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The Equine Extravaganza brings North Carolina Children's Hospital patients opportunities to "horse around"

The organizers of the Equine Extravaganza, a three-day horse exposition and festival being held at the NC State Fairgrounds July 11-13, have chosen North Carolina Children's Hospital to be the event's charity beneficiary. In the days leading up to the Extravaganza, some of the event's four-legged stars will make cameo appearances at the Ronald McDonald House of Chapel Hill and N.C. Children's Hospital in an effort spread cheer to the hospital's pediatric patients and their families.

EVENT #1—Dusty the Performing Horse at the Ronald McDonald House of Chapel Hill

WHO: Dusty, the "modern-day Mr. Ed," is a 10-year-old gelding and one of the Equine Extravaganza's main attractions. This full-size horse, standing 16 hands tall and weighing 1,200 pounds, has been entertaining audiences most of his life and has a particular affinity for children. (More information at http://www.dustypromotions.com.)

WHAT: Dusty will visit with the families staying at the Ronald McDonald House of Chapel Hill, bringing smiles to the faces of young and old alike by signing autographs, painting one-of-a-kind "masterpieces," and passing out presents.

WHEN: 7 p.m. on Wednesday, July 9, 2008. Media representatives should arrive by 6:50 p.m.

WHERE: The Ronald McDonald House of Chapel Hill, 101 Old Mason Farm Road, Chapel Hill, NC 27517. Each year the Ronald McDonald House of Chapel Hill provides a home away from home for more than 1,500 families of seriously ill children receiving treatment at North Carolina Children's Hospital.

RSVPs: Media representatives are asked RSVP in advance to Danielle Bates at (919) 843-9714 or dbates@med.unc.edu.

EVENT #2—Miniature Horse Petting at N.C. Children's Hospital

WHO/WHAT: Performers from the Equine Extravaganza will bring the horse show to the pediatric patients of N.C. Children's Hospital with Leo the miniature horse. Kids will get one-on-one interaction with the animal and a chance to meet some of the Extravaganza's stars of the human variety.

WHEN: 2 p.m. on Thursday, July 10, 2008. Media representatives should arrive in the Children's Hospital lobby by 1:45 p.m.

WHERE: North Carolina Children's Hospital Play Atrium, 7th Floor. UNC Hospitals is located at 101 Manning Drive on the UNC-Chapel Hill campus.

RSVPs: Media representatives are asked RSVP in advance to Danielle Bates at (919) 843-9714 or dbates@med.unc.edu.

The Equus Extraordinaire horse show, held in conjunction with the three-day Equine Extravaganza horse expo, offers two magical evenings of thrilling trick rides, dancing horses, musical entertainment, amazing feats of horsemanship, and pure family fun. Tickets for the Equus Extraordinaire horse shows—held at 8 p.m. on Friday July 11 and Saturday, July 12 at the State Fairgrounds' Dorton Arena in Raleigh—are $10 in advance, $15 at the door, with $1 from each ticket benefiting N.C. Children's Hospital. Visit http://www.equineextravaganza.com for more details.


Each year, children from all 100 counties across the state make over 70,000 visits to North Carolina Children's Hospital, a part of UNC Hospitals. The Children’s Hospital relocated to a state-of-the-art facility in 2002, which includes a comprehensive children's outpatient center and 136 inpatient beds in a child-friendly, family-focused environment. It is the first children's hospital in North Carolina to bring together complete inpatient and outpatient care in one location. For more information about North Carolina Children's Hospital, please visit the Web site at http://www.ncchildrenshospital.org.


The UNC Health Care System is a not-for-profit integrated health care system owned by the state of North Carolina and based in Chapel Hill. It exists to further the teaching mission of the University of North Carolina and to provide state-of-the-art patient care. UNC Health Care is comprised of UNC Hospitals, which is ranked among the top 50 in the nation in six specialties by U.S. News & World Report and ranked one of the country’s 41 best on the Leapfrog 2007 Top Hospitals list; the UNC School of Medicine, a nationally eminent research institution; community practices; home health and hospice services in seven central North Carolina counties; and Rex Healthcare and its provider network in Wake County. UNC Health Care also manages Chatham Hospital in Siler City.


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