WAHL “Dare to Dream” In Conjunction with ACMSA and Horses Help
On December 3rd the annual Wahl, “Dare to Dream” Shootout took place at Ben Avery Park and the home of the Royce Anderson Arizona Cowboy Mounted Shooting Associations Arena. The ACMSA has rallied around this event for many years and is one of the highlights for our special needs participants at Horses Help. The event benefits the scholarship drive for Horses Help Participants honoring Preston Kiley’s rider legacy. The Wahl “Dare to Dream Shootout” dates back to 2002 which began at the national finals of the Cowboy mounted Shooters held at West World. Diane Holmes contacted us with an idea for our special needs riders who could participate while riding on the back of a very special horse known as Nevada Joe! Since then the event has become a highlight event for riders and Horse Help. The experience pairs our special needs riders with real live cowboys and cowgirls who form amazing teams and compete in a three stage competition. All of our kiddos received a warm welcome from the ACMSA. The colors were presented in fine fashion as the group met center stage in the arena for the playing of the national anthem.
Your adrenaline begins to pump as a member of the team rides the balloon lined course and races through “The Arrow” blasting balloons with black powder loads while demonstrating speed and shooting accuracy in the first timed event.The second stage boasts our special abilities riders who mount up and with a full team, maneuver a similar course for their time. The final stage shows off the fastest ground shooters who race on foot with amazing agility and shoot balloon targets as they race for home.
All three times are tallied and the winner is announced and special gifts and hardware are awarded. This year 5 teams competed and Team Rvanna was the winner with a combined time of 143.494. Denise McGinnis, Ken Jones, Amanda Ellis and Diana Olson combined with Rvanna to outpace the field.
Christina Delound, Don Donka, Rudd Brown, and Pattie Donka combined with Team Brynne with a score of 177.843. Becky Caudle, Cassidy Garner Shiloh Garner and Gabby combined with Team Logan posting a 171.817. Team Coden with Paige McGinnis, Skip Newman, Kalea Stuart and Madely Lowe combine score of 167.135. Finally Team Ryan combined with Jamie Lowe, Kim Larsen, Callie Lowe, and Tracy Reinke posted a 144.545.
A special thank you to Alan Firetto the ACMSA President for his hard work, Paul Rerich of Cave Creek Cowboy Company along with Susan and Don “the man “Turner for furnishing the Hamburgers, hotdogs and prizes, Ronda Baulvelt donated the cowboy hats, and Diana Olson for donating the victory belt buckle! A huge thank you to Dan Byrd for allowing our riders to compete on Minty for the day. We also wish to thank the Deer Valley High School ROTC for running miles and miles resetting our balloons for the day! Great Job!
When working with our special needs children it is important to remember the lives they live each day. Physical and cognitive disabilities sometimes limit them with opportunities to participate. The fact that the WAHL Corporation and the Arizona Cowboy Mounted Shooters Association provide this wonderful event designed especially for them is a great testimony for their amazing sense of community. Please accept our sincere thanks on behalf of our Horses Help and our participating families. Thank for your time, talent and inclusion for so many years. You all are an inspiration to all of us and have given us all treasured memories of a lifetime!
Dream BIG and Participate in Life!
Executive Director, Horses Help
Arizona State Representative for PATH International.