** Following is a letter released to the horse community regarding Palos Hills Riding Stables. **
My name is Anne-Marie Kennedy and I've ridden and volunteered at Palos Hills Riding Stables/New Beginnings Therapeutic Riding Foundation for 12+ years. The number of people who consider Martha Thompson-Hoyt and her team at PHRS to be family are too many to count. As one rider put it, "Martha and this Barn have been a pillar in the community, teaching, educating and leading the way for children to develop and nurture their love of horses."
On February 17, 2021, the roof of the indoor riding arena at Palos Hills Riding Stables collapsed from several weeks of accumulated snow, ice and subzero temperatures. We are profoundly grateful that no people and no horses were injured in the accident. The outpouring of love, support, concern, prayers, good wishes, generosity has been overwhelming. PHRS has been an important part of so many lives for so many years.
In 2020, returning to the barn once Martha was able to safely reopen is what has kept so many people in this community going. You felt like you could get through anything in your day if you knew that later, you got to go to the barn. PHRS has been there for so many of us, it feels great to be there now for them, to keep THEM going. We hope you’ll continue to spread the word, as every little bit helps.
While estimates are coming in on what it will cost to clear the damage and rebuild, they are exactly that: estimates. Construction costs can be a moving target based on market conditions, and expenses could grow if unforeseen challenges present themselves during reconstruction. In addition, the wonderful school and therapy horses still require the same level of loving care and maintenance they’ve always received to keep them healthy and safe, regardless of whether or not lessons, shows or camps are happening. Like so many businesses, PHRS lost significant revenue in 2020 when it was forced to shut down due to Covid. For them to face those losses again in 2021 is almost untenable. At 60+ years old, PHRS is one of the oldest “Small Family-Owned” businesses in the area.
Every donation helps to ensure that Palos Hills Riding Stables/New Beginnings Therapeutic Riding Foundation has the funds to weather this storm and remain a beloved “home away from home” for another 60 years and for generations of riders to come.
Click here to visit the Palos Hills GoFundMe page.