Editor's Note: Visit EquiSearch.com's photo gallery of products supporting breast cancer research and awareness!
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and the equestrian industry has unveiled an array of products--many in the campaign's signature pink-- to raise funds towards the prevention and cure of this devastating disease.
"The early detection and treatment of breast cancer is something that concerns 100 percent of the equestrian market," says Chris Duggan, president of Equestrian Collections. After all, as she notes, the disease does not differentiate by gender and touches all of a victim's friends and family members.
"We all wonder what we can do to make a difference--tack up a friend's horse so she has the strength to ride, clean the stall for her, e-mail her photos and a message of the day from her horse?" she continues. "We all try and do something in our own way, hoping that given time, effort and money that we will find a cure before it strikes another friend, family or the most unspoken dread of all, us."
Among the most visible participants in the movement to raise money for breast cancer research are companies involved in the Western sector's Tough Enough to Wear Pink (TETWP) initiative. These include Wrangler, Professional's Choice, Wahl, Resistol and Justin Boots. This December, spectators attending the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo are being asked to wear pink shirts to "Tough Enough to Wear Pink Night," when the total industry-wide donation will be presented to TETWP.
Other companies fighting for a cure include SmartPak, with its SmartPink™ line of goods (including Breast Cancer Awareness saddle pads) and Leather Goods of Spain, which offers hope through its LILO Esperanza™ line of shirts and accessories, as well as other "Pick-A-Pink" products.
"We have Hunter with their pink wellies," Duggan says of her own company's offering. "This year, we have also seen 'For the Cure' gloves from SSG Gloves." And these are just a few of the items available.
There are commendable efforts at the local level, too. For example, Dover Saddlery is sponsoring an annual fundraising ride hosted by Quiet Corner's Ride for the Cure. This nonprofit organization raises money for the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation's Connecticut affiliate.
"So let's press for 'For the Cause' classes at our local and national shows, some free ad space in our magazines and some more organized efforts at our barns, schools and churches to help support breast cancer victims and their families," Duggan says. "Let's ride for The Cure, run for The Cure... whatever it takes to make a difference."
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