Standing Ovation by Ovation Riding

Every Friday, Horse Nation teams up with Ovation Riding to spotlight an individual or organization doing good work in the horse world. Today, we’re recognizing combined efforts from Sentient Jet and the Kentucky Derby in support of Homes For Our Troops.

We all know the power of horses to brighten our day, remind us to relax and take a deep breath, encourage us to live in the moment and remember that there’s more to life than the stresses and worries of being a human in the 21st century. There’s also plenty of evidence to support the power of horses to provide truly life-changing therapeutic benefits for veterans, helping them readjust to civilian life after service.

It only takes a brief encounter with a horse to launch of a lifetime of fascination and desire to work with them more, and yesterday, a group of veterans got the opportunity to meet two of the finest horses in the nation: Kentucky Derby contenders Omaha Beach and Country House. The meeting was a result of combined efforts between Sentient Jet, which sponsors the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile, and the Kentucky Derby in support of Homes For Our Troops, an organization that donates and builds specially-adapted homes to severely-injured veterans returning home.

The meet and greet came just after trainer Richard Mandella chose to scratch the heavy favorite Omaha Beach, when it was discovered that the horse had an entrapped epiglottis — not a life-threatening injury, but one that would keep him from the race until it’s surgically repaired. Demonstrating his class as a trainer, Mandella brought Omaha Beach out anyway despite the most disappointing decision and announcement of his career. We’d like to think Mandella found some healing in the interaction too.

Many thanks thanks to Ovation Riding for their support of both Horse Nation and individuals and organizations that are doing good work in the horse world. If you know someone who deserves a Standing Ovation, we would love to recognize them in a future post. Email the name of the person or organization along with a message about the good work they do to [email protected]. Photos/videos are always welcome, and include a link to their website if applicable.

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