Devon, PA (August 24, 2011) – 2011 marks the 20th anniversary of the selection of Thorncroft Therapeutic Riding Inc. as the beneficiary of Dressage at Devon. Since 1991, Thorncroft has received more than $1,000,000 from Dressage at Devon. These funds have been used to support students with disabilities who have shown a dedication to the sport and the horses.
Steven Reed (left) is one such student. In 2004, when Steven Reed was 8 years old, his mom Linda, wanted to find an activity for her son that would help him grow and reach his goals. Knowing that Steven was an animal lover, Linda thought riding might appeal to him. Steven was hooked after just one visit.
For the next several years, Steven took weekly, then twice weekly lessons – first on a pony (Blossom), working his way up to the horses he rides (and jumps!) today. Steven’s dedication to the sport and the animals continues to grow. He volunteers in the barn in exchange for one of his lessons, a job he took on at age 13. Sundays, Steve can often be found cleaning stalls and doing other necessary barn work.
“Thorncroft is an amazing place. From the moment he started riding, Steven has not only learned horsemanship but has made many friends,” said Linda Reed.
Steven received his first scholarship just one year after he began riding. And, among other honors, this year Steven was the recipient of the Grace Levin Scholarship Award. His weekly lessons include individual training as well as practice sessions with the Thorncroft Mainstreamers.
Today, at 13, Steven competes (and often wins!) at Thorncroft and other barns, and is a member of the Thorncroft Mainstreamers, a ten member team consisting of riders with and without disabilities, ranging in age from thirteen to sixteen who work and ride together, encouraging excellence in performance, teamwork, and mutual understanding.
This year the Thorncroft Mainstreamers (right) will show their skills on Saturday afternoon, October 1 at Dressage at Devon.
Steven and his mom definitely go above and beyond in their dedication to Thorncroft.
In 2010, water damage from a fire forced the Reed family to stay in a hotel for 2 ½ months. But that didn’t deter Linda and Steven from volunteering at the 2010 Dressage at Devon – just two of the hundreds of Thorncroft riders and families who volunteer at the show. “I volunteered at many different locations and had a great time,” said Linda.
During the past 20 years, donations from DAD have also helped sponsor scholarship assistance to more than 70 special needs riders a year. Without this program many of the students would be unable to participate in the unique therapy that is offered at Thorncroft.
“The support we have received from Dressage at Devon over the past 20 years has been tremendous,” said Sallie Dixon, Director of Operations. “Many of our staff, our riders, and our parents volunteer at Dressage at Devon as well – more than 250 individuals over the 6-day show. We staff the ticket booth, programs and information, corner cuisine, sweet shop, the Dressage at Devon Gift Shop, and the new Pub at Devon which offers a pub atmosphere and closed circuit television so people won’t miss a minute of the show!”
Dressage at Devon tickets are $10 for general admission. Children under 12 are admitted free. Reserved seating is $25 on Friday, $35 on Saturday and $10 on Sunday and is available online at www.dressageatdevon.org. General admission is available at the door.
About Dressage at Devon
Dressage at Devon (www.dressageatdevon.org) has been the premier North American Equestrian event since its founding by the Delaware Valley Combined Training Association in 1975, and became a separate organization in 2006. It combines world class dressage competition and the world’s largest open breed show with the international Fall Festival show and special activities for the entire family. The six-day event attracts more than 700 horses and 35,000 spectators each year.
Dressage at Devon, a 501(c) (3) PA non-profit organization, benefits Thorncroft Therapeutic Horseback Riding Inc. one of the oldest and largest therapeutic riding programs in the nation. Since 1991, Dressage at Devon has raised in excess of $1,000,000 for Thorncroft.
Project Marketing, Inc.
PO Box 155
Devon, PA 19333