Brewster, NY - Surrounded by family, friends, staff and volunteers, nearly 90 students from Pegasus Therapeutic Riding participated in the 32nd annual Pegasus Horse Show, held Friday, May 17, and Saturday, May 18. After three decades at Coker Farm in Bedford, N.Y., Pegasus' signature event made its debut this year at the nonprofit's main equestrian center, Pegasus Farm in Brewster, N.Y., with 17 classes showcasing each student's many talents and abilities.
Included in the horse show line-up were on-lead and off-lead classes, a dressage test and two independent riders showing at the walk, trot and canter. Students not doing dressage or independent riding steered through a course of cones, demonstrated their half seat position over ground poles and performed segments of trotting. Another highlight of this year's event was the Max Richter Costume Parade, featuring a "Games" theme. Students' creative costumes included takes on Monopoly, Candyland, Scrabble and various ball games such as baseball and volleyball.
At the end of each class, guest presenters awarded judge's ribbons for skills students were asked to demonstrate: best position, best transitions, best use of aids, best posting, best half seat and best control of the horse. Each Pegasus student earned a ribbon in the skill category they executed best.
In addition to the class ribbons, several special awards were presented to well-deserving students, volunteers and friends of Pegasus. The first of these, the Seth A. Armen Junior Volunteer of the Year Award, was presented to Julia Albrecht as the show kicked off Friday evening. Albrecht has been a volunteer at Pegasus since she was in middle school, volunteering throughout the winter, spring, summer and fall. Instructor Liz Fortes shared the following:
"Julia is always the first to arrive at Pegasus in the morning to help prepare for program and the last to leave... Julia brings an energy and enthusiasm to every lesson activity, which is contagious to the students and the rest of the volunteers."
The Armen Award is presented each year to a teen 18 or under who has volunteered for at least two years and has continually demonstrated outstanding service and selfless dedication to the mission of Pegasus.
The next award presented during the Friday evening opening ceremonies was the Robert M. Stein Challenge Trophy for Outstanding Rider of the Year, given to the Pegasus student who demonstrated improved riding skills and outstanding qualities in sportsmanship during the preceding year. The 2013 award winner was Joseph Deutmeyer. Deutmeyer's instructors shared:
"Joseph is the perfect model during class to show the other students how to correctly perform a riding skill. He is a great leader and we are so proud of the work he has accomplished with his horse."
On day two of the show, dedicated volunteer Judy Williams was presented with the Peggy & Bill Larned Award for Most Helpful Volunteer. Longtime Pegasus Horse Show hosts Judy and Max Richter, owners of Coker Farm, created the award in memory of two of Pegasus' beloved volunteers. Along a similar vein, this year's Pat Bugg Award for Special Service and Dedication to Pegasus was presented to James Cassano. Cassano has been the Pegasus Farm farrier for several years, and thanks to his knowledge and expertise, the horses at Pegasus stay happy and sound.
Perhaps one of the most exciting awards presented this year was the Ann Pinkerton Award for Adult Rider of the Year. The award is presented in celebration of the life and legacy of longtime student Ann "Pinky" Pinkerton. Pinky's charitable trust generously funded the building of the covered outdoor arena at Pegasus Farm, formally dedicated on Friday evening in a ceremony with Pinky's family and friends. The namesake award in her memory is given to the adult rider who has shown the most improvement over the past year.
This year's award winner was Juliette Barberie. Barberie has been a Pegasus rider since early childhood and is also a volunteer for The Rider's Closet, the charitable clothing exchange program founded by Georgina Bloomberg. Barberie has long admired Bloomberg and her equestrian accomplishments, so it was much to Barberie's surprise and delight that Bloomberg was able to attend this year's Pegasus Horse Show to present her with her award.
Rounding out the special honors was the Michele Arnold Independent Rider Award, presented to Colin Murphy for his high level of ability as an independent rider. Murphy has an insatiable appetite for knowledge, not only for riding, but also for all aspects of horses and their care. Murphy is always gentle and considerate of his horse, which makes him a kind rider, his instructor shared.
The presentation of these awards, the classes held throughout the weekend and the other activities available at the horse show for all of Pegasus' talented students would not be possible without the support of hundreds of generous sponsors and donors. This year's top sponsors include: Ms. Lannie Lipson, Mr. and Mrs. Robert Theurkauf, Mr. and Mrs. Peter Arnow, Mr. Eric Ferguson, Mr. and Mrs. David Florence, Marshall & Sterling Insurance, Mr. and Mrs. Aram Ampagoumian, Ms. Susan Berg Bardwil and Mr. James Bardwil, Footing First/Mr. Lawton Adams, Mr. and Mrs. Leonard H. Mark, Ms. Suzanne McGraw, Mr. and Mrs. Stanley F. Prymas, and Mr. and Mrs. Salvatore V. Russo III, who chaired the Pegasus Horse Show for the tenth consecutive year.
About Pegasus Therapeutic Riding:
Pegasus provides equine-assisted activities and therapies to more than 300 children and adults with special needs, military veterans and at-risk individuals, including abuse survivors. They currently run programs at four chapters: Fox Hill Farm in Pleasantville, New York; Kelsey Farm in Greenwich, Connecticut; Ox Ridge Hunt Club in Darien, Connecticut; and the 20-acre Pegasus Farm in Brewster, New York. For more information on Pegasus Therapeutic Riding and the Pegasus Horse Show, visit www.pegasustr.org.