Horses , golfers come to­gether in Bri­dles & Birdies

Manila Times - - GOLF -

EQUESTRIANS and golfers came to­gether in a unique team re­lay com­pe­ti­tion that com­bines horses and golf dur­ing the sixth an­nual Bri­dles & Birdies event.

Teams of one rider and five golfers worked to­gether, com­plet­ing a jump course be­fore golfers com­pleted four dif­fer­ent ob­sta­cles. The teams raced to beat the clock and come out with the best time among their com­peti­tors.

At­ten­dees watched from the side­lines as they en­joyed a buf­fet and each other’s com­pany and while rais­ing money for The First Tee of Aiken.

“We are a non­profit youth de­vel­op­ment or­ga­ni­za­tion that teaches kids aged to 18 life skills, core val­ues and healthy habits through the game of golf,” said Ex­ec­u­tive Di­rec­tor Lexie Mil­ford. “So we run pro­grams year-round, af­ter school and on Satur­days. We part­ner with a lot of other youth or­ga­ni­za­tions in an out­reach ca­pac­ity, and we have an el­e­men­tary school pro­gram in all 20 public el­e­men­tary schools where the P.E. teach­ers de­liver the cur­ricu­lum in gym class.”

Mil­ford said the funds raised from the event will go back to The First Tee of Aiken pro­gram, help­ing to pro­vide more pro­grams, equip­ment and train­ing in or­der to pos­i­tively im­pact the kids and the com­mu­nity.

“It’s re­ally fun and we have some op­por­tu­ni­ties for guests to kinda bet on the team they think is go­ing to win,” said Mil­ford. “If they’re the owner of that win­ning team, they get a chance to win some cool prizes, and we have a lot of op­por­tu­ni­ties to give, just to sup­port the pro­gram and help us con­tinue to grow and reach more young peo­ple.”

Mil­ford said this year’s Bri­dles & Birdies event turned out to be a ban­ner year for The First Tee of Aiken, and with the money raised they could train 17 new coaches. This would triple the num­ber of trained coaches in the pro­gram cur­rently as well as cre­ate a safe af­ter school pro­gram for stu­dents.

“We sup­port the eques­trian pro­grams, but it’s re­ally nice to see them bring this to­gether with golf,” said Dikran Yapou­jian, who was en­joy­ing his first Bri­dles & Birdies fundraiser with his daugh­ter Maddie Yapou­jian. “I’m a golfer my­self so it’s re­ally great to see them sup­port­ing The First Tee of Aiken.”

Tim Mad­drix, the rider for Mann and As­so­ciates who also is a golfer, rode in the event for the first time.

“I think it’s a pretty cool thing they do for the kids,” said Mad­drix. “I love to play golf so I think get­ting a kid on the golf course is awe­some.”

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