Students from Black Fox Riding Academy as well as SpiritHorse Therapeutic Riding at Black Fox were present to show off their riding abilities and showcase all they had learned in the past year to the joy of proud parents, grandparents, friends and loved ones.
Both typical and special needs students were judged in western or English riding classes (and a fun costume class) by the official show judge, and event sponsor, Larry Mitchell.
Mitchell is well known as the former Agricultural Extension agent for Bradley County, where for many years, he also directed the 4-H program. He now works in Meigs County where he is Extension director for agriculture and 4-H Youth development. His hard work and words of advice and encouragement to each participant were greatly appreciated.
Other sponsors for the event included Brooks Screenprinting, which made and donated the T-shirts, Icon Strategic Media and Design for designing the T-shirt logo and handling the advertising for the event, Custom awards for the show ribbons, Quick Signs for the SpiritHorse window decals, and Cleveland Insurance for the food and prizes for all the participants and their families.
SpiritHorse at Black Fox provides free therapeutic horseback riding services to special needs children in Southeast Tennessee, North Georgia and Western North Carolina at their Tunnel Hill Road location in Bradley County.
It is licensed by SpiritHorse International in Corinth, Texas, which currently serves more children than any other center in the world.
SpiritHorse International is unique in that SpiritHorse is the only large center in America that provides all private therapeutic horseback riding services free of charge in several programs: Disabilities, Children who are Victims of Abuse/Violence, At-Risk Youth, Battered Women, and Youth After-Drug Rehab.
The SpiritHorse mission is, "To Assist Each Child with Special Needs in Reaching Their Full Potential through Interaction with Horses."
SpiritHorse at Black Fox instructors Kristie Poteet, Emily Shelton and April Sanders are already planning next year's Benefit Show and would welcome added sponsors to not only help with this annual event, but individual and business sponsors who would like to ensure that all the children who could benefit from their free therapeutic riding will be given the opportunity to by providing the funds that will allow the center to hire additional help, feed and care for the horses, and even purchase new horses and equipment needed by the children.
SpiritHorse at Black Fox is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit and all gifts are tax deductible.