Riders winners at nationals

Published 1:01 pm Wednesday, November 21, 2007

By Staff
BUCHANAN – We Can Ride and Therapeutic Equestrian Center riders, staff, volunteers and horses traveled to Kansas City, Mo. on Nov. 15 to compete in the prestigious United Professional Horseman's Association Exceptional Challenge Cup National Championship.
Riders competing in the event from southwest Michigan included Emily Kowerduck of Stevensville, Meaghan Matthews of St. Joseph, Trevis Maxwell of Eau Claire, and Jocelyn and Nicole Monroe of Baroda.
Kowerduck and Nicole Monroe were honored with Reserve National Champion titles in the Physically Challenged and Non-Physically Challenged categories respectively.
The other riders earned top 10 honors in their first competition.
We Can Ride President Mara Vergon, who serves in both the We Can Ride and Therapeutic Equestrian Center programs as a certified therapeutic riding instructor, attended the event in Kansas City.
"What an experience for the riders and the team! To attend the Nationals for the first time and be recognized as a top 10 national competitor is such an accomplishment. I am so proud of how well these riders demonstrated the skills that they have worked so hard and so long to master."
Therapeutic Equestrian Center's Facility &Equine Manager Danielle Greulich, also a certified therapeutic riding instructor added, "this is a once in a lifetime experience for our riders. Their hard work and progress was rewarded by this award, placing in the Exceptional Challenge Cup top 10. The team of volunteers and instructors accompanying the riders and horses of TEC and WCR were an outstanding example of how collaboration and hard work pay off."
Most of the riders have been taking therapeutic riding lessons at We Can Ride and Therapeutic Equestrian Center for the past several years. Therapeutic riding has been shown to improve the physical and mental health of people with special needs.
Benefits to participants includes higher self-confidence, better balance and strength and improved emotional wellbeing.
For more information about the benefits of therapeutic riding, including lesson schedules for the southwest Michigan area, please contact Greulich at Therapeutic Equestrian Center, (269) 932-5462, or Vergon at We Can Ride, (269) 325-2376.