The William Woods University Western Club is adding a new element to its annual Western Fun Show. In conjunction with WWU’s therapeutic riding program, a new set of classes has been added for riders with disabilities.
The Western Fun Show will be Saturday, May 1, beginning at 9 a.m. Viewing is free and open to the public.
A variety of classes will be offered, including western, saddle seat, hunt seat, jumping, driving, game and speed classes. Outside horses and riders are welcome. The cost will be a $5 office fee per horse, and then either $5/class or $40/for unlimited classes all day. A current Coggins test is required.
Awards will be given to each class winner, and high point awards (for the most points earned by a horse and rider combination) will be given for western, hunt seat, saddle seat and games.
A special set of free classes will be offered mid-day for riders with disabilities. There will be free gift baskets and photos for participants who pre-register by e-mail. Ribbons for first through sixth place will be awarded, with participation ribbons available for everyone. WWU students will individually host and assist, if desired.
The classes for riders with disabilities include: WWU Courage Cup (Walk/Trot), English or Western, 10 years and up, spotters allowed; WWU Courage Cup (Lead Line), English or Western, 8 years and up with handlers, and WWU Freedom Trails Class, English or Western, friendly trail course for riders 10 and up (ages 8 and 9 must be on lead lines).
“I am getting a good response for our first effort to incorporate riding classes for those with disabilities into our May 1 horse show,” Gary Mullen, chair of the equestrian studies division, said.
“Thus far, we are training six community members, Cedar Creek Therapeutic Riding Center (Columbia) is sending two competitors, and some people with disabilities are coming as spectators. My therapeutic riding class students are doing this as a service-learning venture.”
Jenny Sekerak, Western Club secretary, said, “We would love for anyone who is interested in horses to just drop by and watch a little, since we do have so many different disciplines and breeds at William Woods. It makes our shows very colorful. If you drop by for an hour, you’re liable to see a variety of classes, including western, hunt seat and saddle seat.”