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Aiken Olympic Gala
Aiken, SC, USA
Photo: Todd Lista/Bridle Creek
Phillip Dutton, Paul Long, USET Foundation Assistant Director of Development, and Evie Dutton
The USET Foundation has announced that the "Aiken Olympic Gala" held on February 18, 2008, raised $20,000 for the U.S. Eventing riders headed for the 2008 Olympic Games in Hong Kong.

Phillip and Evie Dutton hosted 300 guests for the gala at their Red Oak Farm at Bridle Creek Equestrian Community, in Aiken, SC. The evening included cocktails and hors d'oeuvres, presentations, raffle and a silent auction.

Highlighting the evening, Captain Mark Phillips, Chef d'Equipe for the U.S. Eventing Team, presented guests with an Olympic preview. Gala attendees were also given the opportunity to be the guest of their favorite U.S. Event rider for the evening and to attend the show jumping phase of the High Performance Training Session given by Laura Kraut.

Adding to the festivities and fundraising effort, guests participated in a raffle for top-notch horse and rider equipment. Guests also enjoyed bidding in the silent auction for exceptional equestrian items including a hunt scene oil painting donated by Brad and Bill Merry of Merry's Trash and Treasures; an eventing vest donated by Dover Saddlery; 10 leather bridles donated by John Nunn of Nunn Finer Bridles; three framed USET Foundation prints depicting dressage, show jumping, and a collage donated by Bridle Creek/Meybohm Realtors; and one day shoot donated by Jimenez Photography.

Sponsors for the "Aiken Olympic Gala" included Bridle Creek Equestrian Community; Meybohm Realtors; Boots, Bridle & Britches; Old School Construction; Smith, Massey, Brodie, Thurmand & Guynn, PA; Classic Equine; Sidelines Magazine; Security Federal Bank; Aiken County Farm Supply; Red Oak Farm; Brown Advisory; and Sundowner Trailer of Aiken.

USET Foundation Executive Director Bonnie B. Jenkins said, "We want to express our deepest appreciation to Phillip and Evie Dutton for hosting this wonderful party in support of the USET Foundation's efforts on behalf of the U.S. Eventing athletes at the 2008 Olympic Games."

Representing the USET Foundation at the gala were Bruce Duchossois, USET Foundation Trustee; Jack Wetzel, USET Foundation National Advisory Committee; and Paul Long, USET Foundation Assistant Director of Development. On behalf of the USET Foundation, Long presented Phillip and Evie Dutton with a thank-you gift for their generosity in hosting the gala.

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