Registration is now open at timetoride.comfor the 2015 Time to Ride Challenge, a grassroots campaign offering $100,000 cash and prizes to horse professionals to grow the horse industry by introducing people to horses through beginner-friendly horse experiences.
Entrants will organize Time to Ride Challenge events to take place from May 30 September 30, 2015, and offer a unique opportunity for stables, horse clubs, veterinarians, feed stores, businesses and organizations to welcome new participants to horse activities. Event “Hosts” are organized into Small, Medium and Large divisions and are encouraged to be creative in providing fun, safe and educational horse events that encourage attendees to become further involved in riding and other horse activities. The Hosts who provide an introductory experience to the greatest number of newcomers, determined by contact information collected, will win cash awards.
Last year’s winner of the Small Division and the $10,000 cash prize was 16 Acres Equine Educational Complex of Union Grove, Wisconsin. “Time to Ride paid me to market myself. The Challenge has opened doors,” said Jody Halladay, owner. The 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 2014, 16 Acres shared the joy of horses with 2,840 newcomers.
Statistics show that current horse owners are an aging population and that moms with children hold the greatest potential for campaigns such as the Time to Ride Challenge. Many of the stables that participated in the 2014 Challenge held events that introduced children to horses and offered parents information on how to get their families involved in riding. A post-Challenge survey revealed that 92% of the 25,281 newcomers who participated in a Time to Ride event said they wanted to participate in more horse activities.
Challenge updates for 2015 include more cash prizes, with grand prize winners in each division receiving $10,000, and cash awards given through tenth place. The completely redesigned and user-friendly website is now accessible at timetoridechallenge.com. Hosts will receive free marketing resources including a toolkit, an event idea guide, customizable ads and posters, media templates and more!
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, Purina Animal Nutrition LLC, Platinum Performance, SmartPak, United States Equestrian Federation, and Zoetis. Program Partners are Absorbine, the American Paint Horse Association, Morris Media Network Equine Group, the National Cutting Horse Association, the National Reining Horse Association, Rood and Riddle Equine Hospital, and the Texas A&M University Equine Initiative.
The American Horse Council is a nonprofit 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.