Indiana Grand Donates Funding, Materials To Morning Dove Therapeutic Riding

Morning Dove Therapeutic Riding Inc., located in Zionsville, Ind., provides an essential service to many children and adults with disabilities in Central Indiana. Equine-assisted therapy gives these individuals the opportunity to participate in activities that complement daily routines and standard therapeutic services. Indiana Grand Racing & Casino began a three-year partnership with the organization in 2020 and recently provided a $10,000 donation along with 20 tons of materials and a new drag for the indoor riding arena.

“While doing a site visit to Morning Dove in 2020, we noticed the indoor arena had some dips and was in need of additional footing for the riding classes,” said Eric Halstrom, Vice President and General Manager of Racing at Indiana Grand. “We specialize in dirt appropriate for riding services, and it was an easy fix for us to donate 20 tons of material utilized on our racing surface so Morning Dove can earmark the funding directly to the individuals who participate in their therapeutic riding services.”

A team of three Indiana Grand individuals, Dillon Simpson, Justin Gabbard, and Austin Johns from the Track and Backstretch Maintenance crew, spent the day at Morning Dove to prepare and spread the indoor riding arena with the additional materials. The end product will provide more cushioning for the horses, riders, and assistants that walk alongside the horses during therapeutic sessions. In addition, Indiana Grand donated an arena drag to help keep the surface smooth for future classes in the enclosure.

Like a lot of organizations, Morning Dove was affected by COVID-19 restrictions last year. However, they worked diligently to get the services back to their clients last June and, with additional security and safety protocols, have continued their work.

“Ninety percent of what we do is outside, so being able to provide this to our clients and their families was crucial,” said Brad Schleppi, Executive Director at Morning Dove. “This is their outlet, and approximately 15 percent of our kids are immune-compromised, so we took extra precautions for the safety of everyone to ensure they were back enjoying their equine therapy.”

Sessions for clients come at a price tag of $150 per hour, which includes the assistants, horse care, equipment maintenance, and facility upkeep. However, due to donations, clients are only charged $45 per session thanks to support such as the $10,000 contribution from Indiana Grand.

“We are very appreciative for the continued partnership and support by Indiana Grand, because it gets kiddos on horseback,” added Schleppi. “For many, this is their social and physical interactions for the week, and thanks to organizations like Indiana Grand, we are able to continue these services to those who depend on Morning Dove for a major part of their routines.”

In addition to the funding from Indiana Grand, Harrah’s Hoosier Park in Anderson, Ind. has also committed to a three-year agreement with Morning Dove for $10,000 annually.

For more information or to assist Morning Dove, go to their Website at

The 19th season of Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse racing is now in progress and continues through Monday, Nov. 8. Live racing will be conducted at 2:25 p.m. Monday through Wednesday, with first post on Thursday set at 3:25 p.m. In addition, six all-Quarter Horse racing dates are set on select Saturdays starting June 5 at 10 a.m. A special Indiana Champions Day highlighting the state’s top Thoroughbred and Quarter Horses will be held Saturday, Oct. 30, beginning at noon. More information about the 2021 racing season is available at

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