“I was diagnosed with invasive lobular breast cancer (Stage IIB) in 1999 and as I had two middle school age children then it was not a good situation to be in. I had my treatment at Hopkins—3 surgeries, 6 months of chemo and then radiation. The things that helped me through this were family and friends, my faith and the hope that I would survive and ride again—specifically dressage, which I had never done and found so beautiful.”
About 16 years ago Pat had the vision to “give back” to Hopkins and the community through this sport that means so much to her. In 2009, amidst a lot of volunteering, Pat had the special privilege to ride in the weekend dressage show. Also, in 2009 through Pat’s continued leadership as founder of the PVDA Ride for Life, she was recognized as USDF Region 1 Volunteer of the Year. Pat’s three latest goals are to help the event reach $1,000,000 in donations to Johns Hopkins, become self-perpetuating, and to ride in the event once again.
Throughout our history, horses have inspired us and been allies in battle and partners in progress. Our hope for The PVDA Ride for Life exemplifies the belief that horses can inspire and aid us in the fight against breast cancer. Quoting our event founder and breast cancer survivor, Patricia Artimovich, “Help us make the ring of hoof beats become the music of hope!”
The PVDA Ride for Life is an annual weekend family event held in the Baltimore/Washington area to raise funds for breast cancer research and to improve the lives of those affected and their loved ones. Since its inception in 2004, the event has raised over $835,000 for the Johns Hopkins Breast Center. The event coincides with a licensed dressage show sponsored by The Potomac Valley Dressage Association (a 501c 3 non-profit organization.)
During the annual dressage show riders compete for High Pledge Awards, High Score Awards and Breed Awards. For the fourth year in 2019, we will have a Fundraiser Freestyle to allow our competitors to showcase their creativity in an exhibition Musical Freestyle Test of Choice, or a ride at the USEF or FEI level. The audience will have an opportunity to “vote” for their favorite freestyle by purchasing raffle tickets to be allotted to their favorite horse and rider team. We will culminate the Fundraiser Freestyle with a food and beverage event on the concourse, where Fundraiser Freestyle winners will be announced.
As in the past, the weekend will continue to have shopping with our great vendors.
The PVDA Ride for Life is funded through generous sponsorships, rider donations raised through pledges, a raffle, vendor donated funds and merchandise purchases.
The entire weekend is free to encourage participation by families within and outside of the Maryland area. The event and each of these activities, which include breast health education efforts, are supported through volunteer efforts provided by the PVDA, the Johns Hopkins Breast Center Survivor Volunteers and the community at large.
Words frequently are not enough to describe the emotion and drama behind this great event. Videos of breast cancer survivors impacted by the PVDA Ride for Life can be seen on PVDA Ride for Life’s YouTube channel and attendees will have the opportunity to connect directly with volunteers impacted by the fundraising efforts of our riders and the PVDA Ride for Life show.