The Ride to Survive Fund strives to raise awareness about the multiple kinds of abuse that affect our community, such as domestic violence- which includes emotional abuse, physical abuse, sexual abuse. All forms can include spousal and childhood abuse. Our goal is to educate the community and raise funds for the victim services of the YWCA in York, Pennsylvania and the Rape Crisis Intervention Services of Westminster, Maryland. Through education and charity, I believe that we, as a community, can end the abuse that happens in our homes. The majority of the abuse that happens in your community is done by someone the victim knows well.
Horses have a great sense of character. They know who has cruel tendencies and who has suffered cruelty. That is why so many victims heal well with horses. Horses can also come from situations where they too were on the ill receiving end of an abusive relationship and their understanding and kindness go a long way towards a victim’s recovery.
The Ride to Survive Fund’s Annual Horse Shows salutes the survivors who bravely keep going despite adversity. Ride to Survive uses horse shows to bring the community together as well as encourage new survivors to come out of their shells and help educate what happens in our front yards.
The Ride to Survive Fund was co-founded by Danielle Knell and Nicole Wiley- two best friends who found horses to be their best therapy in a difficult world. Danielle born and raised in Carroll County, Maryland (on the border of MD and PA) was born with congenital heart disease, was a true all around fighter. She grew up wanting to become a social worker to become a therapist for abuse victims and had just been accepted into graduate school. She met Nicole who is has epilepsy and survivor of childhood emotional abuse and sexual assault, domestic violence during her college years and was again assaulted by a co-worker as an adult. She moved to rural southern-central Pennsylvania with her husband to begin a new life. That’s when Nicole and Danielle met at High Ridge Farm in Manchester, MD and realized they were a match made in heaven. They therefore became inseparable. They wished everyone who had an ailment or who had suffered could feel the joy that they felt when in the saddle. In 2010, they began planning their first ‘Ride to Survive’ event for Domestic Violence Awareness. Sadly, Danielle passed away from Congenital Heart Disease two months before her very first Ride to Survive event in October 2010. Nicole continues her legacy, fighting for other victims and survivors.
The Ride to Survive Fund is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt nonprofit organization that, located in Glen Rock, Pennsylvania. We are now advocates for survivors and victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, and child abuse.