Rodeo on the River slated for Saturday, Sept. 16

Giddy up partner and mosey down to Trinity Falls for its Rodeo on the River fall festival.

The event, free and open to the public, is slated for 3-7 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 16, at 7801 Trinity Falls Pkwy.

With trick roping, rodeo clowns, armadillo races, live music, photo booths, food trucks and Tupps Brewery on deck, there will be plenty to enjoy for cowboys and cowgirls of all ages.   

Local country music artist Bryson Moore will take the stage — as will international country music star Jolie Holliday.

Holliday, a Dallas native, won the Young Talent of the Year award at the German Country Music Awards, as well as Female Vocalist of the Year and Album of the Year at the CMA Indie Awards.

In addition, Sonny Burgess will be belting out his tunes in traditional Texas style. Burgess is a CMA Artist winner and Texas Country Music Hall of Famer. His country albums are chart toppers.

Jim Baker, general manager of Trinity Falls, said festival guests will have the opportunity to explore the neighborhood from an unusual vantage point.

“We’ll be offering carriage rides to model homes,” he said. “And there will be a chance to win a free pair of boots.”

Proceeds from the event will benefit ManeGait Therapeutic Horsemanship, a nonprofit that helps children and adults with disabilities through the healing power of horses.

Chief development officer Susan Hansen explained that ManeGait provides weekly equine therapy to 135 adults and children with physical, emotional, cognitive, sensory and behavioral disabilities.

Proceeds from Rodeo on the River will go toward the organization’s scholarship program. Hansen explained that families are able to pay a sliding scale.

“For a lot of families with special needs children, their finances go to a whole laundry list of expenses,” she said. “We can’t turn anyone away. We have to help them.”

In addition to scholarship support, the nonprofit is raising funds to help expand its program. There are currently 200 families on a waiting list.

Hansen spent six years as a volunteer before joining the organization’s staff — and said she saw the transformative power of the program first hand.

“One of our riders told me that being on a horse is the only time she’s not in a wheelchair,” Hansen said. “She felt like she could move through the horse. She just feels free. Just being around the horses is healing.”

All of the instructors at ManeGait are certified through the Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International. About 350 volunteers come to the facility each week to help with the effort.

“We couldn’t do it without our volunteers,” Hansen said. “We’re always in need of more volunteers for our sessions and also our events.”

ManeGait volunteers will at the Rodeo on the River to spread the word about its programs — and will bring miniature horses for children to meet and greet.

Baker said the nonprofit was the perfect fit for the festival.

“ManeGait is doing fantastic work right in our own backyard, and we want to help them continue their mission,” he said.

Trinity Falls holds fundraisers for McKinney-area charities several times a year.

Named the 2016 “Master-Planned Community of the Year” by the Dallas Builders Association, Trinity Falls offers buyers a range of home choices priced from the lower $300,000s.

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