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UNH Therapeutic Riding Program to Host Charity Luncheon at the 2008 Jumper Classic

Gloucester, Massachusetts, March 19, 2008- With its move to the New Hampshire seacoast region, The Fidelity Investments Jumper Classic is pleased to announce that the University of New Hampshire Therapeutic Riding (UNHTR) program it will host a charity luncheon on Saturday, September 6, 2008. Coincidentally, both The Jumper Classic and University of New Hampshire Therapeutic Riding Program will celebrate their 19th year anniversary in 2008.

UNHTR Program Director and Instructor Cindy Burke was delighted to learn that The Fidelity Investments Jumper Classic was relocating to its new home at Silver Oak Equestrian Center in Hampton Falls, New Hampshire, just 20 minutes from the UNH campus in Durham, New Hampshire. "We were looking for a new opportunity to raise awareness of UNH's unique program," she explained. "We're planning on earmarking the funds raised at the luncheon to cover the costs for the riders of the Special Olympics riding team."

Since 1989, the UNH Therapeutic Riding Program has been offered at the University of New Hampshire under the auspices of the Department of Animal and Nutritional Sciences. UNH's equine program is both unique and well-rounded, with outstanding facilities and a science-based curriculum. Students graduating from the UNH Equine Program receive a B.S. in Animal Science with a concentration in Equine Science and one of three tracks for career specialization: Equine Management, Equine Science, and Therapeutic Riding. The university also offers a certification program for Therapeutic Riding professionals, and certified 12 instructors in 2007.

"It was imperative to The Jumper Classic's mission that we support a local charity," said Melissa Lovasco, President of The Jumper Classic. "We are extremely pleased that Ms. Burke and the UNH Therapeutic Riding Program are so enthusiastic and plan on participating at the show with volunteers and ideas for raising awareness about their unique program."

The program, North American Riding for the Handicapped Association (NARHA) Premier Accredited Operating Center, utilizes the barn and indoor arena facilities at the UNH Light Horse Center. Of the 30 or so horses in the University's equine program, a dozen are especially trained and suited for the unique demands of therapeutic riding. The program has a dual mission: to provide therapeutic treatment to individuals with physical, emotional, and cognitive disabilities; and, to create an environment which integrates members of the disabled and able-bodied communities. Each challenged equestrian requires the assistance of at least three volunteers in order to assure for safety during the lesson program and an effective treatment for each rider.

"We have about thirty students for each of our three sessions a year," Burke said. In addition, "A large corps of committed volunteers work long hours to provide support during each spring, summer and fall session." More than 500 volunteers have been trained, and subsequently participated, in the UNH Therapeutic Riding Program.

The luncheon, which will be held ringside under a private tent on Saturday, September 6th from 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., includes admission, parking and a buffet lunch with a wine bar for $65.00. Saturday is also Family Day at the show and it a great day for families to come and join in the festivities while supporting a local charity. For the ultimate spectator experience at this premier show jumping event, join the UNH Therapeutic Riding Program to help provide opportunities for the Special Olympics riders. Please contact Cindy Burke at cindy.burke@unh.edu or 603-862-0131 for more information about the luncheon.



About Fidelity Investments

Fidelity Investments is one of the world's largest providers of financial services, with custodied assets of $3.4 trillion, including managed assets of $1.6 trillion as of December 31, 2007. Fidelity offers investment management, retirement planning, brokerage, and human resources and benefits outsourcing services to 24 million individuals and institutions as well as through 5,500 financial intermediary firms. The firm is the largest mutual fund company in the United States, the No. 1 provider of workplace retirement savings plans, the largest mutual fund supermarket and a leading online brokerage firm. For more information about Fidelity Investments, visit http://www.fidelity.com.

 

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