California Riding Magazine • August, 2008

Riding For Reading
Great Program Grows

Twenty-six riders from first through 12th grade trotted into the ring for the Riding For Reading Class at the Golden Gate Classic held at the Horse Park at Woodside on July 4. It was the first of three classes for the summertime Riding For Reading program. Riding For Reading is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting reading, literacy and education through equestrian sports and activities. The classes’ organizers could not have been happier with the turnout.
“It was great to see so many riders in the class,” said Riding For Reading treasurer, Kelly Scarinci. “The classes have grown and the riders seem to really like it.” If smiling faces were any indication, the riders had a great time.

The class was run as an English Pleasure Class and the judges worked the riders in two sections and then named their top 10. The top 10 riders had to perform additional work, including halting and standing on a loose rein. After all the participant ribbons were handed out, judges announced the top 10 ribbons. The suspense built as everyone waited to see who would be named champion and reserve champion.

Top junior rider Sophie Verges earned the reserve championship aboard Carpe Diem. “This was so fun and my school will be really excited,” said Sophie, who will be a senior next year. Champion honors went to Sarah Frushell, an incoming freshman at The Athenian School, who rides in children’s hunters, equitation and various medal classes.

“I didn’t think I’d make it to the top 10,” said Sarah after the class. “I was really happy about that. Then when they called me as champion I
was shocked.”

After the class, the riders made their way to the Bay View Club where they completed forms, wrote thank you notes to sponsors and collected their gift bags. “My school is going to be really happy receiving library money,” added Sarah. “They are really supportive of my riding. As long as I keep up in my classes and get good grades they really support us to do different things.” Last year Sarah heard about the class, but she did not get organized to go in it. “After I saw the class I knew I had to do it, and my trainer (Vanessa Brown) was supportive too.”

With less than $1 per student on average spent on library materials across the country, funding for school libraries is critical. Additional materials to school libraries benefit the entire student body, and young riders are thrilled they can do something to be more involved with their school.

The next Riding For Reading class was held at the Country Classic on July 11 in Wilsonville, OR. “Horses and People and the Country Classic support charities, and Riding For Reading is a significant program we are pleased to be a part of,” says show chairman Shelly Campf. “Combining literacy and equestrian sport is an opportunity we are pleased to be part of.” D.A.Davidson & Co. once again sponsored the class.

Riding For Reading will wrap up its summer program at the Riding For Reading Benefit Show on Sept. 1 in Los Angeles. Langer Equestrian Group manages the show and donates all of the proceeds to Riding For Reading. “In the world today of instant communication, especially visual, literacy and books are in danger of becoming extinct. The least I can do is hold one of my horse shows as a benefit to a program designed to help keep the written word alive,” stated LEG president and CEO, Larry Langer.

So far, more than 450,000 school age students have benefited from Riding For Reading library grants.

For more information on Riding For Reading please visit www.ridingforreading.org.