Despite Sizzling Summer Heat, Horses4Heroes Programs are Cool!
LAS VEGAS — Horses4Heroes, through its host facilities, is having a busy summer and proving every day, in cities and towns across the country, that when you make horseback riding fun and affordable, kids will come ride, despite record-breaking temperatures.
In Las Vegas, for example, the headquarters of Horses4Heroes, Inc., two centers are running 13 weeks of a three-day summer camp just for children whose parents are or were in the military, law enforcement officers and fire fighters. For $100 per person, kids ages five to 12, are having fun, making new friends, learning about horses and staying cool with water games and activities.
According to president and executive director Sydney Knott, the camps have sold out, for the third year in a row, with an average 20 kids coming to camp every week. In addition to traditional camp games and activities, including arts and crafts, campers receive breakfast and lunch every day. Local sponsors including Einstein’s Bagels, Papa Johns, Wal Mart, Raising Canes, Ocean Spray, and Krispy Kreme Donuts are helping to make the dream of an affordable summer camp experience a reality for these kids and their families.
Operation Free Ride and Operation Free Ride Rodeo events are taking place throughout the country this summer as well.
Memorial Day Weekend, Horses4Heroes and A Cowboy Town near Nashville, kicked off the summer with an Operation Free Ride open house and Battle of the Bands. The winning band will compete in Las Vegas in October.
On June 14, Flag Day, as part of the Pinto World Championship Show in Tulsa, Horses4Heroes hosted Operation Free Ride for local veterans and their families. Later that day, all gathered in the Ford Truck Arena for a Parade of Heroes including Pinto show participants and Tulsa residents.
In July, Horses4Heroes and its hosts in Central California, Seahorse Equestrian Tours and Hope, Horses & Kids, will lead guided trail rides through historic Fort Ord for a group of parents who have lost a son or daughter in military service. This ride is part of a TAPS Monterey Parents Retreat. Participants also will receive free tickets to California Rodeo Salinas, which opens July 18.
Horses4Heroes’ Operation Free Ride Rodeo is coming to Cheyenne for Cheyenne Frontier Days. On July 19, free horseback rides will be given on the base at FE Warren AFB as part of an annual open house. Two hundred pairs of free rodeo tickets and free t-shirts will be given away to Operation Free Ride Rodeo Participants. Sponsors include Tarter Farm & Ranch, Kensington Protective Products and South Point Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas.
July 27, the National Day of the Cowboy, Horses4Heroes centers in Luling, TX, Omaha, Nashville, Las Vegas and Carson City are cooking up events from cowboy breakfasts to steak dinners. An ACTHA/Horses4Heroes Cowboy Challenge Trail Ride and Arena Obstacle Competition is planned in northern Nevada.
The summer wraps up in Las Vegas September 7 and 8 with the 5th Annual Red White & Blue Jeans Walk-Trot Spectacular, a community, open breed horse show for beginners and walk-trot exhibitors. Last year’s show had 106 entrants, making it one of the largest community horse shows in Las Vegas. Buckles will be awarded in seven age divisions and new this year is high point youth and senior awards for English and Western exhibitors. In-hand classes for miniature horses have been added this year, too. A Red White & Barrels 4D Barrel Race will be held Sunday, Sept. 8.
Horses4Heroes is the nation’s premier non-profit equestrian support group for the military, veterans, First Responders and their families. Through its growing national network, the organization provides affordable (sometimes free) recreational, instructional and health and wellness equestrian programs for all ages, all riding levels and in all disciplines. For more information on these and other events involving Horses4Heroes, visit www.horses4heroes.org or call 888.987.4376 or 702.645.8446.