Saddle up for sight on October 16 | News, Sports, Jobs

PONY TIME – Mina Buchanan spends time on Graham the pony with her mother, Brittany Buchanan and David Rygula. – Contributed

SMITHFIELD – The third annual Saddle Up for Sight, slated for October 16, has a new location and a different format, but its focus is the same – to raise awareness and generate funds for the Wheeling-based Seeing Hand Association.

“They are always grateful for our help and look forward to this year’s event”, famous organizer Brittany Buchanan, whose daughter, Mina, was diagnosed as an infant with a rare condition called septo-optic dysplasia.

“This year we are having it at the Jefferson County Fairgrounds, and it will expand to Friendship Park,” Buchanan explained the trifecta which will include dressage, endurance and an obstacle course.

“This year we will start at 9 am with a costume contest, followed by our training portion of the trio. The Ohio Valley Dressage Association will judge and assist anyone with questions about dressage, ” she noted.

“From there, cyclists can head to a 10 km endurance trail. Runners are welcome at any speed they feel comfortable with. she said. “When we get back from the track we will have a five part obstacle course to participate in. We have prizes for each discipline in addition to extras such as“ The Best Oops ”,“ Oldest Rider ”and“ Greenest Horse ” , “ she said. Riders are not required to participate in all three events, but the $ 60 registration fee includes all four activities.

The event welcomes sellers – “homemade, to someone who just wants a table to sell household items or household items”, Buchanan noted. The deadline is October 10.

Spectators are admitted free, and there will be a Chinese auction and a 50/50 draw. The riders’ meeting is at 8.45 a.m., with a prize-giving ceremony at 3 p.m. Prize donations and raffle basket donations are accepted.

“No horse experience is required to come and support this event”, she said.

October is Blind Awareness Month, according to Buchanan, who combines the love of horses with an effort to shed light on blindness awareness in the community. In her efforts to find resources for Mina, Buchanan came across the Wheeling Seeing Hand Association, which locally serves the visually impaired community.

It began its services in 1936 and was incorporated in 1946 in Wheeling.

Children with septo-optic dysplasia have three things in common: a missing septum pelliculum (midline of the brain), an underdeveloped pituitary gland, and an underdeveloped optic nerve.

“Mina, who was born completely blind, but can now see lights and shapes, sees the world differently”, Buchanan said. “In my opinion, she has the advantage because she sees more with her heart than with her eyes. That’s what I want everyone who comes to remember. “

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