Thursday, 04 September 2014 00:00

Powder Puff Derby 2nd Renewal 2014

Written by Theresa Sealy
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September 13th will be a memorable day for seven career lady exercise riders that have never rode in an official race will be competing in the Powder Puff Derby at Northlands Park. The lady riders are uniting in support of the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation - Prairies/NWT to show their support for women's health and a future without breast cancer.

The Powder Puff Derby is a unique event where women who have never been licensed jockeys will experience the excitement of riding in a race. These women are used to early mornings with hard work 7 days a week to prepare these Thoroughbred athletes for race day. On September 13th they will get the chance to wear silks, receive instructions from their mounts Trainer, and break from the starting gate. They will have jockey mentors helping them with a few tips for safety and strategy for the race itself. The roar of the crowd and the exhilaration of riding these powerful athletes will no doubt be a day they will not soon forget. One lucky lady will be crowned the Powder Puff Champion and have her picture taken in the winner’s circle with all connections!

With every dollar raised through this event, the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation can fund relevant, innovative research, and support and advocate for the breast cancer community. For the more than 22,000 Canadian women and men who are diagnosed with breast cancer each year - and the tens of thousands more whose lives are turned upside down by the diagnosis of someone they care about - the future can be frightening. A breast cancer diagnosis often means living life day by day, moment by moment, hanging on to hope to get through the most difficult times. Together, we have the power to change the future - for everyone.

How can you help out? Show up at Northlands Park on September 13th and wear your pink in support and “pink up the park”! Admission is FREE!

If you cannot make the day, you can still support your favorite rider by pledging online:

Who are these generous and brave ladies? Let’s get to know them and find the reason behind their choices to ride in their own words:

Amanda Dixon – 34 years old

This event is important to me as it gives us a chance to raise money for such a great cause and show people what we do for our living. Both of my aunts had breast cancer and that’s reason enough to ride for me.

When I was approached about the possibility of riding in a race for charity, I thought why not as there are so many women involved with horse racing and now we have a chance to give back and have some fun. I am not going to have an opportunity to become a jockey, so this is the only chance I get to be in a race.

I was lucky enough to ride and win last year’s Powder Puff race, while raising $2800.00 for the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation. My goal this year is to up that to $3500.00.

Twylla Bensmiller – 36 years old

The Powder Puff race is such an important cause to raise awareness and benefit breast cancer, and also to promote my industry of horse racing. I want to show people that the horse racing is not just about gambling, that horse racing does great things for the community as well. I strive to make the horse racing industry proud.

Many of my family and friends have had different forms of cancer, including my Mom which makes this a personal cause for me. I feel excited and very blessed to be a part of something so special and making one of my life long dreams come true by riding in a horse race.

My personal fundraising goal is $5000.00.

Kerri Lynn Raven – 42 years old

It’s exciting to be a part of something that can make a difference. For a group of women to bring attention to this cause using Horse Racing as a platform shows how far we’ve come in this sport, and that’s something I want to be part of.

It’s a great feeling knowing I will be loaded into the gate with such a great bunch of ladies. When you are involved in racing, riding in a real race is something you dream about. From the time you first hear the starters bell and see the horse flesh surge forward, you want to experience that. I have a feeling this is not something I’ll want to experience only once!

Breast cancer has touched the lives of two women in my life. I am so happy and proud to say that they are survivors.

My personal fundraising goal is $5000.00.

Colleen Ellefson – 26 years old

This event is very important to me as it is a fun way to raise money for the great cause of the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation.

I want to ride in this race as it will be exciting to finally get to experience what it will be like to ride in an actual race, instead of simulated in morning training. I think this event supports something that is particularly relevant and important to me being an all-female race.

My personal fundraising goal is $750.00.

Jennifer Fielding – 35 years old

The Powder Puff Derby is such a great cause as I get to raise donations for the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation and raise awareness for breast cancer as well as horse racing. It is particularly personal for me as my grandmother is a breast cancer survivor.

I want to ride in this race because it is for a great cause and gives me a fantastic possibly once in a lifetime opportunity to ride in a horse race. I am so excited and happy to be given this chance!

My personal fundraising goal is $500.00

Kirsty Luft-Nault – 39 years old

Riding in the Powder Puff Derby is important to me as I know a few women that are breast cancer survivors and I want to ride for them and the great cause of the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation. Cancer has affected quite a few members of my family, so anything I can do personally to help them find a cure is a good thing.

I am so totally excited, nervous, and honored to get to ride in this race for a second year!

My personal fundraising goal is $2500.00

Alivia Gogush – 28 years old

This event is important to me because it makes me so happy to be a part of this cause to fight for the cure of breast cancer. Not often do you get the chance to do something great for so many people at the same time as doing something for myself by riding in my first official race. The whole event is great and I’m so thankful to be a part of it.

When asked if I would participate by riding in the race, I immediately responded with “yes” for a couple of reasons. 1. To help raise money for the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation, and 2. To prove to myself that hard work does pay off. I have been galloping race horses for 3 years and definitely have come a long way. It’s a treat to me to feel this way for all of the hard work that I have put in.

My fundraising goal I am striving for is from $1000.00 - $1500.00, but would love to bring in more!

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