Sean O’Brien, 18, of Sellersville and Kourtney Stradling, 14, of Hatfield represented Ivy Hill Therapeutic Equestrian Center at the Devon Horse Show on Sunday, May 24. Riders qualified after competing at Thorncroft Equestrian Center Spring Show held in Malvern on Saturday.
Both O’Brien and Stradling competed in the areas of Dressage, Equitation and Trail Riding, accumulating enough points to win awards and compete at the Devon show. In total, twelve riders represented Ivy Hill at Thorncroft’s HRD 2015.
“Sean was awarded Stephanie Bennett Perpetual Trophy, and Kourtney won the Thorncroft Perpetual Trophy and Brushwood Challenge Trophy at Thorncroft on Saturday,” said Ivy Hill’s Program Director Megan Hance.
O’Brien went on to claim the Hope Montgomery Scott Perpetual Memorial Trophy as Grand Champion, as Stradling won Reserve Champion in the competition at Devon on Sunday.
“We are so proud of them both, and congratulate all our riders who competed this weekend,” said Hance.
Janna Herrmann Pitak is Ivy Hill’s Horse Care Director, who along with Hance shares the special job of acting as O’Brien’s riding instructor. She took special pride in Sean’s accomplishment on Sunday.
“I’m so proud of Sean for winning the therapeutic division at Devon and becoming 2015’s Hope Montgomery Scott Grand Champion,” said Pitak.
“I truly cannot think of a more deserving equestrian,” she added.
A rider with Ivy Hill since the age of 9, O’Brien has been competing since his first appearance at Special Olympics at Penn State in 2006. He will be attending Susquehanna University in the fall. His goal is to become a biology major.
Stradling, a student at Commonwealth Connection Academy was riding in her first Thorncroft event and only her fourth competition overall. She dreams of a career as a horse photographer.
Since 1980, the Handicapped Riders Division of the Devon Horse Show at Thorncroft Equestrian Center has been setting a standard for excellence and inclusion for over 175 disabled riders with competitions in dressage, equitation, and trail class.
Since 1999, Ivy Hill Therapeutic Equestrian Center has been providing equine-assisted activities and therapies for special needs children and adults in Bucks, Montgomery, Lehigh and Philadelphia counties.
The mission of Ivy Hill Foundation is to utilize the equine experience in building pathways for personal growth, in strengthening supporting relationships and in broadening community involvement for individuals with special needs. Ivy Hill Therapeutic Equestrian Center is located at 1811 Mill Road in Perkasie. To sponsor a horse or a rider, to make a donation or for more information, visit our website at www.ivyhillequestrian.org.