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Personal Ponies Bring Their “Magic” to Winterthur’s Point-to-Point Races

Organization provides Shetland ponies to differently abled children to care for and love

Winterthur, DE- April 17, 2007—At this year’s Point-to-Point, children can have hands-on fun grooming three Shetland ponies from Personal Ponies-Delaware, a non-profit organization that places the animals to live with special needs children and their families.

“There is something magic about the way that the ponies and the children respond to each other,” says Patty Draper, Delaware state director of Personal Ponies. “I’m thrilled to bring these ponies to Point-to-Point so that all children have a chance to get up close and personal with them.”

Personal Ponies, Ltd. (PPL) is a national non-profit organization that enriches the lives of critically ill and developmentally disabled children all over the country. Comprised entirely of volunteers, PPL breeds ponies and places them with families, all at no cost except for providing food and shelter.

PPL came to Delaware in November 2005 and is currently being hosted at New Castle County’s Carousel Equestrian Center. They work with families, schools, and organizations such as Special Olympics, Down Syndrome Association of Delaware, Meadowood program in the Red Clay School District and the Delaware Autism Program at the Brennen School in the Christina School District to bring new experiences to children by allowing them to care for and bond with their own personal pony. PPL has also developed a summer time read aloud program in conjunction with the county’s Hockessin and Kirkwood Highway libraries and created an inclusive 4-H program for children of all level of abilities through the University of Delaware’s Cooperative Extension. Hosting families and facilities are currently being sought in Kent and Sussex counties in hopes to expand the program to families throughout the entire state.

PPL was founded in 1986 and has grown into an international organization involving thousands of volunteers throughout the United States, Canada and overseas, with programs in almost every state and nearly 1,200 ponies placed with children.

The 29th running of the Winterthur Point-to-Point takes place rain or shine on Sunday, May 6. The annual event also features steeplechase races, an antique carriage parade, and other activities, with proceeds benefiting educational programming at Winterthur year-round.

Gates open at 9:30 a.m. Wristbands are available by advance sale only ($25, adults; $15, ages 12–20; and $5, ages 5–11; children under five are admitted free but must have a wristband). They may be purchased in person at Winterthur, online at winterthur.org, and at any Delaware ShopRite supermarket (Concord, Newark, and Stanton). Wristbands may also be purchased at the restaurant partners: Centreville Café; Harry’s Seafood Grill; Iron Hill Brewery (Newark, West Chester, and Wilmington); Kelly’s Logan House; Mikimoto’s Asian Grill & Sushi Bar; Presto!; Six Paupers Restaurant; and The Whip Restaurant (Coatesville, Pennsylvania).

Point-to-Point sponsors include The Care of Trees; Delaware Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association; Friess Associates, LLC; Glenmede Trust Company; NKS Distributors, Inc; Jean Ellen Shehan; Reflective Learning; Valero Delaware City Refineries; Wilmington Area Toyota Dealers; Weymouth and Smith Insurance, Inc.; and WSFS Bank.

Winterthur Museum & Country Estate—known worldwide for its preeminent collection of American antiques, naturalistic garden, and research library for the study of American art and material culture—offers a variety of tours, exhibitions, programs, and activities throughout the year. Winterthur has been named one of the country’s “10 great places of historic proportions” by USA Today; “one of the 10 grandest mansions in America” by Budget Travel; and one of the “10 best art museums for kids” by Child magazine.

The “Winterthur Experience” ($20 for adults; $18 for students and seniors; $10 for ages 2–11) includes one guided Discovery Tour of the mansion or garden as well as access to the Galleries, special exhibitions, the garden, a narrated tram tour (weather permitting), the Campbell Collection of Soup Tureens, and Enchanted Woods (the children’s garden). Additional tours may be added for $5; tickets are valid for two consecutive days. A Garden & Galleries Pass for self-guided tours is also available ($15 for adults; $13 for students and seniors; $5 for ages 2–11).

Museum hours are 10 am to 5 pm, Tuesday–Sunday. Winterthur, located on Route 52, six miles northwest of Wilmington, Delaware, and five miles south of U.S. Route 1, is closed Mondays (except holidays and during Yuletide), Thanksgiving, and Christmas Day. Winterthur is committed to accessible programming for all. For information, including special services, call 800.448.3883, 302.888.4600, or TTY 302.888.4907. Online, visit winterthur.org.


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