Equestrian trainer puts kids’ event, foundation before the horse

November 17, 2007 (PRLEAP.COM) Sports News
CONCORD, Mass. — For equestrian trainer Nancy Later, life isn’t always about the horses. In the first week of October, her focus was on the kids.

The founder of Nancy Later Dressage Horses, who splits her time between stables in Townsend, Mass., and Loxahatchee Grove, Fla., recently volunteered at the first Children of the Americas Dressage Invitational (CADI) hosted by The Bear Spot Foundation to Benefit Equine Assisted Psychotherapy in Concord on Oct. 5 and 6.

“It was a pleasure to work with the children and help promote dressage as a sport,” said Later. “I think it was a fabulous way to bring kids from different backgrounds and cultures together and give them a chance to try different horses and see a different part of the world.”

Later took the reins as both a coach and trainer for the two-day event, which invited qualified riders, ranging in age from 11 to 14 and hailing from 12 countries throughout North and South America and the Caribbean, to compete on borrowed horses at Dr. Jane Karol’s Bear Spot Farm. The goal of the event was to provide children with a chance to bond through their love of horses and experience a dressage competition in an international setting.

In addition to her work with the children, Later also participated in the farm’s Freestyle 2007, an Oct. 7 fundraiser that benefited The Bear Spot Foundation’s work, which allows Karol to provide therapeutic services to children, adolescents and their families. Equine assisted psychotherapy harnesses a horse’s ability to be both loving friend and patient teacher to children in times of need.

“Nancy's commitment to the children who competed in the CADI and her relentless work for the project as a whole was remarkable,” said Karol. “She was an enthusiastic and inspiring coach for these kids and, after days of hard work, she rode a lovely freestyle for our fundraiser. I was moved by how much she gave of herself the entire week.”

Later has honed her equestrian skills by training around the globe and is the recipient of numerous awards and medals. She is currently working at the Grand Prix level and hopes to represent the United States in an international competition in the future.

Nancy Later Dressage Horses offers boarding, training and quality horses for sale, and is located at Settlement Farm, owned by Nick and Dot Demis, in the summer and Heartwood Farm, owned by her parents Mickey and David Pugh, in the winter.

For information, call (561) 714-7447 or visit www.nancylaterdressagehorses.com.