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June 16, 2004

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Publication Date: Wednesday, June 16, 2004

NCEFT riding show Saturday NCEFT riding show Saturday (June 16, 2004)

The National Center for Equine Facilitated Therapy (NCEFT) in Woodside will hold the first NCEFT Riding Show on Saturday, June 19, to showcase the equestrian talents of 30 young "special riders" -- children who are physically or hearing impaired and who participate weekly in NCEFT's recreational programs.

Free and open to the public, the show will run from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the NCEFT center at 5001 Woodside Road.

Students from NCEFT's therapeutic vaulting (gymnastics on horseback) and therapeutic riding classes, and hearing-impaired children from a school managed by the San Mateo County Office of Education, will perform.

The program will start with a riding demonstration by approximately 20 therapeutic vaulting students. These children have neuromuscular conditions that make most sports activities impossible, but therapeutic vaulting helps build coordination and gives them a competitive outlet, said Patrick Weekes, development assistant at NCEFT.

After a catered lunch, therapeutic riding students will demonstrate their horsemanship skills. Therapeutic riding teaches riding skills while helping children with neuromuscular dysfunctions or sensory conditions improve their balance, strength, and coordination, said Mr. Weekes.

Therapeutic riding instructors Benedicte Last and Carol Studer and vaulting coaches Summer Lopez and Rosemary Fordwood will answer questions.

For more information, call 851-2271.

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