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The Advanced level eventer and Rolex veteran, My Boy Bobby, a 16 year old Irish Sport Horse gelding, will come out of retirement for one last hurrah this weekend at the Monmouth County Horse Show at the New Jersey Horse Park in Allentown, New Jersey. “Bobby” and his rider, Jessica Kiener, will join the crowd of horses competing in the Hunter and Jumper classes to participate in a fund raising event for the Patient Air Lift Services.
The Patient Air Lift Services (PALS) is a program that arranges free air transportation for individuals who need urgent medical care and for other humanitarian purposes. The network of volunteer pilots uses their own or rented aircrafts, providing the service to those who need urgent transportation for free. The only finances that keep this organization running are donations.
The PALS charity event this weekend at the Monmouth County Horse Show will consist of a Pilot/Rider class. In the class, rider and horse combinations will be paired with a volunteer pilot from PALS. Both the pilot and the rider will then be given a course to navigate. While the rider jumps their horse around a stadium course, the pilot will be given a course to run on an ATV. Riders will receive penalties for rails down, and pilots will receive penalties for hitting obstacles with the ATVs. Guests to the event have a chance to bid on rider/pilot combinations before the event begins, as combinations are paraded around for spectators. Points from the rider and the pilot are tallied at the end of the event, and winners are determined.
This Saturday, Jessica Kiener will be riding Bobby in the Pilot/Rider class to raise money for the cause and get her best boy competing again. According to Matthew Kiener, Jessica’s husband and a volunteer pilot for PALS, Bobby’s owners, Carl and Cassie Segal, are thrilled to see Bobby back in competition. Matthew and Jessica are unsure of how Bobby will come back, since he has been retired for a while. However, Jessica keeps him in light work daily, so they are hoping for the best.
“There was a point in their career that Jess had competed Bobby for over two years, twenty-two events, without taking down a single rail” Matthew Kiener said. “If Bobby can find it in his huge heart to bring that spirit to the party we’ll be in great shape.”
Another eventing great competing at Monmouth this weekend and adding to the excitement is Bobby’s previous rider and Rolex partner, Buck Davidson. Buck will ride Amy and Peter Tunney’s 4 year-old Oldenburg mare, Riviera. Eventers make up the minority at the predominately Hunter/Jumper show, but hopefully Bobby will rally some extra support.
“With Jess and Buck in attendance we Eventers represent only twenty percent of the class and could use the support of the extended Eventing family,” Matthew Kiener said.
On Saturday August 18, the PALS charity Pilot/Rider class will begin with a wine and cheese reception at 4:00 pm. At 5:30, bidding for the Pilot/Rider class will begin, and at 6:00, the event will start. Fans of Bobby can attend the event, cheer him on, and give him a fair bid. Fans who are not able to attend but would like to donate to a worthy cause can visit www.palservices.org and go to the donation page. Best of luck to Bobby and Jessica this weekend.