Aug. 25, 2013 -- In its first official leap outside the United States, ACTHA has begun operations partnering with their sister organization CCTHA, The Canadian Competitive Trail Horse Association.
“We have been approached by other out-of-country interests and have even had rides in England and Germany with another in planning in Australia. But these were one-time things to benefit a popular U.S. charity and ACTHA took no official role,” according to Robin Tilghman Director of National Sales. “Wait a minute does this make me director of International Sales Now?!”
Not quite. The only reason ACTHA was able to make the leap north was because of the dedicated horse owners in Canada lead by Chuck Cannon, Master Corporal, retired, now President of the Canadian Competitive Trail Horse Association. “Chuck's dedication to ACTHA's mission statement and crazy hard work ethic made us comfortable handing off the Canadian rights for ACTHA-sanctioned events. It's not a task he has taken lightly. He has received the attention of even the Prime Minister, who has donated an award for the inaugural ride coming up this weekend,” states General Manager Tom Scrima. “I asked Chuck why he chose to take on this task, especially knowing the crazy hours and difficulty of the work he has witnessed on the USA side. Here's what he told me:”
“How did I choose this cause? I am retired Canadian Soldier and in the Military service and as such you learn to put the needs of others ahead of your own. That's what a soldier does. I, fortunately, retired in relatively good health from the army, no severe traumatic physical or emotional injuries to carry forward in life. Unfortunately many of my army buddies were not so lucky. Even though I am retired they are still my family in some way and always will be. It's only natural to fund raise for them. There are many organizations and events that are used to generate revenue to help Wounded Warriors, but none that would be so historically linked as a horse event. I am also a horse owner and my great grandfather served in a Mounted Rifle unit in South Africa. This has family history for me, it just seems to fit.
“I test drove the ACTHA CTC model to raise funds for PRANCE therapeutic Riding Facility twice in 2012," Chuck continued. "I found it was the perfect structure to use to give something back, not only to our equine friends, but to the Soldiers who have given so much of themselves as well. Last year ACTHA fostered the Ride to Remember but there was not enough time for me to foster that model here north of the border.
“I will continue to develop a following here in Canada," he continued. "There will be many rides to come supporting not just Wounded Warriors. This is our Signature ride, for obvious reasons. Long-term plan, a ride in every province annually just for Wounded Warriors.
"And many more for other causes, this is just the start. We are a proud sister/brother organization to ACTHA and share the same core values.”
Scrima continues, “How you going to tell a guy like that we're not ready for expansion? When Chuck told me the story of a Canadian soldier that died fighting alongside our boys in Afghanistan and that his horse was to be ridden in this inaugural ride, I was hooked. Most of us forget about our Canadian brothers and all the other nations defending us from the insanity of terrorism. ACTHA figures if we can help just a little we simply cannot say no. Add that to the fact Chuck is one heck of a manager, organizer and charismatic character attracting the help he needs. Soon we may be taking some lessons from CCTHA down here!”
Just one thing Chuck, any Mounties that compete must go in the open division!
ACTHA is based near Austin Texas and for five years has been following this mission: To create an enjoyable venue showcasing the wonderful attributes of the great American trail horse and granting them the recognition they so richly deserve. To create a registry open to all breeds and a point designation system, which will stay with each horse for its lifetime, thereby adding to their value and distinction. To create and enable humane treatment options and employment for horses in need.
About The Canadian Competitive Trail Horse Association: CCTHA was founded in 2013 as a Canadian not for profit corporation. It operates under license from ACTHA and makes full use of ACTHA's proprietary training materials, web site and administrative support with full permission and encouragement of ACTHA/US. The same mission is embraced by both organizations. To create an enjoyable venue showcasing the wonderful attributes of the great American trail horse and granting them the recognition they so richly deserve. To create a registry open to all breeds and a point designation system which will stay with each horse for its lifetime, thereby adding to their value and distinction. To create and enable humane treatment options and employment for horses in need.