On Saturday, August 5, 2000, six fine young riders who happen to have a physical or mental disability performed a Freestyle to music on borrowed horses at the North American Young Riders' Championships. Their scores combined with NAYRC participants' results in the ACORD Winning Team Challenge Championship. But more than who comes in first, is an experience for all who were a part of the ACORD program, all who experienced first hand the magic of the horse, and how when our spirits are combined, we can be taken beyond the limits of our human bodies.
High Prairie Farms hosted the ACORD Team Challenge, which had a successful debut at last year's NAYRC. ACORD, American Competition Opportunities for Riders with Disabilities Inc., is considered America's umbrella organization for quality equestrian competition for athletes with any disability. ACORD organizes and sponsors horse shows, educational clinics, training camps and other opportunities. ACORD was the Managing Organization for the first official equestrian competition at the 1996 Paralympics, with a staff of more than 200 volunteers from all over the United States. ACORD participants were featured in last year's National Geographic PBS-TV Nature Series "HORSES". The twelve qualifying riders for the 2000 Sydney Paralympics were guests of honor this spring at the first Variety Salute Benefit and Dressage Clinic with Jerry Schwartz at Indian Hills in Gilbert, Ill.
DressageDaily will feature each of the 2000 NAYRC, ACORD Young Riders, weekly, for the next six weeks. We have donated our photos and copyright usage for the promotion of the ACORD Program, and encourage our readers to support this and similar programs in your riding communities.