Operation Free Ride Expands, Inlcudes Free Rodeo and Event Tickets
May 7th, 2013 10:15 AM | No Comments
The organization that wants to give troops, veterans and their families a free horseback ride, now wants to give them free tickets, too, to equestrian events, movies, concerts and more. According to Horses4Heroes, it’s a national campaign to introduce local heroes and their families to the healing and therapeutic power of horses and horseback riding programs and activities, one way or another.
Upcoming events include: Operation Free Ride Pinto, June 14, The Pavilion at Expo Square in Tulsa, which will include free horseback rides and the opportunity to participate in the Parade of Heroes as part of the Pinto World Show. In Las Vegas, Horses4Heroes is distributing free tickets to the Helldorado Days PRCA Rodeo and is sponsoring a Helldorado Days Pre-Party at C-A-L Ranch Stores on Friday, May 10.
Since 2011, Horses4Heroes has sent veterans, including Wounded Warriors and their families to advance screenings of “The War Horse,” given free horseback rides during the National Finals Rodeo, Helldorado Days Las Vegas, and the Mid-Tennessee State football game, hosted open houses in Lexington (Ky), Nashville, Omaha, San Diego, Sacramento, San Antonio (Luling), the University of Missouri-Columbia and Las Vegas, and gave away hundreds of free tickets to rodeos, Professional Bull Riding, and NASCAR races.
Sydney Knott, president/executive director of Las Vegas-based Horses4Heroes, invites all event organizers who want to see military members in the audience, from rodeo to racing (cars and horses), concerts and shows, to contact Horses4Heroes at 702.645.8446 or 888.987.4376 (9US-HERO).
“Sometimes it’s hard to find veterans or know the right person to contact,” Knott said. “We want to make it easy for promoters to reach out to local military service members, veterans and their families.”
Operation Free Ride was launched last May as part of Military Appreciation Month, and thousands have requested and/or received their free ride at Horses4Heroes host facilities throughout the country.
“We are overwhelmed by the thousands of people who have requested free horseback rides from our host centers,” Knott added. “We also are thrilled that hundreds of equestrian facilities’ owners, ranging from one-acre urban farms to 900-acre sprawling ranches, have joined our national network.”
Horses4Heroes’ Operation Free Ride invites members from all breed associations and equestrian organizations to open their barn doors to local heroes. Currently, participants represent AQHA, APHA, ACTHA, Pinto, CHA, ARIA, AARS, PATH Int’l, EAGALA, and OK Corral. To find free riders, Horses4Heroes works with a variety of military support organizations including: USO, Operation Homefront, Operation Military Kids, IAVA, VA and others.
Sponsors and supporters of Operation Free Ride and Horses4Heroes include Kensington Protective Products, Troxel, Equidae, Tarter Farm and Ranch, WalMart, South Point Hotel & Casino, C-A-L Ranch Stores, USAA, The All Glory Project, Hollywood Charity Horse Show and Cox Charities.
Operation Free Ride is one of several programs created by Horses4Heroes to introduce horses and horseback riding to all service members, veterans, First Responders and their families. Other programs include Back in the Saddle, 8.9.10: Ride to Win, Ladies Unbridled and Unfinished Business.
These programs are all provided free. Since 2006, Horses4Heroes has introduced more than 5,000 local heroes and their families to horses and horseback riding, simply because of their sacrifice and service to our country. The organization’s growing national network of more than 200 equestrian facilities in 44 states plus Canada provide affordable (sometimes free) recreational, instructional and health & wellness programs for all ages, all riding levels and all disciplines. These programs emphasize fun and safe activities with horses, mounted and un-mounted for all ages. Participants learn valuable leadership and teamwork skills, make new friends, and develop a lifelong love of horses! For more information, visit www.horses4heroes.org or www.operationfreeride.com.