Lumberton, New Jersey – Nov. 16, 2020 – Since the late 1990s, the Gleneayre Equestrian Program’s (GEP) mission has centered around “bringing horses and people together for the betterment of each other’s lives.” As with many other non-profits, 2020 has been a difficult year to not only continue their mission but also to connect with their current donors and participants. Based out of Lumberton, New Jersey, founders Bob and Ellen Healey have dedicated their lives to growing the program into the success that it has become today. With the GEP now in its 31st year, the Healeys were determined to continue the program’s growth despite of the many challenges that the community has faced.
The GEP is centered on three main programs – the Working Student program, the Equine Facilitated Learning program, and the Mental Health program. The GEP serves a wide range of individuals, including veterans, juvenile first-offenders, and those who are in need of additional support. All of the horses within the GEP are donated, including many former show horses, that have years of purpose left to give.
Due to social distancing regulations and the on-going impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, GEP made the decision to cancel the Gleneayre Horse Show and Hunter Derby in the best interest of their staff and exhibitors. The annual event is the program’s largest fundraiser and an excellent opportunity for GEP to interact with friends and the community.
“Although we were saddened to have to cancel our 2020 Horse Show and Hunter Derby, ultimately we know that it was the right thing to do for the greater good,” remarked Ellen Healey. “We are looking forward to having our event again with renewed energy in 2021!”
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Equine Facilitated Learning Program has been put on hold. Fortunately, the Working Student Program is running and currently has openings for qualified children ages 10 to 18. This special program pairs children with their own horses, allowing students to gain knowledge in horsemanship, responsibility, self-confidence, and more.
“The Gleneayre Equestrian Program has a positive impact on its students by providing a place of structure, consistency, and normality during these uncertain times,” said Alison Johnson, Managing Director and Trainer. Jeannie Mattioni, Program Assistant and Trainer, echoed her thoughts by stating, “The Gleneayre Equestrian Program has given our kids a safe sanctuary where they can relieve stress and be outdoors. I think, especially now, we can all understand and appreciate the power that a little bit of normality can have in bringing a smile to our face.”
GEP takes great pride in the fact that all horses entering their programs have a forever home and are able to live out the remainder of their lives with comfort and love. Despite cancellations and program suspensions that were caused by 2020 events, the Gleneayre horses still need care. The programs encourage friends and supporters to consider sponsoring one of their special horses in order to support the unique connection between horses and humans. A charitable contribution $750 will sponsor a horse for 6 months; $1,500 will sponsor a horse for 1 year.
“All horses that enter our programs have a forever home at Gleneayre,” said Executive Director Bill Rube. “Since the cancellation of the 2020 Hunter Derby, we rolled out a Sponsor a Horse Program to help supplement the cost of care for our program horses. If you feel a special connection with one of our horses, consider sponsoring them to show your support! Your generous donation will make a difference in our horses’ lives.”
For more information regarding this opportunity, please click here.
To learn more about GEP’s important mission and current happenings, click here.