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40th anniversary for LTRA Ride for Dreams

Posted on September 6, 2023 by Sunny South News

By Nikki Jamieson
Sunny South News

The Lethbridge Therapeutic Riding Association is asking for support as they celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Joanne Perlich ‘Ride for Dreams’ fundraiser.

The fundraiser, which will take place Sept. 15-16, supports LTRA’s efforts and commitment to the transformative power of therapeutic riding and equine facilitated wellness. This year is especially important for the association, as not only has the pandemic impacted their ability to host large events in recent years, but they have been facing increased operational costs, especially for horse care items like hay.

“The Joanne Perlich Ride for Dreams is one of our organization’s core fundraising events. At its core, the two-part fundraising event is to support the Lethbridge Therapeutic Riding Association. Each ticket, dance step, and bid go beyond the night’s festivities, supporting the work of LTRA and our services to have continued impact for our clients at affordable prices,” said Kale Hayes, executive director of the LTRA.

Named after the association’s founder, the fundraiser originally started as a walkathon format around a racetrack, and has since grown into an annual community event hosting approximately 30 pledged riders. This year, the association is reintroducing the gala portion of the event on the evening before the ride.

Starting Sept. 15 at 5:30 p.m., the event will kick off with the Murray Chevrolet Cadillac Boots, Buckles & BBQ, which Hayes says will blend “entertainment and purpose”.

“It starts with mingling over cocktails and live music, followed by a hearty BBQ dinner, silent & live auctions, engaging games for younger guests, and concludes with ‘dancing-in-the-dirt’ concert featuring Trevor Panczak,” said Hayes. “Sticking with the BBQ theme, we are featuring a catered meal of homestyle ribs and all the fixings.”

The Ride for Dreams Trail ride will take place on Sept. 16. It will take place at Pavan Park north of Lethbridge. Sign-in/registration will start at 11 a.m., with the ride departing the staging area at 1 p.m. Lunch will be provided.

Hayes said the ride is designed to be family-friendly and will take about 2.5 hours. Those looking to take part in the ride should be aware there is a gentle incline when entering the river bottom and returning to the staging area through the coulees. Currently, 30 people are registered for the ride.

Hayes says the event is made possible thanks to the support of the community and sponsors.

“People should support the Ride for Dreams Fundraiser because it aids the Lethbridge Therapeutic Riding Association in its mission. Every contribution, whether a ticket purchase, dance step, or bid, goes beyond the event’s festivities, supporting the transformative power of therapeutic riding and equine-facilitated wellness. Operating since 1976, LTRA has strived to make and keep these services available and accessible to those who may not otherwise have the opportunity.”

People looking for more information on the events or are looking to register for the ride can do so by visiting the association’s website at, or can contact their office directly.

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