Polo Returns to the Lehigh Valley!
September 16th, 2016 | Airport News
Demonstration match will benefit Equi-librium’s
therapeutic riding and driving programs.
Lehigh Valley and the Poconos, Pa., September 16, 2016 — Equi-librium is excited to announce its second annual demonstration polo match on Sunday, September 18, 2016, at Braden Airpark in Forks Township, Northampton County. The small craft airport will be transformed with tents, horses, and festive decorations into the event to be at for the Valley’s fall social scene. Most polo in the region is played south of the Valley at Tinicum Park or the Bucks County Horse Park, in Hunterdon County, western New Jersey, or Mechanicsburg in Central Pennsylvania.
This “sport of kings” is similar to a soccer or field hockey game, except that it’s played while the team members are on horses. It has become a fun outdoor event to observe. About 700 people attended last year’s match, and Equi-librium is anticipating an attendance this year around 1000.
Real estate developer Mark Mulligan, an avid polo player who is doing the renovation projects for the Simon Silk Mill and the Governor Wolf Building in Easton, approached Equi-librium almost three years ago, offering to put on a demonstration match in order to help the non-profit organization raise money to support its programs, along with the opportunity to “bring polo to the Valley.” It took that long to find a suitable location: the field to the west of the landing strip at Braden Airpark.
“We are so indebted to Mark, as he has been instrumental in making this event happen for us by organizing the players and assisting with the logistics of the match itself,” said Cheryl Baker, Equi-librium’s CEO. The organization could not make this happen anywhere else in the Lehigh Valley, so just as important is the partnership with the Lehigh Northampton Airport Authority, which is offering up the field as well as many services in order to make the event successful.
For a second straight year, the LNAA has partnered with Equi-Librium as the host sponsor and is providing access to the field as well as other services in order to make this match successful.
“Last year, the polo match generated a lot of excitement and the Airport Authority is looking forward to having Braden Airpark on centerstage for this unique event in the Lehigh Valley,” said Charles Everett, Executive Director. “Our dedicated staff is focused on providing the best conditions for the competitors and remain busy with preparations including mowing, filling in any imperfections in the field and preparing for the hundreds of visitors organizers expect to see on Sunday”.
The LNAA has enjoyed the partnership with Equi-Librium and will continue to seek opportunities for community engagement to show support for our loyal neighbors.
The two four-person polo teams are being sponsored by Air Products and 4 Winds Concrete. The Morning Call is the Media Sponsor; Eastern Engineered Wood Products is the Award Sponsor.
The gates open on the 18th at 11:00 a.m. and the match will start at 1:00. General admission tickets are $35 per person; children under 12 are free. A VIP tent will offer refreshments for those paying $150, and many sponsors will be setting up tailgating spaces and small tents along the sides of the field. Tickets may be purchased online at www.equi-librium.org, or at the gate on the day of the event. There will also be a vendor tent, a children’s activity tent and concessions by the EAA Chapter 70. During the intermission, the attendees will be encouraged to help “stomp the divots” in the field made by the horses.
This year’s halftime will include three sponsored activities: there will be a children’s polo foot mallet clinic sponsored by The Brown Daub Family of Companies, a Terrier Race, sponsored by People’s Security Bank and Trust, in which any dogs who are there for the match can participate and the winners will be receiving free dog food coupons courtesy of Freshpet, and a Riding Demonstration by Scottfield Stables, sponsored by the law firm of Fitzpatrick Lentz & Bubba, P.C. and emceed by Ashley Russo.
Other new additions include a tailgate competition, judged and sponsored by Lehigh Valley Style magazine. Well-known local artist Rod Skidmore has donated an original watercolor of last year’s match; the value was $1250 before framing, and will be sold to the highest bidder as long as the reserve price of $1,000 is met.
RCN Lehigh Valley, an award-winning leading provider of high-speed internet, cable and phone services, is one of the sponsors of the polo match and will air the event, hosted by RCN-TV personalities Chris Michael and Patti Ditzel. The program will run on Monday, September 19, at 6 p.m. and Tuesday, September 20, at 6 p.m. on RCN-TV, channel 4/1004 in HD.
“We strive to be a good neighbor through our participation and sponsorships in community activities throughout the Lehigh Valley,” said Sanford Ames, Jr., Sr. Vice President and General Manager, RCN Lehigh Valley. “And, RCN-TV seeks out the best entertainment for our customers, which is why we are airing this unique event, designed to honor the tremendous work of equine therapy organization, Equi-librium. Consistently providing unique community programming on RCN-TV – such as this polo match – offers our customers what they want most.”
About Equi-librium: Formerly a program offered by Easter Seals under the name of RISE (Riding Instruction for Special Equestrians), Equi-librium was founded in 2001 and each week provides therapeutic riding and carriage driving programs to approximately 100 children, youth and adults with special needs ranging from autism and cerebral palsy, to stroke symptoms, MS and social-emotional/behavioral challenges like ADHD. Participants come from primarily Lehigh, Northampton and Monroe counties, both as individuals referred by physicians, therapists and psychologists, as well as in groups from other human service agencies and educational organizations. The benefits of horse therapy include improved balance, muscle tone, attention to detail, confidence and fun, all leading to a higher equality of life and greater productivity.
Equi-librium is the only Premier Accredited Center of the Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship (PATH) International organization in the region, and the only one to offer both riding and carriage driving in the Commonwealth. It is also an Education Improvement Organization, so designated by the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development as part of its Educational Improvement Tax Credit program. It is also a Partner Agency of United Way of the Greater Lehigh Valley.
GREAT PHOTO OPPORTUNITIES!