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“Autumn is the time of year when Mother Nature says, ‘Look how easy, how healthy, and how beautiful letting go can be.’”
– Toni Sorenson  
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  Volume No. 15 Issue No. 9 September 2018  

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  Heroes and horses
  By Leslie Sheley

   The fourth annual Ranch Horse Round Up took place July 28 and July 29 at the Kit Carson Riding Club in Colorado Springs, Colorado. The annual event raises money to provide services to Pikes Peak Region Military Warriors and their families.
   
   The Kit Carson Riding Club and the National Versatility Ranch Horse Association put on a weekend of low-cost clinics and classes that introduced horse and riders of all ages and skill sets to the traditions of the ranch horse. One-hundred percent of the net proceeds will benefit this year’s three local nonprofit organizations: YMCA/Camp Shady Brook, Pikes Peak Therapeutic Riding Center and The Home Front Cares. In 2017, the event raised $10,000.
   
   The opening ceremony on Saturday –- the National Day of the Cowboy –- started with the El Paso County Mounted Patrol presenting the colors, joined by the KCRC queen and her entourage — Kimberly Lindgren, queen; Emily Few, queens’s aid and Riley Spurlock, princess. Dan Yopp, KCRC president gave the prayer, and Mickey Althouse, media representative for the Ranch Horse Round Up, sang the anthem.
   
   The event also included a military appreciation breakfast, benefit barbecue, silent and live auctions, activities for kids and wagon rides. A benefit concert featuring the band, Latigo, was cancelled because of weather. “Nothing makes us prouder as nonprofit organizations than knowing we are giving back to those who have gone through so much for their country and our continued freedom,” Yopp said. “It is a great feeling to know that because of this event, kids of fallen or injured soldiers will go to summer camp, soldiers will be able to address mental health needs, while other service members and veterans finding themselves in dire need could qualify to receive an emergency grant for essential life expenses such as housing and utilities.”
   
   The original organizers in 2015 were Dave Currin of the NVRHA and from both NVRHA and KCRC, Tom Cobb; and KCRC members Dan Yopp, Pam Cobb and Laura Hoff. “This is a volunteer-driven event, and it takes over 100 volunteer time slots to run the event,” Althouse said.
   
   Althouse said numerous local businesses supported the event through sponsorships of cash, services, goods and items for the silent auction. A sponsor crawl — participants received a brochure with all the sponsors listed — afforded people a chance to win prizes, if they visited the sponsors’ booths. Sponsors then marked the brochure every time someone visited them. “Visiting the sponsors is a great way to say thank you to them and let them know how much their support of the local military is appreciated,” Althouse said.
   
   Sunday’s closing ceremony began with all the volunteers and riders who participated in the classes walking and/or riding into the arena. They paid homage to members of the military — past and present — and announced class placements and champions and reserve champions for each age group. Sponsors and volunteers were recognized as well.
   
   Contributions are still welcome through http://nvrha.org (click on fourth annual Ranch Horse Round Up).
  
Numerous volunteers helped made this year’s Ranch Horse Round Up another big success. Photos by Leslie Sheley
 
The Kit Carson Riding Club Queen Kimberly Lindgren (far left) and Emily Few, aid, along with Riley Spurlock, princess, (far right) show off their horses that "ran" in the kids races.
 
The El Paso County Mounted Patrol presented the colors during the opening ceremony of the July annual Ranch Horse Round Up.
 
The traveling quilt, designed and made by Roxene Ballard, was a big hit at the Ranch Horse Round Up, an event that raises money to provide services to Pikes Peak Region Military Warriors and their families.
 
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