The 2015 Time to Ride Challenge began Saturday, May 30, as stables, clubs and businesses hosted events welcoming new people to riding and other horse activities. In its second year, 992 “Hosts” from 49 states signed up; a 40% increase over 702 hosts in 2014. Every state except North Dakota is represented. Riding instructors, trainers, clubs, retailers, dude ranches, veterinarians, event managers, rescues, therapeutic riding programs and other horse industry providers are competing for $100,000 cash and prizes by introducing newcomers to horses through fun, beginner-friendly activities.
The 2015 Challenge takes place May 30 through September 30, offering a few more weeks than 2014 for Hosts to hold events. So far, Hosts have scheduled over 275 events, such as open houses, demonstrations and trail rides. A horse decorating contest, reading group event at a local library, and “Meet a Unicorn” event offer fun and variety. Some have even planned dedicated “Ladies’ Night” events and days to host Girl Scout troops.
DreamCatcher Horse Ranch & Rescue of Clermont, Florida, has invited a group of local school teachers who will learn about horse involvement opportunities and share the fun with their classes. Competing hosts have access to free marketing tools and “best practices,” plus ideas to plan fun and creative events.
Several events include screenings of the new Dove Foundation-approved family film Spirit Riders, starring Disney star Allie DeBerry. Spirit Riders is an inspiring drama about a troubled teen who finds healing through a connection with horses at an equine therapy ranch. Hosts are also gearing up to participate in National Meet-a-Horse Day on July 25 by offering a free opportunity to meet a horse. Time to Ride hopes to feature hundreds of events nationwide, inviting families to connect with a horse in their community for the first time.
A complete list of all the events is available on the Time to Ride website, where users can find free, fun horse events happening nearby; events will also be featured on the Time to Ride Facebook page. Registration for the Challenge is now closed, but to receive updates about other initiatives and future Time to Ride programs, please visit www.timetoridechallenge.com.
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, 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 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.