Athletics, Featured|November 15, 2011 12:00 pm

Hollins Hosts First “Blessing of the Horses” December 8

The Hollins University riding program will conduct its first-ever Blessing of the Horses on Thursday, December 8 at 5 p.m. at the Hollins Riding Center.

“We want to formally bless and show our appreciation to each and every horse in our stable for their service to our students,” said Nancy Peterson, riding center director. “It should be an uplifting ceremony.”

Members of the Hollins riding team will lead their favorite horses into the Kirby Riding Ring for a short service conducted by the Rev. Sandy Webb of St. John’s Episcopal Church in Roanoke and L. Gerald Carter, CRE, pastor for congregational care at Roanoke’s Second Presbyterian Church. Each horse will be blessed individually.

“We hope this event will become an annual tradition,” said Peterson.

Hollins’ riding program, which has captured 22 team and individual national championships since 1984, is well-known for its outstanding group of horses. All are donated to the university and many come from horse show backgrounds of distinction. The horses offer a full complement of talents, from the beginner horse to the most talented show horse.

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  • why not ask the chaplain to do the blessing?

  • A lovely tradition to start, but I have to agree with Jan Fuller, shouldn’t this be done by the Hollins chaplain?

  • Nancy Peterson explains that the minister at St. John’s Episcopal Church came up with the idea of doing the service and talked about it at length with Hollins’ interim chaplain, Rev. Jenny Frazier Call. Rev. Call’s response was very enthusiastic and supportive, but since she is so new to Hollins she felt it would work out just fine having these two gentlemen who know Hollins and the riding program here conduct the service. Rev. Call will be in attendance on Thursday evening.