Wheatland Farm Equestrian Center
A USEF Center of Excellence for International Para Dressage
ABOUT WHEATLAND FARM
Mark & Muriel Forrest
Irish tenor Mark Forrest and his wife, Muriel, began the Faith & Family Foundation, a 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization in 1999 to help families just like theirs. The parents of eight boys - one who passed away as a baby - three of whom have profound disabilities - Mark and Muriel know only too well the challenges of raising children with serious illnesses. Working to create a balanced home life for their special needs boys, and their very active, typically developing ones, Mark and Muriel realized that sports programs for families like theirs were few and far between. Growing up with horses in Ireland, and experiencing firsthand the benefits of horse riding for her own children with disabilities, Muriel Forrest, now a USEF Silver Para-Dressage Coach, along with Mark, set about establishing a program that would address not just the needs of their children with disabilities, but the needs of their other children, too. Thus began the Faith & Family Foundation's programs at Wheatland Farm.
Wheatland Farm is a USEF Para-dressage Center of Excellence -- just the fourth center to have been awarded this designation nationwide. Honored to host the USEF 2018 Para Dressage Team Observation Event for the World Equestrian Games, Wheatland Farm's facility includes an FEI-quality outdoor competition arena, an ADA-compliant indoor arena, a fully-accessible 18-stall barn with auto mounting lift for wheelchair-dependent athletes, and miles of outdoor trails where athletes and their families can stroll and enjoy time together outdoors.
Serving more than 100 riders each week in para-dressage, adapted riding, US Pony Club, eventing and traditional dressage, Wheatland Farm is pioneering the concept of equestrian programs for both able-bodied and disabled riders in a wholly inclusive equestrian center. All of Wheatland Farm's programs are designed to include the whole family - riders with disabilities, their siblings, and their friends in the community. This pioneering approach to equestrian sport provides the support that riders with disabilities require to learn and compete on equal footing with their able-bodied peers. It brings the community together and fosters greater awareness of the challenges facing individuals with disabilities.
Wheatland Farm has 16 horses in its program, from Grand Prix to first level, along with nine staff members and over 75 trained volunteers. In addition to year-round riding lessons, Wheatland Farm offers dressage shows for both able-bodied and para-dressage riders, monthly jumper shows, quarterly clinics with five-star event riders and dressage riders, and family events such as an afternoon tea every spring, and fishing tournament in the fall.
At the heart of the mission of Wheatland Farm is faith, family, and service to others. the Forrest family believes that God's grace and the beauty of nature have the power to heal, transform, lift up and empower those struggling with disabilities and those who care for them. They invite you to join the journey!