The 2017 Time to Ride Challenge began May 1st for the $100,000 grassroots contest’s fourth year. Already, hundreds of events nationwide are planned by hosts who share the mission of connecting brand-new enthusiasts to horses. Stables, clubs and businesses are working toward growing their own reach and client base while earning cash and prizes and, most importantly, nurturing the next generation of participants in the equine industry.
On a beautiful Monday morning in Mineral Wells, Texas, families pulled up to 2 Irons Ranch to interact with horses for the first time. Stick horse races, educational activities, grooming, saddling and riding awaited the enthusiastic new participants. A miniature donkey welcomed even the smallest fans with a soft nose to pet at the perfect height. Ranch owner and manager Donna Waldrup enthused, “We hosted our first event yesterday and it was awesome fun! The children are very excited about coming back to ride!”
This scene will play out at hundreds of events across the country between May 1st and August 31st. Ranging from Mother’s’ Day “Mom and Me” events and barn movie nights to “Life on a Horse Ranch,” creative events will offer fun, family-friendly, entry-level horse events specifically designed to coax new participants into horse activities. Hosts are even taking the fun into their communities, such as “Meet Mystique at the Ball Game” hosted by Back in the Saddle Equine Therapy Center in Manchester, New Hampshire. Visit www.timetoride.com and search the map for locations holding events nationwide.
The 2017 Challenge will also reward hosts for successfully converting these newcomers into frequent riders. Dubbed Phase II, this brand-new format encourages newcomers to return for a follow-up experience, typically an introductory riding lesson, that cements their interest in horses and ensures they become involved on a regular basis.
Time to Ride and the Challenge is the only program in the industry that directly supports and rewards grassroots horse professionals who reach out to the non-horse owning public and engage them with horse activities. Since 2014, the Challenge has introduced over 98,000 newcomers to the joy of horse activities.
To learn more about participating in the Time to Ride Challenge, please visit https://www.timetoride.com/time-to-ride-challenge/. The Challenge runs through September 30th, and registration is free and open throughout. To learn more visit the website or contact [email protected].
The American Horse Council’s Marketing Alliance
Time to Ride is an initiative of the American Horse Council’s Marketing Alliance, formed to connect people with horses. It is designed to encourage horse-interested consumers to enjoy the benefits of horse activities. The AHC Marketing Alliance is made up of the following organizations: American Association of Equine Practitioners, Active Interest Media, American Quarter Horse Association, Farnam, Merck, Merial, Morris Media Network Equine Group, Purina Animal Nutrition LLC, Platinum Performance, The Right Horse Initiative, US Equestrian, and Zoetis. Program Partners are Absorbine, American Paint Horse Association, ASPCA, Equibrand, National Reining Horse Association, Lumina Media, America’s Mustang Campaign, and Colorado State University Equine Sciences Program.
About the American Horse Council
The American Horse Council is a non-profit organization that includes all segments of the horse industry. While its primary mission is to represent the industry before Congress and the federal regulatory agencies in Washington, DC, it also undertakes national initiatives for the horse industry. Time to Ride, the AHC’s Marketing Alliance to connect horses and people, is such an effort. The American Horse Council hopes that Time to Ride will encourage people and businesses to participate in the industry, enjoy our horses, and support our equine activities and events. The AHC believes a healthy horse industry contributes to the health of Americans and America in many ways.
Contact: Christie Schulte, [email protected] or 512-591-7811