In the News: ‘Horse-loving girl visits BreyerFest thanks to Make-A-Wish Foundation’

An 11-year-old suffering from a recurring brain tumor in Oregon is enjoying a special trip to Kentucky this week.

Photos: The Oregonian

Ariel Nelsen is a big fan of horses–real and imagined–who has turned the basement of her family home into a miniature equine estate for her growing collection of Breyer Horses. “I pretend they’re champions, or they’re wild and need to be trained,” she told The Oregonian in a story published yesterday.

According to the story,

Ariel reads horse books, researches how to run a barn, plays with her horses (instead of playing on the computer, her parents pointed out), repaints the horses she thinks aren’t pretty enough and is considering producing a YouTube video about her Breyers.

A hospital social worker nominated Ariel for a wish from the Make-A-Wish Foundation, which grants wishes to children with life-threatening conditions. The Foundation offered Ariel and her family a full week in Lexington, Ky., where the annual model horse convention Breyerfest is taking place at the Kentucky Horse Park. Their week-long trip will include stable tours, talks with Breyer executives, and an all-access pass to the festival. They even sent her off with a riding lesson and a big party.


As one might imagine, horses are not an uncommon presence in Make-A-Wish Foundation’s wish-fulfillment requests.

Here is the story of 6-year-old cancer patient Zoe in Decatur, GA, who received a horse through the Foundation:

A follow-up story about Zoe and Buttercup:

This 7-year-old received a surprise delivery of a palomino pony courtesy of Make-A-Wish Australia:

Alex, a 9-year-old boy from Michigan who has loved horses since the age of 2, got to meet the Budweiser Clydesdales through the Make-A-Wish Foundation:

And ESPN and Disney teamed up to give Patrick Monroe the opportunity to meet 2004 Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes winner Smarty Jones:

What special stories of horses lifting the hearts of sick children. Learn more about the Make-A-Wish Foundation here.

Go Riding.

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