Polo players and famous author come together to curb funds to give back to special riders

Edited press release

WELLINGTON, FL (MARCH 25, 2022) – It was a double winner. A whinny for horse-crazy fans in Wellington and a fundraiser for special riders.

On Friday, March 18, Give back to special ridersa Florida nonprofit 501C3 that provides therapeutic horseback riding scholarships to children with disabilities and veterans, has teamed up with critically acclaimed author Sarah Maslin Nir for a book talk and charity polo match at the Wanderers Club.

The Horse Crazy event kicked off the evening with a conversation with Nir, a New York Times journalist, critically acclaimed author and equestrian enthusiast who shared excerpts from her headline-grabbing autobiography, mad horse, which takes a spirited canter into why so many people are obsessed with horses and how ponies and horses have the unique ability to transform the lives of people with disabilities through equine therapy. Nir introduced Rhonda Fritzshall, Executive Director of the HERD Foundation of Palm Beach County, which is changing the lives of disabled veterans through the healing power.

The book conference followed the centuries-old polo tradition of the Wanderer Club. The Rolls-Royce and Compass/The Batchelor Team battled it out on the polo field ahead of the Club’s signature Lobstermania dinner. The Rolls-Royce team was victorious with 5 goals to 4.

With continued support from Compass, The Batchelor Team, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars, Unity Jets and Camper & Nicholsons, the Horse Crazy event benefited from Give Back for Special Equestrians and their West Palm Beach stable partner, HERD Foundation, a nonprofit 501C3 organization dedicated to equine-assisted psychotherapy and equine-assisted learning to help those who struggle with mental health issues and are often treated with traditional counseling practices by putting more emphasis on education and skills upgrading.

“We are grateful to Sarah for using her time and talent and to Unity Jets, Compass, Camper & Nicholsons and Rolls-Royce Motor Cars for helping us raise vital funds for the important work done by the HERD Foundation. We also want to give a special thank you to the Wanderers Club,” said Sissy DeMaria-Koehne, co-founder of Give Back for Special Equestrians.

Founded in 2013 by DeMaria-Koehne, Dr. Heather Kuhl and Isabel Ernst, Give Back for Special Equestrians is an all-volunteer nonprofit organization that provides therapeutic horseback riding scholarships to children with disabilities and Florida veterans who face to physical, mental and emotional challenges and has raised over $150,000 to support passengers with special needs since its inception. The organization believes in the power that heals and raises funds for horseback riding scholarships for children facing some of life’s toughest challenges like autism, Down syndrome, spina bifida, paralysis and post-traumatic stress disorder. They do this through corporate sponsors, generous donors and fundraising events.

For more information on Give Back for Special Equestrians, visit givebackeq.com.

Lola R. McClure