Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Time to Ride Challenge Wraps Up Final Weekend of Contest

September 30th marks final day of contest for stables introducing new riders to horses.

Washington D.C., September 28, 2015 – The Time to Ride Challenge concludes September 30th for stables, clubs, and businesses competing to introduce new horse enthusiasts to riding. Participating “hosts” have spent the summer, since May 30th, welcoming new families to horse activities via beginner-friendly horse experiences in pursuit of $100,000 cash and prizes.

Though final results will not be available until late October, the Challenge is already paying dividends for participating hosts, no matter their placing. Cody Pritchard, owner and trainer at Cooperstown Equestrian Park in Hartwick, New York had this to say: "I cannot believe how much this Challenge has done for my own personal and emotional gain as well as promoting my farm. What a wonderful opportunity. I feel we have won the Challenge just on the premises of how it has brought the community together as well as all of us at the farm. Thank you for promoting the love of horses and giving us family owners an incentive to be creative and try something new!"

As of September 25th, Cooperstown Equestrian Park has provided 522 newcomers with a first-time horse experience and is in second place in the small division, which pays $5,000. First place in each division wins $10,000. Pritchard reported that these new connections have already resulted new lesson students and invitations to make public appearances at three local harvest festivals. Cooperstown Equestrian Park offers introductory through second level riding lessons, camps, and educational events for riders of all ages.

Hundreds of other stables, clubs, and businesses nationwide signed up for the 2015 Challenge to achieve the same goal of growing their client base by introducing new people to horses. “As of September 25th over 29,000 newcomers have been introduced to horses through Challenge-hosted horse experiences, and we expect a 35-40% increase over 2014’s total once the final results are tallied,” reported Patti Colbert, Time to Ride spokesperson. “Time to Ride is also dedicated to helping these stables turn new horse enthusiasts into committed students, riders, and eventually horse owners and active participants in our industry.”

The Time to Ride Challenge is made possible by an alliance of horse industry organizations and companies who believe that collaborating to welcome new people to equestrian activities will help the horse industry grow and thrive for future generations.

The American Horse Council’s Marketing Alliance

Time to Ride is an initiative of the American Horse Council’s marketing alliance, formed to connect people with horses. It is designed to encourage horse-interested consumers to enjoy the benefits of horse activities. The AHC marketing alliance is made up of the following organizations: the American Association of Equine Practitioners, Active Interest Media, the American Quarter Horse Association, Dover Saddlery, Farnam, Merck, Merial, Morris Media Network Equine Group, Purina Animal Nutrition LLC, Platinum Performance, SmartPak, United States Equestrian Federation, and Zoetis. Program Partners are Absorbine, the American Paint Horse Association, Equibrand, the National Cutting Horse Association, the National Reining Horse Association, Rood and Riddle Equine Hospital, and the Texas A&M University Equine Initiative.

About the American Horse Council

The American Horse Council is a non-profit organization that includes all segments of the horse industry. While its primary mission is to represent the industry before Congress and the federal regulatory agencies in Washington, DC, it also undertakes national initiatives for the horse industry. Time to Ride, the AHC’s marketing alliance to connect horses and people, is such an effort. The American Horse Council hopes that Time to Ride will encourage people and businesses to participate in the industry, enjoy our horses, and support our equine activities and events. The AHC believes a healthy horse industry contributes to the health of Americans and America in many ways.

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