Potomac Valley Dressage Association
Ride for Life
Equestrian Benefit Event
Johns Hopkins Avon Foundation Breast Cancer Center
Ride for Life is a licensed dressage show sponsored by The Potomac Valley Dressage Association. This unique event has a very special purpose -- to fund breast cancer research at the Johns Hopkins Avon Foundation Breast Cancer Center. 2013 marked the 10th anniversary of this inspirational event!
More information is available at the PVDA Ride for Life website.
2013 Ride for Life
Thank you to everyone for supporting the 10th anniversary of this amazing event! After 7 years as a participant, I still get so excited each year at Ride for Life time! It is such an amazing event and makes me so very happy to ride in honor of my very first dressage instructor, Joy Court. I truly believe she would be so very proud to see me still in the dressage ring after all these years! With two horses this year, I split the days up to let Katchi be the Saturday star and Mi be the Sunday star! Both horses brought home great scores and very pretty ribbons! And to top off a great weekend, I came home with a beautiful embroidered wool cooler for winning the "open" high pledge award -- for the third time!
Thank you to everyone who donated to this incredible event in my name --- click here to read my thank you to donors.
Mi checks out the Ride for Life 10th anniversary wool cooler for winning high pledge in rider donations to the Johns Hopkins Avon Foundation Breast Cancer Center - and what a pretty ribbon too! And Katchi shows off his new fancy ear bonnett!
2012 Ride for Life
2012 has been another wonderful year for Ride for Life! THANK YOU for all the donations made in my name - I raised over $2,000 and earned a high-pledge award, earning Katchi a beautiful new cooler! This year was extra special as I joined forces with 3 great friends - Kerry, Erica, and Kimber - to collect donations as "Team April". Each year, I ride in memory of my first dressage instructor, Joy Court, who lost her battle to breast cancer in 1997. But this year I, along with all the "Team April" members, rode in honor of The Fierce Cancer Slayer, April, a 35 year old woman in California who is currentlybattling stage 3 breast cancer. Even the horses enjoyed being part of Team April - sporting their pink sashes proudly!
2012 Ride for Life Blog Entry
April's blog post about our Ride for Life team - "Team April: Representing Large!"
Cherie & Katchi showing off our lovely prizes for the high-pledge award!
Erica Rozek, "The Full Monty", and Cherie - members of Team April - showing their pink pride!
2011 Ride for Life
THANK YOU to everyone for supporting this wonderful event again this year! Donations of $1,870 were made in my name to the Johns Hopkins Breast Cancer Center, which was the 11th highest pledge total over all (and 3rd in the "open" division). I cannot thank everyone enough for your kind generosity in supporting this event. At the bottom of this page, you will find the story of Joy Court, my first dressage instructor, who lost her battle against cancer in 1997. It is in her memory that I participate in R4L each year. Every day, I try display just half of Joy's enthusiasm for life, horses and dressage, and Ride for Life is my special opportunity to let my love for dressage do something in the fight against cancer.
This was the 8th year of Ride for Life and it had both the largest number of competitors and the largest audience at the Dancing Horse Challenge - over 171 horse/rider combinations competed in 5 separate rings and over 2000 fans cheered on the dancing horses! The silent auction raised almost $18,000 and the event overall raised over $85,000, which will go directly to The Johns Hopkins Foundation Breast Cancer Center - WOW!!
2011 was Katchi's 4th appearance at Ride for Life - and he successfully moved up to Second Level dressage too! I could not have been more proud of him as he earned ribbons in all 4 of his classes, scoring solid mid-60's in First Level Test 3 and hovering right around 60% in his first two tries at Second Level - WOW! Not too bad for a little OTTB. And if you want to check out a really cool OTTB - click on the link to the videos below. You'll find a video of my dressage trainer, Silva Martin, riding her OTTB, Sea Lord, in the Dancing Horse Challenge - he was strutting grand prix moves in a race horse costume!
It was also a great thrill this year to also have several students competing along with Katchi and me - Congratulations to Kerry & Atticus, Erica & Monty, Debi & Roxanne, and Ilkim & Luna for their tremendous success!
2011 Ride for Life Blog Entry
Dancing Horse Challenge videos!
2010 Ride for Life
Read my 2010 R4L blog entry.
Yes, it was HOT - but it was still great! Thanks to everyone who came out to support Katchi and me - and especially to everyone who made donations in my name. We exceeded our $1,000 pledge goal and received the high-pledge award for the open division! I know many people are feeling the pinch of the economy, and I cannot be more appreciative of the effort so many people made to support this event however possible - donations, volunteer time, or cheering on the competitors! Katchi came home with ribbons in each of his 3 First Level classes (only his second time competing at first level!) - including two second places, and he also earned 3 of 4 scores needed for the USDF First Level Performance Award.
And to top it all off, PVDA selected Katchi and me to grace the cover of their 2010 R4L special issue newsletter! I couldn't have been more shocked and honored! They told me afterwards that they selected the photo because it captured all the elements R4L represents for so many people - a tribute to breast cancer victims, a competition, hope for the future, and fun! Joy, who I ride in memory of each year, would have been proud - it would have made her smile.
2009 Ride for Life
I am again overwhelmed by generosity of my friends and family in supporting this wonderful event! Over $1,000 was raised in my name - all of which goes directly to supporting the Johns Hopkins Avon Foundation Breast Center. I decided not to compete Katchi at the show this year as I have been focusing on our eventing competitions and wanted the opportunity to support the event as a volunteer. After 10 hours of working as a ring steward on Saturday, I think it might be less stressful to just compete next year!
The event totals are in! The 2009 Ride for Life raised $85,000 in charitable donations! Thank you to everyone who donated, volunteered, supported and attended this wonderful event! See you in 2010!
A few of the Cedarville gang - Rebecca, Treasure, Cherie & Dee
2008 Ride for Life
Photographs by BHS Photography
Thank you so much to everyone who supported the 2008 PVDA Ride for Life! Despite a bit of hot weather, thunderstorms and an apparent mini-tornado (?!), the event was a huge success! Katchi and I were thrilled to have so many friends (and fans!) support us through donations and attendance!
The 2008 event set the goal of raising $50,000 to benefit Johns Hopkins, and the preliminary totals indicate the event was a tremendous success!
$37,000 - direct donations to John Hopkins "Quality of Life" Research Fund
$20,000 - value of items donated to the silent auction and rider raffle
$22,700 - raised to offset the costs of the benefit event
As a result of the donations I gathered, I was the lucky winner of a very special raffle item - a new shadbelly! It was graciously donated by R.J. Classics. If Katchi only knew what this means for his competitive future!!
The Sunday Morning "Fans" - Rebecca, Katchi, Kim, Cherie, Pam (Cherie's Mom), & Amanda
2007 Rife for Life
In 2007 Katchi and I debuted at Training Level at the PVDA Ride for Life. Just one year later, in 2008, we moved up to First Level at the very same show. The benefit competition began in 2004 with just over $3,000 raised to benefit Johns Hopkins Avon Foundation Breast Cancer Center. In 2007, the event raised over $35,500 of which $25,500 were direct donations to Johns Hopkins!
Remembering Joy Elizabeth Court
The Ride for Life is a very special event for Cherie, as she will ride in memory of her first dressage instructor, Joy Elizabeth Court. Joy lost her fight against breast cancer after several relapses and extensive treatment efforts. Through years of illness, triumph and defeat, Joy was forever passionate, determined and optimistic! And she always wore the most beautiful head scarves while cleaning out stalls and watering horses!
For over six years, Joy was Cherie's mentor and instructor as she developed a passion for the hard work and perfection demanded by dressage work. Initially without her own horse, Cherie began lessons on Joy's schoolmaster, a lovely grey named Tak. Later Joy worked tirelessly to develop dressage skills in Cherie's groundbound event horse. After a long journey of Decker regularly jumping out of the dressage arena at least five times every lesson, he eventually consistently knocked the socks off the competition at Preliminary level horse trials! Cherie owes so much to Joy's humor, dedication and persistance! Joy was a longtime member of the United States Dressage Federation and Dallas Dressage Club. In addition to being a dressage instructor, Joy was a science teacher at a local elementary school. At just 47 years of age, Joy passed away in Dallas, Texas on January 17, 1997.
For more information, go to the PVDA Ride for Life website.