USET Foundation Raises Record of Over $1 Million, Big Boost From Bruce Springsteen

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Bruce Springsteen (third from left) with the Tisbos and Harrisons. © 2012 Rebecca Walton/Phelps Media Group

WELLINGTON, Florida, Jan. 27–The U.S. Equestrian Team Foundation dedicated to providing funds for American teams to compete at top international events raised a record of more than $1 million at a Friday night gala with a huge boost from Bruce Springsteen offering winning bidders to be his personal guests at any venue in the United States for his forthcoming tour.

The gala fund raiser at the Special Events Pavilion at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center was attended by 530 guests and hosted by television star Matt Lauer and Jane Forbes Clark, president and chief executive officer of the USET Foundation.

The auction initially began with items ranging from London Olympic tickets to yacht vacations.

Midway through the auction Bruce Springsteen, whose daughter, Jessica, is a rising star in jumping, spontaneously made his offer of 10 tickets to any of his concerts in the United States, back stage passes for the evening and an autographed Fender guitar.

Bidding between Hunter Harrison, former chairman and CEO of CN and the owner of horses ridden by Rodrigo Pessoa, and Thomas Tisbo, whose family is active in equestrian sports, reached $275,000 for the Bruce Springsteen package.

Jim Wolf, Sports Director of the U.S. Equestrian Federation, huddled with Bruce who offered to provide two packages.

So, the two concert packages brought in a total of $550,000.

Sports in the U.S. do not receive government funding so are supported by individual and corporate gifts.