Therapeutic farm a finalist in $20,000 competition
By Robert Mackenzie
Published July 20, 2017
Haliburton’s therapeutic horseback riding academy, Walkabourt Farm, has been named a finalist for the Tangerine 20 contest’s $20,000 grand prize.
Walkabout Farm offers therapeutic riding, non-riding and horsemanship programs, work placements and volunteer opportunities in order to provide physical, emotional, social and cognitive support to people with various challenges and disabilities. According to owner and operator Jennifer Semach, if her organization wins the contest the prize would go towards an ATV, which would help those with physical disabilities access all of the property and its benefits.
Semach says the prize would mean inclusion for all of the academy’s volunteers, some of whom suffer from disabilities themselves. “The opportunity not just to participate in the program, but to be a part of its success,” Semach said.
The Tangerine 20 contest had Canadians nominate initiatives making a difference in their communities that they found worthy of the prize. The banking company announced 20 finalists for the prize, including Walkabout Farm, on July 6. One grand prize winner will receive $20,000 from Tangerine, while secondary prizes of $10,000, $5,000 and $2,000 will also be awarded.
“[Being named a finalist] is a huge burst of encouragement,” Semach said. “We’re trying to develop something out of nothing...Raising funds to help us get the rest of the way is keeping us going.”
Semach’s not-for-profit currently operates out of Briarwinds Farm in Ingoldsby, but she is hoping to complete the purchase of a new 130-acre property on Spring Valley Road by the end of the summer. Semach says the new property will give them the chance to add more animals, such as donkeys, goats and cows, to their programming, as they’re already over capacity at their current location.
Now that the finalists have been named, people can vote once per day for which entry the want to win on www.tangerine20.pgtb.me/QmFBk6. Voting runs until July 26, and winners will be announced Aug. 29. More information on Walkabout Farm and the programs they offer can be found on www.walkaboutfarmtra.com