I wanted to share more about the first program that EqVersify will be helping to support, Concrete to Show Jumping. I personally loved their cause, and wanted to help do my part in supporting them. We will be supporting them until the new year, and I will be keeping you all updated on what they are currently working on. The Concrete to Show Jumping program is a collaboration between the Philadelphia Urban Riding Academy(PURA) which is an extension and outgrowth of the Original Fletcher Street Stables and North Run. Their vision is to create interactions between their groups in an effort to bridge the gap between the worlds of Urban riders and Show Jumping riders.
I was given the chance to speak with Erin Brown of PURA and Missy Clark of North Run, the founders, about their own riding journeys, and how it helped inspire the Concrete to Show Jumping Program. Missy Clark grew up around horses, her mom being a professional rider, and learned from a young age. As a junior rider she was able to get a working student position with a well known trainer. She was even able to go to Florida for the winter. She began her business in her mom’s backyard, and was able to take off from there.
Erin started riding at the age of 6 at Fletcher Street Stables. She was able to work for her lessons, and showed in the Hunters and Western Pleasure. She began teaching, and ran a Work to Ride program at Chamounix Equestrian Center while also managing Fletcher Street Stables. She began training for PURA to help her friend, and stepped up to the job at PURA after he was killed. Erin’s background helped shape what Concrete to Showing will be. After having to work to ride, and not being able to follow her dream of doing Grand Prix show jumping, she wanted a place where others can have the opportunities to follow those dreams. She hopes Concrete To Show Jumping can be a platform to help bring awareness about inclusion for our sport, broaden horizons, and give insight into a new sport.
Missy understands that many who compete at a high level within our equestrian sport are privileged. Privilege is not a bad thing, but it is important to acknowledge that not everyone is privileged. She hopes that in having this partnership, she can help bring more awareness to the disparities within the equestrian world, and help people overcome them. They are currently working on securing a new location for PURA and are fundraising to jumpstart the program in Philadelphia.
I was overjoyed to be able to talk to these women, they are amazing women who are looking to make a change for the better within our sport. They wanted to leave you with this piece of advice, “never let anyone tell you that you can’t do something. If you think you can do it, you can make it happen!
I love what this cause is about, and can not wait to see where they end up. I will be using my own personal money to support this cause, and I want to challenge the EqVersify community to donate as well. I understand that not every person has the money to donate so I want to challenge everyone to give what you can, and what you feel comfortable with. As members of this community, we can all acknowledge how privileged we are to be able to spend time in the horse world. We do it for the love of horses, please help share this love with others.