March 3 2014
The Israeli Equestrian Team made history this past Friday, February 28, when they competed in the Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup, the first time that an Israeli team has ever participated in an international equestrian competition. Though the Canadian team walked away with the $75,000 prize, the Israeli team was able to establish Israel's competitive status in equestrian sports. Despite their disappointing finish, coming in last out of the 12 international Nations Cup Teams, Danielle Goldstein performed well in the first round.
Backed by T.E.A.M. Israel- The Equine Athletics Mission Israel, a non profit organization dedicated to positively impacting Israeli society through the development of a robust equestrian culture, the Israeli show jumping team, consisting of riders Danielle Goldstein, Elad Yaniv, and Joshua Tabor, made is historic debut at the FTI Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) in Wellington, FL. T.E.A.M. Israel CEO Kate Levy served as their chef d'equipe (team caption).
"This Nations Cup team is a much-anticipated and incredibly positive step in the right direction for the Israeli Equestrian Team, T.E.A.M. Israel, and every equestrian and horse-enthusiast in Israel. We are proud to be the first team to ever raise the flag for Israel, and we consider it a victory to have made it this far" said Levy. "Competing as a team at this level is no longer just a dream, and we hope to inspire more Israeli riders to join us in creating depth in our equestrian sports for generations to come."
In an environment where most horses and riders have competed together regularly in the past, two members of the Israeli team, Yaniv and Tabor, had a considerable disadvantage of riding their mounts for the first time.
"It was a little daunting competing at this level where everyone knows that it would be better to establish a relationship with the horses, but we were willing to risk it all to be part of this event and begin charting our path to the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio" added Levy.
Danielle Goldstein, the third member of the Israeli team, has been hard at work this season compering at WEF with her mount, Carisma. In 2010, U.S-born Goldstein became a dual citizen of the United States and Israel so that she could represent Israel in competition. This past summer, the award-winning show jumper competed under the Israeli flag at the European Championships in Denmark and coached the Israeli show jumping team to a gold medal finish at the 2013 Maccabiah Games.
"It is so exciting to see this vision come to life and have Israel so well represented on the international stage. Having a team at the Nations Cup is just the first step to raising awareness and gathering momentum for T.E.A.M. Israel's larger mission of developing a robust equestrian culture in our small but powerful country" said Deborah Schultz, an Internet entrepreneur and co-founder of T.E.A.M. Israel.
T.E.A.M Israel hopes to continue their forward progression into a Nations Cup summer tour in the United States to help promote their cause and attract Israeli riders to join the effort, expand their team and build the equestrian culture in Israel.
Source: Israeli Equestrian