news photoSouthern Delaware Therapeutic Riding is truly honored to be doubly recognized for service to community students, both as a 2023 Community Partner of the Year by the Sussex Consortium of the Delaware State Education Association (DSEA) and a Cape Community Champion by the Cape Henlopen School Board.

The DSEA’s Community Partner of the Year is presented annually to a local business, organization or individual that actively works to support education and build relationships within their community. 

SDTR partners with Sussex Consortium in the Cape Henlopen School District to provide therapeutic, educational and vocational opportunities for Consortium students, who can benefit from learning both riding and horse care skills at the SDTR stable in Milton. 

SDTR Program Director Kelly Boyer accepted the 2023 award during the March 11 DSEA Representative Assembly at the Chase Center in Wilmington.

SDTR service to these students also has been recognized by the Cape Henlopen School Board, which named SDTR a Cape Community Champion for its work to provide a new world of learning experiences to 15 local Sussex Consortium students. 

In her nomination of SDTR, Pamela Graves, Vocational Coordinator-Sussex Consortium, Cape Henlopen School District, highlighted the SDTR therapeutic benefit: “Saddling up on a horse is an enjoyable experience for many people, but for an individual with a disability it can signify so much more. Horses are so in-tune with non-verbal cues in their environment, that they can help aid people with mental health, emotional and physical issues”.

Graves shared a success story of one student, who is in a wheelchair: “The farm is her favorite place, and she participates in the riding program as well as volunteering every Thursday afternoon to clean riding helmets.   “When asked why she likes the farm she said, ‘When I am on a horse, I feel free and independent’”.