Equestrian is not so accustom to Israelis, but something The Equine Athletics Mission Israel is hoping to acclimate to Israel.
T.E.A.M is a non-profit organization dedicated to positively impacting Israeli society and garnering national pride and international respect for the State of Israel through the development of a robust equestrian culture.
T.E.A.M has many ambitions but first and foremost is to assemble an Israeli Equestrian Team for the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio. For the IET to make the Olympics is an immense challenge, but what would also be a great feat.
However, T.E.A.M has goals beyond just the 2016 Summer Olympics.
T.E.A.M’s deeper intentions are to include the establishment of state-of-the-art equestrian centers to train the next generation of Israeli riders, a framework for increased, high level equestrian education, and a world-class equestrian team that will compete worldwide under the Israeli flag.
In addition, Team Israel will support and further develop well-established equestrian disciplines in Israel, including western pleasure, therapeutic riding and Para-equestrian programming.
And arguably the most important one is in developing riders to create a pipeline of younger athletes. These riders can eventually compete on international junior and young rider teams around the world, and continue to establish a threshold in Equestrian.
For the moment though the focus is on four core riders to help make the 2016 Olympics.
That includes Elad Yaniv, Danielle Golsdtein, Gabby Salick, Eduoard de Rothchild. Yaniv is Israel’s most successful international rider and has been on the circuit for over 25 years.
Goldstein is one of the most intriguing riders. She most recently competed at the European Championship and qualified for the 2014 World Equestrian Games. She hopes on becoming the first female Israeli show jumper to compete at the Olympic Games.
Salick represented Israel at the last World Equestrian Games and Rothchild has an enormous amount of international experience.
Nevertheless this is a promising team to make the Olympics. T.E.A.M is hoping this is a successful team that will attract fans and supporters from Israel and around the world and will bring about the organic expansion of Israel’s equestrian culture.
Recently, T.E.A.M sponsored a contest with a US$1,000 cash prize for Israeli fashion designers and design students to create a new design for the Israeli Equestrian Team’s competition jacket.
From 30 solid entries, the judges narrowed the field down to four finalists.
The four designs were then posted on the official T.E.A.M. Israel Facebook page on Sunday, February 9, and fans were encouraged vote for their favorite design by “Liking” and/or “Sharing” it with their friends - the design with the most “Likes” and “Shares” by the end of Wednesday, February 12 would be deemed the winner.
The contest went viral, and after just four days 10,000 votes has been cast.
Inbal Hayun, a design student in her senior year at the Neri Bloomfield School of Design and Education (WIZO) in Haifa, was declared the winner.
T.E.A.M. Israel is now working with a professional designer to turn Inbal’s sketch into a real riding jacket for the Israeli Equestrian Team - the blazer that will be worn at all international competitions, including the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio.
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