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Sissy Demaria


First Annual Jump for the Children Pony Derby to Benefit Friends of Foster Children


WELLINGTON, Fla. (Jan. 24, 2014) – On March 7, young riders from across the country will saddle up for foster children at the FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival’s first annual Jump for the Children Pony Derby, which will benefit Friends of Foster Children.

Children ages seven to 17 will compete in three $5,000 Pony Derby Classics with small, medium, and large divisions at The Stadium, 13500 South Shore Blvd. in Wellington. The Jump for the Children Pony Derby kicks off at 10 a.m. and will be followed by a tented gala dinner, where kids are invited to step up and dress up, and to join parents to bid on a dazzling array of kid-friendly and enticing silent auction items ranging from a trip with a veterinarian for a day to a day at Gulfstream Park to witness the behind the scenes of thoroughbred racing.

activities include a horseless horse show sponsored by Just World International and an equine apparel and pre-owned tack raffle by the Young Ambassadors of Give a Buck for Special Equestrians, a statewide nonprofit that raises funds and awareness for therapeutic riding programs for the disabled. 

The Jump for the Children Pony Derby will benefit Friends of Foster Children of Southwest Florida (FFC), whose mission is to provide abused, neglected and abandoned children in Southwest Florida with the social, educational and financial support the state does not.  A 501 (c) (3) charitable organization, FFC focuses on filling in the gaps in the state foster system. FFC's support ranges from tutoring and after-school programs to enrichment activities that nurture a child's talents and passions.

"The funds raised from the Pony Derby will help us give these children a chance to become successful and strong adults. For many children, the programs provided by FFC are their first chance to be truly cared for and loved,” says Tara Bieling, the event’s organizer and coordinator of events and community outreach for FFC. "We are profoundly grateful to David Burton for giving us the opportunity to host this Derby and Gala at the Wellington show grounds. It is a fun way for children to be introduced to philanthropy and is a great way for the equine community to give back and support these often overlooked children,” says Bieling.

FFC would like to thank our generous sponsors, including Charles Moorcroft Inc., Palm Beach Equine Clinic, ME.N.U., Back Country Farm, Peacock Ridge, Ponies & Palms Show Stable LLC, PZazz Productions Inc., Equestrian Sports Productions LLC, and many others for their support and kindness.”

For tickets and more information, please contact Tara Bieling at (239) 200-2230.