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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Golf, Health, Patient & Family Support, Sports

Mission: Valley View Vaulters was started in 1980, with seven vaulters, a practice barrel, and one horse. Since then, our program has been expanding at a fast rate, with one-third of the vaulters having special needs. We now have four horses and two locations in Lake View Terrace and in Long Beach at Rancho Rio Verde. Our vaulters range in age from two years through adults, and range in skills from beginners to national champions. Vaulting is truly a sport that is accessible to everyone. You do not need to be a trained gymnast, have the grace of a dancer, or be a skilled equestrian. We love working with and training people of all ages and abilities! We are unique in that we are among the few mainstream, competitive vaulting teams that have both vaulters with and without disabilities participating in one inclusive environment, including those with physical/cognitive disabilities, behavioral problems and at-risk youth. Everyone benefits when all abilities are included in the same class. Our classes consist of no more than 10 vaulters of all ages and abilities. This small environment allows our vaulters to learn from one another and truly have the attention of Coach Rick and our volunteers. When guided properly by Coach Rick Hawthorne, vaulting becomes fun and builds up strength, self- esteem, and the necessary skills to work as part of a team with no barriers of age, gender or abilities. Our program prides itself on being one of the first mainstreamed vaulting teams to a have competed successfully at the American Vaulting Association's National Championships. Throughout the years our team has earned 1st- 5th places in the nation with vaulters of all abilities on our Trot, Canter, or 2-Phase Teams. Additionally, our Individual Vaulters have earned 1st- 10th places in their division at the Nationals and have won Individual National Championships in Trot, Copper, Bronze and Silver Divisions. Over the years we have also earned three National Team Championships at the Trot, Bronze and Silver levels. At Valley View Vaulters we make use of the horse as a learning tool which helps develop the best in our students. With our concept of working together, we take pride in teaching vaulting to people of all ages and abilities to walk, talk, think, make friends, increase self- esteem and lead more independent and productive lives. Valley View also participates in numerous parades and gives on-site demonstrations at schools, hospitals, and special groups. Most importantly, we have fun the entire time!

Target demographics: individuals of all ages and abilities

Direct beneficiaries per year: 50 individuals

Geographic areas served: Lake View Terrace and Long Beach

Programs: through the art and sport of gymnastics on horseback, also known as equestrian vaulting,resulting in improved quality of life and instilling lessons that will remain with participants forever.

Community Stories

6 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

1 Philip13

Client Served

Rating: 5

Valley View Vaulters is an undiscovered gem in the North Valley. Coach Rick Hawthorne is a truly gifted individual who along with his wife Virginia has created not just a place to learn horse vaulting, but a supportive community which enables every individual to thrive. Not only is Rick a top competitive vaulting coach, but as someone who lost his left arm to bone cancer at a young age, he has an uncannny ability to work with people of all skill levels. Whether you are a future national champion, or someone with a severe disbility, Rick will find a way to help you succeed, and oh yes.....you will have an absolute blast while you are doing it!

Joan62

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

My daughter Alanna started vaulting not too long ago and the impact it has had on her life has been just incredible. The love and expertise that Rick brings to his teaching is nothing short of amazing. He has created a wonderful family of vaulters that is a joy to be a part of.

1 Frances12

Client Served

Rating: 5

My daughter began her vaulting career at Valley View. Not only did she progress rapidly in her sport, becoming an internationally recognized championship vaulter, she also learned to work with the handicapped, both emotionally and physically. Her ability to develop routines that are graceful, athletic, and make use of the vaulter's abilities no matter what their level began with her training at Valley View. At Valley View, we all learned how true it is that "CAN'T" means "Can Achieve Next Time."

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

I look forward to my time at Valley View Vaulters each week. Rick and Virginia are really caring, wonderful people and know how to teach vaulting to people of all abilities. They look past your disability and know how to push you to do truly amazing things. Once you start vaulting at Valley View, you become part of one big family. Not only do you learn new skills at each practice, but you have a ton of fun!

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

The longer I know them, the more I appreciate Rick and Virginia and their wonderful vaulting facility. The people, and the horses, are nurturing, while still challenging every one who walks through the gate, from beginner level onward. I look forward to going to VVV every week to learn, to exercise, and to share time with my other "family".

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

I went to visit with a friend to see how well she has been doing with vaulting. I was completely amazed by the facility and the staff. Such a great orginization and they perform amazing training and therapy for individuals. Little did I know, after visiting for an hour, I too was on a horse performing vaulting. The staff had complete control and gave me flawless instructions; while on a horse and standing on my head. I never knew I could possibly do any of what I was able to do with the assistance of the instructors. Did I mention I am a paraplegic. Simply amazing.