Community - June 15, 2011

Equine center holds Poker Ride

by Caitlin Moyles

The National Center for Equine Facilitated Therapy will put a new twist on its traditional Poker Ride and Pledge Challenge at Family Fun Day, a celebration of NCEFT's 40th anniversary, to be held Saturday, June 18, from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

In its 17th year, the Poker Ride and Pledge Challenge will allow participants to walk or ride from NCEFT's Woodside facility through the privately owned Runnymede Sculpture Farm, drawing playing cards at five stops to collect a poker hand by the end of the course, said Marie Fox, development director for NCEFT.

Participants will then return to the NCEFT facility for prizes, which will be awarded to the people with the best and worst poker hands, and a barbecue of chicken, hot dogs and hamburgers, she said.

Prizes will also be awarded to participants who raise the most pledges from their friends and families, which is the main focus of the event, Ms. Fox said. She added that the prizes have been donated by local businesses such as Roberts Market, Buck's restaurant, and Woodside Bakery & Cafe.

NCEFT decided to open up the event to walkers to allow more people to participate in the festivities, said Ms. Fox. The course, which usually begins at the Woodside Mounted Patrol grounds and takes riders through Huddart Park, is also different from previous years.

The event costs $40 for those age 16 and over, and $20 for participants under 16, she said.

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