WESA Gives Back
WESA extends continuing support to the larger equestrian industry through annual scholarship programs for the Urban Farm, the United States Pony Club, Future Farmers of America (FFA) and the Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship (PATH). The WESA Open Benefit Golf Tournament, in conjunction with WESA’s August Trade Show, brings 70 supporters together for a day of industry networking and funding for these associations, including Western Endowment Trust (WESTrust), National Little Britches Rodeo (NLBRA) and National High School Rodeo (NHSRA). WESA contributes more than $20,000 annually to these charities as a way to support the industry’s youth. Below, you’ll find a brief description of each nonprofit organization WESA supports as well as links to their individual websites:
Future Farmers of America
Future Farmers of America was founded by a group of young farmers in 1928. Their mission was to prepare future generations for the challenges of feeding a growing population. They taught us that agriculture is more than planting and harvesting — it’s a science, it’s a business, and it’s an art. FFA continues to help the next generation rise up to meet those challenges by helping its members to develop their own unique talents and explore their interests in a broad range of career pathways.
National High School Rodeo (NSHRA)
The National High School Rodeo Association is an international, nonprofit organization dedicated to the development of sportsmanship, horsemanship, and character in the youth of our country through the sport of rodeo. Created by Texas educator and rodeo contestant Claude Mullins, the NHSRA held its first finals in Hallettsville, Texas, August 25-27, 1949. The NHSRA membership consists of over 10,500 members from 42 states, five Canadian provinces, and Australia.
National Little Britches Rodeo Association (NLBRA)
Founded in 1952, NLBRA is a youth rodeo organization for kids ages 5 to 18. The NLBRA’s principal goal is to develop within its members and their families a spirit of fair competition and appreciation of good sportsmanship throughout the experience of healthy rodeo competition. The Association annually sanctions nearly 400 youth rodeos in 15 states, which all operate in accordance with the NLBRA Rulebook. More than 2,000 kids from 27 states compete in NLBRA rodeos each year. Contestants compete for prizes such as saddles, buckles, scholarships, and cash at local rodeos as well as the National Finals events. By competing at local events, contestants work to qualify for the annual National Finals Rodeo.
Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship (PATH)
PATH is a federally registered 501(c3) nonprofit, formed in 1969 as the North American Riding for the Handicapped Association to promote equine-assisted activities and therapies (EAAT) for individuals with special needs. With 4,800 certified instructors and equine specialists, 877 member centers, and over 8,000 members around the globe, PATH helps more than 62,000 children and adults — including more than 5,500 veterans and active-duty military personnel — with physical, cognitive, and emotional challenges find strength and independence through the power of the horse each year.
The United States Pony Club
Pony Club is the largest equestrian educational organization in the world. The cornerstones of their foundation are education, safety, sportsmanship, stewardship, and FUN. Members learn how to ride and care for horses through mounted sports. The skills, habits, and values instilled through horsemanship will apply to every part of a member’s life. Participating members have access to the Pony Club online community, sponsor discounts, educational standards and achievements, a Pony Club Pin, and the chance to participate in activities such as lessons and certifications, rallies and competitions, and championships and the Pony Club Festival.
The Urban Farm
The Urban Farm at Stapleton began in 1993 when its founders started a program for 15 inner-city youths to learn about horses at a private farm. It subsequently expanded its programming to include animal and plant programs. The Urban Farm has evolved into an educational campus devoted to developing the full potential of its participants through equine education, animal husbandry, and horticulture in an intimate farm setting. In addition to its educational programs, The Urban Farm also provides an important and educational visitor attraction to the Northeast Denver area, as well as a unique and attractive venue for mission-related activities and events.
“WESTrust”, established in 2002, is a benevolent trust fund eith the goal to assist deserving indivudals in need within the western industry.