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Kentucky’s Horses and Hope is going international

by UofL Today last modified Jun 30, 2014 11:56 AM

Champion equestrian and Horses and Hope Pink Stable member Misdee Wrigley Miller will spread the message of breast cancer awareness as she competes in two European Equestrian World Cup qualifying events.

Kentucky’s Horses and Hope is going international

Misdee Wrigley Miller

In 2008, the office of Kentucky First Lady Jane Beshear partnered with the Kentucky Cancer Program to create Horses and Hope. The program’s mission is to increase breast cancer awareness, education, screening and treatment referral among Kentucky’s horse industry workers and their families.

The University of Louisville and the University of Kentucky operate the Kentucky Cancer Program and staff Horses and Hope programs and events. UofL’s James Graham Brown Cancer Center, a part of KentuckyOne Health, manages the Kentucky Cancer Program for the western half of the Commonwealth.

On Thursday, July 3, Miller will compete in CAI3* horse driving competitions in Lähden and Riesenbeck, Germany, in the four-in-hand combined driving competition. Both competitions are FEI World Equestrian Game qualifying events. While there, she will spread awareness about the importance of breast cancer screening, early detection and education through the Horses and Hope program—sharing the program’s best practices and encouraging international participation. 

Since 2009, she has served as a member of the Pink Stable, a committee of Kentucky horse owners, riders, trainers, farm owners and jockeys that support the Horses and Hope initiative.

“I have been grateful to serve as member of First Lady Jane Beshear's Horses and Hope Pink Stable committee, and even more honored to serve as an ambassador for this important initiative as I compete in Europe,” Miller said. “Women are traditionally care givers, especially so in the horse business; often they take care of their horses before they think of themselves. I have friends and family who have been touched by breast cancer, so I am aware of the importance of early detection. If I accomplish anything here, I want every woman, especially those with high risk, who hear my message to practice self-examination and get screened.”

Miller is a fourth-generation horsewoman and has been involved in the horse business her entire life. She is an accomplished rider and has competed as a United States team member twice in the FEI Pair Horse World Championships, was the 2013 USEF National Champion in Pairs and the 2014 USEF Reserve National Champion in 4-In Hands.

Horses and Hope has hosted several breast cancer race days at Kentucky racetracks in the past six years, reaching nearly 1 million race track and horse show fans and educating nearly 16,000 equine employees. The program has screened close to 700 workers and detected breast cancer in two individuals, both of whom have received treatment.

The next Horses and Hope Race Day will be at Ellis Park in Henderson, Ky., on Aug. 2. For more information about Horses and Hope and all upcoming events, please visit www.horsesandhope.org.

For more information on breast cancer, please contact the Kentucky Cancer Program at UofL at http://kycancerprogram.org/kcp-west/.

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