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District and Equine Therapeutic Riding Program Part Ways

 

FEBRUARY 5, 2019 - FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Kevin Christian, APR, CPRC, Public Relations & Communications Director

352.671.7555 ◊ FAX: 352.671.7735 ◊ CELL: 352.840.3265

Email:  Public.Relations@Marion.k12.fl.us

 

DISTRICT AND EQUINE THERAPEUTIC RIDING

PROGRAM PART WAYS

 

MARION COUNTY – After 34 years of successful partnership, Marion Therapeutic Riding Association and Marion County Public Schools are parting ways with best intentions.  Hurricane damage and a lack of funding forced the separation of the epic venture between MTRA and the district.

 

For the last 34 years, the partnership provided hundreds of students with horse therapy experiences on the Hillcrest campus. 

 

MTRA’s riding program started on property at Hillcrest School in 1985 and has been there ever since.  Ten years ago, MTRA moved its riding field to the Greenway Trail in Southeast Marion County, a few miles away from Hillcrest.  Two years ago, Hurricane Irma heavily damaged the riding field at Hillcrest.  Transporting students from Hillcrest is no longer a viable option for the district because of time and travel expenses involved.  Despite repeated attempts to keep the program at Hillcrest, neither organization has money to cover repairs and on-going operating costs.

 

MTRA continues offering therapeutic horseback riding opportunities to special needs students, including those from Hillcrest, at its Greenway location.  While the program remains free for students, transportation costs are not included. 

 

MCPS continues searching for funding to restore the riding program on campus at Hillcrest.

 

For more information, contact my office directly or MTRA President Karen Cunningham at karencunningham51@gmail.com.  

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