Equestrians Open Their Hearts To Make-A-Wish Patient
Wellington, Florida January 20, 2003 Laura Jahnke
was a fun-loving, 17-year-old girl with a passion for horses and
horse showing. In her spare time, Laura could be found at the
barn caring for her beloved mounts. That was until last year,
when Laura was diagnosed with bone cancer and when her life changed
Laura has recently undergone limb-salvage surgery and chemotherapy
in Minneapolis, Minnesota, from which she is still recuperating.
Bald and secretly exhausted, Laura somehow maintains an upbeat
attitude. With no weight-bearing physical ability, Laura can only
get around in a wheelchair.
Laura has a wish, and thanks to The Make-A-Wish Foundation of
Minneapolis, Minnesota, that wish is about to be realized. What
is Lauras wish?: To meet her equestrian idols at The 2003
Winter Equestrian Festival in Wellington, Florida. Before her
diagnosis, Laura showed at local shows, but never at A
shows and never in Wellington. Her heroes are the United States
grand prix riders she watches on ESPN.
After Make-A-Wish let the equestrian community know of Lauras
wish, it was not long before more than 50 well-known riders, trainers,
owners, saddlery companies and others rallied to provide funding,
transportation, a horse, a stall on the show grounds, riding lessons,
tack, clothing and living accommodations for Lauras trip
to The 2003 Winter Equestrian Festival. She will arrive in Wellington
for a two-week stay on February 10, 2003. During that time, she
is scheduled to receive riding instructions from Lauren Hough,
a member of the U. S. Olympic Jumping Team in Sydney; show in
some childrens hunter classes (if she has the strength);
make trophy presentations after several of the Festivals
competitions; and meet her favorite riders.
The Winter Equestrian Festival, held for the past 31 years at
The Palm Beach Polo Equestrian Club in Wellington, Florida, is
the premier horse show venue in the United States. The top horses
and riders in the equestrian disciplines of hunters, jumpers,
equitation and dressage converge upon Wellington from January
through March. Horses and riders from 13 countries will be competing
For further information about Make-A-Wish at Winter Equestrian
Festival, please contact Mindy Darst at (513) 836-0501.
to Winter Equestrian Festival are available by phone at 793-JUMP
or at the gate. Admission is free on Wednesdays. Children 12 &
under are free all days. Senior Admission is $5 every day. Adult
Admission is $5 on Thursday and Friday; $10 on Saturday; and $15
on Sunday. Parking is free.
more information on the Winter Equestrian Festival and all its
exciting events and activities, please call Stadium Jumping, Inc.
in Wellington at (561) 793-JUMP or visit www.stadiumjumping.com.