Are you a “horse person?” There are probably a lot of people who would say, "no." Sure, you like horses but you don’t own one or ride one and you’ve never been to a competition. So if you’re not a horse person, then why go to a horse show? Oh, so many reasons! But we want to start by highlighting one very special reason that may all-too-often go unnoticed.
Every fall since 1945, The Pennsylvania National Horse Show has attracted the nation’s best riders to Harrisburg. A portion of the show’s proceeds goes to the Pennsylvania National Horse Show Foundation to benefit organizations like Chasing Rainbows Therapeutic Riding.
At Chasing Rainbows, riders ranging from ages 2 to 65 live with a variety of physical, emotional and cognitive disabilities. Equine therapy can help a rider to overcome physical challenges or to lift self-esteem and build social skills. This year, PNHS is adding a very special event to its lineup. The Inaugural Therapeutic Riding Championship will feature riders who have qualified by showing at a specially-designated local event. Also new this year, organizers will honor the “Therapy Horse of the Year.” Therapy horses are often older horses who are still asked to work hard while displaying high levels of patience and gentility.
Organizers hope to spread the word that while the Horse Show is a world-class equine event, the competition, shopping and atmosphere are appealing to everyone no matter where you fall on the “horse person” scale. In addition to the top Hunters and Jumpers in the country, there will be family-friendly activities, A Parade of Hounds, Horse Show Happy Hour with a local winery, a country music concert, and much, much more.