Grant funds partnership to expand equine therapy

File photo
File photo

The city’s Parks, Recreation and Community Services department and H.O.R.S.E. Therapies Inc. announced that a generous grant by the Delores Barr Weaver Legacy Fund will be matched by both Diane Graham of the Duval Motor Company and by the Marchman Charity Foundation to expand access to cost-effective equine-assisted activities and therapy.

H.O.R.S.E. is an acronym for Helping Others Rehabilitate through the Service of Equines. The nonprofit program is initially focusing on:

  • Children and families at high risk with health disparity
  • Veterans with trauma/post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Adolescents and young adults at high risk for failure and illness
  • Individuals and groups for whom traditional therapeutic models are not effective

These funds will help Jacksonville Equestrian Center achieve its goals of implementing a large-scale program, starting with mental health therapies and therapeutic riding, as described in the original 2001 Master Plan.

The donation from Duval Ford was made in memory of Henry “Tip” Graham, the original visionary for an equine therapy program.

A therapeutic riding program is being brought to fruition by the Northeast Florida Equestrian Society in partnership with the University of North Florida’s Brooks College of Health. This program will open to the public in September.

“The Jacksonville Equestrian Center is a special place,” District 12 Councilman Randy White said in a statement. “With the addition of this wonderful program, we are excited and look forward to the difference it will make in the lives of many within our community.”

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