ASPCA Equine Welfare Ambassadors are select, iconic, world-class equestrians who are committed to equine and animal welfare and the mission of the ASPCA. They often take part in ASPCA Equine events, and lend their time and expertise in helping promote equine and animal welfare.
The ASPCA has awarded the ASPCA Maclay trophy to hunt seat-style junior riders since 1933. Equine Welfare Ambassadors are hunter/jumper riders that often have a successful background in the challenging ASPCA Maclay competition. They are high profile equestrians who are known and respected in the horse show world and are in a position to inspire others in the equine community and beyond. Our current ASPCA Equine Welfare Ambassadors are:
- Brianne Goutal, since 2008
- Georgina Bloomberg, since 2010
- Jessica Springsteen, ASPCA Equine Welfare Ambassador since 2010
- Paige Johnson, since 2011
- Hayley Barnhill, since 2011
- Stacia Klein Madden, since 2012
- Jill Rappaport, Honorary Equine Welfare Ambassador, since 2011
- Declan Gregg, Junior Equine Welfare Ambassador, since 2012
ASPCA Equine Welfare Ambassadors represent the ASPCA at select equine events whenever possible. They often compete at shows with an ASPCA VIP Rider's lapel pin on their jackets, an ASPCA orange wristband, or an ASPCA orange ribbon on their horse's saddle pad (a tradition started by Brianne Goutal) to show solidarity and commitment to the welfare of all animals.
An Honorary Equine Welfare Ambassador is a select, high-profile VIP who has demonstrated and continues to demonstrate an outstanding commitment to the welfare of horses. This title is currently held by Jill Rappaport, Animal Welfare Correspondent for NBC's TODAY SHOW.
For more information about our Equine Welfare Ambassador program, please contact Valerie Angeli at Valerie.Angeli@aspca.org or (212) 876-7700, ext. 4656.
Brianne made history in 2005 as the first and only rider to ever win all four junior equitation medal championships (in 2004 and 2005): The United States Equestrian Talent Search Finals, the Washington International Horse Show Equitation Finals, The USEF/Pessoa Hunter Seat Medal Finals and the 2005 ASPCA Maclay Finals. In that same year, she was also featured on the Animal Planet's series The Road to the Maclay.
In 2007, she was the winner of the Maxine Beard Show Jumping Developing Rider Award, given by the USET Foundation for her competitive record to date and her promise for representing the United States in international competition in the future. As one of the top 20 riders on the FTI Consulting Rider Challenge list during the 2007 Winter Equestrian Festival in Wellington, Florida, Goutal then rode as part of the U.S. Developing Rider European tour and helped the U.S. to Nations Cup wins in Finland and Sweden. In 2008, she and her legendary horse, Onira were reserve champions in the $50,000 Smart for Life Grand Prix CSI 2* at the WEF. They then went on to represent the U.S. at the 2008 World Cup Final in Sweden.
Brianne's equestrian career has continued to skyrocket. Some impressive highlights are her 2009 win of the $75,000 Grand Prix of Lake Placid in June 2009, aboard her mare Ralvesther, making her the youngest rider to win this class in the event's forty year history. Goutal has consistently been in the top ranks in show jumping events around the country and around the world, and had a stellar year of competition in 2012, winning numerous Grand Prixs throughout Europe and coming home to win the $50,000 CSI 2*Grand Prix in Wellington, Florida, in February 2013. Only 24 years old, she is currently ranked 57th in the Rolex World Rankings of international show jumper riders.
Brianne is a world-respected professional rider who enjoys dual citizenship in the United States and France and speaks fluent French. She is a graduate of Brown University (2012) and was the first to be named an official ASPCA Equine Welfare Ambassador because of her outstanding horsemanship skills, her commitment to the welfare of animals, and for exemplifying the message of the ASPCA Maclay award.
Georgina graduated in 2010 from New York University's Gallatin School of Individualized Study and also attended Parsons Fashion Design College.
An animal lover and avid equestrian from a very young age, she was a successful hunter rider until 2001, winning Best Child Rider awards at every major horse show on the East Coast. She began doing jumpers in 2000 and won the USET Talent Derby in 2001.
From there, Georgina garnered numerous equestrian victories, including five Winter Equestrian Festival Challenge cups since 2005 at the Winter Equestrian Festival, the $75,000 Empire State Grand Prix and the $30,000 Bluegrass Festival Grand Prix.
Georgina is passionate about helping those who need a voice, both animal and human. She is on the board of the Equestrian AID Foundation, the Hampton Classic Horse Show, the Bloomberg Sisters Foundation and the Bloomberg Family Foundation. She is on the board of trustees of the United States Equestrian Team and has an active role in several other animal welfare initiatives.
In 2006, she started The Rider's Closet, a program that collects used riding clothes and donates them to intercollegiate riding programs and other riders in need.
Georgina continues to appear at numerous ASPCA Equine Welfare events to lend her voice and expertise, including ASPCA Adoption Day at the Hampton Classic Horse Show, where in 2010 she rode two rescued Thoroughbred horses to show off their skills—and both were adopted! Georgina's second book, My Favorite Mistake, was officially launched in March 2012 at an equine welfare event at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center. Book sales will benefit the ASPCA's horse welfare efforts.
Georgina is the proud guardian of five rescue dogs and two miniature horses, adopted through an ASPCA equine welfare and adoption event at the Hampton Classic Horse Show in 2010, as well as numerous active and retired show horses.
Photo: James Parker
At the age of seven, Paige fell in love with horses after watching the cartoon "My Little Pony." Soon after, she started taking lessons and has been showing ever since.
"There's something so magical about horses that captured my attention. They truly are magnificent creatures who allow us to do so much with them," Paige says. "My love for horses grows stronger every year. I appreciate everything they do for us emotionally and competitively."
Her love for animals doesn't stop at horses; she is a huge lover of all animals. Paige is also a voice for children: She hosts awareness and fundraising events for HomeSafe charity, which advocates for underprivileged children who are victims of abuse.
Paige attended the Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale to study fashion design, but after a year her passion for horses got the best of her and she decided to pursue riding full time. Currently, Paige competes on an international level in Grand Prix, open jumper and high amateur divisions and trains with renowned show jumping riders Kent Farrington and legendary Olympian Joe Fargis.
Paige has a rescued miniature horse named Twinkletoes, as well as seven active show horses and 12 retired show horses on her farm. Paige is proud to always put the welfare of her horses and animals first and hopes to inspire others to do the same.
Hayley has been an Ambassador for the ASPCA and a part of the ASPCA's Adoption Day efforts at the Hampton Classic Horse Show and the National Horse show since 2011. She has been a "rescue rider" for the ASPCA, using her equestrian skills to show off the talents of various rescued horses being featured for adoption at ASPCA events, and has helped at educational seminars, events and panel discussions at various ASPCA equine welfare activities in New York, Kentucky and Florida.
She was the winner of the 2010 ASPCA Maclay National Championship and U.S. Equestrian Federation Medal Finals. She was also a Young Riders gold medalist in 2011. She began working for Tom Wright and Uphill Farm right out of her junior riding career. She is currently showing in the hunter and jumper divisions, co-training and managing.
"I didn't start from a riding family," says Hayley. “I had a love for horses that grew into something huge and life-changing. Horses are more than just my career; they are my hobby, my passion, and they define who I am. I will never be able to give back to the horses for all they have done for me, but I will never stop trying. I'm here to lend my voice to speak for them."
Hayley recently adopted a rescue dog named Cooper, and she has a rescue family dog named Buddy.
Stacia winning the 1987 ASPCA Maclay Finals at Madison Square Garden on her horse Outrageous.
Stacia Madden is not only a talented horsewoman, but she is also deeply concerned about the welfare of horses at all stages of their lives.
Madden stands out as one of the most successful and dedicated trainers of young, developing show jumping talent in the United States. She was a top junior rider from Indiana winning the 1987 ASPCA Maclay Finals, and placed in both the AHSA Medal Finals and the USET Finals East.
As a professional rider, she was highly successful in both the hunter and jumper ring, showing six top hunters to championships at several major horse shows before shifting her concentration to training.
From Beacon Hill Show Stables in Colts Neck, New Jersey, she has trained several of the most promising junior riders who have potential to represent the United States at the highest levels of international competition.
The training ring is just one area in which Madden contributes to the development of American Show Jumping. In addition to her work producing the Wachovia Jumper Classic at Beacon Hill from 2004 to 2008, Madden serves on several national committees: the National Horse Show Equitation Committee, the Hampton Classic Advisory Committee, the USEF National Hunter Committee, and the USHJA Hunter Seat Equitation Task Force. She is a USHJA Certified Trainer as well as a recognized judge in the hunter and hunter seat equitation divisions. Madden donates her time to the USHJA Mentor Program and shares her expertise by hosting clinics across the country.
New York, New York
ASPCA Equine Welfare Ambassador since 2011
Jill Rappaport has been on Today for 20 years. She was the entertainment correspondent for the first 17 of those years, but when her beloved dog Jack got bone cancer, her life and career changed forever.
While chronicling Jack's illness on the show, she realized that animal welfare issues were her calling, and her path changed. In her popular, award-winning "Bow to Wow" series, shelter dogs get a makeover and a second chance at life. Through her work, she helped save hundreds of horses that were severely abused. She also keeps Today viewers informed about the latest health trends for pets.
Rappaport is also the best-selling author of People We Know, Horses they Love; and three other books, including Jack & Jill: The Miracle Dog with a Happy Tail to Tell, about her beloved dog Jack, and 500 Cats.
Jill and Today received the coveted Genesis Award for her reporting on animal issues. She has now won that award twice. Rappaport was named the first recipient of the "Voice for the Animals Award" for her work on and off the screen from the Humane Society of the United States, presented by Matt Lauer.
She ended 2011 receiving the honor of ringing the NYSE Opening Bell for the Iams "Home 4 the Holidays" adoption drive and started the new year as host of Animal Planet's "Puppy Bowl VIII," providing up-to-the-minute sideline analysis and commentary with the shelter pups. Rappaport received the coveted 2012 Global Pet Expo's annual Excellence in Journalism and Outstanding Contributions to the Pet Industry Award, whose past recipients include Ellen DeGeneres and Rachael Ray. In June 2012, she was awarded the 2012 Pet Philanthropy Circle's Pet Humanitarian Award.
Rappaport just introduced her Rescued Me Collection, a line of neon leashes/collars, horse halters and lead lines promoting rescue and adoption. A portion of the proceeds will benefit animal cancer and shelters. In the summer of 2012, she will launch her equestrian jewelry line "Hannahs Heart," named after her late, beloved mare. She designed the line exclusively with London Jewelers. Proceeds will benefit the ASPCA.
Rappaport lives on a farm with her five rescue dogs and seven horses, to whom she refers as her "fur angels."
Declan Gregg loves all animals, but he has a special place in his heart for horses. After learning about the inhumane and cruel practice of horse slaughter, Declan decided to raise his voice. He started his blog, Children 4 Horses, to spread the word about horse advocacy issues and worked diligently with the Million Horse March campaign to collect letters from children to inspire lawmakers to end horse slaughter in America.
Declan's dedication to horse advocacy brought him to Washington D.C. twice in 2012, where he represented more than 1,000 children by presenting the letters to legislators in Congress. He also visited Congressman Frank Guinta of New Hampshire, where he garnered his co-sponsorship of the American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act (S.1176/H.R.2966).
Declan joined forces with the "Horses on the Hill" campaign, speaking before celebrities, Congressmen and Senators to lobby against horse slaughter and advocate for the protection of horses under S.1176/H.R.2966. Declan also testified at a hearing for a bill opposing horse slaughter at the New Hampshire State House in 2012.
Declan's blog provides commentary on horse advocacy issues, horse news, photos, poetry and more. He hopes his blog and Facebook page will inspire others to be a voice for animals.
Declan loves playing with his two dogs and two cats, and rescuing small animals. He volunteers at the New Hampshire SPCA, where he works with the horses. Declan received the 2012 ASPCA Kid of the Year Award for his advocacy of horses, and is the first ever recipient of the ASPCA's Junior Equine Angel Award.