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Chicago Equestrians for a Cause are the Heart of The 2013 Chicago Hunter Derby

Pictured left to right: Margaret Benjamin, Chair of the Chicago Hunter Derby and President of the Board of Trustees, University of Chicago Cancer Research Foundation; Lynn Jayne, President, USHJAF; Jill Pollock, President, University of Chicago Cancer Research Foundation Women's Board; and Lauren Gorter, President, Founders' Board, Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago

Antioch, IL – July 1, 2013 - When attending the 2013 Chicago Hunter Derby, you’ll notice the immaculately landscaped grounds, the beautiful course of vintage jumps, the glamorous tent with delicious food and flowing champagne.  You’ll pass by the row of boutique quality shops and gaze at the dozens of beautiful show horses competing with top name riders from across the country.  What you won’t readily see is the force driving the spectacular weekend, a group who call themselves, Chicago Equestrians for a Cause.


Five Lake Forest women who were involved in horses as well formed the organization about five years ago. The Mission of Chicago Equestrians for a Cause is to showcase high-level equestrian events with the express purpose of raising funds for selected charitable institutions in the Chicago area. The group is planning to grow to include members from local stables to reach out to a more regional area.


“Horse shows used to benefit charities in the past and we have grown away from that,” said member Margaret Benjamin. “ It would be cool to get back to that.”


With the generous sponsorship of Canadian Pacific, Abba Vet Supply and others, Chicago Equestrians for a Cause is able to present “A Day in the Country” featuring the $50,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby and the $5,000 National Hunter Derby, September 7-8, 2013 at Annali Farm in Antioch, IL. The proceeds for the event will benefit three charities this year; Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago, The United Stated Hunter Jumper Association Foundation, and the University of Chicago Cancer Research Foundation.


Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago is one of Chicago’s most precious civic assets. As Illinois’ only freestanding hospital exclusively for children, the hospital is consistently recognized as one of the top pediatric institutions in North America, and many of its physicians and researchers are among the world’s top experts in their areas of specialty. In today’s challenging health care environment, the hospital relies on philanthropic support to help ensure that all children have access to the highest quality care. (1)

The USHJA (United States Hunter Jumper Association) Foundation was created to provide a non-profit fundraising vehicle that will provide support to the programs of USHJA, the Foundation and the industry as a whole. The Foundation’s current focus is on developing educational scholarships, providing funding for research and creating a Horseman’s Assistance Program that will benefit horses, individuals and organizations in need. (1) Chicago Equestrians for a Cause member, Lynn Jayne, is also President of the USHJA foundation.

The University of Chicago Cancer Research Foundation raises money to support basic, clinical, and population research programs related to the causes, prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of cancer at The University of Chicago Comprehensive Cancer Center. Donations to the Foundation, both large and small support innovative research that brings us closer to making cancer a manageable disease; expand the scope of cancer control and prevention efforts to save lives and diminish the harmful effects of cancer; and train young scientists who will make discoveries that benefit our generation as well as generations to come. (1) Chicago Equestrians for a Cause member, Margaret Benjamin has worked with this organization as well.


The 2013 Chicago Hunter Derby is one of the most prestigious single events of its kind in the country raising over $300,000 net for their charities so far. 


How can local equestrians get involved?

Attend!  Visit to purchase tickets for the event.

Compete!  Bring horses to compete in the event. Prize list can be found on the website.

Sponsor!  Sponsor opportunities can also be found at                                                                            



For more information on donations or tickets for the event, visit



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