BRANDON — Asking for a pony is not unheard of among the young, and Diana Galia is no exception. Only she never really asked for Glory, the horse that has been hers for more than half her life.
Glory, who is deaf by birth, came to the 26-year-old by circumstance, and in her splendor has helped in the universal fight against breast cancer.
For Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Glory will join with riders and their horses, painted and outfitted in pink, for the third annual Pink Your Pony Trail Ride, scheduled for Oct. 11 at Bay Lake Stables in Dover, at 4617 Garland Branch Road.
This year, the event, founded by Galia’s mother, breast cancer survivor Dawn Galia, and organized with T.K. Adams and Rose Folaron, is set to benefit the Brandon Outreach Clinic and its work to provide mammograms and medical care to people on limited incomes.
Diana Galia said she “could barely get a dog out of my parents,” so she never bothered to ask for a horse. But her mother’s shared love of riding worked in her favor.
“Glory is stubborn and she is very strong-willed,” Diana Galia said. “But she’s also very motherly. When my mom was ill she took really good care of Mom.”
Dawn Galia can attest to that, as she talks about the fundraiser that has grown from a dozen riders to more than 40. This year she hopes for an even larger turnout at the Bay Lake Stables in Dover, owned by Gary and Cindy Timbes.
Diagnosed with first-stage breast cancer in 2005, Dawn Galia said she had her first cancer treatment on her 40th birthday. Throughout her year of treatment, Dawn Galia said she found comfort in her rides with Glory.
“She was my therapy all through breast-cancer treatments,” said Dawn Galia, executive director of the Center Place Fine Arts and Civic Association in Brandon. “Horses have very natural instincts and she knew that I wasn’t well.”
Dawn Galia now is committed to raising both awareness and support for breast cancer prevention.
Cost is $15 per person for a trail ride that begins at 10 a.m. Riders must bring their own horses and prizes will be given for best-decorated ponies. Non-riders are invited to view the ponies, have lunch and participate in both the raffle and silent-auction fundraisers, organized by Chris Black. Cost for lunch, for riders and non-riders, is $5 per person.
Dawn Galia said they are looking for sponsors and for restaurants to donate food for the luncheon.
Representatives from the Surgi-Care Center for Horses, which is donating a horse-care package for one year for the silent auction, will be on hand. A veterinarian will be at the ride to answer any questions.
As for Glory, she’ll be gunning for distinction in a camouflage-themed get-up.
For information, call Dawn Galia at (813) 841-1409.