Ft. Pierce, FL - Vinceremos Therapeutic Riding Center (VTRC) recently traveled to Ft. Piece, FL, to compete during the Special Olympic Area Equestrian Games. The event was held on Saturday, March 27, 2010, and featured 34 riders from VTRC showcasing their skills.
During the Special Olympic Area Equestrian Games riders had the opportunity to compete in English and western equitation, trail ride competition, dressage and pole bending. The riders representing VTRC ranged from needing full support with a leader and two sidewalks to independent riders who walk, trot and canter on their own.
VTRC traveled to the competition with 34 students, eight horses, and 25 volunteers. The large undertaking was well worth it for the exciting opportunity the riders got to experience.
Attending these competitions gives the riders at VTRC a goal to work towards. One rider, Rodrigo, who can't speak, smiles from ear to ear and sits up tall and straight when his instructor mentions the Special Olympics. All the riders receive ribbons, but in addition, each rider heads home with a sense of pride and accomplishment. Many riders will take their ribbons to school the next day for show and tell.
"These events always serve to remind us that the experience is more important than ribbon placement. Each of our riders smiled throughout the day savoring every moment," said VTRC Founder and Executive Director Ruth Menor.
The riders that participated this past weekend are currently waiting to find out who has qualified for the Special Olympic State Equestrian Games. VTRC was founded 27 years ago and has been participating in the Special Olympic Equestrian Games for 23 years. There are four levels for the event: County, Area, State, and International. Menor has had students compete at the International level and has also served as an International Games coach.
The VTRC is a nonprofit organization based in Loxahatchee, FL, that provides recreational and therapeutic riding instruction to people of all ages with varying developmental, physical, and psychological disabilities. The organization, founded in 1982, assists more than 350 adults and children every year, helping them gain a sense of accomplishment, greater independence, and a higher quality of life. The VTRC has received a "Premier Accreditation" rating from the North American Riding for the Handicapped Association (NARHA).
For more information on the Vinceremos Therapeutic Equestrian Center, please visit www.vinceremos.com.
Photo Credit: Thomas Mickel represented Vinceremos Therapeutic Riding Center aboard Belle in a Western Equitation class with the help of volunteer Jamie Miller during the Special Olympic Area Equestrian Games. Photo Courtesy of the Vinceremos Therapeutic Riding Center.