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Will angels trot to eBay?

DraperDale stables seeking help online for disabled

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Cindy Roy is looking for "angels" in cyberspace.

These angels, she hopes, will find her and the DraperDale stables on eBay, the online auction site linking Internet surfers with a world of collectibles and causes.

Roy's cause is the Therapeutic Riding Foundation, the Draper-based equestrian center where physically challenged children and adults leave their disabilities on the ground. She established the Therapeutic Riding Foundation soon after purchasing the land for her DraperDale riding school 13 years ago. Now riders with arthritis, paralysis, multiple sclerosis and other illnesses find freedom on horseback, Roy said.

"Horses help people heal" is the Therapeutic Riding Foundation's motto — and Roy hopes to expand that capacity to heal. With eBay's help, she plans to create an endowment fund that will transform DraperDale into a world-class therapeutic equestrian center. At the beginning of this month, she placed the fund on eBay and priced it at $6 million. No bidders have come forward yet, but Roy is hopeful. And she has something for non-millionaires.

"Da Vinci's Horse," a bronze sculpture inspired by a Leonardo Da Vinci sketch, is also being offered to would-be supporters of therapeutic riding. The 5-inch statue has a starting price of $400, and several donors have posted their bids.

To see "Da Vinci's Horse" and find out more about the Foundation's endowment-fund hopes, visit www.ebay.com/aboutme/trf3/. Or go to eBay's home page, www.ebay.com, click on the "Community" bar at the top, next select the "Charity" link, and then click on the Therapeutic Riding Foundation icon at the bottom of the following page. To go straight to the foundation and learn about its programs, call DraperDale at 572-4069.

The Foundation's endowment fund and "Da Vinci's Horse" are featured on eBay through Friday. After that, donors can still bid on the items, or they can call the foundation directly to make a donation, said Roy.

"We'll use the funds to purchase the land at DraperDale, make improvements, and endow it forever," she said. "DraperDale will be transformed. There will be an academy building and a second indoor arena to accommodate more students." The riding stables now have boarding, training and lessons for riders of all abilities, and Roy said the endowment fund will ensure that the foundation always has enough land to continue operating.

"We'd like to see this go beyond us," said Roy. "This is one of the few places in Draper that is still open space. And if the land has a use, that will ensure its preservation."


E-MAIL: durbani@desnews.com