LifeVac Therapeutic Riding Championships Headline Foundation Friday

Harrisburg, PA – Foundation Friday, held on Friday, October 20, at the 2023 Pennsylvania National Horse Show was headlined by the LifeVac Therapeutic Riding Championships featuring 23 riders from across Pennsylvania.

Skip’s Desert Rose of Reins of Rhythm was presented as the Therapy Horse of the Year. Photo by Andrew Ryback Photography

Established in 1999, the PNHS Foundation is a 501(c)(3) organization that supports equine rescue and therapeutic riding programs, with annual Foundation grants allowing for scholarships for therapy students, care for therapy horses, equipment for horses and riders and much more.

Photos by Andrew Ryback Photography

During the Championship, riders competed at the walk and trot. Riders in the assisted walk class could have leaders for their mounts and sidewalkers if needed. Riders in the unassisted walk/trot class performed without assistance.

Riders qualified for the event by participating in horse shows at Walnut Grove Farms, Friendly Horsemen’s Club and Leg Up Farm, throughout the summer. The riders were judged by Melissa Hawkins, a USEF “r” rated judge, and were presented with Pennsylvania National Horse Show ribbons and SmartPak gift bags for their efforts.

Photos by Andrew Ryback Photography

The 2023 PNHS Foundation Therapy Horse of the Year Award, sponsored by Susan Harmon, was awarded to Reins of Rhythm Riding and Horsemanship’s Skip’s Desert Rose or “Rose.”

In her 14 years of work as a therapy horse, Rose has helped provide independence to those with mobility limitations, encouraged children with non-verbal diagnoses to speak and has inspired confidence in countless individuals. Volunteers at Reins of Rhythm say, “Rose knows exactly what a child needs, when they need it, and when to give it to them at just the right time.”

To learn more about the PNHS Foundation, click here.