The Marketing Alliance of the American Horse Council announced winners of the first “100 Day Horse Challenge.” Hundreds of stables, organizations and businesses signed up to host events designed to attract newcomers to horse activities. Participating Hosts shared the joy of horses with a total of over 25,000 new people throughout the Challenge. The incentive was to grow their businesses while competing for $50,000 in first-place cash awards and $50,000 in prizes provided by Marketing Alliance Members: American Association of Equine Practitioners, Active Interest Media, American Quarter Horse Association, Dover Saddlery, Farnam, Merck, Merial, National Thoroughbred Racing Association, Purina Animal Nutrition LLC, Platinum Performance, SmartPak, United States Equestrian Federation, and Zoetis.
The 100 Day Horse Challenge offered three Host divisions for small, medium or large stables, businesses and horse organizations. Hosts were required to offer newcomers beginner-friendly opportunities to pet, groom or ride a horse. In order to be eligible, Hosts had to meet insurance requirements, obtain releases, and capture names and email addresses from participants for verification purposes.
The winner of the Large Division of the 100 Day Horse Challenge, and receiving $25,000 in cash, is Horses4Heroes, a Las Vegas-based, national non-profit organization with 300 affiliate facilities in 44 states plus Canada. Successful programs such as “Operation Free Ride” at major events like Cheyenne Frontier days helped Horses4Heroes reach 2,120 newcomers. President and Founder, Sydney Knott, stated, “It’s a dream come true to be recognized for our efforts to introduce new people to horses. First-time horse experiences are, without a doubt, life changing. It’s hard to believe how many people in this country have never seen or touched a horse. To be there the first time they see a horse is so great. They walk away happier, taller, and brighter.”
Prize money will be used as beginner lesson scholarships for participating Horses4Heroes affiliates that generated the most newcomers.
Winning the Medium Division and $15,000 is Corvin Performance Horses, of Canyon, Texas. Corvin Performance Horses reached large numbers of newcomers by bringing their horses to community events such as “I Heart Canyon,” reaching out to children from low-income families. Melissa Corvin explains that through interactions with horses, young children are able to build their confidence. “A horse is such a big animal that young children are often timid at first. After holding their hand and letting them pet them, they relax. Their fear escapes them and they gain confidence.” Over 400 children were able to meet and ride a horse at the “I Heart Canyon” event, in addition to taking their horses to homeschool groups, day cares, and other youth activity locations; for a total reach of 876 newcomers throughout the Challenge period.
The winner of the Small Division and the $10,000 cash prize, 16 Acres Equine Educational Complex of Union Grove, Wisconsin, had strong motivation for participating in the 100 Day Horse Challenge. “We have a 14-year-old barn with a leaking roof. There are tarps everywhere. That was the motivator, but [participating in the Challenge] has turned into so much more. It has opened doors,” said Jody Halladay, owner. 16 Acres Equine Educational Complex reached hundreds of newcomers at a time by participating in many community events such as Dairy Days at a local farm, farmers’ markets, festivals, storytelling times, and community gatherings at children’s activity centers. When speaking of her delight in winning the cash prize, Halladay stated, “It’s done more than just get us a new barn roof. We are going to be running the educational booth at the county fair next year; our lesson program has grown… things have come our way because of this!” In the 100-day period, 16 Acres shared the joy of horses with 2,840 newcomers.
For further success stories from the 100 Day Horse Challenge, to be included in future communications about the Challenge, or for more information about Time to Ride, please contact [email protected] or visit timetoride.com.
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 Horse Council, the American Association of Equine Practitioners, Active Interest Media, the American Quarter Horse Association, Dover Saddlery, Farnam, Merck, Merial, the National Thoroughbred Racing Association, Purina Animal Nutrition LLC, Platinum Performance, SmartPak, United States Equestrian Federation, and Zoetis.
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.