On Saturday, March 2, 2019, the McCormick Research Institute will host the Horses and Heroes 12thAnnual Trail Ride and BBQ. This event will take place at the Florida Heritage Center at Lake X, located at 7965 Old Melbourne Hwy, Saint Cloud, FL 34771.

The Vision of the McCormick Research Institute is to expand access to effective equine-assisted therapies for Veterans and individuals with special needs worldwide.

Horses are very lovable animals and can have an extraordinarily calming effect on people. The Horses and Heroes program began in 2012, allowing Veterans and horses the opportunity to start a relationship with one another that is built on trust, patience, and commitment. The horses help Veterans reconnect and rediscover a sense of purpose. With the guidance from a certified therapeutic riding instructor, groups or individual counseling sessions include both mounted activities and grounded work. The Horses and Heroes program activities are designed to improve mental health and foster successful relationships in the Veterans lives.

Here are some things you need to know before you attend the event:

  • Registration is from 8:00 – 9:00 a.m.
  • The Trail Ride is from 9:00 a.m. – Noon

– You must raise pledges to participate in the ride

– Bring your own horse (no horses provided)

  • Minimum pledges – Adults, $50; kids under 16, $30

– Riders, you are encouraged to raise the most you can for our Veterans

– There will be prizes for the most pledges raised!

  • Jimmy Bear’s BBQ Lunch: ONLY $10 (This is open to the public) – Noon-1:00 p.m.
  • Fun Horse Show begins after lunch from 1-3 p.m. including the Horses and Heroes Drill Team with a special patriotic opening ride. 

Special thank you to the following who will be performing during the Fun Horse Show:

The Veterans:  
Dan Deverney, Us Navy Retired- Horse Jake
Francesca Langston, US marine Corps- Horse Brooks
Ryan Heard, US Army- Horse Apache
Paula Edwards- US Army- Horse Willie
Fabian Alban- US Army- Horse Dunn
Joel Delgado- US Army- Horse Pal

The Flag Girls:
Caroline Osgood
Terry Torrens
Abby Horner
Michaela Wall 
Kalla Schwan

The American Flag will be presented by Haylee Crosby, Miss Silver Spurs.

This is an amazing program with such an uplifting vision. You do not have to participate in the trail ride in order to join in on the festivities later in the day. Lunch is open to the public, so come show your support, eat some delicious food provided by Jimmy Bear’s BBQ ($10 a plate), and stay for the silent auction and the Fun Horse Show. Individual tickets are available for both the trail ride and for lunch. Contact Amy at amy@mccormick.us or 407.933.7433 ext. 0.

Let’s all come together to show our appreciation for these brave individuals. All proceeds raised will help support the Horses and Heroes program for our wounded Veterans.