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posted: 8/27/2014 12:38 PM

Medieval Times donates retiring horse to Partners For Progress in Wauconda

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  • Travis Frerichs, left, who portrays the Red Knight at Medieval Times in Schaumburg, tends to Buster, a retiring quarter horse, as Robert Idrizi, Medieval Times' Head Knight, gets ready to ride Buster at the recent annual Family Summerfest and Horse Show presented by Partners For Progress. Medieval Times donated Buster to the nonprofit, which offers therapeutic equine programs.

      Travis Frerichs, left, who portrays the Red Knight at Medieval Times in Schaumburg, tends to Buster, a retiring quarter horse, as Robert Idrizi, Medieval Times' Head Knight, gets ready to ride Buster at the recent annual Family Summerfest and Horse Show presented by Partners For Progress. Medieval Times donated Buster to the nonprofit, which offers therapeutic equine programs.
    Courtesy of Medieval Times

 
Medieval Times submission

A team from Medieval Times in Schaumburg recently donated a retiring quarter horse to Partners For Progress in Wauconda.

The handoff happened during the annual Family Summerfest and Horse Show put on by Partners For Progress, a nonprofit therapeutic riding center for individuals who have special needs.

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Head Knight Robert Idrizi officially passed Buster's reins to Diane Helgeland, executive director of Partners For Progress.

"Buster is a good size horse for us. He can handle a variety of riders," Helgeland said. "We are very excited to have him, and he is adjusting well to his new home. The kids can't wait to ride Buster -- or the 'Knight Horse' -- as they call him."

Partners for Progress, which was founded in 2005, helps more than 200 clients each week, 95 percent of whom are younger than 21, officials said. Clients who receive therapy through the organization have challenges such as autism, cerebral palsy, and Down syndrome.

Equine therapy provides a physical and mental challenge for the individual riding the horse. It offers social interaction with volunteers, staff members and other clients at the barn, organizers said.

Sandy Maldonado-Martinez, marketing manager of Medieval Times in Schaumburg, said the timing of the donation couldn't have worked out better.

"We had a horse that was retiring and Partners For Progress recently lost one of their therapy horses. It works well for everyone, and we couldn't be more excited about being able to do this."

After the handoff, Mario Contreras, head horse trainer for Medieval Times, delighted the audience with a dressage display performed by himself and his Andalusian horse, Diamante. Then the Red and Green knights and Squires put on an epic medieval weaponry fight, where the Green Knight reigned supreme.

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