LIVINGSTON COUNTY – For the tenth consecutive year, the Hilltop Riders 4-H Club volunteered at the Coleman Farms Annual Horse Show benefitting the Honeoye Food Pantry, and for the second year supported Begin Again Horse Rescue.
According to a press release from Cornell Cooperative Extension of Livingston County, roughly $600 worth of food was collected by club members and donated to the food pantry with additional funds being given to the horse rescue. A total of 14 dressage riders participated in the show with 4-H volunteer Alissa de Wit-Paul serving as judge. For the first time, showmanship was added to the benefit horse show.
“Showmanship is showing a horse or pony in hand, sometimes with a bridle and sometimes with just a halter,” said Coleman. “…teaches riders the importance of having their horse be attentive to them, that their horses need to know their parameters, all making for safer and fun experiences for all.”
More than 50 people participated in the event either as riders or volunteers. The event was open to anyone who rides at Coleman Farms, including 4-H members, veterans from OASIS (Outdoor Adventures for Sacrifice in Service) Adaptive Sports, and more.
Each year, members of the Hilltop Riders are involved with the planning process. The 4-Hers promote the event with their parents and relatives, help plan the post-show picnic, and more.
Their involvement continues on the day of the benefit. This year, experienced club members Katie Longuil, Maggie Schrieber, Annie Taylor, and Claire Griffin arrived at the barn two hours before the event in order to groom and tack the horses.
Riders are not charged to participate in the event. They are simply asked to contribute non-perishable food items.
The event’s awards were designed by Katie Longuil from unused show ribbons.
During the two-hour event, representatives from Begin Again Horse Rescue spoke about the organization. Participants also had an opportunity to contribute to their efforts. A table was set up with brochures and interesting items to purchase.
After the horse show, a picnic was held for everyone involved in the event. Participating families brought a dish to pass – and helped with set-up and tear down.
“The picnic was so much fun,” said Coleman. “…a wonderful day with so many helping two worthwhile causes.”
Coleman started the event 10 years ago in an effort to help support those who are less fortunate in her community. The event is the largest community service project for the Hilltop Riders 4-H Club.