored the U.S. eventing team that won gold at the Los Angeles Olympic Games, in addition to winning individual silver. Stives also earned the Leading Lady Rider title in 1981, the Mercedes-Benz Horsewoman of the Year in 1984, and the prestigious Wofford Cup. Following her retirement from international competition, Stives became an FEI judge and was the chairman of the USET Three-Day Event Selectors’ Committee for many years.
“The international championship CCI competitions are a key part of the international scene,” Stives said. “We have the talent, the horsepower and the coaches, and if this can help us win then that is great.”
Tucker Johnson, President and CEO of the Foundation, said “Karen has been an important member of the ‘team’ for decades. Her talent as an athlete, winning an Olympic gold and silver medal for the United States, and now her generosity and leadership in establishing the Karen Stives Endowment Fund will help future athletes have the opportunity to seek Olympic gold too.”