After a first-class performance before a cheering crowd of family and friends, rider Ned Cowden of Westport earned his class's Best Heels Down award at Pegasus Therapeutic Riding's 29th Annual Horse Show on May 23. Ned's award recognized his ability to maintain a proper riding position on the horse. Rider Lesley Schwarszchild, also of Westport, won the Best Steering award in her class, in recognition of her skill at leading her horse around the ring.

Hosted by the Richter family at picturesque Coker Farm in Bedford, N.Y., the Pegasus horse show was a celebration of individual success as well as the importance of teamwork. More than 80 riders with special needs demonstrated the horsemanship skills they practiced during weekly therapeutic lessons at one of Pegasus' six chapter locations in Fairfield, Putnam and Westchester counties. In the Pegasus tradition of inclusiveness, every rider won a ribbon in recognition of improving some aspect of his or her technique.

"The joy on our amazing riders' faces says it all," states Pegasus executive director Patti Coyle. "Their sense of pride and accomplishment is a perfect reminder of why we do what we do, and why it's so important that our staff and volunteers keep doing it."

The 29th Annual Pegasus Horse Show was made possible thanks to the generosity of hundreds of supporters. Lead benefactors included the McGraw family, Mr. and Mrs. O. Robert Theurkauf/LM Charitable Gift Fund, Ms. Lannie Lipson, Mr. and Mrs. Donald Netter, Mr. and Mrs. Leonard Riggio/The Riggio Foundation, and Westchester Magazine. Easy Kelsey, owner of Kelsey Farm, Pegasus' Greenwich Chapter for the past 16 years, presided over the event as honorary chairperson. Nicole and Tory Russo of Fairfield, Connecticut, served as co-chairs for the seventh consecutive year.

Pegasus Therapeutic Riding is a non-profit organization that provides the therapeutic benefits of horseback riding and other equine-assisted activities to individuals with special needs. For further information about its programs, or to make a donation in support of its mission, visit or call 845-669-8235.