Senate President Stephen Sweeney
Deputy Speaker John Burzichelli
Assemblyman Adam Taliaferro

South Jersey Times – The Therapeutic Riding Program at the Gloucester County DREAM Park in Logan Township was fast out of the gates last week, celebrating the opening of its new facility with a ribbon cutting and riding demonstrations by students.

The Gloucester County DREAM Park was created as a state of the art multiuse facility, specializing in opportunities for those who own horses to have a place to participate in shows and competitions, and as a place to allow the public to experience the horses first hand.

A new Therapeutic Riding program debuted at Gloucester County DREAM Park in Logan Township last week.

“This is the day I envisioned when the DREAM Park opened 10 years ago,” said Senate President Steve Sweeney. “This facility supports the dreams of those with special needs to be able to learn about horses, to ride and to create a relationship with these gentle animals.

The new 80-by-120-square-foot center is equipped with a special chair lift, a ramp, holding pens for the horses, state-of-the-art lighting, fans and heaters to allow special needs individuals to learn about riding year-round.

The center currently is home to four therapy horses, 45 students and 45 volunteers.  The instructor and founder of the Therapeutic-Riding Center South Jersey is Terry Lewis, who is certified by Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship.

“With Terry Lewis, South Jersey Therapeutic Riding, his group of dedicated volunteers, and the support of this facility’s staff, that goal is being accomplished. The program has evolved in just a few short years from 10 students, to 45 riders per week,” Sweeney said.

Therapeutic Center volunteers raised $15,000 in donations to purchase the chair lift to assist students on and off the horses, and a $10,000 donation from Wheelabrator to Friends of the Dream Park has provided lessons to 17 students, farrier care, and vet care for the horses.  Other donations also have provided farrier care for the horses.

“This level of success can only be achieved for our resident when everyone is all in, and as you can see, we are all in to help provide opportunities to become a member of the equestrian community,” Freeholder director Robert M. Damminger said.

In addition to the Therapeutic Riding Center, the DREAM Park is a full-service facility that hosts events throughout the year.  It will be the new site of the New Jersey State 4-H Show, which historically has been at the Horse Park of NJ, from Aug. 24 to 26.