Riding For Reading Has Great Plans for 2009; Pin Oak Charity & Scottsdale Spring Festival Are Chapter 1
RELEASE: March 19, 2009
AUTHOR/ADMINISTRATOR: By Marnye Langer
Riding for Reading returns to the horse show arena for 2009 with five events, and two are in March. Riding For Reading, a non-profit organization, is dedicated to promoting reading, literacy and education through equestrian sports and activities. The Riding For Reading class is open to riders from first through twelfth grade, and it is an opportunity for competitors to earn grants for their school’s library. Since the program began, over 500,000 students have benefitted from Riding For Reading library grants. Instead of riding just for themselves, these riders represent their schools, and every rider in the class earns a grant for his or her school. In addition, they receive a bag of goodies for themselves that includes such things as books, magazines, a Riding For Readi ng t-shirt, and horse treats.
This special competition is designed so that the youngest, least experienced rider can compete on an equal basis with the most advanced older junior riders. Since the class is judged as a hunter pleasure class, riders at any level can be competitive.
Riding For Reading is kicking off the year with two outstanding events. This is the first time the Texas’ Pin Oak Charity Horse Show (March 18-29) is participating in the R4R program. “I’m looking forward to it,” said Wendy Cook, Executive Director. “We have a lot of kids out here. Lynn Walsh, the president of Pin Oak saw one of the classes at another show. She knows how I like working with kids.”
Pin Oak is especially suited to hold Riding for Reading. In 1948, Pin Oak began a longterm commitment to raise funds to construct, and later support, Texas Children’s Hospital, which opened in Houston in 1954. Since inception, Pin Oak has followed the mission set out by its founding members, a mission that has importance far beyond the show ring; that mission is 'Helping Children.' “
Since Pin Oak is a charity event that donates money to help children, the Riding for Reading program fits right in,” Cook said. “We like to do anything to benefit children, including children’s literacy.” For more information on the Pin Oak Horse Show, visit www.pinoak.org
The Scottsdale Spring Festival (March 18-22) is the other horse show hosting Riding for Reading in March. For horse show producer Chris Collman of Collman Equestrian Productions (CEP), this class has special meaning. His older daughter, eight-year-old McKenna, is an eager reader. “Her favorite thing to do is read,” he said. “Her goal is to read 1,000,000 words this year. The Riding For Reading class fosters reading and education. It goes into the school system. It’s a way for a sport that can be seen as elitist to give back to the community in a great way for a good cause. I’ve discussed holding a class with Marnye for a couple of years. It’s a unique thing. Usually when horse shows or charities ask for donations, part of the money is for operational costs. Here 100% of the money goes to the community and the libraries.” This is the second time CEP has hosted one of these classes; they held one in October at the Scottsdale Fall Preview. For more information on the Scottsdale Spring Festival, please visit www.cepshows.com
So far, three other shows are scheduled to host Riding for Reading classes this year: Woodside Golden Gate Classic (July 1-5), Oregon Country Classic (July 8-12), and Gold Coast 6 (Los Angeles) on August 27-30.
For more information on Riding For Reading and its programs and how to host a Riding For Reading Class, visit www.ridingforreading.org
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