1 June 2016, Washington, D.C. ~ The 2016 Time to Ride Challenge, a nationwide grassroots contest to introduce new people to horses, begins for hundreds of competing stables, clubs, and other horse businesses, is underway. The United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) is pleased to partner with Time to Ride to bring 25,000 new youth engagements to equestrian sports in 2016 through the Time to Ride Challenge in partnership with First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! initiative.
Runs through 30 September
Event hosts will compete through 30th September by hosting fun, beginner-friendly horse events designed to safely introduce horse-interested families to equine activities and encourage them to become regularly involved in riding. Hosts who introduce the greatest number of “newcomers,” those who have not been regularly involved in horse activities for the past three years, to horses will win up to $10,000 cash and related prizes in three divisions – small, medium, and large.
In preparation for the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) has aligned with First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! initiative to increase opportunities for physical activity among the nation’s youth, making the Time to Ride Challenge a perfect fit for partnership. Since 2014, the Challenge has introduced over 60,000 new people to horses through hundreds of stables nationwide. Horse professionals who join the Challenge work hard to plan and produce events, but their efforts are rewarded many times over – the growth in their businesses eclipsing even the coveted cash prizes. In a 2015 survey, 65.5% of participating stables saw a positive increase in their business as a result of the Challenge; 9.1% reported gaining over 15 new clients.
“Competing in the Challenge is not only about winning or placing, although that was my goal at first. It turned out to be so much more than winning the prize money. It’s about getting us, as part of the horse industry, to look differently at how we advertise and promote ourselves. It’s about securing a future for the horse industry,” said Jody Halladay, owner of 16 Acres Equine Educational Complex and 2015 medium division champion.
Hosts from 38 states have planned over 350 events so far. Family days at horse shows, Girl Scout badge work, an Arabian horse breed showcase, school field trips, and pony and carriage rides are just a few examples of the creative, accessible events that event hosts have planned already. The Challenge encourages businesses to use innovative strategies to bring horses to previously uninitiated groups.
2016 brings many updates to the Challenge, in its third year, including new cash prizes and added incentives offered by breed and discipline organizations. For details, please visit www.timetoride.com/news.
Competing hosts receive marketing support and resources from Time to Ride upon registration, which is free. An update for 2016 is open enrollment, allowing hosts to join even now that the Challenge has begun. To learn more about the Challenge, read frequently asked questions, and sign up, visit www.timetoride.com.
~ From Time to Ride and the USEF Communications Department