Monday, April 13, 2015

Thorncroft Press Release Featuring BHF Rider Riley Garrett!

Thorncroft Equestrian Center Promotes Para-Equestrian Sport Growth

  By: Lindsay Y. McCall

Malvern, PA - April 9, 2015 - The Para-Equestrian sport works closely with many therapeutic riding programs. This partnership helps foster developing athletes and provide disabled riders a high performance sport opportunity in addition to the therapy program. A few of those therapy and education programs include Carlisle Academy in Lyman, Maine, and Thorncroft Equestrian Center in Malvern, Penn.. Therapeutic Riding Programs use horses and equine-assisted activities in order to achieve goals that enhance physical, emotional, social, cognitive, behavioral and educational skills for people who have disabilities. It not only focuses on the therapeutic riding skills but also the development of a relationship between horse and rider. The Thorncroft Equestrian Center is a mainstreaming facility where handicapped and non-handicapped people come together to ride together, learn together and relate to one another; and within an accepting environment, foster growth in each other.

Hope Hand, Paralympian and former student at Thorncroft Equestrian Center graduated from Thorncroft Equestrian Center  and moved onto competing in able-boided Dressage competitions.

Hope Hand (right ) with U.S. Para-Dressage Chef D'Equipe Kai Handt. Photo by Lindsay Y. McCall
Her education and ability propelled Hand into high performance competition leading her to the Paralympics. Hand has since given back to the equestrian program that helped develop her as a rider by mentoring those interested in the Para-Equestrian discipline. Fourteen year-old Riley Garret is one of those athletes.
Riley with Hobbs

Garrett began riding horses when she was three year old. She started riding at Thorncroft Equestrian Center in 2012. She then became a working student and trained under Carole Laulis. Garrett explained, "I am part of the big happy Thorncroft family. Carole Laulis was my trainer and built me into everything I am today. My goal is to compete as a member of the U.S. Paralympic Dressage Team in the future. Another goal of mine is to compete in Kentucky with the Junior Young Riders Team."

Garret is working hard at accomplishing those goals currently riding with Missy Ransehousen at Blue Hill Farm.

Garret added, "This is a once-in-a-life-time experience, and I would never be in this position if it wasn't for the support, guidance and love given to me at Thorncroft."

Thorncroft Equestrian Center  is continuing to be a mainstreaming facility where handicapped and non-handicapped riders work together. It is also providing an exciting avenue to those interested in competitive riding with their Para-Equestrian program.

Through therapeutic riding facilities like Thorncroft Equestrian Center, the high performance Para-Equestrian discipline can create a pipeline for future Paralympic athletes.

30th Annual Victory Gallop In Benefit of the Therapeutic Riding Programs at


The 30th Annual Victory Gallop is scheduled for Saturday April 18, 2015, in support of the Therapeutic Riding Programs at Thorncroft. The Victory Gallop occurs from 6 PM-12 AM at the Hyatt at the Bellevue in Philadelphia, PA. The evening includes a black-tie dinner, dance and auction. To learn more about Thorncroft or to attend the 30th Annual Victory Gallop please visit

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