"Time to Ride," an effort to expose 100,000 new people to horses over a 100-day period, has been launched by the American Horse Council in partnership with Thoroughbred interests represented by the National Thoroughbred Racing Association, Keeneland, and The Jockey Club.
The campaign was announced March 8 at the annual American Quarter Horse Association convention in New Orleans.
The "100-Day Horse Challenge" is a nationwide effort intended to expose at least 100,000 new people to horses while providing $100,000 in cash and prizes to participating stables, organizations, and businesses, according to a press release. The program will enlist 1,000 stables, horse clubs, racetracks, organizations, or individuals to register as an official Time to Ride "host" and compete in the 100-day challenge, which kicks off June 1.
Hosts can register for the Time to Ride 100-Day Horse Challenge online starting April 1 at the Time to Ride website. The registration deadline is May 15.
Participating hosts will be divided into small, medium, and large divisions by size, and will be challenged to provide a hands-on, interactive horse experience to as many new participants as possible. Activities may include education, riding, grooming, and learning about horsemanship.
"NTRA, Keeneland and The Jockey Club have worked on the development of this new owner program for the last 18 months and already hosted a successful event at the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club this past summer," said Bryan Pettigrew, senior vice president for the NTRA. "We're enthusiastic about opening the doors to first-ever horse experiences for thousands of people. This initiative involves many national organizations and stakeholders collaborating on creating new horse owners in the United States."
Individual cash prizes up to $25,000, as well as stable equipment, feed, veterinary supplies, and more will be awarded to the hosts that garner the greatest number of new, verified horse enthusiasts.
Time to Ride is open to the first 1,000 hosts capable of growing the horse industry, including stables, instructors, clubs, events, recreational riders, equine service professionals, veterinarians, racetracks, and others. Registered hosts will receive marketing support from Time to Ride, including listing on the Time to Ride map with special denotation as an official Time to Ride host.