The 3rd Pennsylvania National Horse Show (PNHS) Foundation Therapeutic Riding Championships were showcased as part of "Foundation Friday" at the Pennsylvania National Horse Show, held at the Farm Show Complex in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Over the years, the foundation has awarded numerous grants. In 2017, The PNHS Foundation awarded 36 grants supporting therapeutic riding and equine rescue totaling $40,000.
Riders qualified for these Championship classes by competing in any one of the qualifying competitions held at Manito Equestrian Center, Allentown, Pennsylvania; Friendly Horseman's Club, Denver, Pennsylvania; and Leg Up Farm, York, Pennsylvania.
Riders performed at the walk and trot before judge Renee Poff and were evaluated on their horsemanship and equitation. Riders in the assisted class were allowed to have leaders for their mounts and sidewalkers if needed. Riders in the unassisted class performed without help.
The assisted class was won by Charles Turnbaugh on Nimble George from Cumberland County 4 H Boots and Hooves Equine Club. Second place went to Ashlyn Noss on TZF Toby's Sandy from Leg Up Farm and third place went to Richard Klingensmith on My Impressive Touch from Manito Life Center.
The unassisted class was won by Brianna Bevans on Zephyr from Pegasus Therapeutic Riding Academy. Second place went to Aiden Gill on My Impressive Touch from Manito Life Center and third place was Aaliyah Overton on TZF Toby's Sandy from Leg Up Farm.
Two-time Olympic gold medalist and reigning Longines FEI World Cup champion Beezie Madden and 2015 winner of the $100,000 Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Las Vegas, Peter Lutz were on hand to present the awards to the riders in center ring.
"It is a privilege for me to be able to participate with these riders," said Madden. "The challenges they face and the obstacles they overcome is so inspiring to all of us."
"I was thrilled to be a part of this ceremony," said Lutz. "I commend the Pennsylvania National Horse Show for hosting these very special championships. These riders are truly inspirational and the horses are heroes."