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Loudoun Therapeutic Riding Enters Long-term Lease At Morven Park

© Leesburg Today - 10/30/2015

The Westmoreland Davis Memorial Foundation has inked a new long-term lease allowing Loudoun Therapeutic Riding to remain at Morven Park for up to 90 more years. The lease also permits the organization to build new facilities to serve its waiting list of people hoping to benefit from its services.

The lease provides Loudoun Therapeutic Riding the use of 15 acres of Morven Park property just off of Rt. 15 for 30 years, with options to renew for two additional 30-year terms.

The relationship between the two equestrian organizations dates back to 1974 when one of the country's first pilot programs offering equine-assisted therapy for people with disabilities used 4-H horses and ponies to hold its first lessons at Morven Park. The program later incorporated as a nonprofit called Loudoun Therapeutic Riding Foundation and moved to a local farm. LTR moved back to Morven Park in 1995 and has used barns, paddocks and riding arenas and office space on the grounds.

At it new location on the estate, can develop its own purpose-built barn, riding arena, and offices to better address the needs of participant and to expand operations to seven days a week on a year-round basis.

LTR serves children as young as 3, senior citizens, and U.S. military personnel with a wide variety of diagnoses such as autism, cognitive disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder, cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy, Down's syndrome, spina bifida, traumatic brain injuries and amputations.

""Demand for our services has grown throughout our 41 years serving Loudoun County, so we are thrilled to move forward with this project,"" LTR Executive Director Joanne Hart stated. ""We will be able to grow and enhance our existing equine activities, therapies, and education; to practice even more aspects of horsemanship and equine experiential learning; and to meet the needs of more individuals within our community. ""

Work on the new facility is expected to begin next year.

Morven Park Trustee Steven Jackson, who chairs the foundation's Properties Committee, led the lease negotiations. ""For me personally, strengthening this alliance has been very rewarding because the mission of LTR to serve the community through equestrian activities fits perfectly with the mission of Morven Park,"" he stated.

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