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PHOTO BY GEORGIE HAMMOND/PHELPS MEDIA GROUP

(L-R) Missy Clark with her team at the 2020 USEF Medal Finals wearing her “Concrete to Show Jumping” hat; Erin Brown with Jessie Schulman riding Kidd and Stephfon Tolbert riding Kowboy with Michael Upshur; and Liam Thorpe (center) with Javon Brown, Buttercup, Diamond Thorpe and Erin Brown.

In 2019, the producers and directors of Concrete Cowboy partnered with the late Eric Miller and the riders of Fletcher Street to form the Philadelphia Urban Riding Academy (PURA) and preserve the life, legacy and culture of Black urban cowboys in Philadelphia. Recently, PURA found an ally from Wellington’s own community — Missy Clark of North Run. One of the leading show jumping and equitation trainers in the country, Clark has been a longtime resident of Wellington, competing at the Winter Equestrian Festival most of her life. In June 2020, Clark learned about PURA’s executive director, the “Concrete Cowgirl” Erin Brown, through Instagram and wanted to support PURA’s mission. “I sent Erin an e-mail and we connected with a phone call,” Clark recalled.“We probably talked for an hour and a half during that initial phone call. She was someone I really connected with, and I think she connected with me, and then it went on from there. I told her my idea about ‘Concrete to Show Jumping,’ hoping to encourage other professionals in our sport of show jumping to reach out and form alliances with organizations of their own.” With a mission to open doors to diversified worlds within the horse industry, Concrete to Show Jumping aims to open the eyes, minds and hearts of equestrians by participating in new ex46

june 2021 | wellington the magazine

periences, forming new alliances and building friendships with equestrians from diverse backgrounds. The first initiative for Concrete to Show Jumping is to find a permanent home for PURA and all of the programs it includes.Together, they have launched the “Fresh Start for Philly Youth” fundraising campaign through GoFundMe. The campaign’s goal is to raise money for its new facility in the Cobbs Creek section of Philadelphia that will provide a unique, safe space for children, teens and adults to experience horses up close and personal. “When I looked at the property, I fell in love,” Brown said.“I knew in my heart that this was the place. It’s perfect because although it’s backed into Cobbs Creek Park, it is also right across the street from a residential location. So, you are in the city, and then you cross the street, and you are in the park. It’s a gorgeous place. Once it is a barn, it is going to be absolutely amazing.” The “Fresh Start for Philly Youth” fundraiser has the goal of raising $2,000,000 for PURA’s new permanent facility. This home will provide stabling for 20 to 25 horses, paddocks and a covered arena, as well as recreational space for other youth and veteran programs. With the help of the entire equestrian community, PURA and Concrete to Show Jumping believe that this goal is attainable. Every dollar

raised will be put toward the facility, and the horses and students that will call it home. PURA currently supports multiple programs, including a 4-H Club, Cowboys Against Crime and the Junior Concrete to Cowboy and Cowgirls, which includes horsemanship and riding lessons for the urban youth of Philadelphia. “If your child wants to learn how to ride but you can’t afford it, there will be a program for that,” Brown explained. “There will be recreational programs for those who just want to be around horses. This new facility will provide a safe environment for everyone in the community to be able to enjoy.” Clark hopes that her fellow equestrians here in Wellington chip in their support. “Horses are something that touched all of our lives in such a special way,” she said.“It’s important to continue that legacy and bring it to people who would not otherwise have the access to horses in their community.” As a nonprofit organization, PURA is now collecting donations for the “Fresh Start for Philly Youth” initiative, creating a new facility that will provide a space unlike any other for children, teens and adults to experience horses up close and personal. For more information, or to become a part of Fresh Start for Philly Youth, visit www.thepura.org.

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WELLINGTON THE MAGAZINE – June 2021  

June 2021 | ON THE COVER Verdex Construction President Rex Kirby at HomeSafe’s new Sylvester Family West Campus near Wellington. Photography...

WELLINGTON THE MAGAZINE – June 2021  

June 2021 | ON THE COVER Verdex Construction President Rex Kirby at HomeSafe’s new Sylvester Family West Campus near Wellington. Photography...

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