Riding to rebuild the Valley Green Inn sheds

Nearly 50 horseback riders from Philadelphia’s Northwest section and beyond strolled through Fairmount Park Sunday to raise money to reconstruct a warming shed destroyed in a fire.

The historic four-bay structure, used to temporarily park horses alongside Valley Green Inn in Roxborough, caught fire last month when a live electrical wire allegedly came down during a torrential rain storm.

The Ride to Rebuild, organized by the Philadelphia Chapter of the Pennsylvania Equine Council and the Friends of the Wissahickon, is part of an on-going effort to help foot an estimated $20,000 bill towards repairs.

As of late Sunday night, Cynthia Turecki, Director of the Pennsylvania Equine Council estimated that $3,400 had been raised from the day’s event.

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“This has absolutely exceeded our expectations,” Turecki said. “I’m just counting what’s in my hot little hands and more checks are on the way.”

Members from Courtesy Stable in Roxborough, Monastery Stable in Mount Airy and Northwestern Stable in Chestnut Hill all joined together for the cause.

Riders from New Jersey and as far away as Harrisburg and York also joined the organized ride.

Each participant raised a minimum of $25 to ride the eight-mile route through the woods, but many brought in upwards of $300, according to Diane Garvey, co-director of the area’s Equine Council.

Sitting atop his horse Harry, David Driscoll from Northwestern Stable, said it’s important for the city’s equine enthusiasts to band together.

“There are fewer and fewer horses in the park,” he said. “I think the [riders] that are here need to come out and support the park.”

Denise Larrabee with FOW, a non-profit that works to maintain the park’s paths and structures, said the restoration project will be completed during the early part of 2011.

To donate to the rebuilding effort, visit Ride to Rebuild

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