For the sixth consecutive year, Parkwood Farms Therapy Center led the Gwinnett team of special equestrians to the Special Olympics of Georgia Horse Show in Perry, Ga. This year’s show, Nov. 13 – 15, was among the most successful for the Gwinnett team. Seven athletes riding three exceptional horses won 17 medals in the 28 classes entered. But most importantly, the athletes had a great time with their friends, families and the 20 generous volunteers who made the three-day trek.
The Gwinnett team participated in both riding and showmanship competitions. “We are so proud of our athletes,” said Parkwood Farms founder and CEO Dr. Marilyn Peterson. “They practiced hard on their patterns, but riding for the judges in the large arenas can test everyone’s nerves.”
The show requires an enormous amount of planning and effort. That work is done by volunteers, under the supervision of Dr. Peterson. Volunteers practice with athletes and, in most cases, walk within inches from the rider during competitions. Some of the athletes require three volunteers to be present during each ride. The volunteers also care for horses, drive trailers and provide logistical support. “We’re grateful for the Georgia Special Olympics organization- their fundraising and their volunteers, but we could not field a team from Gwinnett each year without our own homegrown volunteers, who work directly with our athletes and our horses,” said Dr. Peterson. “The parents of our special athletes appreciate how much these volunteers enrich the children’s lives both at Special Olympics and during their therapeutic riding sessions at Parkwood Farms.”
Parkwood Farms Therapy Center, Inc. is a multi-discipline therapy center located in Snellville, Ga. In addition to our signature equestrian-based therapies, Parkwood Farms offers non-traditional therapies, such as Chiropractic and Bio-medical nutritional counseling, mild Hyperbaric Oxygen therapy, Far Infrared Sauna, and other services in a clinical setting with a spa-like atmosphere. More details are available at www.parkwoodfarms.org.