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MARS EQUESTRIAN™ Great Meadow International Makes Strides For Equality

Volunteer At All Three Great Meadow Events and Receive Extra Prizes!

MARSGMI & SEE Partnership Promotes Diversity and Inclusion

THE PLAINS, Virginia – August 2021 – The MARS EQUESTRIAN™ Great Meadow International (MARSGMI) and Strides for Equality Equestrians (SEE) are pleased to announce a partnership to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion in the sport of Eventing. MARSGMI is excited to be the first event to partner with SEE with the shared goal of proactively increasing awareness of and access to our sport.

“We are honored to be partnered with SEE,” said Darrin Mollett of Five Rings Eventing (FRE), the organizer of MARSGMI. “Sports, as in all things, are better when more people can belong. If we can encourage more participants in Eventing, we will be more competitive in the long run. Growing diversity and inclusion within the sport is important to me and to my FRE partner, David O’Connor”

Strides for Equality Equestrians is a non-profit organization developed by Eventers to promote the sport through inclusivity and allyship. SEE’s mission is to both create equitable opportunities for BIPOC equestrians and to foster an encouraging environment of inclusion and belonging within the sport. SEE provides access grants to community riding centers, has developed a professional pathways program that provides scholarships for equine career oriented individuals, promotes Allyship and team building within equestrian sport, and engages and educates about the historical culture and evolution of broader participation within the horseworld.

Recognizing that financial barriers might prevent interested folks from attending the event which requires the purchase of entrance tickets, the MARSGMI organizing committee has generously donated two tailgating spots for members of the local equestrian access program to attend the event at no cost. SEE is pleased to announce that riders from network member White Oak Stables have been invited to come out and enjoy the MARSGMI event, which takes place August 19 – 22. They will be able to watch the action up close with space provided by Great Meadow and will meet with International riders who are joining SEE to promote their cause.

White Oak Stables, located in Warrenton, VA, provides affordable, fun, and inclusive access to horseback riding for people from all walks of life. One of its guiding principles is that it’s important for people in minority and under-represented communities to know that horseback riding is an option for them. Raising awareness of the sport, making it more affordable, and providing inclusive opportunities, is pivotal to increasing diversity in the equestrian community,” (read more about White Oak Stables, their values, and their diversity program at http://white-oak-stables.com/about/diversity-program/).

About Strides for Equality Equestrians

To help SEE the Change and BE an Ally and to learn more about Strides for Equality Equestrians please visit www.stridesforequality.org. You can make a tax deductible donation on the SEE website or at the USEA Foundation website www.useafoundation.org under the SEE program in the drop down menu.

Strides for Equality Equestrians (SEE), founded in 2020 as an allyship program for the equestrian community, seeks to address the lack of racial and ethnic diversity in equestrian sports. SEE promotes a more inclusive culture by listening to and addressing the concerns of Black, Indigenous, and people of color within the community while educating equestrians about effective allyship.

About Great Meadow International

Established in 2015, the Great Meadow International is a three-day eventing competition held annually at the Great Meadow Foundation in The Plains, Virginia. In addition to the international equestrian competition, the event features VIP hospitality, a trade fair, beer garden, and entertainment for the whole family. The 2019 Great Meadow International will take place on August 22nd to August 25th.

For information on Great Meadow International, including a first of its kind land acknowledgment honoring the Indigenous caretakers who cherished and kept the ground before us please visit https://www.greatmeadowinternational.com/about.

About Five Rings Eventing

Five Rings Eventing is a high-performance event organizer and management company founded by Darrin Mollett and David O’Connor to enhance the sport of eventing in Northern Virginia and beyond. FRE’s mission is to provide exceptional competition opportunities for athletes and their equine partners to help them reach their individual goals, whether they are at the entry level to international competition or the highest level of team competition.

About Mars, Incorporated

For more than a century, Mars, Incorporated has been driven by the belief that the world we want tomorrow starts with how we do business today. This idea is at the center of who we have always been as a global, family-owned business. Today, Mars is transforming, innovating and evolving in ways that affirm our commitment to making a positive impact on the world around us.  Across our diverse and expanding portfolio of confectionery, food, and petcare products and services, we employ 133,000 dedicated Associates who are all moving in the same direction: forward. With $40 billion in annual sales, we produce some of the world’s best-loved brands including DOVE®, EXTRA®, M&M’s®, MILKY WAY®, SNICKERS®, TWIX®, ORBIT®, PEDIGREE®, ROYAL CANIN®, SKITTLES®, BEN’S ORIGINAL™, WHISKAS®, COCOAVIA®, and 5™; and take care of half of the world’s pets through our pet health services AniCura, Banfield™ Pet Hospitals, BluePearl®, Linnaeus, and VCA™.

We know we can only be truly successful if our partners and the communities in which we operate prosper as well. The Mars Five Principles – Quality, Responsibility, Mutuality, Efficiency and Freedom – inspire our Associates to take action every day to help create a world tomorrow in which the planet, its people and pets can thrive.  For more information about Mars, please visit www.mars.com. Join us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and YouTube.

About MARS EQUESTRIAN™

MARS EQUESTRIAN™ Sponsorship, funded by Mars, Incorporated is the link between our iconic brands and the equestrian community. For generations, Mars has celebrated a rich equestrian heritage, and through purposeful partnerships, MARS EQUESTRIAN is committed to the sport and building an enduring legacy. From world-class competitions across all equestrian disciplines, to stewarding the power of horses on society and sustainability, the MARS EQUESTRIAN Brand is dedicated to our purpose to improve the lives of horses, pets, and the people who love them. For more information please visit www.marsequestrian.com and join us @marsequestrian.