Sponsor a hole for Horsin'-A-Round benefit

One seldom sees a horse on a golf course, of course. However, on Thursday, August 25, The Oaks at Christmas Mountain Village is doing the next best thing when we host over 100 golfers who will be “horsin’ around” on behalf of a horse loving community that’s on a special mission. 

While all golfing reservations are full, there is plenty of time for businesses and even individuals or families, to sign up as a “Register of Merit Sponsor” for $250 that will feature a sign with their name and/or logo. The deadline to sign up as a sponsor is Tuesday, Aug. 23 at 5 p.m.

[CLICK HERE TO DONATE WHEN YOU'RE READY to go to BREATHE Eventbrite page. Click on TICKETS and choose the Register of Merit Sponsor - Hole Sponsor option.]  

The event, aptly named “Horsin’ A-Round,” is the first ever golf outing that will benefit the Baraboo River Equine-Assisted Therapies, Inc. (BREATHE). It’s an organization made up of a group of volunteers whose work joins their love of horses with helping kids with a wide range of challenges by putting them on a gentle, trained horse. The goal is to provide their young program participants with physical, emotional, cognitive, and behavioral benefits. 

Founded in 2016 by Chris and Ed Singer, BREATHE operates the equine-assisted services center as a way to provide alternative activities for individuals who are unable to participate in traditional recreation and team sports. Participants can be as young as four years old, up through teenagers, and some adults. 

One of the golf outing organizers, Stormy Hovey is a lifelong horse owner who also volunteers much of her time at BREATHE working with its participants. She is one of the volunteers who, among other tasks, leads horses as the children learn to ride. She said watching the kids learn to be comfortable on a horse is close to pure joy. Kid leaning on horse

“Riders come with a variety of physical, cognitive, and emotional challenges, and we have volunteers that stay with them during the lesson and help them be successful," Hovey said. “After the first one or two times they click with the horse and realize, 'I can do this,’ they start to get their confidence. A child gets on the horse’s back and I look back at them and see this big smile.”

Hovey said volunteers work with about 10 horses and two small ponies on the farm, clean stables, brush and feed the animals, as well as work with kids in learning to ride. 

She described the horses as gentle, very patient, and used to being around people all day.  

“I call them angel horses,” Hovey said. “There's something that connects these horses to the people.”

Another golf outing organizer is Randy Kuhnau. His 12-year old grandson, Lucke, is a participant in the BREATHE program. 

“He does love horses,” Kuhnau said. “There’s no fear. It’s amazing."

Kuhnau, who is Vice President at Great Day Real Estate, is familiar with The Oaks course, and lives nearby. He said it was the ideal spot for the Horsin’ A-Round outing. 

“The Mountain is a very, very special place,” Kuhnau said. “The course is in great shape. The people who are presently here have been absolutely amazing. It’s the best kept secret in this area. It’s great to be part of this event. The Mountain is back!”

Kuhnau was referring to recent course improvements made this year under the direction of Christmas Mountain Village Golf Course Superintendent Gregg Schernecker, and Golf Professional Jacob James, both hired last summer. 

All proceeds from the Horsin’-A-Round golf outing will support program costs that include the care, feeding and upkeep of 12 lesson horses, property maintenance and equipment, staffing, insurance, administrative costs and related expenses. 

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