Edited Press Release
Murietta, CA – At the Silver Oak Jumper Tournament in Traverse City, a new jump sported a unique design: the image of a service dog.
Canine Support Teams joined forces with the annual event, this year held September 7–11 at the Flintfields Horse Park, as a charitable partner.
Of particular distinction to this tournament, founded by Jeff Papows, is that its mission is to support deserving charitable organizations. Since 1989, Canine Support Team’s (CST) mission has been to provide specially trained dogs to veterans and persons with disabilities to support their personal, social, and occupational independence. This mission aligns perfectly with Silver Oak’s passion for canines and making a difference in the lives of people in need.
Earlier this summer, Canine Support Teams provided renowned Olympic equestrian Kevin Babington, who was paralyzed from the chest down in a tragic riding accident in 2019, with Samantha, a specially trained service dog who has already had an incredible impact on Kevin’s life.
Her two-year training, led by volunteer puppy raisers and CST staff trainers, prepared her specifically for Kevin’s needs, including turning on/off light switches, retrieving items, calling for help, and more. Perhaps most importantly, she provides companionship and support throughout his recovery, allowing Kevin to find independence once again.
The journey to bring Samantha and Kevin together takes a village – from volunteer puppy raiser Lindsay Brock to staff trainers and friends and donors who provided the financial support for Samantha’s food, vet care, and training supplies.
“It is undoubtedly why I can keep going, because of the community, and the Kevin Babington Foundation, and continued support,” Kevin says. “I am overwhelmed by everyone’s generosity, and so grateful.”
Canine Support Teams places an average of 30 dogs annually. Notably, more than 80% of the program’s service dogs go to veterans free of charge through their Pawz for Wounded Veterans Program.
CST’s great work is accomplished by a dedicated team of staff and volunteers. In addition to a small team of trainers and kennel managers, future service dogs are raised and socialized by volunteer Puppy Raisers and then trained by volunteer inmate trainers in CST’s Prison Pup program, a unique program piloted by CST in three correctional facilities in California and which serves as a model for other programs across the country today. Upon completion of training, CST service dogs have learned a combination of 70 unique commands and are prepared to receive certification to become a service dog. CST has about 300 active service dogs of various breeds working across the nation.
For more information about Canine Support Teams, please visit caninesupportteams.org.
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The Pacific Coast Horse Shows Association (PCHA), a non-profit corporation, has as its main purpose the promotion and development of the sport of horse showing, primarily in the Hunter/Jumper, Western and Reining disciplines. These objectives are accomplished by setting the standards for showing on the West Coast and approving shows that meet these criteria.
Founded in 1946, the Pacific Coast Horse Shows Association promotes the interests of owners and exhibitors, cooperates with exhibitors, officials, and management of competition, publicizes and advertises PCHA sanctioned shows, encourages and assists owners, exhibitors, and breeders of horses to maintain, develop and improve the quality of horses of the Hunter, Jumper, Western and Reining divisions.