Both my grandmother’s, my great aunt and several cousins have died from breast cancer. There was even a scare with my mom that turned out to be Graves’ Disease. I’m sure many of you, sadly, know a friend or family member who has succumb to this disease as well. There’s tons of great research and opportunities out there and amazing venues, like the PVDA who raise money, raise awareness and support through the camaraderie of sport to beat this. It’s no secret I’m a massive fan of the freestyle and I was fortunate enough to get to chat with Barb Strawson about the PVDA’s Dancing Horse Challenge several years back. You can watch the interview below.

About PVDA Ride for Life
Throughout our history, horses have inspired us and been allies in battle and partners in progress. The PVDA Ride for Life exemplifies the belief that horses can inspire and aid us in the fight against breast cancer. Quoting the event founder and breast cancer survivor, Patricia Artimovich, “Help us make the ring of hoof beats become the music of hope!”

The PVDA Ride for Life is an annual weekend family event held in the Baltimore/Washington area to raise funds for breast cancer research and to improve the lives of those affected and their loved ones. Since its inception in 2004, the event has raised over $410,000 for the Johns Hopkins Avon Foundation Breast Center. The event coincides with a licensed dressage show sponsored by The Potomac Valley Dressage Association (a 501c 3 non-profit organization). This show features one of the premier equestrian nights on the East Coast.

Its Saturday evening Dancing Horse Challenge is a lyrical blend of dance, music, lights and equestrian prowess woven into a touching and theatrical performance. With performances by international and national riders and Olympians, the Dancing Horse Challenge becomes a call to all to heal, to give, and most importantly, to celebrate life!

Overall, the weekend will feature children’s activities, a two-day USDF licensed dressage show, a black-tie optional gala with dancing, boutique shopping and many other opportunities for family fun.

The PVDA Ride for Life is funded through generous sponsorships, rider donations raised through pledges, an extensive silent auction, vendor funds, tickets for the DHC ($25 per person donation), gala dinner/dance tickets ($100 per person, 50% of which is tax- deductible), and merchandise purchases.

Many of the weekend features are offered for free to encourage participation by families within and outside of the Maryland area. The event and each of these activities, which include breast health education efforts, are supported through volunteer efforts provided by the PVDA, the Johns Hopkins Avon Foundation Breast Center Survivor Volunteers and the community at large.

To learn more about the PVDA Ride for Life, check out there website at or go to their donation page and help support at!