Battling Breast Cancer from the Back of a Horse
For the past six years, Lois Steele Whidden of Saxtons River has mounted four horseback Rides for the Cure in Vermont and two in New Hampshire for the local Komen affiliate, Susan G. Komen Vermont-New Hampshire, netting more than $200,000 for the cause. “The important thing to remember,” said Whidden, “is that 75% of the monies we raise stays local. It’s granted out to breast health organizations and programs in Vermont and New Hampshire. The fifth annual Vermont Ride will be on Monday, October 13, at Green Mountain Horse Association in South Woodstock, and the third annual New Hampshire Ride for the Cure will be held on August 30 at Hillsborough County 4-H Foundation, in New Boston, N.H. Both are ten-mile pleasure rides that will award prizes for the top fundraiser (riders commit to raising a minimum of $250) and the pinkest horse in several categories. Breakfast and lunch options are available.
“The rides really are quite the experience,” said Whidden, a three-time breast cancer survivor. “Both are in beautiful settings. The New Hampshire Ride is in high summer, which is always nice, and the Vermont Ride is smack in the middle of foliage season. Absolutely breathtaking.” But what makes the rides truly special, she says, are the people. “Everyone’s there for a good time, sure, but I’d guess that everyone involved has also been touched by breast cancer one way or another, whether they’re survivors, like me, or the mothers, daughters, aunts or friends of someone who’s in treatment now or already lost the battle. We ride to honor them all, and to raise money to continue the fight.”
Riders may register and fundraise for either or both rides online at komenvtnh.org. Check out some photos from past events on the rides’ Facebook pages, Susan G. Komen Ride for the Cure VT and Susan G. Komen Ride for the Cure NH. For more information on the rides, the local affiliate, and breast cancer in general, visit the website or call 888-550-CURE.