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Central Kentucky Riding for Hope Breaks Ground on New Indoor Facility


Photo courtesy of Shooting Star Images/Kelly Werner


Editor's note: Reprinted from
September 15, 2006 KY Horse Park Newsletter


You will probably agree that our souls are made significantly richer by the horses who share our lives. Our relationships with them are often very deep and meaningful. We admire them, appreciate them and love them, and in return we are blessed by their beauty, their athletic ability and their friendship.


Even so, most of us have never had a horse enable us stand, to walk or to speak for the first time. Most of us have never had a horse unlock us from prison of autism or carry us on flights of freedom while otherwise grounded by neurological issues. Most of us have never had a horse profoundly enhance our ability to communicate with others. Yet, that’s all in a day’s work for the horses in the therapeutic riding program at Central Kentucky Riding for Hope here at the Kentucky Horse Park.


Their program has been highly successful in helping people with a wide range of disabilities to develop coordination, self-esteem, confidence and a sense of achievement while learning horsemanship, tack and riding principles. CKRH has accomplished all of this in spite of many limitations (not the least of which are inclement weather and changing seasons), and using only a humble outdoor walking ring and a converted tobacco barn.


Happily, CKRH recently broke ground to build a new state-of-the-art Therapeutic Riding Center on 24 acres of the park, which will allow them to increase the number of clients served, offer year-round therapeutic riding, broaden programming and develop a center of excellence and education in this expanding field.


The new facility will feature a heated indoor arena for year-round therapeutic riding, which can be divided into an area for simultaneous private hippotherapy and therapeutic riding class. It will also include therapy rooms, classrooms (including a room which can utilize a live horse), offices, observation area and conference room. Attached to the arena will be an area with 20 stalls to house the equine therapists, wash stalls, tack room, vet room, and space for volunteers.


They have received generous support from a number of industry leaders, including the John Creech Family, Toyota Motor Manufacturing Kentucky Inc, Keeneland, the Kentucky Horse Council, the United Professional Horseman’s Association, Gary Biszantz, the Kentucky Thoroughbred Farm Managers’ Club and the Kentucky Horse Park. Now they have launched the “Under Cover Campaign” to encourage support from individuals, churches and civic organizations to close the gap on their fundraising goal. To date they have raised $2.3 of the $3.6 million project budget.


Please consider helping CKRH for the benefit of the disabled population. Although therapeutic riding doesn’t have the prestige, glamour or visibility of the Kentucky Derby, the Breeders’ Cup, the Olympics or the World Equestrian Games, it is nonetheless one of the highest examples of the glorious relationship between horses and humans. We are enormously proud to have their program at the park.


John Nicholson

Executive Director


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