Meeting for relocation of horse therapy set for Thursday

Meeting for relocation of horse therapy set for Thursday


IS A PLEASURE. TONIGHT A HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY HORSE FARM IS IN DANGER OF RELOCATING. PARENTS ARE PANICKED BECAUSE THIS IS NOT JUST ANY FARM. IT IS DEDICATED TO HELPING THEIR CHILDREN WITH SPECIAL NEEDS. FOR MOMS AND DADS IT IS A SACRED PLACE WHERE THEIR KIDS BLOSSOM AND THRIVE. FOR THE CHILDREN THEMSELVES, SOME OF WHOM CAN’T WALK OR SPEAK, THIS HORSE FARM IS PARADISE. OUR MELANIE MICHAEL JOINS US LIVE NOW FROM THE BACHUS EQUESTRIAN CENTER. Reporter: GOOD EVENING TO YOU. PARENTS ARE HEARTBROKEN AFTER LEARNING THE NEWS SOMEBODY WANTS TO BUY THIS LAND FROM THE COUNTY AND RELOCATE IT FAR AWAY LEAVING THEIR CHILDREN WITH SPECIAL NEEDS DEVASTATED. FOR HEIDI FERRERO — AWESOME, NICE JOB, ALL RIGHT. WE’LL GET OUR INGREDIENTS. Reporter: — HER BIGGEST JOY IN LIFE IS TO SEE HER SON HAPPY AND IT JUST SO HAPPENS THE PLACE HE COMES TO LIFE IS A SAFE HAVEN WHERE THE MOST GRACEFUL OF CREATURES CAN INSPIRE THE YOUNGEST AMONG US. ALEX HAS AUTISM AND FOR HIM THIS HORSE FARM IS HOME. HE LOOKS FORWARD TO IT. HE’S VERY EXCITED ON THE CAR RIDE HERE. HE’S EAGER TO GET UP ON HIS HORSE, GET HIS HELMET ON AND HIS BOOTS ON. Reporter: AT 4 YEARS OLD THIS LITTLE BOY BEGAN TO BLOSSOM THE FIRST TIME HE SET FOOT IN THIS BARN. HIS FACE LIT UP. HEIDI TELLS US THIS HORSE FARM IN HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY BEGAN TO BREATHE NEW LIFE BACK INTO HER SON WHO IS NOW 10. A CHILD WITH AUTISM, THEY DON’T HAVE NECESSARILY A TON OF INTEREST AND IT’S CONTINUING TO DEVELOP, BUT IT’S SOMETHING HE KNOWS AND IS FAMILIAR WITH. Reporter: HEIDI IS AMONG MANY MOMS AND DADS WHO WANT TO KEEP THE BACHUS EQUESTRIAN CENTER WHERE IT IS, BUT THEY JUST FOUND OUT SOMEONE WANTS TO BUY THE LAND OWNED BY THE COUNTY AND SWAP IT FOR ANOTHER PIECE OF PROPERTY IN SEFFNER, 33 MILES AWAY. HEIDI TELLS US THE COUNTY HAS ALWAYS SUPPORTED THIS HORSE FARM. I HOPE THE COUNTY WILL CONTINUE TO DO SO BECAUSE IF NOT, IT WOULD JUST DISPLACE AND, YOU KNOW, LEAVE FAMILIES HEART BROKEN. Reporter: AND THAT’S, OF COURSE, WHAT MOMS AND DADS ARE TRYING TO AVOID AT THIS POINT. SO WHAT HAPPENS NEXT IN THIS CASE? ON THURSDAY THOSE MOMS AND DADS, ALL THE PARENTS, WILL MEET WITH COUNTY LEADERS FACE TO FACE RIGHT HERE AT THE HORSE FARM AT 7:00 AND WE WILL BE THERE TO SEE WHAT HAPPENS. MEL, I’M CURIOUS. HOW MANY FAMILIES ARE WE TALKING ABOUT THAT COULD BE AFFECTED BY ALL THIS? Reporter: QUITE A FEW, 200 FAMILIES ROUGHLY. SO WE ARE THINKING THERE’S GOING TO BE A LOT OF FOLKS OUT HERE AT THIS MEETING BECAUSE THEY WANT TO DO WHAT’S BEST FOR THEIR KIDS AND MAKE SURE THESE KIDS WITH SPECIAL NEEDS REALLY THRIVE IN THIS PROGRAM AND THAT

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