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Ronald McDonald House to benefit from ‘Horse Interaction Day’ event

By Staff | Oct 15, 2011

Saddlewood Horse Club will host a Horse Interaction Day for 50 children next month with all of the proceeds benefitting the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Southwest Florida.

Angela Katz, Ronald McDonald House Charities Southwest Florida Event coordinator, said the idea of having a Horse Interaction Day was presented by a board member who rides and participates at the club stables.

“The owner of the facility offered to do a fund raiser for us, which is fabulous,” Katz said.

She said the money will help them with their day-to-day operations because individuals can stay at the house regardless of their ability to pay.

The money also will go towards their grants and scholarship program and Ronald McDonald Care Mobile.

Christina Sdrenka, a certified Horsemanship Association riding instructor in English, western and jumping and the owner of Saddlewood Horse Club, said the Ronald McDonald House is a tremendous program, one they could have made use of when their son needed to go to the hospital. She said when her son was younger, the Ronald McDonald House was not yet built in the area.

“We needed it and would have taken advantage of it,” Sdrenka said.

Due to the family’s full support of the Ronald McDonald House, she said all six of her children will be working with her the day of the event.

The Horse Interaction Day will be held on Nov. 5 from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. Pre-registration is required because participation being limited to the first 50 children. To register call the Ronald McDonald House at 239-437-0202.

Katz said as of Friday they already had 11 children register for the event.

Sdrenka said children as young as 2 can participate in the Horse Interaction Day because they have small ponies at the stables. She said every horse and pony will have a leader.

When the children first arrive they will groom the horses before learning how to put a saddle on them. The children will then take turns riding the ponies and horses for about an hour in the covered riding arena. The riding will begin around 11:30 a.m.

Katz said the children will be provided with a lunch from McDonald’s from noon-1 p.m. and then Ronald McDonald will make an appearance from 1-2 p.m. to take pictures and sign autographs.

“We encourage the families to bring a camera to take as many pictures as possible,” she said.

Children will then have the opportunity to paint a real live horse from 1:15 p.m.-1:30 p.m. before they are taken on a tour through the stables and are given the opportunity to feed the horses some carrots.

Katz said there will be bounce houses set up at Saddlewood Horse Club throughout the day as well.

Closed shoes will be required for all of the children and parents are welcome to stay throughout the event.

Katz said she will keep a list as they go over the names of the 50 children, so in the future they can offer the event again.

For information about Saddlewood Horse Club visit www.capehorses.com or call 239-738-9300.