Equestrians Band Together in Support of Parkland Community in School Shooting Aftermath

*updated 2/26/18 8:43 am

FEBRUARY 22, 2018 - Spectrum Saddle Shop is rounding up support for local equestrian facilities and groups that are stepping up to help fellow community members in the wake of the tragic shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on February 14, 2018 in Parkland, FL.

“This is a close-knit community of people and businesses that come together in times of need,” said Spectrum owner Ellie Scofield. “Many are equestrians who I know personally as customers at the shop, and as students at my barn at Galloways Farm,” she continued.

Scofield learned yesterday that Katelyn Williams, a local rider and MSD student, was collecting donations and auction items for the family of shooting victim Aaron Feis, an assistant football coach at the school. “When I heard that, I just had to pitch in and help her,” said Scofield, who is donating merchandise to aid in her fundraising efforts.

Sally Mitchell (in black tee) with her kids, police officers and Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School officials.

“Another project we are working on is getting customized riding shirts with #MSDStrong printed on the sleeve for riders who want to show their support,” Scofield continued. She has teamed up on this effort with close friend and former Parkland Horseman’s Association president, Sally Mitchell, whose two children attend MSD and were there the day of the shooting. PHOTO: Sally Mitchell (in black tee) with her kids, Broward Sheriff's Office police officers and Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School officials at a memorial service for slain students and faculty.

“I’ve also been inspired by two local facilities that are offering equine assisted therapy to those who are struggling after this horrific event,” said Spectrum owner Ellie Scofield. “I reached out to my vendors to provide those facilities with supplies and horse care products for their use during these sessions, and the response is phenomenal. I’m grateful to those that have committed so far, which include Ariat, DSB Boots, English Riding Supply, Kastel Denmark, Kerrits, Majyk Equipe, Noble Outfitters, R.J. Classics and Waldenhausen.”

The equine facilities offering to help those affected include Wattland II in Parkland (call Dawn Watt at 954-520-5561), Stable Place in Davie (call 954-790-0270), The Lucky Horse Sanctuary In Coconut Creek (call Dr. B.B. Rice 561-860-1404), Personal Ponies of Florida (call Sandra Seiden 561-445-4456)

“I would like to invite anyone (child or adult) to my barn who needs to just get away and enjoy the tranquility of the fresh air and animals. Horses are such great therapy animals,” said Dawn Watt, Wattland II owner, and mother of two who both attended MSD.

In a post on Stable Place’s Facebook page, the organization stated, “Our hearts go out to the students, families, and staff that have been affected. At Stable Place, it is important to us to support our community any way we can, especially in moments such as this.”

Sandra Seiden of Personal Ponies said “We are in this for the long run! We've handed out hundreds of invites to the amazing young and old we have met...offering them to come to the barn any time they want to spend some special loving time with our staff of 6 little equines!!! Thank you for putting out a list and adding us...whatever makes it easiest for people to find all in the community that have opened their caring hearts!!”

The Lucky Horse Sanctuary is providing a safe therapeutic homeschool environment for students who are not able to return to school following the traumatic incident.  

For more information, contact Ellie Scofield at ellie@spectrumsaddleshop.com or (954) 326-8703.