After giving more than 1,000 free horseback rides to service members, First Responders and their families throughout the country, including during the Pinto World Championship Show in Tulsa, Cheyenne Frontier Days, River City Rodeo in Omaha and Senior National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas, Horses4Heroes is bringing Operation Free Ride to the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo. This Sunday, Dec. 7, 10 am to 11:30, local heroes and their families are invited to ride a horse for free in the Fan Fest Arena at Cowboy Christmas, a marketplace in the Las Vegas Convention Center.
"This is one of the coolest places to ever ride a horse," said Sydney Knott, president/founder of Horses4Heroes. "Here in the Cowboy Christmas marketplace, you can ride a horse, meet Pro Rodeo cowboys, enjoy great entertainment throughout the day and shop, of course!" Admission to Cowboy Christmas is free, parking is $10. To register to ride a horse during Operation Free Ride, call 702-645-8446.
Guest Leaders on Sunday include Henderson City Council member Debra March, Pinto CEO Darrell Bilke, and WPRA Barrel Racer Shelbie Parris, visiting from Fort Hood, Texas.
Operation Free Ride is a national initiative to introduce service members, veterans and their families to the benefits of horses and horseback riding. For the more than 500,000 returning combat veterans, many of whom have some form of PTSD, the opportunity to work with horses is vital to their transition from soldier to civilian. In addition, equestrian activities provide important opportunities for family bonding time, another essential ingredient to the transition from soldier to full-time mom, dad, son, daughter, sister or brother.
Horses4Heroes is one of the most successful equestrian support groups for the military and the only Las Vegas-based national non-profit serving the military community. In March, Horses4Heroes relocated its operations to historic Floyd Lamb Park at Tule Springs and now operates the Horses4Heroes Community Equestrian Center. More than 7,000 men, women and children have visited the center since its opening.
In October, it was announced that Horses4Heroes won the American Horse Council's Time to Ride, 100-Day Challenge and the grand prize, $25,000. The organization, here in Las Vegas and through its affiliates, introduced 2,120 newcomers to horses in 100 days.
Founded in 2006 and based in Las Vegas, Horses4Heroes, Inc. is a non-profit organization that is making horseback riding affordable for and accessible to, the heroes and their families in communities from coast to coast. Through a growing national network of kid-friendly, family friendly facilities, the organization provides able-bodied, affordable horseback riding programs that emphasize fun and safe activities with horses, mounted and un-mounted for all ages. Participants learn valuable leadership and teamwork skills, make new friends, and develop a lifelong love of horses! For more information visit www.horses4heroes.org or call 702-645-8446.