The city of Deauville, France welcomed the very first edition of JustWorld International’s European Gala on August 11th. After the efforts of 43 JustWorld volunteers, more than 250 guests came together and took part in the fundraising event to support ground-breaking programs for underserved children in Cambodia, Colombia, Guatemala, and Honduras. Three worlds- racing, show-jumping and polo, came together that night and resulted in raising 106,320 euros.
When approached about replicating the American gala JustWorld holds annually in Florida, significant leaders in the industry became personally involved. Juan-Carlos Capelli, vice-president of Longines, Thierry Delègue, executive director of France Galop, Eric Brion, executive director of the channel Equidia, Christophe Ameeuw, executive director of EEM, Laurent Martinez, director of Agence Martinez, as well as the Mayor of Deauville, Phillipe Augier, all wanted to do their part to help.
Also in attendance were Arc winning trainer Nicolas Clément and jockey Ronan Thomas, representatives of key racing stables and breeding operations; Jean-Edouard Mazery and his team at the Deauville International Racing Polo Club; Swedish show jumping rising star and JustWorld Ambassador Alexander Zetterman; and some of the very first Ambassadors for the organization such as Denyse Baillet and Hervé Godignon. Hervé Godignon remembered how he jumped at the chance to make a difference many years ago by announcing, “Jessica’s involvement gave me a great slap in the face back then and the will to contribute.”
On stage, Executive Director Jessica Newman gave thanks to all of the wonderful JustWorld partners and supporters. The guests were thrilled to then welcome one of JustWorlds’ new Ambassadors, French quadruple champion jockey Dominique Boeuf onto stage, where he was welcomed by guests of honor Marina Hands and Kevin Staut. Boeuf expressed, “This gala gives everyone in the horse world a chance to get involved. We are extremely fortunate and these kids need us.”
The laughter and the sharing of memories carried on well into the week as other events associated with JustWorld took place, such as the donkey derby organized with the ELA association. The curtain closed on the wonderful JustWorld week in Deauville with the JustWorld International cup – the first polo match of the season between France and JustWorld. As chairman of the Deauville International Polo Club Jean-Edouard Mazery summarized, “We are dedicated to helping Jessica Newman and all the volunteers that surround her. This day was an exceptional moment of humanitarianism, fair-play and sport.”
“I am beyond ecstatic with the success of our inaugural European JustWorld event!” concluded Jessica Newman. “Our Ambassadors showed their amazing dedication and support with their presence and emotional testimonies. So many people from all over the equestrian world, including all of our fantastic, dedicated volunteers, came together for the cause. It was a really magical night and with such mobilization and momentum, I can’t wait for what’s next!”