Saddle Seat Equitation Riders Earn Funds for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital


Saddle seat equitation riderAt the United Professional Horsemen’s Association (UPHA) 2011 convention held recently in Boston, 350 attendees at a sold-out luncheon listened as Brian Boucher expressed his appreciation for the support that helped to save his daughter Jordan’s life. Flanked by UPHA Ribbons Of Service participants, Brian described his horror when a Boston-area hospital told them to take his cancer-stricken daughter home, as nothing more could be done to help her. That afternoon, he and his wife noticed a St. Jude TV spot, and made the phone call. Within hours, they were on a plane headed to Memphis. Today, their daughter is cancer-free.

“The UPHA Ribbons of Service program is a wonderful example of how young people can use their passion for saddle seat riding to help the children of St. Jude,” says Rick C. Shadyac, Jr., chief executive officer of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, TN. “We are grateful to the UPHA for developing the program, and grateful to the riders for raising more than $68,000 to support the St. Jude mission of finding cures and saving children,”

“Participation with our show horses is truly helping to save children’s lives!” said UPHA President Bret Day. “The UPHA Ribbons Of Service program is achieving just what we hoped: it’s shaping the lives of equitation riders by helping them learn to give back to their communities, it’s promoting the sport of saddle seat equitation, and — most importantly – it’s providing funds that help save children’s lives.”

Winners for 2010 program recognized
Seventeen saddle seat equitation riders completed the program – those riding American Saddlebred, Arabian, Morgan, or National Show Horse mounts – participated in the fundraising-challenge program that’s beginning its third year. Winners were:

  • Overall – Most Funds Raised: Kristen Smith, Smithfield, Ky.
  • Youngest Participant Who Raised Most Funds: Jordyn Isgrigg, Mt. Washington, Ky.
  • Most Community Service Hours: Kristen Smith
  • Most Funds Raised Among American Saddlebred Participants: Kristen Smith
  • Most Funds Raised Among Arabian/Half-Arabian Horse Participants: Carey Cosgrove, Horse Shoe, N.C.
  • Most Funds Raised Among Morgan Horse Participants: Audrey Lowry, Seymour, Ill.

“Our generous sponsors have donated the awards given to the UPHA Ribbons Of Service participants,” said UPHA Ribbons of Service committee chair Helen Robertson. “From valuable scholarships, to custom leather bags, to exciting vacations and jewelry, these saddle seat equitation riders have the opportunity to earn wonderful prizes for helping others.”

How to participate in 2011
Enrollees are still being accepted for the 2011 show season; contact Robertson at (502) 802-6777 or Participants must be saddle seat equitation riders, perform at least 10 hours of community service and raise at least $1,000. Enrollment form and program rules are located at

“We continue to receive wonderful comments from UPHA members and many others about this wonderful program,” Day said. “It’s an excellent example of what we can accomplish by working together to create a positive influence on the young people who participate with show horses while helping others in need. We invite every saddle seat equitation rider to participate.”



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