Originally created 09/08/02

Horse show benefits children

Equestrians circled the Hippodrome Horse Complex arena in North Augusta on Saturday to the easy sounds of country music to raise money for children with cancer.

The Camp Rainbow Benefit Horse Show was the ninth held by the Medical College of Georgia Children's Medical Center. Each summer the medical center sends about 80 children with cancer to the camp, where they get to "be real kids for a week," said Clare Poteet, the special events coordinator for the group.

"They don't have to pay because of events like this," Ms. Poteet said.

More than 50 riders from the CSRA entered the event, which organizers estimated would raise about $12,000. In addition to Camp Rainbow, the children's medical center provides assistance to patients and their families at MCG.

Its Child Life program helps children and their parents adjust to life within the hospital. The organization also provides tutors who make sure patients keep up their school work, Ms. Poteet said.

At Camp Rainbow, held in June every year, children canoe, fish, play sports and even scuba dive. To make them feel comfortable, children with cancer are allowed to bring a sibling, Ms. Poteet said.

Saturday's gathering was an English/Western pleasure event. While both groups competed in a similar fashion, stylewise they varied in appearance.

Participants were asked to walk, trot or cantor their horses around the dirt-floored arena.

"They're looking to see how easy the horse moves, how collected it is," said Terry Huet, a trainer who had three horses participating in the event.

Mr. Huet said the fund-raising event serves as a learning experience for horses that will compete at bigger events. But like many people at the Hippodrome, Mr. Huet said the day was about more than horses.

Reach Josh Gelinas at (803)279-6895 or josh.gelinas@augustachronicle.com.


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