Time to Ride Challenge Wraps Up Final Weekend of Contest

As of Sept. 25 more than 29,000 newcomers have been introduced to horses through challenge-hosted experiences.

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The Time to Ride Challenge concludes Sept. 30 for stables, clubs, and businesses competing to introduce new horse enthusiasts to riding. Participating “hosts” have spent the summer, since May 30, 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. "I cannot believe how much this challenge has done for my own personal and emotional gain as well as promoting my farm,” said Cody Pritchard, owner and trainer at Cooperstown Equestrian Park in Hartwick, New York. “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."

As of Sept. 25, 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.

“As of Sept. 25 over 29,000 newcomers have been introduced to horses through challenge-hosted horse experiences, and we expect a 35 to 40% increase over 2014’s total once the final results are tallied,” said Patti Colbert, Time to Ride spokeswoman. “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

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