DOVER – Horsewomen Dawn Galia, Rosalie Folaron and TK Adams will present the second annual Pink Your Pony charity ride to benefit the Vera Bradley Foundation for breast cancer awareness.
“Since I am a survivor and I love trail riding, I thought how great it would be to do something fun with the horses and raise money for a great cause,” said Galia, executive director of Center Place Fine Arts and Civic Association in Brandon, which is co-sponsoring the event with TK Photography.
Last year was the first time these women, with Gary and Cindy Timbes of Bay Lake Stables, brought the local horse community together for a ride.
Galia was diagnosed in October 2004 at age 39, barely old enough to be recommended for a mammogram. When she told her doctor she found a lump, “I was 100 percent sure that all was fine,” she said. “I knew I couldn’t have cancer. I was hardly ever sick, and it didn’t run in my family.”
The doctor wasn’t convinced it was nothing, even after a negative needle biopsy.
“He did an open biopsy and found the cancer,” Galia said. “After surgery, chemotherapy, 42 radiation treatments and five years of tamoxifen, I am still cancer free.”
To get through the treatment, she relied on faith, family and her deaf Paint mare, Glory, whose registered name is “Time Passes By.”
Galia got Glory 13 years ago when the horse was 4 years old.
At first, Glory bucked, reared, bolted, spooked and bit. Trainers who work with deaf horses are rare, but Galia found one who taught according to Pat Parelli’s natural horsemanship program, which included using sign language and body language to direct Glory.
“She has turned into an amazing horse,” said Galia. “Glory was my therapy. Just grooming her helped the healing process. She definitely could tell I was not well. She knew to go easy, never moved faster than a walk and took good care of me.”
It was a natural progression for Galia and her friends to organize a trail ride to raise funds for breast cancer research.
The ride will take place from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday, Oct. 19, at Bay Lake Stables, 4617 Garland Branch Road. Staging begins at 9 a.m. The event is for men, women and children who have their own horses and are experienced trail riders.
There will be a prize for the best-decorated pink pony, drawings with prize baskets donated by local equestrian-supply stores and a barbecue lunch. The ride is $10; lunch is $5.
Nonriders may make a donation of $5 or more and stay for lunch.
For more information, to sign up or to donate, contact Center Place, (813) 685-8888.
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