Carousel Ranch has announced the upcoming donation of a black and white Clydesdale named EX Decker’s Nash that will join the team of therapy horses at the ranch in early January 2020.
The donation was made possible by the Express Employment Professionals Santa Clarita franchise.
In addition, the local Express Employment Professionals office facilitated a $10,000 cash donation from the corporate office to the Santa Clarita nonprofit earlier this month.
A team of eight black and white Express Clydesdales will participate in the 2020 Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena on New Year’s Day and Equestfest on Dec. 29, an event that allows people to get up close to the 2020 Rose Parade equestrian units.
Local residents will have the opportunity to meet the award-winning Express Clydesdale team at a free event on Friday, Jan. 3, from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. at Express Employment Professionals Santa Clarita, 28111 Avenue Stanford, in the Valencia Industrial Center.
Guests will enjoy photo opportunities with the Clydesdale team, and a silent auction with proceeds benefiting Carousel Ranch. Food will be served from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m.
The Clydesdale team visited Santa Clarita last year in connection with their appearance in the 2018 Hollywood Christmas Parade.
“The community welcomed Express Santa Clarita with open arms and our business has flourished in the short four years we have been open,” said Yvonne Rockwell, owner of the Santa Clarita office. “Due to our local success, the purchase of Express Clydesdale EX Decker’s Nash was made possible. We truly feel blessed to be part of this wonderful community and to be able to give the gift of EX Decker’s Nash to Carousel Ranch where he will be of service to so many children.”
There is a rich history behind the Express Clydesdales. In 1998, Bob Funk, owner of Express Ranches and president and vice chairman of Express Employment Professionals, traveled to the Canadian Western Agribition in Regina, Saskatchewan. While visiting, he met and fell in love with the rare and beautiful black and white Clydesdales.
Funk saw an opportunity to bring something entirely new and different to his home state of Oklahoma, a state steeped in its own rich equestrian history. The Express Ranches Percherons are another breed that compete at some of North America’s most prestigious draft horse shows.
From the Oklahoma ranch, the Express Clydesdale team travels the country visiting local Express Employment Professionals’ offices. Four-year-old EX Decker’s Nash will part from the team after the Santa Clarita visit and start a new career as a therapy horse at Carousel Ranch.
Carousel Ranch is dedicated to improving the lives of children and young adults with special needs. Through both equestrian therapy and vocational training programs, they strive to create an atmosphere where every student can and will succeed.
“EX will live out his days as a therapy horse on the ranch in Agua Dulce,” said Denise Redmond, executive director of Carousel Ranch. “This gentle giant will enjoy a great life and be loved by our students as he participates in our equestrian therapy sessions disguised as fun.”
“Express prides itself on a culture of servant leadership and investing in the community is a huge component of that,” said Bill Stoller, CEO and chairman of the board of Express Employment Professionals. “We are proud that Yvonne Rockwell and the office staff have partnered with Carousel Ranch to make a difference.”
Over the past several years, Express Santa Clarita has been working closely with Carousel Ranch and its Ready to Work vocational training program bringing students into the employment office for interview experience, as well as the employment on-boarding process and paperwork.
“This has been an amazing real-life experience that is priceless for these young adults with special needs,” said Redmond pointing out that Rockwell has also given several students an opportunity for paid work within Express.
Rockwell explains, “Express Employment Professionals is on a mission to put a million people to work! The work we are doing with Carousel Ranch has allowed us to be so much more inclusive, assisting in the employment process for those who may otherwise have barriers in the process. It takes the concept of employment to another level for us. This partnership has been very rewarding for our local team.”
About Carousel Ranch
Founded in 1997, Carousel Ranch, Inc. provides equestrian therapy and vocational training programs for children and young adults with disabilities. By creating unique and individualized programs to meet each student’s specific needs and goals, the Ranch strives to create an atmosphere where every child and young adult can and will succeed… a place where therapy is disguised as fun. The equestrian therapy program utilizes a combination of vaulting (gymnastics on a moving horse) and therapeutic riding (both English and Western). The Ready-to-Work! program, which began in 2016, is a unique work readiness, job training and social entrepreneurship program for young adults with special needs interested in joining the workforce. Carousel Ranch is located at 34289 Rocking Horse Road, Santa Clarita 91390. For more information call Carousel Ranch at 661-268-8010 or visit www.CarouselRanch.org.
About Express Employment Professionals
Express Employment Professionals puts people to work. It generated $3.56 billion in sales and employed a record 566,000 people in 2018. Its long-term goal is to put a million people to work annually. The Express franchise in Santa Clarita began operation in 2015 serving the city of Santa Clarita, San Fernando Valley and the surrounding cities with Contract to Hire and Direct Hire placements. For more information, visit ExpressPros.com.