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More Agility Horsepower!

The Fast & Furryous Agility club held their first event and raised money for Horsepower, a program that provides equine assisted activities and therapies for individuals with special needs. By Dudley and Greg Fontaine


Four years ago, together with the help of Blue Ridge Agility Club and so many of our agility friends, Carolina Piedmont Agility hosted our first USDAA event, raising money for Horsepower's therapeutic riding program. This past weekend, we returned to our roots to help Ryan Arnold, Cindy Hensley, and North Carolina's newest USDAA club, Fast & Furryous Agility, host their first event and raise over $3,700 for Horsepower.

Horsepower's nonprofit program provides equine assisted activities and therapies for individuals with special needs, including disabilities related to multiple sclerosis, autism, cerebral palsy, spinal cord injuries, Parkinson's disease, Down's syndrome, stroke, depression, as well as victims of physical, mental, or emotional abuse.

This year's event came together after scheduling conflicts sent us scrambling to move our show a week earlier and find a new venue. In a fateful and fortunate turn of events, Horsepower's Piedmont Saddle Club arena was available.



Horsepower! Photo courtesy of Jan Clifford.
 

According to Horsepower's program director, Jan Clifford, "It's a perfect match (the dogs and their eagerness to please people) to help raise money for the horses and their eagerness to please people"

Fast & Furryous Agility founders Ryan Arnold and Cindy Hensley took the lead organizing the event, with Jayne Abbot handling secretarial and scorekeeping responsibilities, Lisa Brockmeier organizing the fundraising raffle, and Terry Herman coordinating volunteer workers including lots of help from Horsepower staff. Tracy Hirsch, Sue Tetanich, and the Horsepower staff coordinated volunteer hospitality food and drink throughout the weekend, Amy Reynolds and Windi Williams-Weaver took care of ribbons and awards, and John Reid, Melanie Miller, Randy Hunter, Fred Parker, and Rachel Blackmer oversaw course building duties. Robin Belyea provided clean up supplies. They also had help throughout the event from Pati Mah, Diane and Shannon Niland, Rebecca Thrift, Judy Thompkins, Laura Miller, Brian Ferrand, Sylvia Calcano, as well as the newest member of our local agility community, long-time competitor Nadine Schramm.

Judge Leslie Bickel worked tirelessly throughout three long full days and over 1,100 runs, presenting us with some wonderfully fun and challenging courses like this one:

 

Click here to watch Brian Ferrand and his Border Collie Icarus winning the Grand Prix at the event.

Another special first this weekend: Tim White and his Belgian Tervuren, Rogue, earned their very first qualifying score!


Tim and Rogue show off their first Q ribbon! Photo courtesy of Greg Fontaine.
 

And, finally, we just wanted to say thanks to all our agility friends who have come together with our Carolina Piedmont Agility efforts, raising over $20,000 in the last four years for charities like the Horsepower Therapeutic Riding Center, Carolina Border Collie Rescue, Cowgirls With A Cause, the Salvation Army's Yadkin County Christmas Toy Drive, the North Carolina High School Rodeo Association, and the Yadkin County Humane Society.

Again and again, we are amazed how the dog agility community can come together and act as champions of competition and compassion!

To learn more about North Carolina's newest USDAA club, visit: www.fastandfurryous.com

To learn more about the Horsepower Therapeutic Riding Center, visit: www.horsepower.org

Carolina Piedmont Agility founders Greg and Dudley Fontaine have each been dog agility enthusiasts for over fifteen years.

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