Loxahatchee, FL - The Vinceremos Therapeutic Riding Center (VTRC) recently returned from the Special Olympic State Equestrian Games, held May 21 -22, where 16 of their top students had the opportunity to compete. This year's competition was held at the Florida State Fairgrounds in Tampa, FL.
VTRC took home five gold medals, nine silver medals, nine bronze medals, five fourth place ribbons, two fifth place ribbons and one sixth place ribbon. The team representing VTRC included 16 riders who participated in 19 events. The events included english and western equitation, trail ride competition, dressage, and pole bending. VTRC had numerous riders compete in the level 'A' classes that requires them to walk, trot, and canter unassisted. Pole Bending proved to be one of the most successful events for VTRC as all of the athletes maneuvered exceptionally well through the poles.
VTRC's Carrie MacMillan earned the gold medal in English Equitation as well as Dressage. "I was nervous and excited all at the same time," she commented. "The horse I was riding, Will, did a great job and we enjoyed every minute of the competition!"
The riders, horses, and volunteers arrived at the Bakas Equestrian Center at 2 p.m. om Friday. This gave them enough time to walk through the Working Trail Course, which would be competing in over the weekend. The volunteers and coaches helped explain to each rider what they needed to do at each point throughout the course. The horses also had the opportunity to walk through the trail before the Opening Ceremonies, which got underway at 6 p.m. The riders from VTRC had a wonderful time representing their organization and participating the in the many activities held during the event.
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. Ruth Menor, Executive Director at VTRC 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: Brandon Boterf and Freckles garnered a gold medal in the Western Stock Seat Equitation, as well as a silver medal in the Working Trails at the Special Olympic State Equestrian Games. Photo Courtesy of the Vinceremos Therapeutic Riding Center.