The CHAMPS Challenge—the 2017 AjPHA youth presidential project—aims to help therapeutic riding programs all over the country, but support at the APHA World Championship Show narrowed the focus to assist therapeutic barns affected by Hurricane Harvey; many of South Texas barns lost everything during the storm. Tack drives are just one facet of the CHAMPS Challenge, and the World Show’s drive encouraged APHA members to donate halters, lead ropes, feed buckets and work tack to help affected barns start lessons again. After just five days of the World Show, APHA Director of Youth and Awards Christine Henry Gillett was already thrilled with the turnout.
“I’ve had three people tell me they have their gooseneck trailer full of stuff to donate,” said Christine. “It’s not even worth them bringing it all [into the show office] because it’s so much stuff!”
A short-notice call for donations at the World Show caused donations to flood in from all over the country. One generous donor brought a large pile of blankets, bridles, and other tack into the World Show office.
“Her poor husband had to haul all this in from their truck in this hot weather!” Christine laughed.
Fundraisers at the World Show for anything Youth related have had great support in the past, so Christine knew the tack drive would have some support, but the results exceeded her expectations; at the end of the show, donations overwhelmed the show office filled up multiple tack stalls.
Special thanks to the following World Show donors:
- White Harvest Farms & Friends
- Heather Brower Performance Horses
- James & Jennifer Jones
- Carly Odom
- Wendy Hull
- Katy Ceccarelli
- Karen White
Donating tack is just one way to support the CHAMPS Challenge. Another way to support is by hosting CHAMPS therapeutic riding classes, or raising money that goes towards awards for those exhibitions. Christine says they hope they can increase the opportunities APHA has for horseman in the CHAMPs program.
“It’s great to hear the kind of support that was garnered for this project that was a little last minute,” Christine said. “We tried to remind people while they were packing, but I did not expect this support.”
[Reprinting all or part of this news release is permitted, so long as credit is given to the Paint Horse Journal and a link provided back to apha.com.]
The American Paint Horse Association is the world’s second-largest equine breed association, registering more than a million horses in 59 nations and territories since it was founded. Its mission is to inspire, nurture, promote and provide meaningful experiences to generations interested in preserving the versatile Paint Horse.