2016 Time to Ride Challenge Begins for Hundreds of Stables, Clubs, and Businesses Nationwide

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Credit: Thinkstock

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The 2016 Time to Ride Challenge started June 1, but new this year is that you can enter this contest throughout the program! The Time to Ride Challenge is a nationwide grassroots contest to introduce new people to horses. Hundreds of competing stables, clubs and other horse businesses are participating.

Event hosts (those with horses who want to introduce new people to horses) will compete through September 30 by hosting fun, beginner-friendly horse events designed to safely introduce horse-interested families to equine activities and encourage them to become regularly involved in riding. Hosts who introduce the greatest number of “newcomers,” those who have not been regularly involved in horse activities for the past three years, to horses will win up to $10,000 cash and related prizes in three divisions--small, medium and large.

Since 2014, the Challenge has introduced more than 60,000 new people to horses through hundreds of stables nationwide. Horse professionals who join the Challenge work hard to plan and produce events, but their efforts are rewarded many times over--the growth in their businesses eclipsing even the coveted cash prizes. In a 2015 survey, 65.5% of participating stables saw a positive increase in their business as a result of the Challenge; 9.1% reported gaining over 15 new clients.

“Competing in the Challenge is not only about winning or placing, although that was my goal at first. It turned out to be so much more than winning the prize money. It’s about getting us, as part of the horse industry, to look differently at how we advertise and promote ourselves. It’s about securing a future for the horse industry,” said Jody Halladay, owner of 16 Acres Equine Educational Complex and the 2015 medium division champion.

Hosts from 38 states have planned over 350 events in 2016 so far. Family days at horse shows, Girl Scout badge work, an Arabian horse breed showcase, school field trips, and pony and carriage rides are just a few examples of the creative, accessible events that event hosts have planned already. The Challenge encourages businesses to use innovative strategies to bring horses to previously uninitiated groups.

2016 brings many updates to the Challenge, including new cash prizes and added incentives offered by breed and discipline organizations. For details, please visit www.timetoride.com/news.

Competing hosts receive marketing support and resources from Time to Ride upon registration, which is free. An update for 2016 is open enrollment, allowing hosts to join even now that the Challenge has begun. To learn more about the Challenge, read frequently asked questions, and sign up, visit www.timetoride.com.

The United States Equestrian Federation is pleased to partner with Time to Ride to bring 25,000 new youth engagements to equestrian sports in 2016 through the Time to Ride Challenge in partnership with First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! initiative. In preparation for the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) has aligned with First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! initiative to increase opportunities for physical activity among the nation’s youth, making the Time to Ride Challenge a perfect fit for partnership.

The American Horse Council’s Marketing Alliance

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, Morris Media Network Equine Group, Purina Animal Nutrition LLC, Platinum Performance, United States Equestrian Federation, and Zoetis. Program Partners are Absorbine, the American Paint Horse Association, Equibrand, the National Cutting Horse Association, the National Reining Horse Association, Rood and Riddle Equine Hospital, and the Texas A&M University Equine Initiative; and new for 2016, I-5 Publishing, Pyranha, the America’s Mustang Campaign, and Colorado State University Equine Sciences Program.

About the American Horse Council

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.