LAURINBURG — The Scottish Pilot Club recently gave $350 to the Cooper Care Club at the St. Andrews Equestrian Center.
“They’ve been very good to us,” said Liz Dulski, assistant director of Therapeutic Horsemanship and Ride Like A Knight Program Director.
In support of brain health and safety, the Scottish Pilot Club has purchased helmets and straps for riders in past years. This year, new helmets were not needed so the club directed the donation toward the purchase of a pony named Cooper for the Therapeutic Horsemanship program.
The check was presented to the painted pony by club President Barbara Mack.
Cooper’s small size allows him to be used by riders who have tight muscles and need a narrow horse to accommodate their limited ability to stretch, school officials said.
The Therapeutic Horsemanship program helps students gain skills in participation of the practicum site connected with the University through a fully operational therapeutic riding center called Ride Like A Knight that serves approximately 100 riders that range in age from five to60.
Most riders come from local school systems. The program maintains approximately 10 horses and ponies that serve many people with different disabilities, sizes and needs.
Prior to Cooper was a special horse that worked in the program for 18 years but was recently retired. Cooper was discovered last year and after passing all of the training, he was found to be a “perfect” replacement. The pony was leased from a camp that only operates through the summer allowing him to reside on campus during the academic year. Unfortunately, the camp that owns Cooper has decided to sell him.
The RLAK program normally relies on horse donations, but in this instance, the horse donation to fill the retiring horse’s shoes has not been found. For the best interest of the program, a fund to purchase Cooper has been established, the Cooper Care Club. The money raised will go to purchase Cooper as well as provide care for other equine stars in the RLAK program.
With the donation from the Scottish Pilot Club, Cooper is at the half-way mark of being purchased with a $2,000 balance remaining.
Those that would like to help support the purchase of Cooper, can mail checks to St. Andrews University, Attn: PT, 9167 Hasty Road, Laurinburg, NC 28352, or donors can pay by credit card by going to, www.sa.edu/giving and mention the Cooper Care Club in the area of support field.