On Friday, March 7, young riders from across the country will saddle up for foster children at the FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival’s first annual Jump for the Children Pony Derby, benefiting the Friends of Foster Children.
Children ages 7 to 17 will compete in three $5,000 Pony Derby Classics with small, medium and large divisions at the Stadium (13500 South Shore Blvd., Wellington).
The Jump for the Children Pony Derby kicks off at 10 a.m. and will be followed by a tented gala dinner, where children are invited to join parents to bid on an array of children-friendly silent auction items ranging from a trip with a veterinarian for a day, to a day at Gulfstream Park to witness the behind-the-scenes world of Thoroughbred racing.
Other activities include a horseless horse show sponsored by JustWorld International and an equine apparel and pre-owned tack raffle by the Young Ambassadors of Give a Buck for Special Equestrians, a statewide nonprofit that raises money and awareness for therapeutic riding programs for the disabled.
The Jump for the Children Pony Derby will benefit Friends of Foster Children of Southwest Florida (FFC), whose mission is to provide abused, neglected and abandoned children in Southwest Florida with the social, educational and financial support the state does not.
FFC focuses on filling in the gaps in the state foster system. FFC’s support ranges from tutoring and after-school programs to enrichment activities that nurture a child’s talents and passions.
“The funds raised from the Pony Derby will help us give these children a chance to become successful and strong adults. For many children, the programs provided by FFC are their first chance to be truly cared for and loved,” said Tara Bieling, the event’s organizer and coordinator of events and community outreach for FFC. “We are profoundly grateful to David Burton for giving us the opportunity to host this derby and gala at the Wellington show grounds. It is a fun way for children to be introduced to philanthropy and is a great way for the equestrian community to give back and support these often overlooked children.”
Sponsors include Charles Moorcroft Inc., Palm Beach Equine Clinic, ME.N.U., Back Country Farm, Peacock Ridge, Ponies & Palms Show Stable LLC, PZazz Productions Inc., Equestrian Sports Productions LLC and many others.
For tickets, or more information, call Bieling at (239) 200-2230.