July 29, 2010–A four-year-old American Miniature Horse named NightCap has moved from his home in Michigan to the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, Kentucky, where he will become a representative of the character ?Little Black? in the horse park?s Black Stallion Literacy program. The 34? miniature horse is registered with the American Miniature Horse Registry (AMHR) and was donated by AMHR member Martha Gale of Pine Ridge Farm in Michigan in concert with the AMHR registry.
?He is a sweet little guy and won Grand Champion Gelding at the Ohio State Fair, AMHR show last year,? Gale said. ?My mother and I are both educators, I am a district administrator and my mother is a retired reading specialist and children?s book author. Miniature horses captured my heart ten years ago and I started Pine Ridge Farm Miniatures. I wanted to donate NightCap to this program because it is a great opportunity to promote two things I love: miniature horses and education.?
NightCap, who is now called Little Black, arrived at the Kentucky Horse Park and immediately settled into his role of being adored by lots of children. ?He is really cute and personable,? said Shelli Wright, of the Kentucky Horse Park. ?Soon he will start training for his role as Little Black. He already seems wonderful and will be a star with the kids.?
The Black Stallion Literacy Foundation has helped motivate hundreds of thousands of children to enjoy reading by connecting the magic of live horses with a classic hardcover book. The program is named after “The Black Stallion” books, written by Walter Farley. Once Little Black is trained and comfortable with his role, he will interact with children as the character ?Little Black? from one of Farley?s endearing children?s books. Kentucky’s first year in the Black Stallion Literacy Program was the largest ever in the programs history, with 4700 children participating. NightCap will surely be well loved and adored by Kentucky’s children.
“The Black Stallion Literacy Program is amazing. I am really pleased that the American Miniature Horse Registry was able to coordinate the donation of a solid black miniature horse to the literacy foundation. NightCap looks just like the pony Little Black from the Walter Farley books. Little Black will have a positive impact on so many children who visit the Kentucky Horse Park because after they meet him they will definitely want to read the book about him,” said Johnny Robb, Marketing Director for the AMHR.
?The new Little Black is not the first ambassador our organization has provided to the literacy program. With the help of former director, Bruce Becker, we were able to donate a black Shetland pony to the Black Stallion Literacy program at Arabian Nights in Orlando, Florida. These little ambassadors help children get excited about reading and introduce them to the wonderful world of the small equine,? Robb added.
For more information on American Miniature Horses, visit their website at www.shetlandminiature.com or call 309-243-4044.
The American Shetland Pony Club, the American Show Pony Registry and The American Miniature Horse Registry are non-profit organizations established to preserve and refine the bloodlines of these small equines and promote the enjoyment of small equines. Recognized as the oldest and most versatile registry in the United States, the American Shetland Pony Club offer a variety of programs for Shetland Pony and Miniature Horse enthusiasts of all ages. Visit their website at www.shetlandminiature.com or 81-B East Queenwood Road, Morton, IL 61550.